Applique Tutorial | Make A Fun St Patrick’s Day Shamrock Shirt

Applique Tutorial

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Thanks for stopping by from The St Patrick’s Day Blog Carnival! Welcome readers from The Crockpot Ladies! Read to the end of this post to find your next stop!

St Patrick’s Day is coming up soon and I decided to make my daughter a cute outfit so her green is covered for the day. No pinching please!

I wanted to do something simple, so I decided to just take a plain white t-shirt and applique a shamrock onto it.

I also made a pair of wide leg pants (see my how to make pants tutorial) to go with her cute shirt.

Her outfit is complete!

(I’m thinking about making my son a leprechaun applique shirt as well!)

This applique tutorial will teach you that applique doesn’t have to be hard or scary. You just need to have the right tools and the right technique.

Here are the supplies needed for this applique tutorial:

  • Fabric of your choice
  • Spray adhesive for Fabric
  • Thread either coordinating or contrasting with your fabric choice (depending on the look you are going for)
  • Plain T-Shirt
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine capable of doing a zig zag stitch
  • Iron on or water soluble stabilizer (optional, I don’t use it)
  • Shamrock (I printed out this one and made it a bit smaller) or other applique piece

Applique Tutorial

:: Your first step is to cut out your pattern pieces for the applique tutorial. I used the Shamrock I printed above to draw a Shamrock shape onto my fabric and then I cut out my applique piece.

:: Next, figure out where you want your applique to be placed on the shirt. You might want to try the shirt on your model and mark the desired spot.

:: Spray the back of your Shamrock with the adhesive fabric spray and then place the shamrock right side up onto the shirt where you marked earlier. You can further reinforce the shamrock by adding some interfacing onto the inside of the tshirt behind your applique piece or by using an iron on or water soluble stabilizer. I did not do this, but it does add a layer of stability to your applique.

:: Now it’s time to applique.

:: You can either applique using the satin stitch on your sewing machine or a simple zig zag stitch.

:: I find that a zig zag stitch with a short stitch length and a longer stitch width works well for my machine. I also have to put my tension setting a bit lower if I am working with a knit (t-shirt material) type fabric.

:: Honestly, your sewing machine guide will be your best resource to figure out how to get the perfect settings for appliqueing. 

:: Use some scratch fabric to figure out how to get the look you are going for.

:: When you have your machine set up to applique, you are going to place your needle where the middle of the presser foot is right over the edge of your applique  piece. So that one side of each stitch goes through the t-shirt and the applique piece and the other side of the stitch goes into the t-shirt only.

:: Go slowly.

:: When you get to a corner or curve, you are going to want to slow down. If the curve or corner requires turning the fabric, STOP the machine with the needle down into the fabric. Lift the presser foot and pivot the fabric in the direction you need to continue sewing. Put the presser foot down and continue sewing. For some intricate patterns, you might find you have to stop, lift and pivot often. This is okay! Better safe than sorry. (I can’t say Pivot without thinking of Ross from Friends?)

After you have stitched around the entire shape, cut off the loose threads and iron over the applique to relax the garment. (If you did apply interfacing or tear away stabilizer, now is the time you’ll remove it carefully, before you iron)

You are done!

I took some quick pictures of my daughter in her new outfit and some pictures of my son just being adorable!

This is a video of me setting up this applique tutorial. It’s my first video of this nature, so please be kind!

Be sure to read my other sewing tutorials in addition to this applique tutorial:


This post is part of the St Patrick’s Day Blog Carnival! Head on over to 20 Something Saver for the next awesome St Patrick’s Day post!

Please share this applique tutorial using the sharing buttons at the bottom of this post or the Pinterest button at the top!

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Heather is the creator and owner of Family Friendly Frugality. She calls Texas home and is married to her best friend. With 2 children 22 months apart, she has her hands full. So full that she decided to start blogging as a hobby. That hobby blew up into a full time job. Now she's got the husband, the kids and the blog. We're not exactly sure what she was thinking, but she's too busy for us to ask. Find Me On Google +

5 thoughts on “Applique Tutorial | Make A Fun St Patrick’s Day Shamrock Shirt”

  1. Love it! Great instructions~ I have had appliques on my mind for weeks, but am struggling to find plain white t’s!! I need a 5t, but can’t find plain ones of any size anywhere….even looking at consignment shops now to boot. Where did you luck up with this cute shirt for your project?

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