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Saturday, November 9, 2013

A Cute Turkey Ribbon Shirt - Sewing Tutorial

When Honey and I toured the home we eventually purchased, the real estate agent made a big deal about the attic crawl space that had been transformed into a very small sewing nook that only a person 5' 3" or under could use.  I announced that I would probably use it as a wrapping room or storage but, "I don't sew and don't need a "sewing room".

Oh how often we eat our words.  When we found out we were expecting a second girl, I decided it was time to learn how to sew.  Cute girl clothing just isn't budget friendly and we were still adjusting with the move from two incomes to one.  After a sewing machine was put on the Christmas list, I had help from some patient and gracious friends who do sew, and was then on my way.  I don't sew fabulously but made a point to learn how to sew the things I didn't want to spend the money on that I thought I could tackle solo.  I became really good at darling a-line jumper dresses.  Sadly, the Princess was 'over it' by age 5 and the Baby shortly after because if the Princess won't wear it, the Baby most likely won't either. 

I have now shifted my skills to cute appliques for their t-shirts.  I saw a cute pin on Pinterest here and after making sure the girls approved of the design, I made each girl a turkey ribbon shirt.  

The Inspiration

I drew a turkey shape on paper, cut it out, and then pinned my pattern to some brown fabric that I had.  Next, cut the two turkey shapes, sew eyes and a beak on the turkeys, and then pin ribbons to the back of the turkey body.  I already had several ribbon options from making minky dot taggies for baby gifts and was happy to only spend money for the long sleeved t-shirt.  

After you pin the ribbon 'feathers', set your sewing machine on a zig zag stitch (unless you have a 'fancy' machine.)  I always practice on some scrap fabric until I have the settings 'just right'.  Next you need to pin the entire turkey piece onto the t-shirt and sew the turkey onto the t-shirt.  You have to sew the outside of your turkey at medium speed very carefully.  The stop and start will affect the stitching around the body of the turkey so be careful.  Make sure that your stitch is wide enough to cover the outside of the brown fabric completely.  You also need to be careful with the tug of the t-shirt as you sew so that you don't have a crooked turkey.  T-shirt fabric stretches very easily which is what makes it so nice to wear, but also a pain to sew.

Above are the finished products.  They turned out really cute and the best part is that the girls love them.  They have worn these shirts the last two Thanksgivings for the big family photo which means it's time for me to make another set of shirts.  Their poor turkey shirts have seen better days.  

I hope this tutorial helps and good luck!  If you try it for this Thanksgiving, I would love to hear from you!


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  1. Beautiful idea, and beautiful kiddos! I'm hosting a giveaway for an awesome starburst mirror that you should enter!

    1. Thanks Kayla! I checked out your blog and also entered. Hope you have a great day! Thanks again for the comment. :)

  2. HI Hope!
    Hi there! I just wanted to let you know that I LOVED your adorable ribbon turkey shirted! I've picked it as a feature this week at the Link it or Lump It Party! Come on over and grab a button - and don't forget to link up again this week! - Melissa @ Two It Yourself

    1. Melissa - you are so awesome! Thanks so very much for choosing me as the feature!! I am still trying to get started as a blogger and appreciate you hosting a great link party. Thanks!