Adorable Applique T-shirt for Young Girl

Applique T-shirt TutorialI can’t claim this one, but I’ve always wanted to learn how to do applique so when my mother-in-law decided to make this adorable shirt for my daughter, I couldn’t resist snapping a few pictures along the way! I think I captured most of the steps in pretty good detail, except for the stitches (but I included some links below).

Prepping the pattern

  1. Trace your pattern onto iron-on transfer paper. Cut out each piece, leaving about a 1/8-inch border around the entire edge. (This ensures that when you iron it onto the fabric, you will have good adhesion around each edge when you cut it out.)
  2. Cut out each piece and iron it onto your fabric.
  3. Cut out each piece of fabric along the actual pattern line.
  4. Peel the backside of the transfer paper off to revel so that it is ready to be ironed onto your shirt. Now you are ready to arrange the pieces on your shirt before ironing them down permanently!

Iron. Cut. Peel. Arrange.

Arranging the Pieces on the Shirt

There is a specific order that you need to arrange the pieces so that they end up in the right order at the end. You have to think in layers, kind of like Photoshop. I wish there was a “send to back” and “bring to front” button here, but once you iron, you are stuck so make sure you take your time with this step! Check twice. Iron once.

Little Girl Assembly

Here is  a bigger picture of the whole thing after it was ironed on to the shirt. You see that there are some raw edges, but you can cover those up when you embroidery or embellish in the next step.

Little Girl Assembled on tshirt

Finished Product

The t-shirt turned out to be so cute! A blanket stitch was used around most of the pattern, and a chain stitch was used to make the lease, collar, and umbrella handle. The sleeves and dress were embellished with a little ruffle of lace that really make the dress stand out, don’t you think?  The cherry on top was the little dog that wanders around to the back of the shirt. My daughter really loved wearing this one! Thanks grandma!

Finished Applique T-shirt

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DIY Teacher Lanyards

DIY Lanyards for Teachers!

DIY Teacher Lanyards

Most teachers (and many other professionals) are required to wear some type of identification during the day. While this is most definitely a good thing, the lanyards that are available are usually not very cute. So, I decided to make my own this year. Mind you, I have been thinking about making one since last year when a crafty teacher friend of mine came to school with her own hand-crafted, ADORABLE lanyard to hang her ID badge and keys, but it seemed complicated and I just didn’t “get around to it” (story of my life).

This year, I decided I decided to make them before the year started (brilliant, I know). They turned out to be so easy that I made one for each of the kid’s teacher for them to take as a gift on the first day of school, as well as a couple for myself!

DIY Lanyard Beginning Steps

I started with a 4-inch wide piece of fabric. My fabric was 42-inch long, it all depends how long you want your lanyard to be when it’s finished. For this one, I ended up sewing two pieces of denim together. After I had the fabric peiced together, I folded it in half and ironed a crease down the middle just to mark it. Then I opened it back up and folded each edge to the crease. I pressed each side to create two more creases (see picture above).

DIY Lanyard Folding and Sewing

Without unfolding the fabric this time, I folded it in half again. Then, I pinned the edges together and sewed around all of them. Now I just need to add the ring, and I’m done!

DIY Lanyard Assembly

I put the lanyard around my neck to make sure I had the right length, and that it was laying the right way. Slide on the clip, or D-ring. In this picture, you can see that I slid both ends through the loop, but it is a lot easier to offset the ends by about 2-inches so that you only slide one end through the loop, fold it under and sew it. It makes for much easier (and less bulky) sewing. I sewed a small box to secure the ring at the end of the lanyard and…

…that’s all there is to it!

The Excitement of Learning

What first drew me to this blog post by Adventures of a Really Cool Dad were my concerns about my own children’s education. They have very different needs when it comes to school, but in the end my hope for both of them is exactly what the author writes about in his post: that they love learning and don’t get bogged down with test and procedures and memorization.

I am lucky to have (and have had) teachers around me that are inspired and inspire kids, but it’s definitely an uphill battle. Keeping kids excited about learning is relentless because kids are always testing you. If you slack off one day, they run with it. If you don’t come in character, lines prepared, they are ready to throw you off the stage. That kind of student engagement is hard to maintain, but it’s worth every bit of payoff.