One Night Project: This Applique Turkey Thanksgiving shirt has been on my to-do list for a while, and I finally sat down to work on it. It took just one night – no time at all and just in time for Thanksgiving.
While I have a sewing machine that was actually my mom’s, I’m still learning how to use all the “fancy” stuff, so I wanted a project that was easy and required no sewing. This Easy, No-Sew, Applique project is just that – easy. My step by step instructions will teach you how to do this shirt and in all honestly, you’ll feel confident to do more. After this, I made a much-easier Easy No-Sew Mickey Mouse Applique Shirt for a Disney World trip. Couldn’t be easier!
But first, let’s talk turkey!
Easy No Sew Applique Turkey Thanksgiving Shirt
Inexpensive Applique Shirts
Inexpensive: Applique shirts are adorable, but quite pricey if you buy them premade online. However, if you make your own, you’ll discover that the cost of the shirt is the biggest expense, and you can get simple t-shirts for $5 or under by combining sales and coupons. Then with just a few supplies, you are ready to go and will have a finished product for much less than buying online. And maybe even cuter!
No sewing machine is needed. Love that! If you want to get a bit fancier, feel free to add stitching around the edges, but it’s not necessary to look great. To this day I still do all my applique shirts without a single stitch.
Read through the entire instructions first before beginning.
I start by buying basic cotton t-shirts. I like shirts I’ve found at Old Navy and The Children’s Place – WITHOUT pockets. I usually grab a few with a great coupon.
- FRUGAL TIP: For seasonal projects, be sure to buy a shirt that is a bit larger than the child currently wears. I do that in the hopes that the shirt will last at least 2 holiday seasons.
I decide on a design and this time it was going to be a simple turkey for Thanksgiving.
I then found some stencils I had from my scrapbooking supplies and traced several ovals for the turkey feathers.
For the turkey’s body, I actually used 2/3 of a Mickey Mouse head. Can you tell?
For most shirts, you’ll need just small pieces of fabric. Having access to some one’s stash of scraps is perfect. Unfortunately, I don’t have but a few scraps here, so I do occasionally have to buy material.
I discovered that JoAnn’s Fabrics will actually let you purchase as little as 1/8 of a yard (as opposed to my Hobby Lobby, where it is 1/4 yd). Ask your local store and also know that you can ask for samples of material.
FYI: Did you know you can purchase Fabric on Amazon – I just saw it! Clearance fabric too!
- FRUGAL TIP: Before throwing out your child’s pants or shirt that is stained or full of holes, cut the material that you can use from it.
Simply pin your created pattern onto the coordinating fabrics you have chosen.
I then cut out my fabric using the pinned patterns. I keep any small scraps for the future. Just think how little material you need for things like noses, eyes, etc.
Instead of sewing, I use Steam-A-Seam 2 Double Stick Fusible Web…available at fabric stores, hobby stores, or online. It comes with several sheets within it.
Mine came with 5 sheets, each 9″ by 12″. With each project I’ve used only 1/2 a sheet so far. So you see how inexpensive this is. Price of shirt, investment of Fusible Web, and small amount of material (hopefully you have scraps).
Follow the instructions on the Fusible Web. I was a bit confused the first time, but really it works easily. I placed my material on the sticky fusible web, then peeled away the back side.
NOTE: I prefer to create my own pattern on paper, so I don’t use the step on the packaging where you trace your pattern on the fusible web. Instead, I place my material directly on the sticky part, my pattern was gone long ago.
Now for the fun part. I start to place the pieces on the shirt starting with the lowest layers, if there will be laying of material on top of material, as in the turkey feathers. If you get it in the wrong spot, the fusible web easily picks up.
When the first layer is done, Iron them for 10-20 seconds. Then repeat for the next layer.
With the turkey shirt, my first layer was 2 feathers. Second layer was the tallest feather, and the third layer was 2 more feathers.
I ironed after each layer.
I then added white circles for the eyes – following the same instructions as above using the fusible web. Ironed. Then followed up with the black circles.
Beak and Gobbler (?)…I admit I don’t know what that is called! 🙂
There might be some threads on the outside after laundering. I think it gives it a cool shabby chic look. But if you prefer, I have used a bit of Fray Check to go along the edges before wearing the first time. Prevents fraying really well. Found online or at the fabric store.
So, what do you think? I’m already thinking of Christmas Ideas!
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