Create a cute choo choo train dress with this free train applique pattern! Use fabric, felt and embroidery floss to add this special detail to a dress, shirt or jumper.
Hello crafty friends! Today I’m sharing this cute choo choo train dress I made for my daughter and the free train applique pattern I created for it. I made this dress at the beginning of the summer for a train event we were planning to go to. There really aren’t a lot of transportation-themed dresses for baby girls – so I decided to make my own!
While fabric shopping I found this gorgeous plaid seersucker and love how lightweight it is. I used the Simplicity 1205 Baby Dress and Bloomers Sewing Pattern and only made a couple changes to it. The front of the bodice consists of two pattern pieces, one of which is the decorative band. I cut both of these pieces from the same white cotton so I would have a large enough space to fit my train applique. Another minor change I made was to add piping to the collar. I love doing this – it is such a nice detail and I think it adds a lot to the dress overall.
The inspiration for this train dress came from a vintage baby dress I saw online sold in the Etsy shop, StarrChildVintage! This shop has such cute vintage items!
Below is the tutorial for adding the train applique to a dress. You can use the Simplicity 1205 pattern as I did, or use any dress pattern or pre-made dress and the handmade applique to it.
Choo Choo Train Dress Applique
- Pattern – Link located at the end of the post
- Fusible Web Interfacing like Wonder Under
- Cotton fabric
- Applique Thread
- Felt for the wheels
- Embroidery Floss
Step by Step Tutorial
Step One: Cut out the boxcars pieces from fusible web and cotton fabric.
Download the free applique pattern at the end of this post. Resize it if necessary to fit the front of your dress, shirt, bib – whatever you are adding this applique to!
Trace the pieces onto the paper side of the fusible web. I do this by laying the fusible web over the printable pattern and tracing them. Bubble cut the fusible web pieces out leaving space around them.
Next, iron these pieces onto the cotton you are using for the train. I chose to make my train out of the same plaid seersucker as the skirt of the dress. Once the fusible web pieces have been ironed to the cotton, let them cool and cut out the pieces along the traced lines. I have started using a pressing sheet when working with fusible web and have really liked it. It keeps my iron, ironing board, and the fabric clean.
Step Two: Machine applique the boxcar pieces.
Remove the paper backing of the fusible web and iron the boxcar pieces to the dress. I found it was easiest to apply the applique before the bodice was completely sewn together but you can add this to a finished or store-bought garment as well.
Once the boxcars are ironed on, machine-applique around them using embroidery or applique thread and a small, tight zig-zag stitch. The thread will have a little sheen to it which looks really pretty.
Step Three: Add the wheels and smoke with hand embroidery.
The rest of the applique and embroidery was done by hand. Cut eight wheels from felt and stitch them on using a small running or backstitch and DMC embroidery floss. I used two strands while stitching. Add little felt hearts to the center of each wheel and attach those with two small stitches.
Add the clouds using a small backstitch. If the dress or shirt has yet to be assembled like mine, make sure you lay the collar (if you have one) in place so you know where to stitch the clouds!
I love how the little train turned out! It is such a sweet handmade detail that you can add to any dress, shirt, bib or pillow! Grab the free train applique and have fun crafting :)
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