This is our first challenge, it is super easy and super cute. A skull applique. Once you know the technique, you can make hundreds of these on almost every garment. You will learn a little bit about Applique (there are many ways of making and sewing applique) and also how to finish it with a blanket stitch.

Given that we are close to halloween I thought we could do with a scary theme (this is my son making a scary face!)

What you need:
– A t-shirt, I have used a nice orange/red plain t-shirt which has been used before. You may want to use a shirt for an adult.

– Scrap of fabric measuring at least 10cm x 10cm. matching your t-shirt.

– Iron-on Medium Interfacing (2 sided) 10cm x 10cm. – it is very cheap, you can source 2m of it here (or Heat’N’Bond, but I prefer the interfacing)

– Paper scissors, Fabric scissors, Iron, ruler, pencil
– A printed version of the image that I will make available to download here
– Embroidery (or thin & long eye) needle and embroidery thread (floss) – if you don’t have embroidery floss you can use a thick-ish cotton.

1. Print out the image for the applique.

2. Put the iron-on interfacing paper on top of the printed image (you only need to use a little corner of the interfacing), so you can trace the image.
The iron-on interfacing has two sides, one soft (on the fabric) and one a bit rough (on the applique). For this image it is not that important which side you use for the marking as the mirrored image is the same, but you should take care if the mirrored image is not the same.

3. Using the Paper scissors, cut a square of the interfacing around the image.If your fabric has some pattern, move around the image until you find the pattern you want to display. Using the Fabric scissors, cut a square of fabric, leaving 0.5 cm around the interfacing. Make sure the fabric is a little big bigger than the interfacing otherwise it will get sticky!
4. Following the instructions, place the the rough side (adhesive side) of the interfacing with the wrong side of the fabric. You can use some pins to hold them together, but do not to use plastic head pins as they will melt when you use the iron.
5. Iron (or press). 

6. Cut out the image following the trace. Make sure you also cut the eyes and the nose!

7.  Remove the paper as per the instructions, leaving the adhesive on the applique fabric.

8. Place the applique onto the t-shirt (mine is centered at the front, but yours could be higher on a side, or on the back). Iron on the t-shirt.
9. Blanket stitch around the applique to secure the fabrics and to stop fraying.
There are many ways of finishing /sewing on your applique, for example machine top stitch or zig zag stitch but for this image I really liked the blanket stitch.
I recommend a thin / long eyed needle so you don’t damage the t-shirt or the applique fabric.
There may be some fraying when sewing the blanket stitch. Don’t worry, the stitching will stop the fraying.
10. Blanket stitch: starting from any point of the applique, pass the needle from the wrong to the right side of the t-shirt. Pull the thread and secure the thread under your thumb. Make a little stitch from top to bottom and make sure the thread stays under the needle. Pull the thread, keeping the thread under your thumb until you have pulled all the thread. Repeat. There are lots of videos and how tos on the internet if you need a bit more help.
The most important trick about the blanket stitch is to make all the stitches the same at the same distance. This is how it should look like from the wrong side.

Voile! Your applique is finished, Make sure you also do the eyes and the nose!

Other suggestions:
If you are making this project for a grown up, you can use a different style fabric to create contrast. For example a black background japanese print, a pretty liberty fabric or a two-colour print. I am making myself another t-shirt with a skull, I will post a picture soon!

I hope you enjoy it. Any questions please post them on the blog!!
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