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Do-It-Yourself Experiment #5: Appliqued Flower Tee (+ free downloadable petal pattern!)

When I chose the 12 Do-It-Yourself projects to complete this year, I tried to put a few on the list that were a little outside my “comfort zone”. Meaning, they’d require skills I usually didn’t exercise or typically wouldn’t profess to have.

The was one such project. It looked beautiful, but I wasn’t so sure if I could actually pull it off — especially because I didn’t have a pattern kit.

But I’m excited to say that I actually did it! Okay, so mine might not look , but I’m still really encouraged that I did something crafty all on my own.

I was planning to do the big yo-yo in the center, but I didn’t have enough fabric scraps left to pull it off. So I just did three small ones. I don’t like it quite as much, but Kaitlynn was happy with it.

(If you’re a professional seamstress or naturally crafty person, you are more than welcome to laugh at my feeble attempts, bad stitchery and the fact that I forgot to put backing on the fabric. Me? I’m just thrilled you might be able to tell it’s a flower and that Kaitlynn could actually wear this in public… unlike most of my other failed crafty projects! There may yet be hope for people like me. :))

Free Petal Pattern + Instructions

Want to make your own appliqued flower tee? Joy from put together a if you’re like me and can’t just draw something freehand like that. You can download the free petal pattern here. The instructions for .

And now I’m all inspired to try doing more applique because I really enjoyed this project, much to my surprise. Anyone have links to fun free patterns online? I’m thinking of trying next. But I’d welcome other suggestions.

In case you missed it, here’s the list of the 12 Do-It-Yourself Projects I Plan to Try in 2011:

January: Make

February: Make

March: Make Homemade Hamburger Buns

April: Make Homemade Laundry Soap

May: Make

June: Make

July: Make

August: Make Homemade Soap

September: Sew a

October: Make Homemade Apple Butter

November: Make

December: Make

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  • says:

    If you’re appliquing an onesie, we’re waiting for an announcement….


  • says:

    Can’t wait for your hummus post — although, I need the recipe now (I think it’s high protein anyway)!!

    I think you are actually craftier than you think! 🙂

    • Crystal says:

      Um, considering you were right there with me when I made this, I think you can serve as a witness that I’m not naturally crafty — especially since it took me two tries to even get the petals pinned on!

      • says:

        Whatever…it was the first time you’ve ever done it. Even “naturally” crafty people have a learning curve!! 😉

      • says:

        Crystal, I consider myself a fairly accomplished seamstress, I’ve pieced a few quilts, and sew lots of dresses, nightgowns, slips, etc.

        Yet I continue to amaze myself at some of the goofs I can achieve! Sewing zippers in completely backwards AND inside out at the same time (hello! where was my mind?!?) . . . trimming off that ‘extra’ fabric that I actually still needed to finish the project, etc.

        I love this project! I’ve been wanting to make a comforter for my girlie’s ‘new to her’ toddler bed, and now I’m envisioning alternating nine-patch blocks with big white blocks that have appliqued flowers in the center. It would sure be cute! We’ll see if I can get to it!

        Congratulations on stepping out of your comfort zone!

  • says:

    SO CUTE! I love it! I’m wanting to do an applique shirt for my little girl, but I need the alphabet to use as stencils. Does anyone know a website that provides something like that?

    • says:

      Caroline, you can just go to Word Perfect/Word and type the letters int the font you want. Enlarge them to the text size you want…and then print them out on cardstock! That’s the easiest way I have found. Hope that makes sense and helps!

  • Jenny says:

    They may have mentioned this in the tutorial, but I have learned you need to pre-wash and dry each fabric so the shrinking is not a factor later. Yours looks great!

    • says:

      And the shirt too! I’ve had more than one embellished store-bought shirt look really funky after the first washing.

      Great job Crystal.

  • says:

    It is so cute, Crystal! Thank you so much for the applique pattern. I have been looking for free applique patterns, since I wanted to make one of these bags with my eight-year old daughter:

  • says:

    Shhhh, don’t tell my Gramma, but I have no idea how to sew. I know, I know! Don’t feel bad Crystal, when my husband gets home from work and praises our 2-year old for her art projects, I often gently tell him that it was, indeed, my masterpiece 🙂

  • Christie Jester says:

    Love it!

  • says:

    I love it! You did great! has a lot of cute applique/embroidery ideas. You can also look at children’s coloring books…a lot of the pictures/images are perfect to use as applique patterns:)

  • says:

    For someone who professes few skills in the “crafty” department, we think you did a great job! We admire you for pushing yourself outside your comfort zone…Way to Go!!! The T-shirt is adorable!!

  • Kim says:

    Thanks so much for sharing the pattern. 😀

  • says:

    I think it looks great! I have found that with anything crafty I have to fail miserably several times before I perfect it. That was your first try? Bravo! Honestly I wouldn’t have really noticed that it wasn’t perfect if you didn’t point it out 😉

    You don’t even want to see what my first attempt at appliqué looked like LOL

  • Susan C. in NY says:

    I think it’s adorable, especially for a first try. So cute!

