Easy No-Sew Applique Tutorial

As I have mentioned in previous posts, it is “birthday season” around here.  My daughter’s 12 little friends all have their birthdays within a month of each other.  Well this weekend is the grand finale of all the birthday festivities!

This weekend my friend Danica’s little guy, Roaran, will celebrate turning 2 and will finally join his friends in the “2” club!  She is planning an awesome “Thomas the Train” party that I’m sure will be amazing.  She wanted to jazz up his basic train overalls to make them “Thomas” themed and I agreed to help her out with this little project.

This is a simple, inexpensive no-sew (or a little bit of sewing if you want) project.  This would be perfect for your child’s jeans, a little jacket, a t-shirt or anything you are wanting to add something to, just to make it a little bit more special.

Easy No-Sew T-Shirt Applique Tutorial
1 pair overalls
1 T-Shirt (whatever theme you like….Thomas, Elmo, Dora, Mickey Mouse)
Fusible Web (WonderUnder or any other brand)
Start with your basic overall.  Danica picked out this super-cute classic train overall.
She then found this “Thomas” shirt at a local children’s resale shop in town.  It’s a cute shirt, but she (and I) didn’t care too much for the fact that it was a tank-top and looked a little too plain for a birthday boy.
I cut the “Thomas” and the wording off of the t-shirt as close to the edge as possible.
I then cut fusible interfacing out to match the shape of each of the cut-outs from the t-shirt.
I ironed the interfacing to the back-side of each of the t-shirt applique pieces (follow the directions for whatever brand of interfacing you use).  Then I took the paper off of the back of the appliques.
I placed the applique pieces where I thought they would look best and ironed them into place. 
I appliqued the picture of Thomas on the front pocket of the overalls and the “Thomas and Friends” onto the back-side.
You can stop after you have ironed on your applique, but I like to take it a step further.  I stitched around each applique piece after ironing, just to increase durability.  If you know anything about toddler boys, they are super-rough on their clothes so this is a good idea if you plan on having your little one wear these after the party.
The nice thing about using knit t-shirt material for the applique is that you don’t have to worry about the edges fraying like you would with regular quilting cotton.
Hopefully Danica will be “guest” posting about her fabulous “Thomas” party in the coming weeks!!
Cottage Mama’s Note:  The next time you are out at a garage sale or resale shop, look around for t-shirts that could be deconstructed for their applique potential.  Maybe your child likes Elmo or Diego or Barney or simply look for t-shirts that have pretty flowers or designs.  This Thomas shirt was not particularly special, but once I took it apart and added it to the overalls, it became just that!!

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  1. What a fun and easy tutorial. You’re blog and Etsy shop are adorable. I found you on Tip Junkie’s Blog Frog.

  2. So smart! I will definitely be keeping my eyes open for items like this a garage sales now!

  3. Love it!

  4. What a great idea! Love this!!!

  5. Thank you ladies so much for commenting!

  6. I’ve been going crazy looking for Barney customized overalls for my daughter 1st birthday. Now I’m glad I’ll be able to say “I MADE THEM!!!!” 🙂 Thanks for the quick & EASY tutorial!

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