Hi, I’m Polly from Helping Little Hands. I’m a chemistry and math teacher turned stay-at-home mom to 3 wonderful kids. I super excited to be sharing a tutorial here today on Tatertots and Jello! Thanks, Jen!
I’ve done a lot of different kinds of projects on my blog, but lately I’ve been addicted to experimenting with clothes refashioning, especially for my kiddos. One of my favorite techniques to dress-up a T-shirt or pants is with applique. I’ve liked applique for a long time, but have recently really fallen in love with appliquing knits onto knits. Since jersey knits (like T-shirts) don’t fray, there is more flexibility in how you finish the edges, and they are SO easy. Today I’m going to share…
We’re moving soon to a very rural farming town in central Washington for Hubby’s new teaching job, and I thought some tractor shirts inspired by a vintage tractor from my Granddad would be a fun celebration.
This technique will work for any design. Simple clip art or coloring pages are great starting places for designing your own appliques as well. For this project, I simply took a photograph of Granddad’s tractor and simplified and traced the picture onto a piece of paper.
When I was finished, the back looked like this.
Then for a final touch, I sewed on some buttons for the center of the wheels. And you’re done! I’ll have a pattern up on my blog soon for how I resized my daughter’s shirt. (I like to resize slightly larger ones for her so they have more length and we see fewer belly buttons.) My son’s shirt was an early attempt at one of Dana’s 90-Minute shirts. The tutorial for the capris my daughter is wearing is here. Here’s the printable pattern for the tractor. (Pardon the chocolate smudges! Yikes!) If anyone ends up making one, I’d love to see it!
Granddad’s Tractor If tractors aren’t your thing, here are a few examples of other applique patterns available on my blog. 1st Birthday Cupcake Onesie Applique and Very Hungry Caterpillar Applique
So cute! Love all your ideas!
So cute! Love all your ideas!
Bethany @ The Paper Pony says
Your tractor is so cute! I love applique but have never considered TYING the ends in the back! What a great tip. Thanks!
Connie W says
I've been wanting to make something like this! Thanks for the tutorial!
Amy @ Positively Splendid says
The cutest little applique project I have seen in a long time!
Kari @ Ucreate says
These are all so darling! If only my babies weren't so big now! 😉
Kasey Hunt says
Sue (Someone's Mom) says
Well, I don't sew or do much of anything with fabric…but, that doesn't mean that I can't appreciate a great project when I see it. Very cute!
Heather - Dollarstorecrafts.com says
So cute! My kids love tractors!
Your clothing tutorials are always cute, Polly!
Mine for the Making says
Never thought of using coloring books for applique!! Love that!
Cute, cute, cute! :]
Kathy Haynie says
Great ideas, Polly. I like the way you showed how to make the different pieces all fit together, and I like the way you took a photo and simplified it for your pattern.
those appliques are really cool. i can't wait to make cute clothes for my future kiddos. i have a ton of felt and embroidery floss just waiting to decorate onesies. 🙂
Kelli @ RTSM says
Your appliques are amazing! Mine never turn out that neatly…probably because I am so impatient! Thanks so much for the tip on making them neater thought. I never thought to tie the threads off in the back! Such a great idea!
More haste, less speed.......................................................................
I LOVE this! Thanks for posting the airplane too. My husband is a pilot and we're always looking for airplane things for our son.