Fox Applique Tutorial and Pattern

This post is waaaaaay overdue, and I’ve been trying to work on it for months. I think I made my fox tee back in April. I don’t have any absolutely amazing photos of it, as creative documentation and I are sort of at odds with one another these days. I’m just excited to finally be sharing!

I’m gonna give a special shout out to my husband, who saved me from the pit of PDF-sharing ignorance and despair. And I’m dedicating this post to Mimi, who never gave up. 

Now that the credits are out of the way…

I give you the fox applique tutorial and pattern. You may remember this design from my *ahem* award-winning version of the Archie Doll.



1. Print and cut.

If you’re making your own tee, the pattern I used is Dana’s Basic Tee. You can find my fox pattern here



I did not include a pattern for eyes and a nose, but you guys should be able to figure that out. They’re just circles and a rounded triangle. 

Oh, and I should say that I did this applique with knit, so, when sewn, the edges will be left raw. And I sewed my applique onto my tee front *before* I assembled it, so that my t-shirt and sewing machine wouldn’t get into a fight. And use a ball-point needle!

2. Determine your placement and start sewing.

I don’t have pictures that get really specific about this, but pin on your first layer (the orange fox face), and sew the edges first. Then layer the whiskers and do the same thing. Now, I placed my whiskers a little high for my tastes, I meant to place them flush with the bottom of the fox face. So that’s the one change I’d make if I were doing this again. 



3. Sew on the eyes and nose.



4. Sew on the white ear pieces. And throw on some eyebrows for good measure.


Then, if you’re making your own tee, assemble it. Boom, you’re done! 



My shirt looks a little weird because I scaled up the pattern to a 5T, but I forgot to make the arms bigger. It doesn’t look as weird when Dex is wearing it. But if you resize a pattern, just remember to resize all the pieces!! 



Dexter has worn this shirt like crazy for the past few months, mostly because I put it on him every single time it’s clean. 

I’d love to see if anyone recreates this! And, as usual, I’m cool with this being used for personal use, but not for monetary gain. 

Felt Piglet Tutorial

We’re having a Winnie the Pooh craze around here. Craze may be putting it a little strongly, but Dexter is frequently Pooh, pretending to suck honey off his hand and telling me he’s spitting out bees. He asked the other day if I’d make him a piglet… so I paused for a half-second and said, “Sure!”

If you’d like to use the exact pattern* I traced out, here it is:

I’ll show below how to assemble him and how I drafted my pattern.
*1. Where the body meets the legs, use the top pink line. The lower one was a mistake I didn’t remove. *2. My pattern is not symmetrical. It just didn’t occur to me until it was too late. This will be most obvious on the ears, the inner parts need to match the correct ear, unless you care to correct that on your pattern.

You can do this with any character really. Piglet is pretty simple in that he’s almost entirely made up of 2 colors. I found a picture online, blew it up to the size I wanted, printed it… and realized it wasn’t quite as big as I’d expected. So I roughly traced around it to enlarge it.

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You can see that I did a lot of correcting throughout the whole process. I was flying by the seat of my pants and really didn’t spend anytime in the planning phase! But all of these corrections should be reflected in the PDF pattern.

I folded over my felt and traced the pattern onto the side of the fabric that would be on the inside. Then I cut out both layers together.

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Next, I went scrounging for fabric for clothing. I didn’t want to have to hem anything, so I used only felt and t-shirt scraps. I didn’t have any dark pink, and I felt like he just HAD to have stripes. I figured purple would work too. It’s a warmer purple than it looks in all these pictures.

So, lay Piglet down where you’d like the stripes to fall. Again, fold your fabric, with the wrong sides facing out.

I used a Sharpie to mark the points at his neck and crotch, and then traced the sides of his tummy.

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You’ll get a an outline that looks like the picture on the left (if you do it without the pattern I linked). Then just connect all the lines, making a dip at the top for his chin.

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Then I turned all the pieces right-side-up and started building Piglet.


Cut out all the facial features. He’s starting to look pretty cute! Also, he looks a little broader than normal, but when he’s stuffed, it turns out just right.


Sew on all the dark pieces.


Next, layer the snout.


Then add the little nose triangle.

Then sew the clothes to the front and the back. Remember, you have not put him together yet, your back piece should still be separate from the front.

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Flip the sides and trim off any excess t-shirt fabric. You’ll want to check the front side after you do this and make sure you trim the parts you can’t see from the back.

Now you create your Piglet sandwich (hmm…) and sew around the outside, starting below one ear, and ending at the bottom of the next ear.

