Monday, October 29, 2012

31 Days of Halloween 2012 - Day 29: Cute Scarecrow Applique T-shirt

My middle daughter goes to a Christian preschool, and instead of doing Halloween events, they do harvest/fall events - always fun, too :D  This year, she is having a Scarecrow and Pizza Day.  The catch?  They're supposed to dress in something "scarecrow-y".  You know, plaid shirts, overalls, patches, etc.  But seriously, short of paying a ton of money, where can you find plaid shirts for little kids?  I went to Goodwill and couldn't find anything - overalls, either.  But I did find this orange t-shirt for $1.99:

  Hmmm....I could work with that.  Got it home and started looking for some cute pictures of scarecrows online.  (Google Image search is very helpful for this).  I found the following picture and instantly fell in love with it - SO CUTE!:

This and other adorable pictures from this website

I knew I wouldn't be able to make it as detailed as this picture in applique form, but it did lend itself well to block pieces.  Here's how you do it:

I copy pasted this picture from the same website (but without the colors) into a Word document and printed off 2 copies.  As you can see - it wasn't big enough to cover the t-shirt's design.  Hmmm...

That's okay, I'll just cut a bigger piece of felt and attach the applique to that.

Gather the colors of felt that you would like.

Cut out your "pattern" pieces.  From the first piece of paper, cut out the face, the hair, the hat and the shirt.  From the second, cut out one whole eye, one iris, the nose, and the overalls.  (Since the eyes are exactly the same, no need to make more work for yourself.)

Pin your pattern pieces to the felt and cut out.  

For the eyes, fold the felt in half and pin on top.  Cut once around the edges and save yourself some time.

For the hands, feet, and ponytails (which I added), cut squares and cut slits on one end to create fringe.  Here is what the pieces look like when first cut out.

To get the facial pieces lined up properly, hold the white of the eyes to the back of the pattern piece - 

then sandwich the eye piece in between the face felt and the pattern.  Fold pattern up a bit and pinch the eye tightly to the face felt.  Pin.  You should have great placement now.

Handstitch the white of the eyes on, then go back and do the irises with matching color sewing thread.

Using black embroidery thread (all 6 strands for bold lines, 3 strands for thinner lines.  I used 6 strands, but it also tangled easily.  Up to you...), outline stitch the eyes, eyelashes and little cheek lines.  I left the nose unlined, I just liked it better like that.  You could outline it if you wish.

With either handstitching or a machine on baste stitch,  do a wide stitch along the top of all the fringe pieces.  

Tie the strings on one side in a knot, so you don't rip them out when gathering.  Gather loosely for the hands and feet - 

and tightly for the ponytails, wrapping the strings around the top to secure the tightness.

Pin the face to the background felt, making sure to catch the ponytails underneath where you would like them to be.

Since you're sewing to felt, use a regular straight stitch (or zig zag if you prefer the look of it), and slowly sew around the entire face.

Gradually sew on pieces in the following order - hair, hat, shirt, then overalls, making sure you repeat the ponytail steps for attaching the hand and foot fringe pieces.

Using the same outline stitch and embroidery thread as before and the picture as a guide, outline all the bold lines you would like, adding patches to the sleeves if you like.  Round the corners of the background felt using a cd as a template.  Sew buttons on the overalls. (I totally forgot this step and had to do it last after pictures with Little Miss.)  Pin and stitch the background felt to the tshirt using either a stretch stitch (which I opted for), or a zig zag stitch.  For longevity, you can use stabilizer on the inside of the t-shirt, but since this is for a one-time event, I skipped that step and it still worked just fine.  

Enjoy the cuteness on your sweet little one :D

***I fully recognize that any amount of intelligence or creativity I have is a gift from God.  What I have been freely given, I freely give.  But if you choose to use these tutorials to sell items from, I would ask that you consider joining the Let Justice Flow Initiative, where you commit to donating either 10% of the total purchase price of each item, or designate a specific item for sale where the entire purchase price is donated to an organization that helps fight injustices around the world.  There are specific groups listed to give you an idea on the LJF page.  And feel free to snag the LJF button and put it on your page or etsy site.  Thanks!!***


  1. This is super cute but I prefer not to hand stitch anything. Can I do this on a machine?

  2. I don't see why not - I'm just not very good with doing corners on a machine, so I usually opt for the hand stitching. Here's a link to a blog post on machine appliques:

    Hope that helps!!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...