Monday, March 7, 2011

Applique and Embroidered Onesies and Toddler T's

This is one of my favorite projects!  I love making cute applique t's for holidays, birthdays, gifts etc.  Here are a few I've made recently for friends.

Here is my disclaimer: I am totally self taught.  I've never taken any applique or embroidery classes, so I'm SURE there are better methods out there.  With that said, here's what I've found that works!  A lot of trial and error went into this.  :)

First, print your letter or pattern off.  I use wordart in word for any letters I do.  You can google any clip art pattern - I've done pumpkins, starts, sailboats, turkeys, etc. using patterns I've found online.

Use your Steam-A-Seam fusible web. (they have really great instructions on the package for using this stuff).  Iron on your pattern.  I use a grid to help line my pattern up on the shirt and sometimes use an erasable fabric pen to make lines to help with getting the embroidery straight later on.

Since t-shirts (especially onesies and toddler t's are such a soft cotton a stabilizer is an absolute MUST for embroidering!).  I actually use 2.  Sulky makes some great stabilizers!!

 For this project I use an iron on that's light weight and good for babies.  It's super soft!  I iron that on (rough side down).  Next I use a tear away stabilizer that I will remove one I've sewn and embroidered.  Here is what the inside of the shirt looks like with both stabilizers.

Next sew around your pattern.  I have a Brother sewing machine that has a few different options for applique stitching.  Here is my favorite:

Flip the onesie or shirt inside out and sew around your pattern. 

This step takes me about 10 minutes depending on the intricacy of the pattern.  I use embroidery thread to sew around the applique.  It's shiny and I just think it looks better!

Now for the embroidery!  I LOVE how my machine switches so easily back and forth from sewing to embroidery.  In just a few minutes my machine looks like this:

I have the brother SE-350 embroidery and sewing. I got it at Wal-Mart for about $300!  Such a great deal for beginner embroider/sewers.

Hoop your onesie inside out.  For really small onesies sometimes I use clips to hold the fabric.  I actually embroider through the neck hole.

The toughest part is getting everything lined up straight.  This machine is AH-mazing.  With a click of a button this is what you get!

Another great tip if you want super easy things to applique buy a fabric that already has the design in it!  I found this fabric at joanns.  So sweet for baby girls.

Here is another shirt I made out of this fabric.

I know that was a TON of info, let me know if you have any questions!


  1. Turned out cute! I love appliqued stuff!

  2. So cute!! I cannot believe you bought a sewing/embroidery machine for $300! I may need to look into this!

  3. I love these! Congrats on the awesome machine!

  4. These turned out so cute!

  5. Those are both beautiful shirts and will/would make fantastic gifts!

    Unfortunately my machine doesn't have an embroider feature. Or even the applique stitch. Booo! I posted today about how I'm saving up for a new machine! :)

  6. So, wait a minute, you just typed in the name and the machine embroidered it? That's cool!