Piglet’s head should be floppy and open like this:

Stuff the arms and legs first, leaving it slightly soft where they connect to the body, so that he won’t be completely stiff. Then talk some little kid into stuffing the rest for you. Actually, he got tired of this pretty quickly and I had to finish. He just wanted to shred the stuffing.

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Then I stitched across the arm joint to give them a little range of motion. I didn’t bother doing this with the legs, but you’re welcome to try if it pleases you.

Round the Polyfil at the top, keeping it clear of where seams will be. I didn’t put any stuffing in the ears.

Sew around the curve of the head, still ignoring the ears.

Pin the pink parts onto the ears. Keep in mind that if you used my pattern, the ear parts are not interchangeable.

Sew around the edge of the dark pink, both attaching it to the ear and closing the ear openings.

Then trim off the threads and he’s good to go!!

The first thing Dex did was cram him down into a jar. Poor Pickled Piglet.

And he felt like he needed to compare the pattern to see if they matched up.


He now sleeps with Piglet every night, which is awesome. I should add that felt starts to look a little ratty when it’s handled by sticky hands everyday. Just a heads up.

There are lots of steps, but this was a pretty quick project. All told, it took me about 2 hours to complete, including drafting the pattern and taking pictures.

I’d love to see if anyone comes up with any other characters! I hope to make a Winnie the Pooh sometime! But then I’d probably lose it and end up making the whole Winnie the Pooh family. Felt is dangerous!

Tutorial: Easy Robot Appliqué


This story begins with a Bert and Ernie marathon. My son loves Ernie and talked us into watching probably 30 clips on YouTube before nap. He’s very persuasive 🙂

I started thinking how cool it would be to surprise him with an Ernie shirt, and in my search for Ernie inspiration, I stumbled across an awesome it’s-already-been-done tutorial over at MADE. It’s almost exactly what I was hoping to do! But I realized that I didn’t have all the colors I need, and I’m also hoping to do some textures, especially in the hair. So we’re shelving Ernie for later.

But I still had the crafting itch, and it’s been a while since I’ve made something for our family. I’ve been on a steady diet of car seat ponchos (separating zippers, AAAGH), so I really needed something to cleanse the palate.

Dexter has also been deeply immersed in a robot craze, so it didn’t take long for me to change directions.

Step 1: Sketch an awful picture of a robot that you will quickly scrap.


Step 2: Cut out trapezoids for the head and body, rectangles for the legs and feet, and then shapes for the arms and hands. I used a pincher-type hand, and then I wanted the arms to broaden near the hands. The fabric I used was gray t-shirt scraps.


Step 3: Place and pin the pieces. I liked the way the pieces didn’t quite touch.


Step 4: Sew around the edges of the  pieces. I used a black thread, about 1/8” away from the edge. I didn’t use backing, adhesive, or stabilizer, but it might make it  easier to keep the pieces in place if you’re nervous. I didn’t take pictures of the sewing process, so hopefully that’s pretty simple to figure out. Just remember to not sew through all the layers!! You want your shirt to be wearable 🙂 I know this sounds obvious, but it’s exactly the sort of thing I might do without thinking. My robot is still messy in this picture, but eventually clip the threads.


Step 5: Add features! You can use buttons, fabric, stitching, or paint. Be creative! I took a minimalist approach and I love it! I love that I had a deep red button to sew over the “heart” area 🙂



When Dexter saw the shirt this morning, he cheered, “Robot!!!” and I knew it was worth the work 🙂

My little photographer was pretending to take pictures of me with the lens cap. He kept saying, “Cheese!!”



I also like how keeping the pieces separated allows the robot to have a little movement. It’s funny how he looks slumped over when Dex is sitting 🙂



Dexter is not a fan of photo shoots these days. Even though I don’t force him to do anything, besides stand at least 10 feet away from me, there is something in him that just makes him resist  having pictures taken. It must be the genes he got from his dad!! Here’s where we had to break so he could crawl at me, growling like a monster.



And then he rests…


Toddler Hoodie Tutorial

Time for my long-awaited return to the blogging world! This past month has been full of sick family members and other craziness. After my nephew recovered, my son got sick. That was a 2 week ordeal (Thankfully not as intense as it was with my poor nephew!!) and just when it felt like Dexter would never be Dexter-y again, suddenly he was! So things are slowly coming back around to “normal”, if that term can be applied to my everyday life.

Now, let’s get down to business.

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This tutorial will include a walkthrough of how I created and assembled my new toddler hoodie pattern. What it does not currently include is the pattern (boo), but as soon as I figure out how to create and attach printable files I will do an update! Until then, you can create your own pattern the way I did: Take one of your child’s shirts and trace all the pieces, adding about a half-inch seam allowance. Don’t forget how much your seam allowance was (maybe write it on your pattern) because if you don’t sew enough your shirt could be a little big, or worse, too tight if you sew too much. I did choose a roomy cut because I wanted my son to be comfortable and for this shirt to last for several seasons. The sleeves are a little long, but we cuff them.

