Google+ wunderbar: Sports Applique T-Shirt Tutorial

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Sports Applique T-Shirt Tutorial

My husband is a baseball fanatic and a loyal Mets fan. He watches every game he possibly can. He's exuberant when they win, and despondent when the lose. (The past couple weeks have been rough.)

I try to be a supportive sports wife. I watch games with him, I go to games with him, and I even pay enough attention to know [some of] the players' names and positions. 

Our only domestic squabble related to the Mets has been over John's old Mets shirts. He adores them. I have to sneak them away from him just to wash them. One of them he's had since high school. High school. The other is from his NYC college days, but it's seen almost as much wear and tear. I realize they're special, but I also realize they're NASTY. Even after I scald them, I'm not sure they're clean. Ugh.

I thought about getting him a new shirt for his birthday, but sports paraphernalia is so expensive. I can't justify $30-40 bucks for a t-shirt! And we live too far away from NYC to find sale stuff. Enter Plan B.

Sports Applique T-Shirt Tutorial
no fancy tools required

I was very lucky at our neighborhood thrift store. They had the colors I needed in the sizes I need! 
All for $10.

This classy United Airlines t-shirt was my base shirt. 

I knew the lettering alone would be insufficient to hide all that classiness, so I decided to do a white backdrop. 

To make it extra snazzy, I decided to make pinstripes on the white background by stitching 1/4" seams across. (I used a special "three stitch" function on my machine....and then ended up using the underside.)

John loves the pinstripe uniforms. 

For the Mets lettering, I first traced my design onto the matte side of the freezer paper...

Whoops. The inside of the "s" was not drawn.

...and then carefully cut that out. 

With the glossy side of the freezer paper down, I ironed my pattern to the orange fabric....

....and carefully cut again. I decided against attempting to out the inner letter parts. I used a daub of black paint instead. 

After the paint had dried, I lay the lettering on my background and smoothly pinned it down. 

Using a finishing stitch, I carefully sewed my way around the letters. (Note: keep it smooth and pivot often. It's a sports shirt, so don't fret
 if it doesn't look perfect.)

(I decided to round the edge of my background before the final step.) 
I pinned the entire background to the center of my base shirt and edged this piece with the same stitch.

And there you go! John was thrilled. I think the pinstripes are his favorite part. (He thought the fabric had come like that!) I was exited to finally have a men's project. :P


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  1. That's so cool Kaitlin! I'm sure he's thrilled to have it :-)

    Thanks so much for sharing this at The Fun In Functional!

  2. Very cute! I so wish I knew how to sew. Thanks for linking up to Pin It Thursday!

  3. This year I finally learned how to get the "stank" out of boys' clothes. My boys' basketball workout clothes were particularly odorous even after washing. I've started soaking them for 30 minute to an hour in "Oxy" water prior to washing them. I use Seventh Generation Free & Clear Oxy powdered stain remover for the soak, but I assume that regular Oxy Wash would do the same thing.

    1. Good to know, Mom! The shirt from high school, however, was beyond all human help. :P Thankfully I haven't had to experience sweaty sports gear.

  4. Nice deal on the t-shirts, and you did a wonderful job transforming them.

  5. That is cool!

    Stopping by from TTWFI hop! Love for you to stop by and return the follow. I am hosting Mom's MOnday Mingle now. Love for you to link up!

  6. Oh my heck, i am so impressed! I am with you in not wanting to overpay for a freaking t-shirt. You would never be able to guess that you made this one though! That's awesome. New follower! Yay for being blog friends! Can't wait to see what's next :)

  7. So cute! I need to do this to some of my shirts or onesies/baby clothes would be perfect as well. Thanks for sharing!

  8. This is an awesome idea! Thanks so much for sharing it with us this week! Have a great weekend!

    Take care,


  9. What a cute idea to upcycle some thrifted or unused shirts!!
    Thank you so much for sharing at {nifty thrifty sunday}!
    You will be featured at this week's party!
    xo! Vanessa

  10. Off topic:Authentic and exclusive Manny Pacquiao Gear are available today. I love these Manny Pacquiao Tshirts that lifts the name of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Pretty cool!



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