Photo courtesy of Laura Winslow Photography
With Halloween just around the corner, I thought I'd share my super easy tutorial to make an appliqued ghost t-shirt (or sweatshirt). This tee was a huge hit when I sold it in my shop.
My design aesthetic is really simple and clean so my designs are never complicated or fussy. If you prefer, you can just as easily draw out your own ghost or other Halloween character and follow the same instructions. If this is your first time appliqueing, this project will take you about an hour. (If you are familiar with my applique tutorials, the instructions are the same so you can just grab the template and run with it.)
You'll need the following:
blank t-shirt, one piece, or tank
felt or fabric piece for the applique (I prefer to use eco-fi felt)
scissors (small scissors with a pointy tip work best)
fusible webbing (I prefer to use heat 'n bond)
template for the applique (download here)
Since I use Heat n Bond, my instructions will follow Heat n Bond's instructions. If you are using a different fusible web, simply change out my instructions with the instructions on the package. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact me and I can help you.
The first thing you'll want to do is take your ghost template and place it under a sheet of your fusible webbing. Take your pencil and trace the ghost on to the webbing so it looks something like this:
Next you'll want to iron your "ghost" webbing onto your felt or fabric. For Heat n Bond, set it on the "wool" setting (NO STEAM). Iron the design onto the felt or fabric for about 3 or so seconds so it looks like this:
Carefully cut the applique out. Small scissors with a pointy tip work best.
Take the applique and peel off the wax paper layer from the back. Place the applique exactly where you want it on the t-shirt with the glossy/fusible webbing side face down. Iron the applique on to the t-shirt pressing for about 10 seconds. Again be sure to use the wool setting with no steam. Check to be sure that the applique is firmly adhered to the shirt.
Now that your ghost is attached to the t-shirt, you're ready to start the applique process. You can do this with a machine or by hand. I'm a hand stitcher - I find it very relaxing and therapeutic. To stitch by hand, cut about 3-4 feet of your black embroidery thread. Your skein of thread will have six strands. Separate two of the strands from the piece you've cut and thread them through your needle.
For the ghost, I use a straight stitch. It's a basic stitch and great for a beginner. You basically bring the needle up through the t-shirt and back down making straight little stitches about a 2 cm in from the edge of your applique.
A great video tutorial for the straight stitch is available here. The nice thing about sewing coordinating thread (floss) on felt or fabric is that it's hard to see so it's very forgiving if you're a beginning stitcher. If you're an experienced hand stitcher, it is fun to experiment with contrasting threads and different stitches.
Once you've finished with the stitching, you're done! You can take these same principles and make a ton of other spooky creations - ghosts, bats, witches, etc.
If you give this a shot, I'd love to see the results! Please take a picture and email me at email@example.com. And again, if any of you get stuck, please don't hesitate to email me for help.