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The Walmart Christmas personalized applique dress – check out the 2014 edition

personalized dress
The 2014 Walmart dress


Okay so don’t hate me – but this weekend I started wrapping Christmas presents. And I am soooooo happy to have made headway on my Christmas shopping / making.  But, one of the reasons why I have been able to get so many presents wrapped is because I am basically re-creating a well received gift that I made last year.

I know from all my embroidery/applique Facebook groups that many of my embroidery sisters have discovered the adorable cotton tunics that Walmart has been selling for girls. Last year they sold a nautical striped tunic with three-quarter sleeves that was absolutely divine. Both my sister and I bought a ton of them and personalized them for all the little girls in our lives.

walmart-dressThis year the styles Walmart is selling are slightly different, but just as cute. They are still made of cotton stretch fabric in cute prints, however this year the dresses have empire or drop waists and have a seam in the middle. Of the styles they are selling, I especially liked the navy polkadot version. In fact, as soon as I saw it, I snapped up six of them for $6.49 each. And to personalize them, I came up with a new appliqué design, a single initial monogram design that is cute on kids and looks more modern than a formal monogram. It also allows for the dress to potentially be handed down.

After after personalizing all six dresses, I took them with me to the Children’s Place Outlet and picked up coordinating leggings for the dresses and, Voila! I had six gifts done. I do love this letter appliqué design so much that I plan to digitize every letter in the alphabet, but I haven’t quite gotten there yet. Stay tuned. But last year’s initial flower appliqué design which would look FAB on this this year’s Walmart dresses is available in my Etsy store.

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Glow-in-the-dark initial appliqué sweatshirt

Letter A appliqued on a sweatshirt
Letter A appliqued on a sweatshirt

Boys are tricky when as recipients of applique and embroidery items, but (not to be too boastful…) I think I have come up with some pretty cute (and not too cutesy) embroidery and applique projects to make for boys.  This project – a personalized sweatshirt for my nephew – serves two other purposes – none of which being that it is simply an awesome gift.  Here’s why.

1) I got to redeem myself for last year.  Last year I made all my little nephews single initial long sleeve t-shirts – but I sewed the letter free-hand with the sewing machine.  Geez – how dumb was I?  Now I created a series of applique files that stitch them out for me., and the results are much better and a lot quicker to make.

2) I got to try out the glow-in-the dark thread. Yes – I did it – after all the advice on glow-in-the-dark thread I got from my lovely Facebook friends – I made the stitching with glow-in-the-dark thread.  And while it doesn’t look like much in the picture above – OMG – it works very well in a dark room.

Overall I think this represents a huge step up in quality over last year’s projects, and it opened the potential for a lot more embroidered items with glow-in-the-dark thread.

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How to make a sweet, personalized t-shirt dress

For how-to Tuesday, I am providing some instruction based on a project I made this summer for my little niece, Zoe.  This little t-shirt dress is quick and easy and can often be made from scraps in your sewing room.  For this dress I used some fabric that I bought at (gasp!) Walmart.  And, actually, the t-shirt came from Walmart too!

This dress can be made with long sleeve t-shirts as well.  Check out the version I made for my wacky daughter, Ilse – which, by the way, she wore every week last winter – and the original version I made for my little neighbor, Molly.

The “Z” applique I created in my digitizing software. I am actually working on an entire letter set of big letter outlines to put in my Etsy store, but haven’t quite gotten it finished yet. But if you let me know that you like it – that might provide some motivation to get it on my store sooner.

I hope you enjoy the tutorial! Would love your feedback. Thanks.

How to make a t-shirt dress
How to make a t-shirt dress