Friday, March 2, 2012

Pine Tree Tee -- FREE Applique Pattern & Tutorial


I whipped up this fun, easy little t-shirt for Olivia last night.  I already had the pieces for the t-shirt cut out, so it came together especially quick.



It was a little chilly when we went out to take pictures this morning.
Someone wasn't too keen on being outside just then.  :)


front view

When I showed the finished t-shirt to Olivia this morning, she saw the tree and said, "Christmas tree!"  Haha.  Fair enough, kiddo.

It's funny.  I didn't plan the design thinking "Christmas tree."  I just thought, "tree."

When someone asks you to draw a tree, what kind of tree do you draw?

My trees look like the one on this shirt.
My husband's trees look like a fluffy cloud with a trunk coming out of the bottom.

I've asked several of my friends from Oregon and other random places and this phenomenon seems to be consistent across the board.

Friends from Oregon: evergreen trees
Friends from Elsewhere: deciduous trees

I had never been so conscious of my simple tree drawings before, but apparently they're a mark of my earthy, socks-with-sandals, tree-hugging childhood.

Clearly this is a heritage that I have so far failed to pass on to my daughter.  Because she is still calling the very ordinary tree on her shirt a "Christmas tree."  Shakes head.  Someday she'll learn.  Maybe.


back view

This t-shirt is made using the Flashback Tee pattern from Made By Rae.  Like I've said before (see here and here), it's a great pattern.  Super quick and easy.  And, again, I made this tee out of some old adult-size t-shirts I've inherited.  :)  Gotta love the free materials, right?



This time I also got brave and did most of the sewing (for putting the shirt together, not sewing on the little tree) on my serger.  I don't think the quality is necessarily better or that the construction is simpler, but my serger goes a lot faster than the zigzag stitch on my regular sewing machine.

Do you have a preference when you sew with knits?  I know for a long time I thought I couldn't sew with knit fabric unless I had a serger and it scared me off from knits for a long time.  What a waste!  My regular machine actually handles knits great, but, like I said, my serger is faster than the zigzag stitch, so whatevs.

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Anyway, want to adorn your own little tree-hugger in a fresh Pine Tree Tee of their own?
Get the FREE PATTERN and how-to after the jump!



Note: I use the same basic process for this tee as I used for the Rainy Cloud Tee.  I included more of the specifics for each step in that tutorial, so if you need more detailed instructions or more descriptive pictures, be sure to check there.

Step 1: Print & cut pattern


Click HERE or on the image above to view and print a copy of the Pine Tree Pattern.
Please remember that this pattern is for personal use only!  Thanks.  :)

Use the 1" mark to check and make sure the pattern prints to scale.


Step 2: Cut pieces from fabric

Using the pattern, cut one TREE piece and one TRUNK piece.

I cut the tree from a regular t-shirt.
I cut the trunk from a rib-knit tank top.*  The ribbing gives the trunk a great woodsy texture.

*This is also the same fabric I used for the ribbing along the neckline.


Step 3: Pin & Sew

Play around with the tree and trunk pieces to figure out where you want them to be on the shirt.  Pin the trunk in place and remove the tree piece.

Starting at the top of the trunk, sew* down one side, across the bottom, and up the other side.
Re-position the tree piece, making sure the bottom of the tree covers the top 1/4" or so of the trunk.  Pin the tree in place, and sew around the entire tree.

*Using a regular straight stitch, sew about an 1/8" from the edge of the trunk/tree pieces.  If you have a sewing machine that tends to eat knits, you may want to use a slightly bigger seam allowance.  

TIP: Holding tight to the thread ends as you sew the first couple of stitches will help keep your monster machine from eating up your fabric.


That's it for the applique!

I sewed this little tree onto the shirt front before sewing the rest of the t-shirt together, but I think it would be easy enough to sew onto a finished or pre-made shirt as well.


Have fun "planting" trees!


6 comments:

Callie said...

Very cute. I tried sewing on knits last week and gave up. My machine constantly skipped stitches no matter what I did! I must be missing something. Someday...

Polly @ Helping Little Hands said...

Love the shirt, especially the little tree. Applique with old T-shirts is really addicting. :) I've butchered and given new life to many. That will make a great shirt to wear on St. Patrick's Day without being too cheesey... of course who am I to judge cheesey when my kids are getting cheesy shirts this year...cause like I said...applique with knits is addicting.

Kathy Haynie said...

The minute I saw the tee, I thought, "Yup, that's my Oregon daughter!" Haha. If you want Olivia to appreciate evergreens, be sure to have her visit Grandma Kathy lots and lots.

Allison said...

Thats funny. I totally thought of a Christmas tree too when I saw the shirt on Olivia yesterday. And, being from DC, I think of deciduous trees if I were to draw one. I will have to ask my Oregonian husband to draw me a tree and see what happens. Most likely he will be confused and just refuse to draw one :)

Kristie said...

Cute shirt, and very gender neutral.
Also, do you have tips on sewing with knits? I have a shirt for me cut out, and for the life of me cannot make it work with my machine. I try sewing with knits every few months and give up because I cannot make it work. I have read everything on line, and have a hard time getting anything to work.
Thanks!

Kristie said...

Cute shirt, and very gender neutral.
Also, do you have tips on sewing with knits? I have a shirt for me cut out, and for the life of me cannot make it work with my machine. I try sewing with knits every few months and give up because I cannot make it work. I have read everything on line, and have a hard time getting anything to work.
Thanks!