  • says:

    Wow…the shirt looks great! I’ve been wondering what you meant by an “appliqued” flower….see you aren’t the only one who is not crafty! However, in the past year I have learned to both crochet and knit, and am in the middle of a baby blanket for my sweet SIL who is having a little girl in July! I also knit two scarves this past Christmas for gifts.

    And speaking of babies….is there any particular reason your next applique project link was for a “onesie”?!?!?!?!? Trying to tell us something? 🙂

  • says:

    I love your DIY posts, especially when you are the one doing them!

    Thanks for sharing and I think it looks great! I love the fabric!

  • Chris says:

    This post reminds me, have you posted an update yet on how the laundry soap worked out? I saw the original post but haven’t seen anything since. I would love to know if it’s working out for you as I’ve been thinking of trying it myself. By the way, as a non-crafty person myself I am thoroughly impressed with your applique project!

  • says:

    Great job, it’s adorable!

  • Jenni says:

    I’m actually very impressed by your applique skills. As for being able to draw petals, etc. if you’re ever looking for more projects to put you outside your comfort zone, I really love the book, “Drawing with Children,” by Mona Brookes. She breaks down drawing step-by-step so that even four year-olds can learn basics, and when I used it as part of a homeschooling curriculum for kids I was teaching overseas, I learned how to draw too.

  • says:

    Looks pretty good! Will quilting be next?

  • charity crawford says:

    It looks beautiful.Nice job! keep it up.

  • LadybugRed10 says:

    So cute!! Also a great thing to do to cover up stubborn stains!!

  • says:

    I’m impressed! I’m so uncrafty that I wouldn’t even dream of trying it. I wouldn’t have, anyway. I might now, since you were brave enough to, and pulled it off so well.

  • says:

    It looks great! Wish I had a little one to sew for again but mine are teenagers! Good job and congrats for being brave to try something new.

  • Leighann says:

    WOW that is super cute! I’ve got a 2 year old who would love a shirt like that, and I think even my 13 year old would like it. I might even be able to do that to a bookbag for her. Maybe I need to get into some craftiness. I love the craft ideas you share on here, I wish I had more talent in that area. Perhaps this is the summer to start trying 🙂

  • says:

    Crystal, I think it looks great! You could even make a matching burp cloth from a cloth diaper.

    I’m reading a book called “Made by Hand” by Mark Frauenfelder. In it he chronicles his family’s journey down the DIY path. It’s very interesting. There are a couple of foul words in it (I’ve come across 3 and I’m half way done).

    By the way, I’m holding a summer sewing school for my daughter and some of her friends once a week this summer. I’ll be posting our projects on our blog complete with tutorials. It is geared toward the beginner sewer (my daughter started when she was almost 6) and we’ll do projects that are easy and practical but teach certain skills. If you or any of your readers want to join us online we’d love to have you.

    • shawn'l says:

      Thank you, I was thinking this was the summer to “really” teach my daughter to sew. I would love to follow along.

  • Rae says:

    Definitely not a bad first try. I was wondering about the center and why you didn’t do one big yoyo until you explained that. But overall, it’s definitely usable and I’m sure you’ll get even better with practice. 🙂

    • Crystal says:

      I was planning to add in some buttons with the small yo-yos, but it looked weird so I just left it as is and decided it was a good practice project!

  • Melissa says:

    You should be proud. I have done a lot of applique, and honestly I seldom attempt it without using the double-sided fusible webbing (Pellon or similar-anyone at a fabric store can easily assist you). It basically turn your fabric into ‘stickers’ that you simply iron onto the shirt without having to pin. Might make it easier if you want to tackle this again.

  • Jessica says:

    Who would “laugh” at a loving mother who is creating something pretty and unique for her daughter? Crystal, you are WAY too hard on yourself. This looks adorable, and God bless you for finding and devoting the time and effort to it.

  • Kerry D. says:

    Your project is adorable! It came out great!!! So, I think you’ll have to stop staying you’re not crafty… (And it is just part of the part of the process to sometimes need more than one try, right? whether it’s cooking, writing, or crafting. Why beat ourselves up for no good reason?)

    Welcome to the world of crafting! 🙂 What’s next?

  • says:

    I am in complete awe. I don’t even thread a needle to mend a button…seriously. Sewing something like this is something I envy in people. I was super proud of my iron applique for my daughter’s first birthday onesies..if that tells you how crafy I am in the sewing department…Now, the best I can do with fabric and ribbon is make bow boards. Those are “easy” for me…sewing on a cute flower like that, not so much. It’s adorable…and at least she can wear it in public.

  • says:

    That looks great! I love to sew, but have never done hand applique. I just might have to give it a try.

  • says:

    I think it’s adorable! By the way I thought I remembered seeing a link to a tanktop dress for a little girl on your site but I can’t seem to find it now – was I imagining things?

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