Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Ready for July 4th! (including tutorial)

It's July 2nd, which means it's time for me to get inspired to create another last-minute 4th of July project. You can see last year's here, as well as in the background of the photo below.

This year's project?
I'm taking my two boys (4 and almost 2) to a local July 4th parade on Thursday, and on Sunday, I decided they needed flag shirts. But I wasn't going to buy them at Old Navy. So Monday when Hobby Lobby opened (I understand why they're closed on Sundays, but it's rough on a spur-of-the-moment crafter!), I bought a few red, white and blue t-shirts ($3.99 at Hobby Lobby, and then 30% off!).

Here are the finished shirts; the tutorial for how I made them is below.

You'll need:
1 red shirt (to wear)
1 each blue shirt and white shirt (to cut pieces...or cotton jersey fabric)
Pellon Wonder-Under Fusible Web
Pellon  Fusible Featherweight Interfacing

First, decide how big you want your flag to be (based on t-shirt size). On the size small t-shirt (the red one), I went with a 6" x 9" flag. On the 2T t-shirt, I went with 4" x 6". For the remainder of the tutorial, I'm going to use the measurements for the larger shirt and put those for the smaller shirt in parentheses. 

I sketched out the rectangle and decided on a stripe width: 1" (1/2"). Cut 1" (1/2") strips from the t-shirt and then cut them into 9" (6") lengths. Lay the t-shirt out flat and cut strips that are loops, starting at the bottom.
Cut fusible web strips that measure 3/4" x 9" (3/8" x 6"). Center and adhere a fusible web strip onto each white t-shirt strip.

Cut a 3-1/2" (2-1/2") blue square from the blue t-shirt. Cut a 3" (2") fusible web square. Adhere the fusible web square to the center of the blue square.

Cut a piece of light interfacing larger than your intended flag. Mine was 7" x 10" (5" x 7"). Turn the t-shirt inside out and fuse in place, centering it right to left and a little up from center top to bottom. Turn t-shirt right side out.

Position the white strips in place. You can eyeball the spacing for the red stripes to show through (I did) or measure. Position the blue square and slide the top couple white strips to the right. Trim the strips with a scissors to create a straight right edge for the flag. Fuse the square and strips in place.

Topstitch the stripes and square to the t-shirt to secure. Tip: I used a walking foot to avoid stretching issues. Stitch 1/4" in from the edges of the white stripes and the blue square, which will allow the jersey material to curl up a bit.

To make the star, I googled "star shapes" and picked one I liked. I sized it to measure 1" smaller than my square and printed it out. I traced it onto fusible web and cut it out on the line. Then I fused it to the white t-shirt material and cut it out just past the fused edges (again, to create the nice curl on the fabric). Fuse to the blue square and stitch near the edges.

My next step: wash the shirts to enhance the curl of the jersey material. My two boys will be sporting their flag shirts Thursday morning!
(For the blue shirt, I cut red stripes as well as white, and did not cut a blue square--I just added the white star to the opening in the upper left corner of the stripes!)

And another photo of my flag door quilt, on my beautiful newly painted front door!

If you're the last-minute type as well, making a shirt only took me 45 minutes. You still have time!

Sharing this on Quilt Story's Fabric Tuesday.


  1. You and I must be related. I'm so like you...last minute crafter. Love these t-shirts. And your kids are soooo cute!

  2. Your kids are so cute! Love those t-shirts. Thanks for the great tute too! Hope you have a great 4th.

  3. Precious boys and love the patriotic quilt and shirts