Easy Turned Appliqué
Turned appliqué only works with single fabric appliqué. Besides being good for decorating T-shirts, this method is handy if you want to add an appliqué to something that you can't manipulate under the sewing machine needle to zigzag, such as a ready-made tote bag or a jacket sleeve or pocket.
Draw your shape on the wrong side of your fabric. Place this piece on top of a second piece of fabric. This can be more of the same fabric, a neutral color, or something that matches what you plan to sew the appliqué to. Straight-stitch around the shape, leaving a small gap along the straightest edge available.
Cut around the shape, leaving ¼″ allowance. Clip the curves, turn, and press. You can blind-stitch the gap or simply topstitch close to the edge. You might be able to follow your topstitching and machine-stitch the appliqué to the T-shirt. Or you can blind-stitch the shape in place.
One possibility is to make three small hearts (or stars or other shapes) out of a striped or checked material. For interest, cut two on the grain and, for the center shape, cut one on the bias so the stripes run on the diagonal. Another idea is to use the chintz appliqué you learned in Chapter 7 and cut a small motif from a juvenile print, leaving a seam allowance. Back and turn it as described above, and sew on the shirt.
Another idea is to use the same method to make a pocket pal for a toddler. Use a teddy bear, doll, or animal motif from a fabric, back and turn it, and sew it behind a pocket so it appears to be riding there. If the shirt or dress you are decorating doesn't have a pocket, make one using the same method. Sew the doll to the garment, and sew the pocket over it.
A lot of toddler clothing can lend itself to added decorations. Consider replacing bland buttons with fun shapes or adding trim to collars, hems, or cuffs. A little girl might like her big brother's hand-me-down overalls if you'd add some ruffle over the suspenders and maybe on the edge of the pockets. Be sure to secure charms and buttons so they don't pose a choking hazard.