If you don’t have a shirt that has everything you want, then use multiple shirts to get your pieces! I used a jacket of Dexter’s to trace the hood for this pattern.

Choose your fabrics, and have fun doing it! You can make the shirt entirely out of the same material, but this pattern is perfect for using up scraps! (In another blog I’ll show you just how scrap-friendly this pattern can be!)

You will need 5 total pieces: 1 front, 1 back, 2 sleeves, 2 hood halves. In the following pictures, you can see that I originally planned to just use a regular neckband, but decided to take a chance and make my first hoodie!

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I have LOTS of scrap knit fabric, so I cut the front out of the graphic area of one of my husband’s old tees, and then used a fabric for the back that was similar to the front. Then I used the dark green for all the accent pieces.


Here is a tip for the arms: Cut along the length of an already hemmed tee if you want hemmed sleeves. You’ll learn later that you don’t have to hem at all, but if you want that finished look (and don’t have a serger) this is an easy way to cheat and get it.hoodie tute 7

I did the same thing with the hood, laying my pattern piece so the hem created the part of the hood that frames the face.

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Then put the front and back right sides together, and sew (ZIG ZAG!!!) along the shoulders and sides.

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Next, sew down the length of the sleeves. Do NOT sew around the shoulder curve. You would sew the upper arm of your sleeve shut, rendering the sleeve useless, and making you a big dummy. It’s possible I might have done that one a shirt recently, but I will neither confirm nor deny it in this particular blog post.

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Also, if you decide to go with the pre-hemmed look, I suggest that you start your stitches at the wrist side of the sleeve, that way it will definitely match up and look a little neater. (Side note: don’t freak out that I’m using 2 different thread colors. It means nothing other than that I was too impatient to wind a matching bobbin.)

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Attach your sleeves to your shirt. Keep the body of the shirt inside out, but turn the sleeves. Place the sleeves inside the shirt. Match seams at the shoulder first, and then at the underarm if things work out well.

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I did have a problem here. And if upload my pattern and you use it, you will possibly have the same problem. The shoulder of the sleeve was a little bigger than the armhole for the body. The way I corrected this is not ideal, and if you’re OCD about these things, the following truth-bomb might make your head explode: I just folded the excess fabric at the armpit and went on with my life.

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It might be a little hard to tell, unless you click to enlarge the picture, but you can see where I’m making about a half-inch overlap here.  I just pinned it with the fold toward the back (I’m not OCD enough to care about the fold, but my seams WILL face the same direction. Always toward the back.) and sewed right over it. I never even see the gather when my son is wearing it. If you’re making this hoodie for a girl and this problem pops up, use the excess fabric to make subtle gathers at the top of the shoulder! It will be a cute addition, and no one will ever know you didn’t plan it.

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Take a minute and admire your almost-finished shirt! I always love this stage because you can see that it’s really happening! Also, it never hurts to model the shirt at this stage to make sure no adjustments are needed! if it’s just way too huge, you could always put a seam down the middle of the front or back. it might not work with every design, but this particular shirt is pretty forgiving. My next blog about the pattern will show how seams can be used effectively when working with scraps, so I’m certain it would work for sizing issues and be just fine.

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Next sew the 2 hood parts together (right sides together). Remember to match up your finished edges and sew from there if you want to be certain there won’t be weird overlap.

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Ok. There comes a time in every tutorial where I’m so focused on the finish line that I forget to take pictures. This is that time. And I’m not happy that it’s the hood-attachment part, because that took some time for me to figure out. I’ll do my best to explain it verbally, and I apologize if it’s just too unclear.

With this pattern, the 2 sides of the hood will overlap. I marked the center of the back of the shirt and matched the hood seem up with that. I didn’t explain earlier, and when I upload the pattern it will be marked, but the hood slopes down toward the face. the short part is the back.

So, your shirt is right side out this time, the hood attached on the outside, with the right side facing the shirt. Start pinning the neck, matching the centers of the shirt and the hood. When you get around to the front, overlap the sides. This might be preferential, but when the hoodie is on, the left side overlaps the right side. If that’s what you want, pin left side down first, and lay the right side over that. Then sew all around the neckline.

Here you can see the slight overlap of the finished hood.

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Lastly, evaluate any unhemmed areas. (Check the bottom of the shirt, the sleeves, and the hood edge). Either turn those areas under and stitch (I hope you’ve been zig-zagging. Always zig-zag when sewing knits with a regular sewing machine, or your seam will pop when stretched!!) or, you can leave them raw. In a lot of cases it’s perfectly fine to not even stitch, but if you’re worried at all about unraveling, go ahead and stitch near the edge.

