Caterpillar Applique Kid's T-Shirt

Orange, pink, and yellow fabric scraps combine to create a creative and fun applique caterpillar.


What You Need
  • Orange, pink, and yellow print fabric scraps
  • 3/4 yard yellow trim
  • 1/4 yard of 3/8" -wide green grosgrain ribbon
  • Scrap of solid green faux-suede or felt
  • Fuchsia eyelash-type yarn
  • Perle cotton: yellow
  • Lightweight or heavyweight fusible web
  • Fabric stabilizer
  • Machine-embroidery thread to match the appliques
  • T-shirt

Download the Pattern

Cut Your Fabrics
  • From assorted orange, pink, and yellow prints, cut: 1 of Caterpillar Pattern A and 9 of Caterpillar Pattern B
  • From solid green faux suede or felt, cut: 2 each of Caterpillar Patterns C and C reversed
Preparing the Applique

Lay fusible web, paper side up, over patterns. Use a pencil to trace each pattern the number of times indicated in specific shirt instructions, leaving at least 1/2 inch between tracings.

To prepare appliques with regular edges, cut out each fusible-web shape roughly 1/4 inch outside traced lines. Following manufacturer's instructions, press fusible-web shapes onto backs of assorted fabric scraps as indicated in specific shirt instructions. Let cool, then cut out fabric shapes on drawn lines; peel off paper backings to make appliques.

To prepare appliques with raggy edges, cut out each fusible-web shape 1/4 inch inside the traced lines. Following manufacturer's instructions, press fusible-web shapes onto backs of assorted fabric scraps as indicated in specific shirt instructions, leaving at least 1/2 inch between fusible-web shapes. Let cool, then cut out fabric shapes about 1/4 inch beyond the edges of the fusible-web shapes; peel off paper backings to make appliques.

How to Make It
  1. Machine stitch eyelets for the eyes and mouth on the A circle.
  2. In order to loop the leaves through the caterpillar's mouth, make holes in the center of the first four eyelets.
  3. Thread a 4" length of 3¿8" -wide green ribbon down through the far left eyelet hole and back up through the second. Repeat to weave the ribbon down through the third eyelet hole and back up through the fourth. Pull the ribbon through so the ends are even.
  4. Arrange A and B circles on chest area of bright pink T-shirt with part of the caterpillar body wrapping around to the T-shirt back. Fuse in place following manufacturer's directions; let cool.
  5. If using lightweight fusible web, straight-stitch 1/4" from the edge on each piece.
  6. To make raggy edges, clip the raw edge of each applique about every 1/4". Using a soft toothbrush, brush clipped edges of applique to desired raggy appearance.
  7. With wrong sides together, place a C and C reversed leaf over one ribbon end; fuse in place and zigzag down the center to make a vein. Repeat at opposite ribbon end.
  8. For the feet, sew yellow trim along bottom edges of appliqued B circles.
  9. Referring to photograph, use yellow perle cotton and a chain stitch to hand-stitch the antennae. To make a chain stitch, pull needle up at A, form a U shape with the perle cotton, and hold the shape in place with your thumb. Push needle down at B, about 1/8" from A, and come up at C to secure stitch.
  10. Continue in same manner. Hand-stitch a looped 3" length of fuchsia eyelash yarn at end of each antenna.
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