Felt Applique on Tshirts
I love this simple craft for spicing up shirts with a random object or scene. This project covers a simple donut shape, but there are plenty of other useable ideas out there.
- Felt - Real wool felt is much better than the cheap acrylic craft felt.
- Two-sided iron-on interfacing
- Thread or embroidery floss in colors to match the felt.
- Needle, scissors, etc.
- A shirt
Make the Patch
The idea is to cut the shape you're making out of felt, building it up from different colors and shapes. I usually practice the shape once with paper, then again with felt and glue. Drawing or creating a shape in a graphics program can be misleading--it isn't until the felt step that you truly know if it's looking good or not. Good felt shapes are cartoony and rounded in my opinion.
Fusing the patch together depends on the type of iron-on interfacing you get, but in my case I begin by ironing one side of the fusing to the felt I'm going to be using. Next I trace and cut out the shapes I need from each color of felt (after applying the interfacing, not before). From there, I peel off the interfacings backing and iron it onto the next piece.
Next I stitch the applique to keep it from coming loose at the edges (an unfortunate common problem). While it's probably faster to use a sewing machine, I don't have one and do it by hand. Usually I use a matching thread and sew in a small overhand stitch, but sometimes I'll use embroidery floss when I think it'd be cute for the stitch lines to be visible.
This leaves you with a finished patch with paper backing still on the interfacing.
Attach the Patch
Choose the shirt you intend to decorate and find the spot where you want the patch. This can be harder than it sounds. Put the shirt on and use a mirror to decide how high or low you want the patch (marking the spots with pins), and use a ruler to find the middle of the shirt. It's easy to end up with an off-center patch over your stomach if you don't measure.
Remove the paper backing and pin the patch in place. Iron the patch into place (you might have to iron from the inside of the shirt if the felt on your aplpique is too thick). Definitely stitch around the edges on this one, or expect it to come off in a couple washes.