Why hadn’t you TOLD me about fusible interfacing!? Part 1 (& 3 & 4)

The finished pirate shirt (which, per his mother, gets worn AT LEAST weekly. Yeah!!)

I have ambitions. Crafty ambitions.  Crafty ambitions that greatly exceed both my: 1) available time, and 2) available skills.

I ardently believe just about anyone can learn any skill, given enough time & opportunity. Please refer to “1)” above for my excuse for “2)” :) .

Related to these ambitions, ever since I did the freezer paper stenciling shirts for Father’s day, I’ve been a little obsessed with the idea of making shirts.  I’d even started stockpiling supplies (hubby is not allowed to make any comments about prior “stockpiling”).

When we received an invite to one of Br’s (48 mo) “best buds” birthday party, with a pirate theme, we decided this might be just the crafty opportunity we needed.  I’d mulled for weeks on how to make a personalized-pirate-birthday shirt, soliciting Br’s input of course.  We decided we would do a pirate ship and his name.  Hmm, but how?

While wandering a fabric & craft store, I found on the clearance rack what turned out to be a remnant of fusible interfacing. The kind women at the cut counter explained to me what fusible interfacing is: a material you iron on the back of one fabric, and then use to iron on to another fabric to make a permanent (washable!) bond. Eeek! The crafty heavens opened and shined a great light down on me….

Turns out, I had previously stockpiled some pirate-themed fabric (I repeat: hubby is NOT allowed to make comments), with grand ideas of a specific sewing project- greatly hampered by lack of sewing skills.  However, my grand new discovery provided a new life & opportunity for my pirate-y soft goods.

I searched the web for a graphic I liked of a pirate ship.  We decided to do different parts of the ship in different fabrics.  I printed the ship (and the words “Captain Miles”) on some freezer paper, as well as a few pieces of regular paper, and cut out individual ship parts to use as templates to cut the fabric.

I cut the parts I wanted to stencil on out of the freezer paper, ironed on to the shirt, & stenciled with fabric paint.

Freezer Paper stenciling for the masts & writing
Freezer Paper stenciling for the masts & writing. Here, the name is partially peeled off.  I ended up getting paranoid about “stranger danger” and just put the first initial after “Captain”

My photographing hasn’t been very thorough, so I will mix in shots from another shirt (super-hero theme, but sadly no “Final Shot”) to give you a better visual of the steps for the fusible interfacing.

1) cut the fabric a bit larger than the finished piece & cut the fusible interfacing to approximately the same size.

2) place them together (fusible interfacing on “wrong side” of fabric- the side you don’t want to show), sandwich them between 2 pieces of parchment paper* (NOT freezer paper!!- I tried that once- couldn’t get it apart…), then iron (on the cotton setting, no steam, holding for a few seconds over each part).

*As my fusible interfacing was purchased from the clearance area, it may have been missing a layer that would normally provide the non-stick/peel-off on one side.  But the parchment paper worked fine!

Trimming to exact shape after fusing interfacing to the fabric
Trimming to exact shape after fusing interfacing to the fabric- here I figured out to put the template for the under fabric under my cutting mat to help get the right size

3) Once the fabric is attached to the fusible interfacing, peel off the parchment paper & trim it to the exact dimensions/shape wanted

4) place trimmed fabric on T-shirt (fusible interfacing part to T-shirt), place parchment paper over the top, and iron to shirt.  ( I also did a few swipes with the iron from the inside of the shirt, to make sure it was completely “fused”)

Ironing on to the T-shirt (parchment paper between the fabric & the iron)
Ironing on to the T-shirt (parchment paper between the fabric & the iron). 
The finished pirate shirt (which, per his mother, gets worn AT LEAST weekly. Yeah!!)
The finished pirate shirt (which, per his mother, gets worn AT LEAST weekly. Yeah!!)

And here is one final birthday shirt (yeah, we’ve had a lot of birthdays lately…):

Super J! (& lover of sharks)
Super J! (& lover of sharks)

These ended up being really well-loved,easily personalized (with fabric choices & “names”), inexpensive presents to make.  The super-hero style were actually pretty quick to make, too. (The pirate ship wasn’t, but I still think it is super cool & was worth the time).

Happy fusing …and crafty ambition realizations!

(Those with sewing skills (ahem…not me…) might also choose to finish by doing a border on the fabric with a decorative/zigzag stitch.  Or whatever would be the appropriate sewing thing….)

(As you may have guessed by the numbers in the title, there was another fusible interfacing project I tried, which didn’t involve T-shirts.  That is on my “to do” list for blog posts)


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