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Applique on t-shirt?

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MNnancy Posted: Sun, Feb 14 2010 5:22 PM

DH and I and another couple from the neighborhood like to participate in the annual summer pig roast at a biker's bar not far from our homes not because we ride motorcycles, but because we like to eat.  I joked that this next summer we should bicycle to the bar and show up in traditional biker gear with "Schwinn" instead of "Harley" as the logo on our clothing.

Since then, I found a "Biker Chick" applique pattern.  I was wondering if you can applique on t-shirts. If so, I'd make black t-shirts for the two of us gals.  Can you applique woven cotton on a stretchy t-shirt?


On the banks of the Mississippi River in north central Minnesota (Brainerd lakes area)

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Nana replied on Sun, Feb 14 2010 5:34 PM

Nancy

Yes you can applique to a t-shirt.  Just put stabilizer on the inside of the shirt and then applique over it.  How fun your pig roast sounds.

Vinton, Virginia

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MNnancy replied on Sun, Feb 14 2010 9:11 PM

Oh, good!  Does it matter what kind of thread or stitch I use, or how large the applique is?  I worry about the t-shirt being stretched as it's put on and possibly ripping the stitching.


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gini replied on Sun, Feb 14 2010 9:47 PM

nancy, i've only appliqued on t-shirts with the machine,   is that how you are doing it?   you just put the stabilizer under, and i wouldn't use  a real light stabilizer,  then do what ever stitch you like.    if you have never done this before, get an old t-shirt and do something small on it for practice to make sure the stabilizer is the right one.   .   gini

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gini replied on Sun, Feb 14 2010 9:48 PM

btw,   great idea and i love the desing you are putting on the shirts.    gini

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Nana replied on Sun, Feb 14 2010 9:50 PM

Nancy

I am not real sure what you are asking but that could be because I am really tired.  But..... I would stretch the shirt out a little before I appliqued on it.  If you do the applique by hand you might put the shirt in an embroidery hoop to keep it stable while you sew.  If you do it by machine I would stretch the shirt a little and iron the stabilizer on and then use fusible web on the applique and iron it in place.  Once you do those things the shirt should maintain its shape while you stitch the applique down and you should be able to use which ever stitch you like.

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Stephanie replied on Mon, Feb 15 2010 7:04 AM

Nancy, If I was going to applique on a t-shirt, I would do the whole design on a piece of background fabric, perhaps matching the t shirt color, and use steam a seam 2 to apply the whole piece and stitch around the background fabric. I would also turn the t shirt inside out and use spray adhesive to apply water soluble stabilizer to the inside of the fabric before stitching around the border (background fabric). They make a water soluble that feels like paper but dissolves in water. My reason for this is that there will be no stress on the seams from tear away stabilizer and no itch from a leave in stabilizer. Also my reasoning for doing the applique on a background fabric first is that you are going to have to press this when you wear it and all of those areas in between designs are going to stretch and wonk out on you, and you'll have a lot less stress on each individual design from stretching the t-shirt putting it on.  

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Joni replied on Mon, Feb 15 2010 7:38 AM

Back in the early 90's I made many T-shirts with appliqued designs made of fabrics from silk to cotton.  Used the iron on backings and then finished with stain stitch or one of the many decorative stitches on my machine.  Be careful and don't make your applique so large that your have no stretch left in the t-shirt.  **Wonder Under**, that was the majic backing, still have a partial bolt left.

I sold the shirts from $20 and up to $50 depending on embellishments.   I also did sweat sets that were very popular and sold for $75-$110.  Did some awesome denim jackets and long denim coats and jeans.  I had great fun doing these, sometimes I look at all the fabrics I have left from those days and think I'll just do some for myself. 

Hm-m-m!  That gives me an inspiration, maybe I'll do a couple sweat sets, I've been wanting to do something with Paso Finos.  OK sock shop here I come this week!  If I can find any of the original t-shirts I'll try to photo one to post!

Had my dearest friends (we''ve been VBF for over 35 years) call and they were coming down to spend today...weather definitely not condusive to travel so they just called to cancel.  So sad!  Maybe in a couple weeks we can work out something.

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Joni replied on Mon, Feb 15 2010 8:30 AM

Couldn't find a t-shirt, but here in a cress I applicqued, and a couple hand painted sweat shirts.  Loved using all the wonderful fabric paints, especially the glitter ones.

Dress bodice, bonded to fabric then egded with glitter paint, no sewing involved.

Dress side view

Dress Bodice back...I made a long sleeve denim shirt at the same time 1992, still wearing it almost daily, washed at least once a week.  Has had some very hard wear, glitter paint is starting to come off, bonding still holding.  Debating whether to repain edges or satin stitch it.  People never stop complimenting the shirt.  Have never worn dress, it's a medium and I'm a large, made it when I was a size 8.

Just for fun here a 2 sheat shirts I painted, same time '92, still wearing and washing, they seem indestructable!

That's all, still can't locate any T's, after all they've probably long gone!

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Eileen replied on Mon, Feb 15 2010 8:39 AM

Nancy, this looks like a fun project - the design is so cute!  Looks like you've gotten some great advice so far, but if you want yet another option, here's a site I found online: http://www.ehow.com/how_4422844_make-tshirt-applique.html

Joni, your dress and shirts are lovely - I'm amazed at how well they've held up over time since the store-bought stuff I have seems to wear out much faster! LOL Must be a quality issue :-)

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Joni replied on Mon, Feb 15 2010 9:19 AM

MNancy, love the Bike designs!  what is the total (actual) siize?  can they be broken up?  The idea on t-shirts is to keep room for stretch.   Too large a design in one piece makes shirt stiff and unattractive.

Eileen, thanks for the comments.  Only the T-shirts gave up the ghost...usually stained with Georgia red clay and green horse and hay stains.  Just throw them out when no longer useful, some were so thin from washing and bleaching...you could see thru them...everything LOL!

I love the feel of my denim shirt, it is so soft and still protects form cool breezes.

 

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gini replied on Mon, Feb 15 2010 10:18 AM

joni, really nice job on your applique.  did you add crystals, too.   very pretty   gini

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Nana replied on Mon, Feb 15 2010 10:22 AM

Joni

Love the dress....wish I was a small.....LOL>  Beautiful work on all your pieces.

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MNnancy replied on Mon, Feb 15 2010 12:30 PM

Thanks for all the good advice and for the web link.  I plan to use just one chicken on each shirt.  From what you all are saying, the chicken on the jeans jacket shown is probably a little large for a stretchy t-shirt, so I'll size it down.  I'll put the upright chicken on my friend's shirt, and the chicken starting to fall on my shirt.  Hopefully none of the real bikers will take offense at our clothing.


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Thea replied on Mon, Feb 15 2010 1:20 PM

Nancy to do T-shirts applique or embroider - i use the new iron on stabilizer that washes out...it is so soft afterwards.  I have tried a lot of different things and found the stabilizer to be stiff enough that it didn't pull or bunch the T-shirt and was so soft after washing out... really nice!

 

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