Sunday, June 27, 2010

Knit Applique

I don't think I can even count the number of applique tees I have made! It's a habit that I just can't seem to break. I love the way a basic white t-shirt can be turned into a roaring lion, a jiggly jellyfish, or even a wallaby:)

But with all the tees I've created, I have never worked with knits to create the design. That seems hard for me to believe...I mean what better fabric with which to work? It is super-soft, doesn't fray, and is as rugged as you can possibly ask for in a kids' tee. But you see, I have a felt stash and a stash of basic quilting cottons, but I just don't have a knit stash...until NOW!

I was asked to put together a tee for a little boy's birthday party. He was turning 2 and needed something to help him celebrate the occassion...not to mention a tee that would look fantastic in his party pics.

That's a pretty big responsibility if you ask me. Birthday party pictures last a lifetime. And when he is all grown up with children of his own, his mom will look back through her (probably digital) albums and reminisce about the sweet little boy he was, while marveling over the amazing man he has become. OK - I'm romanticizing this a bit too much, I know. But I get a little misty-eyed when I think about how fast Belle and Bee are growing up, so this is an emotional topic for me:)

Anyway...back to the point!

I knew that I wanted a tee that would really pop in pictures, but would be soft and comfy so this little guy could really enjoy his big day. So...I went on a search for KNITS!

I don't have easy access to a really good fabric shop and this was a rush order, so getting what I needed from Above All Fabric wasn't an option. So I did the next best thing...I went t-shirt shopping. I scoured the local stores for the softest knits, of the best quality, in the brightest colors I could find. I fell in love with the tees that eventually became this super-cute applique because they were so stinkin' soft! And I just love this color palette.

To create the applique I followed exactly the same steps I always follow with my cotton fabrics. I designed the tee and then created mirror images of all the pieces (obviously I didn't need a mirror image of the all of them...the circle, for example). I traced the mirror-imaged design pieces onto my fusible paper and cut them out. Then I ironed them to the reverse side of the knit fabric, peeled the paper backing and ironed them to the tee. After the pieces were all fused in place, I selected a color for the stitching and embroidered all the pieces by hand. A cute new tag on the back was the final step in this ADORABLE tee.

I can honestly say, this is my favorite tee I've ever made...even more than the jellyfish, I think! I will definitely be investing in more super soft tees so I can create new knit applique tees in the near future! Oh, and there are some other applique design options in this palette coming soon...

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