Finishing Touches
Made to order


Serena and her friend Leslie (who is visiting from Pittsburgh) came over yesterday afternoon.  Due to a sick kid the day before and a little tension problem with my sewing machine yesterday, our little craft party was an abbreviated one.  It was more like a whirlwind applique class with a tissue holder bonus.  Serena brought over her machine (mine had a four hour stay at the shop) and we got to work.

People ask me how I applique on t-shirts.  I just cut out and sew on.  Not entirely, but mostly.  I showed them how to use a double sided fusible web, like Wonder Under or Heat and Bond Light.  First you fuse it to the wrong side of your applique fabric.  Then you draw your design on the paper backing and cut it out.   Next you fuse it to the t-shirt.  Finally, you stitch it in place.  I generally use a small zig zag, but you can use a straight stitch or a decorative one if you've got it.  It is really that simple.  The key is to keep your needle in the down position when you shift the fabric.


This skull and crossbones number is for Leslie's little guy Carson.  I think it turned out great - it'll be even better when she embroiders some x's for a mouth.

We also made up a tissue holder using this tutorial from tutti fruiti (thank you to the other Leslie from PA).  No lie, it takes five minutes.  Edited to add:  I cut the top two rectangles, 6.5 by 4.5 inches, just like Leslie did because I like the overlap, too.


I would have loved to do more, but we ran out of time.  I was extremely nervous the entire time they were here (could you ladies tell?).  I am in my element when I am sewing.  It's the teaching part that gets me all jumpy.  Next time, you guys have to teach me something.  There will be a next time, right?



It looks like you had fun. I love those little tissue holders. Maybe that would be a nice stress-free project.

Mama Urchin

Sounds abbreviated but fun. I'm afraid of the applique but maybe I could try it on an old onesie or something first. Hmmm.

Chara Michele

Sounds like fun! I love making tissue holders because it goes so fast. Fast projects always feel to me like I accomplished more for some reason:)


now that's a hard core tee!!! super cute! i l.o.v.e. that tutorial as well. way too easy!


Erin, sounds like it was a fun time...abbreviated or not. I keep planning on making some skull and cross bone t's (pirate t's), but I just never get around to it. This one is great!

Tips Of All Sorts

Ahh...I just learnt a simple lesson on applique. Thanks!


Erin _ I am learning so much form you. A big thank you! I managed to put bigger pics on my blog (in time for a new book arriving) and everyone I know is about to get a tissue holder!


from - fingers faster than brain...


love the applique! I agree with everyone, I am learning tons from you :) thanks for sharing :)

Account Deleted

Fun! Fun lessons. Thanks for sharing.

Sarah Jackson

Really cute! I mean really cool and scary - not cute. :) My teenage daughter loved that tshirt.

cristina - string*THEORY

wow, seriously, i didnt realize applique was that easy. sewing on a stretchy t-shirt was always so mysterious to me.

Evelyn Lum

Such good fun to have a craft party. Wish you ladies were living in Houston, Texas !


Thanks for sharing your lessons! I learned how applique is done... and the tissue holder tutorial is great!

amy h

It looks like fun! If your tutorials are any indication, you'd be a good teacher. I would be terrible, with sewing anyway. Here -- rip this out and redo it five times.

erin s

I know one 6 year old boy who would love a shirt like that! Thanks for the great idea. Have a great weekend!


Hey, Congrats on the serger, and that is the cutest little tissue holder ever! cute fabric you used!!


Ohhh I just got that serger a few months ago - heaven! I hav ejust discovered your blog an dLOVE it - I will be back for more fun reading!


THANK YOU, Erin! The whirlwind lesson was informative and inspiring -- the next day I made more progress on my crewelwork than I had in the prior six months. As for the shirt, Carson REALLY loves it. Serena embroidered orange X's on it and it looks great.
There will definitely be a next time, though I am not sure what I could teach you. Maybe I'll just buy us drinks...


I can sympathize with the teacher nerves!~ I get physically ill when teaching, it's NOT for me.
That tee shirt is adorable. Andy has one just like it with holes in the front. Now I know just how to fix it!


Glad you had your craft get-together, even if it was a short one! Thanks for tips on such appliques. Cute close-up you show here with the skull & bones. Love the tissue holder--I like that over lapping detail! You sounds like a great teacher to me--your instructions are clear, good tutorials & visuals, and you inspire! Happy weekend to you & yours! :o)

melissa f.

oh yes, you should teach whenever you can. i get all goofy when i teach, but then i get positive feedback which helps me feel less dorky. it takes practice!


love your little tissue holder...sounds like a fun afternoon, even if the party was abbreviated.

Serena Hirn

My delay in commenting is in no way related to the quality of the craft lesson but rather due to internet issues. Your lesson was amazing both with regard to its substance and the lightning-fast speed with which we accomplished the two adorable projects. Leslie really envies my proximity to such a fantastic resource. I like her idea of crafting with cocktails (perhaps we'll avoid the rotary cutter) and look forward to another session. Thanks again!


Erin, that t-shirt rocks!


What? another leslie from Pittsburgh? At first I thought...."did I visit you last week"!!!! :)
I haven't tried to applique anything..... maybe it should be a summer project....that cross/bone number is too cute!

(Love catching up on your blog all at once.....too fun!)

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