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DIY Turkey Applique Shirts

November 18, 2014

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CUTEST Thanksgiving Shirts ever! Come check out the full tutorial for these turkey applique shirts by Designer Trapped in a Lawyer's Body!

Are you having trouble finding a cute Thanksgiving shirt for your kids?  Me, too.  So I made my own and I am here to show you how I did it!

It's pretty easy to find cute Valentine's Day and Christmas shirts for my sweet girls, but I couldn't find anything cute for Thanksgiving.  In fact, for the past two years, we skipped Thanksgiving shirts for that very reason.  Their first Thanksgiving, I wanted to be sure they had something special to wear, so I made them these cute onesies.  Sorry, it was pre-blog, so I don't have any tutorials for the onesies :(

CUTEST Thanksgiving Shirts ever! Come check out the full tutorial for these turkey applique shirts by Designer Trapped in a Lawyer's Body!

CUTEST Thanksgiving Shirts ever! Come check out the full tutorial for these turkey applique shirts by Designer Trapped in a Lawyer's Body!

This year, I decided to step it up a notch and create adorable turkey appliqué shirts for Attley and Avery.  If you have been following me long enough, you know that I really, really, really hate to sew.  But, being the loving mom that I am, I decided I could handle sewing for one evening :)  The girls were fully involved in designing their turkey applique shirts.  They even picked out their own fabrics and decided where to place each feather.  Their excitement powered me through the dreaded sewing.  But enough background, let's get right into the project!  This post contains some affiliate links.  Click here for my full disclosure policy.

Materials Needed for Turkey Applique Shirts:

CUTEST Thanksgiving Shirts ever! Come check out the full tutorial for these turkey applique shirts by Designer Trapped in a Lawyer's Body!

 

Steps to Make Turkey Applique Shirts:

1)  First, cut your wording out on your Silhouette Heat Transfer Vinyl.  In your Silhouette Studio software, choose any font you like and a size that will fit the available space on your shirt.  Be sure to reverse the image BEFORE cutting it out.  A few tips on cutting the heat transfer vinyl:

  • Be sure to load the vinyl with the shiny side down!  And do NOT use your cutting mat.  Load the vinyl directly into the machine.
  • I used the settings suggested by the software after selecting “Heat Transfer Vinyl” in the material type section of the cut settings menu and they worked perfectly.
  • To reverse your image before cutting, select it and right click {or click with both fingers for Mac users} and select “flip horizontally.”

The arrows I used I purchased from the Silhouette Studio online store–they are included in a stars and arrow bundle.  The design Design ID #67923.  To use just the single arrow, after inserting the image onto your design, highlight the image and right click to select “ungroup.”  This will separate the images from each other and you can delete the arrow and the star that you don't need.

CUTEST Thanksgiving Shirts ever! Come check out the full tutorial for these turkey applique shirts by Designer Trapped in a Lawyer's Body!

2) After you cut your vinyl, you are ready to “weed” away the excess vinyl.  This is a bit more difficult than it is with adhesive vinyl.  Just take your time.

CUTEST Thanksgiving Shirts ever! Come check out the full tutorial for these turkey applique shirts by Designer Trapped in a Lawyer's Body!

CUTEST Thanksgiving Shirts ever! Come check out the full tutorial for these turkey applique shirts by Designer Trapped in a Lawyer's Body!

3) Next, iron your wording onto your shirt{s}.  I followed the instructions on the box.  This was my first time using it.  I placed a cloth over the plastic as suggested, but had problems getting the whole image to transfer.  I had better luck on the second one using parchment paper in between the iron and plastic, so I would recommend going that route.

CUTEST Thanksgiving Shirts ever! Come check out the full tutorial for these turkey applique shirts by Designer Trapped in a Lawyer's Body!

4) Now you are ready to cut your turkey shape out of your fabrics.  First, you need to iron on your Silhouette Sewing Fabric Interfacing onto the back of each fabric you will be using.

  • I purchased my turkey design from the Silhouette Studio online store.  It's Design ID #5018.  To separate the shapes from each other, after inserting the image onto your design, highlight the entire group and right click to select “ungroup.”  This will separate the images from each other and you can delete the shapes that you won't be cutting at that time.
  • I performed separate cuts for each part of the turkey, since I used different fabrics:
    • For the turkey bodies and feet, I used two different colors/patterns of brown fabric.
    • For the feathers, I used the lovely floral fabrics I chose.  I made the exact same cuts on 4 different squares of fabric, so I wound up with lots of extra feathers.
    • For the eyes, I used the pink floral fabric.
    • For the nose, I used the orange floral fabric.
  • I selected thin cotton fabrics from the material type in my cut settings and used the recommended settings.  I DID select double-cut and everything came out perfectly.

CUTEST Thanksgiving Shirts ever! Come check out the full tutorial for these turkey applique shirts by Designer Trapped in a Lawyer's Body!

CUTEST Thanksgiving Shirts ever! Come check out the full tutorial for these turkey applique shirts by Designer Trapped in a Lawyer's Body!

5) After all my pieces were cut, I ironed them into place on the shirts.  Then I sewed them in place using a zig-zag stitch.  The only photo I have of this process is the one I posted to Instagram.  I have a hard enough time sewing–I couldn't bear to pause to take photos.  That said, I found this fabulous tutorial on how to sew on appliqué {since I had never done it before} and recommend that you check it out if you need sewing tips for this project.

CUTEST Thanksgiving Shirts ever! Come check out the full tutorial for these turkey applique shirts by Designer Trapped in a Lawyer's Body!

That's it!  How cute are these?!  PS- Please don't judge my sewing.  I know it's not great.

CUTEST Thanksgiving Shirts ever! Come check out the full tutorial for these turkey applique shirts by Designer Trapped in a Lawyer's Body! And of course, I had to get some photos of my little turkeys wearing them {which was ALMOST as challenging as wrestling alligators–if you have tried to get photos of multiple kids, you know what I am talking about}.  This is the best I could do!

CUTEST Thanksgiving Shirts ever! Come check out the full tutorial for these turkey applique shirts by Designer Trapped in a Lawyer's Body!

CUTEST Thanksgiving Shirts ever! Come check out the full tutorial for these turkey applique shirts by Designer Trapped in a Lawyer's Body!

CUTEST Thanksgiving Shirts ever! Come check out the full tutorial for these turkey applique shirts by Designer Trapped in a Lawyer's Body!

CUTEST Thanksgiving Shirts ever! Come check out the full tutorial for these turkey applique shirts by Designer Trapped in a Lawyer's Body!

What do you think?  Pretty stinkin' cute, huh?  If you want to make this for your little turkey this year or next, why not pin it so you can find it easily?!

Interested in getting your own Silhouette?!  Click the link to check out the amazing Black Friday deals going on through December 8th, 2014!

AMAZING Silhouette Holiday SALE! 11/28 - 12/8. Use the discount code TRAPPED for deals on machine bundles and supplies! Make that Christmas wish come true!

Disclosure: I am excited to partner with Silhouette to bring you reviews and inspiration. While I did receive product from Silhouette, all opinions, thoughts and ideas are 100% my own.

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  1. […] Turkey Applique Shirts […]

  2. I mean… it’s just so great and cute and colorful. And… you make it look WAY easy. Can you believe I’ve had the Cricut for a year and JUST realized I need the transfer stuff. #facepalm Love this!

  3. These are just too precious Tasha and so are your girls!

  4. They turned out so well, Tasha! I have to try that stuff:) I have some here…just need to get going on a project with it!

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