Friday, July 20, 2012

"Tie-in'-It-Up" Tee

Back in April a good college friend, whom I don't get to see nearly often enough :), emailed and asked me to make a t-shirt with an appliqué tie on the front for her little man's first birthday party. I have seen these everywhere...bibs with ties, tee's and onesies with ties, you name it...but I've never made one myself. So I was excited to do it. I found an inexpensive 18-24 month tee at Old Navy, it had a chest pocket but I removed that before pre-washing and drying. You can't even see where it was.

This is a quick and easy project!

Here's what you need: 
Tee, onesie, bib, etc...
small piece of cotton fabric (woven or knit is fine, just make sure it's washable)
lightweight and medium weight fusible interfacing
chalk or disappearing ink pen
pins, thread, sewing machine, scissors

1) First decide on the size and shape of your tie. This is personal preference. Fatter and shorter makes it look more "cartoonish," my friend specifically requested a more narrow, realistic tie. Practice on tissue paper until you get what you want, keep it proportional to the garment you are working with. Also, be sure that when you cut it out, that the left and right sides are symmetrical.

2) Back the tie with lightweight fusible interfacing and press a strip of medium weight inside the shirt. Position the tie and pin securely. Set your machine to a dense, wide zig-zag stitch (I used 0.8 density and between 2.8 and 3.0 width) and turn the thread tension down a bit (I used 3). See my "Tips and Tricks to Applique." Careful not to stretch the tee as you sew, sew the tie to the shirt.

3) Peel away and trim off as much of the medium weight interfacing as possible from the inside of the shirt (I find it makes the shirt feel a bit stiff if left on). Press with a little steam if you have any funny wrinkles. That's it! Enjoy!

Even better when it's adorning an adorable chunk of baby boy! Happy birthday little guy!


  1. You should have let me know you were doing this post and I would have sent you a photo of the adorable birthday boy sporting the shirt! I know we do not see enough of each other, and I desperately want to change that now that you're back in the Bluegrass! Email me or call sometime :)

  2. Send me one and I'll add it! I saw them on FB, but wasn't sure you'd want one on the "world wide web." :) My email is on the about me page.