Tutorial: Easy t-shirt dress!

Hey there! I just finished my first ever t-shirt dresses! They were SO fun to make! My first one taught me a lot, like don’t sew the shirt and skirt on inside out! *palm to forehead*…. But I survived and learned a lot! My second one I had finished in like 15 minutes! I am by no means an expert, I only sew for my kids, so my edges aren’t perfect, I get strings hanging out, but that’s all part of the fun, right?! lol… Okay, on to the Tutorial…

You will need :
1- snug fitting t-shirt or tank (preferably cotton, im not a fan of the ribbed tanks), I used a Garanimals one from Walmart, lol…
2- 1 to 1.5 yards of fabric, generally 44in wide
3-pins, thread, scissors & a ruler/measuring tape

To determine how much fabric you will need measure the child from the armpit, down to about the top of the knee. That will be your length of fabric. To determine the width, use the following:
*0-12mths 33in width
*18mths-3t use full length of fabric, generally 44in
*4t-5t use 1.5 yrds in width
*For bigger sizes, add .25 to .50 of fabric

You want a nice ruffle, these are the measurements I went by. If you want a real dramatic ruffle, just add more to the width of the fabric. You can use 2 pieces of fabric as well for the front and back. I had one continuous piece so I just used that…

First cut your shirt. I cut both mine (2t & 5t) 3 inches down from the armpit. I wanted to add the 4×4 sailboat design so I needed a little more room. You can easily cut it at 1 in or 2in depending on the look you want…

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Then I took my top half and prepared it for hooping…. I fold my shirts in half and lightly press it with my iron to make a nice guideline for me right down the middle, then I put a pin at the top and bottom of the line….

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I then appliqued my top, you can find a detailed tutorial on that HERE

Now to continue with the dress….

When you get your fabric cut it will be one large rectangle


Put PRETTY sides together and sew or serge up the side to create one continuous piece of fabric, like a “tube”

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Press your seam flat


If you have a serger, serge the bottom and top of the skirt….


Now bring your skirt to your sewing machine and sew a gathering stitch about a quarter inch from the top. Use a straight stitch, lengthen your stich as far as it will go. Stitch along the TOP of the skirt, DO NOT do a tack back stitch… (I serged my top first, but do this 2nd, lesson learned)


Then pull the threads to make gathers, gently moving the gathers down the fabric to your desired size…


Then slide your shirt pretty side up, so pretty sides of shirt and fabric are together and pin. ( I messed this step up in my 1st one and sewed my shirt on inside out, lol)  Line up your side seams from the skirt and shirt… You may need to adjust your gathers to fit the shirt width…

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Take it to your machine and straight stitch or zigzag them together…


Then serge your edges… *its okay if you don’t have a serger, just skip those steps*



If you have any loose serger threads, grab a needle with a large eye, like an upholstery needle and thread the tail through it, and thread the tail back into the serged edges to hide the tail. ( I learned that trick from Mrs. Darlene Cahill )

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If you want to finish the bottom with a hem, fold your bottom edges up about a quarter inch and straight stitch…


Flip your shirt right side out and you are done!


Again, I’m not an expert, but I hope this tutorial helps you and inspires you to make some of your own!
The applique design used is my Heart Sailboat and can be found on my website http://www.hookedonapplique.com !
Happy Stitching!

Hooked On Applique



How to make a GREAT applique!

Hi everyone! I get a lot of questions on how to make a GREAT applique, so I wanted to share a few tips and tricks I’ve learned that give me GREAT results every time ! This is my preferred method, everyone has their own way of doing things.

First, its all about using the right products for your project, stabilizer being #1. In this tutorial I am focusing on applique for a t-shirt.