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And there you have it! A finished hoodie! Clip the treads and trim any really wide seams, and you’re done!

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Put it on your kid and take some awesome pictures 🙂

Dexter wasn’t extremely pleased to model immediately after nap, but he did what he could!

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Thanks for making it through the excessive Dexter pictures! I could claim that I included so many so you could see what you could expect your hoodie to look like, but really I was just showing off my baby lol. Send me a link if you try the tutorial!!! I’d love to see other people’s interpretations of the design!

Training Pants Prototype & Tutorial

I’ve had a hard time finding training pants for Dexter, and because I like to make things, I decided to give training pants a try :). I browsed a little for tutorials before deciding to just do my own thing.

I will preface this by saying they didn’t fit very well, so I’m going to make some changes. However, I think this tutorial will be a good one when I work out the kinks. I deliberately chose a knit fabric that had very little stretch… I was worried they’d become floppy. It turned out to be a mistake because I had to work really hard to get the pants over his chubby legs and booty. Next I’m going to try a knit with more stretch, and make the cuts a little roomier. Since the center panel is non-stretch I now know they do have to be cut bigger.



Undies to use as a template (until I upload a pattern) {UPDATE: Amber at Mom Road has created a printable pattern using this tutorial! There are a few modifications with her pattern, including a PUL layer!}

Prefold diapers

Knit fabric (I used an old t-shirt)


Step 1: Choose undies to use as a template. (After I perfect my pattern I will upload something printable in case you have no undies to work from) I used 2T-3T undies.IMG_6056

Step 2: Lay undies on folded diaper, centering undies on the thickest part. Cut diaper so that when folded it’s as tall as the undies. I chose the width by cutting about a half an inch past the thick part of the diaper. (BTW how CUTE are those undies???)IMG_6063


Step 3: Put the folded and cut diaper inside the undies to determine leg-hole cuts. Mark about a half an inch from the leg-hole for seam allowance. Do this for the front and the back.IMG_6070


Step 4: Make leg-hole cuts. One of mine looks a little sloppy, just focus on how pretty the one on the right is 🙂IMG_6074

Step 5: Make the stretchy side panels. Fold knit fabric vertically. Lay undies on top with the side against the fold. Lay diaper on top of undies, letting the edge overlap the the edge of the knit fabric. This takes care of your seam allowance. (Does that make sense? If this step is horribly confusing and/or the picture doesn’t make sense, leave a comment and I’ll try to do better!!) Cut 2 of those.IMG_6076

Step 6: Make the waistband. Fold vertically, line one size of your undies up with the fold. Cut the waist band about 3-4 inches wide to allow for folding over and the seam allowance. (I think I prefer a wider waist band, and next time I will cut closer to 4 inches.)IMG_6078

Step 7: Create the leg bands. I forgot to take a picture for this step. but basically I flattened the leg-hole of the undies to get the length of my strip. I cut to a width of about 2 inches.

Here are all my cut pieces to give you a reference for how big each one is and where they they should go:IMG_6080


Step 1: Sew side panels to the back of the diaper, right sides together so that the seam will be on the inside (unless you want the seam on the outside. I considered that, it might be more comfy for your toddler). Line the top of the diaper up with the top of the panel, leaving the extra fabric at the leg-holes. We’ll trim that later. I also used a straight stitch for this step.IMG_6081


Step 2: Sew side panels to the front of the diaper (also right sides together, seam on the inside).IMG_6086

Step 3: Trim excess fabric to shape the leg-holes.IMG_6089

Step 4: Sew ends of the waistband together to create a loop, seam on the inside.IMG_6091

Step 5: Fold the waistband in half, wrong sides together.IMG_6094

Step 6: Turn your pants right side out. Pin your waistband to the outside of the pants with all raw edges together. I also made sure I pinned the seam of the band to the back of the pants, because it would have made me crazy if I didn’t 🙂 IMG_6095

Step 7: Sew on waistband. IMPORTANT: USE A ZIGZAG STITCH!! If you use a straight stitch for this step the threads will pop when stretched… boo, we no likey.

Step 8: This is actually a lot of steps combined. Follow steps 4-7 for each leg-hole. Don’t forget to use your zigzag stitch!!!!

And now you have a pair of training pants!IMG_6099

They look a little funny here with all the threads and stretched-outedness. In theory, you’d clip the threads and be done. But in reality, I tried them on Dexter and they just didn’t fit. Sure, I managed to get them on him, but, as I said before, there was just not enough stretch. But they sure are cute!!!IMG_6117