My son turned one back in February and today I decided that I needed to finally get this tutorial done, lol. I wanted a shirt for Brady that was cute, matched his party theme, and that would be a special keepsake. I searched and searched Etsy but I just couldn't find the "perfect" shirt or one that wasn't unreasonably priced. I finally realized that I could just make Brady's birthday shirt myself, duh! It was so easy to do and you can customize it to whatever you like, not just for birthdays.
What you will need:
-a plain child/toddler sized shirt, the one I used was size 12-18months, just a simple brown one we had received as a hand-me-down.
-fabric that you will create your applique out of, I used a strip that was approx. 3" wide by 17" long. You'll need more or less depending on how long your word is, or how big the object is.
-sewing machine, thread, and bobbin
-computer and printer
Step one: On your computer open up a new Word document, this is where we will create the pattern for your fabric applique. Type in your word of choice, my word was 'ONE', and pick your font type and size. It's hard to see in the screen shot but I used the font type Gil Sans Ultra Bold and size 360. When you are satisfied with your word, print and cut out your letters. Arrange your cut out letters on the shirt to make sure they fit nicely, I printed and cut out letters three times before I got the size and look that I wanted. If you can draw(unlike me) your letters or object free hand, then you can skip this step.
Step two: Place your paper letters on your fabric and trace with a fabric pen. I realized after that I should have traced my letters onto the back side of my fabric, lucky for me, my fabric pen is erasable.
Step three: Place your fabric letters onto your shirt and pin like crazy so that they stay in place. Make sure you are pinning the letters to one layer of the shirt.
Step four: Very carefully with your sewing machine straight stitch around the outer edge of your letters. I did try a zig-zag stitch around the letters but ended up ripping it all out because I didn't like the look, use whichever you prefer. Once you've stitched all your letters on - Volia! You have completed your appliqued shirt!
Hope you enjoy your new shirt as much as we loved ours. Brady's even survived a run through the washing machine.