The supplies you will need are:
1- A no-show mesh CUTaway stabilizer
2- Heat N Bond LITE
3- Water Soluble Stabilizer
4- A Ball-point needle
5- Pair of duck bill applique scissors


Insert a BALL POINT needle for stretch knits! If you don’t, the sharp needle will cause holes in the tshirt. If they aren’t visible right away, they will be after a few washes…. I used a 70/09 ball point Singer needle…


Hoop your no show mesh cutaway stabilizer (I do not hoop the actual shirts)  Click HERE for my tutorial on how I hoop a shirt…


Prepare your applique fabrics with Heat N Bond LITE… HNBL will keep your applique fabrics from bubbling and wrinkling after washing.
Cut a piece of HNBL to match each applique piece but just a tad smaller than the fabric…
For a more in depth Heat N Bond Lite tutorial, click HERE


With your iron setting on medium, iron the HNBL onto fabric…


Once fabric has cooled, remove the paper…


Lay your applique fabric down after stitching your guideline…. stitch your tack down and cut around the edges as close as you can without snipping the threads… BUT if you do accidently snip your threads, don’t freak out, when you adhere the HNBL, the fabric wont shift :)

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Now that the applique fabrics are cut out, remove your hoop from the machine and bring it over to your ironing board, we are going to iron the HNBL onto the shirt now using a small travel sized iron, you can purchase them at Joann’s or any craft store….

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Let your shirt cool for a few seconds, then grab your water soluble stabilizer. I am going to pin a layer of this on top now that my applique fabrics are complete. The wss will keep my stitches looking crisp and flat, this is how you get those nice thick, flat satin stitches. It also keeps your stitches from sinking into your fabric and causing a not so pretty finish… Of course you have to be using a design that has a thick satin, as mine do at Hooked On Applique :)

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Put your hoop back onto your machine and finish with your satin & decorative stitches….


Remove your hoop and peel off your wss from the top….

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See how pretty that is! Flat, crisp satin stitches, and all the small details are on top of the shirt and visible :)

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I little tip for removing wss from little stubbirn spots, use a clean, new pencil eraser and rub it on the wss and it will pull up :)

I really hope this tutorial helps you in making GREAT appliques :)

This adorable sailboat applique design can be found on my website http://www.hookedonapplique.com along with the matching “boy” version :)

btw, I have a Singer Futura Quartet FQ-4

Happy Stitching!

Hooked On Applique



In~The~Hoop Closet Dividers Instructions

ITH Closet Dividers Instructions

*You can purchase these designs from my website Hooked On Applique*

I recommend using tearaway or heavy wash away stabilizer in your hoop, and layering a piece of stiff craft felt, batting or stiff interfacing under your fabric to keep the dividers stable.

1- hoop stabilizer, stitch placement stitch…

2- Lay down stiff felt/interfacing and your fabric, stich tackdown, trim edges…


3- Stitch wording, letters, ect as normal…

4- take your hoop off and turn hoop upside down, spray temp adhesive, layer your interfacing/felt and fabric (just as you did for the top), put hoop back on RIGHT side up (your fabric will be on the bottom)..


5- Stitch the tackdown again, this will secure the fabric for the backside of your divider, remove hoop and trim edges just as you did on the front.1062359_680391817913_254743465_n

This step allows you to have a nice clean front and back to your divider, the backside of the stitches for any wording are hidden.

6-  Put matching thread in your bobbin, Stitch the finishing satin stitch…


You are all done! Enjoy! These make GREAT baby shower gifts!

Heat N Bond Lite Tutorial

Heat N Bond Lite Tutorial

Heat N Bond Lite is a very important product to use on your applique fabrics to keep your fabrics from wrinkling before/after washing. HNBL adheres your applique fabric to the item your item/garment. HNBL also keeps the fabric ends from fraying. Here is a quick tutorial I put together to explain how to applique using HNBL.

In this tutorial I used HNBL not only to prevent wrinkles, but to keep the edges of my fabric from fraying since I was using a raggy type design with no satin finish. You can purchase this design from my website Hooked On Applique.

Below is a picture example of the difference HNBL can make in your applique appearance….

How to Applique

Hello fellow crafters! Today i’m going to share with you how to create APPLIQUE’s with an embroidery machine. Applique is my favorite type of embroidery to do on my machine. I have a Singer Futura Quartet that I absolutely love! With APPLIQUE’s you use fabric as your fills in a design giving you endless possibilities to each design. I love fabric, so thats probably why I love applique so much, lol.. It also saves you on thread b/c majority of the design is covered with fabric. You can purchase applique design files online just like a regular embroidery design. Visit my website HookedOnApplique to purchase this Candle Numbers design set along with my other designs!