Mouse Ears AppliquesI think everyone knows by know that’s I’ve gone crazy with my Cricut Explore Air.  Ever since I figured out how to use it I’ve been making all sorts of things.  Lately I’ve branched into creating appliqués to stitch on to t-shirts and dresses for my toddler grandchildren.  Try as I might I couldn’t persuade my 13 and 8 year old grandsons into cute appliquéd t-shirts. It was way to babyish for them!  But Jett loves his t-shirts emblazoned with his favorite cartoon characters and the twins are still to young to care what they wear. So I’ve been creating for them!  One of my first projects were these Mickey Mouse Ears Appliqued Dress and T-Shirts.

I made them because they really are so easy to cut and sew on, and the toddlers all love Mickey.  Perfect!  For Harper I appliqued the ears to a tank top I got at Walmart and sewed on a gathered skirt to make a cute dress.  Her twin brother Sadi, and cousin Jett got a tank top and T-shirt.

I used the same template for all three.  I cut the applique on my Cricut Explore Air then appliqued them on with the Satin stitch on my sewing machine.  For Harper’s dress I tacked on a coordinated bow to turn Mickey into Minnie.  The letters were also cut out on the Cricut that is after I uploaded the font to Design Space, Cricut’s online app.

Now if you’re going to use  a Cricut or any other cutting machine to cut your appliques you will need to stabilize the fabric with a fusible webbing, this keeps the fabric from slipping and allows the blade to make a clean cut.

If you’re going to hand cut the appliques you’ll probably still want to stabilize the fabric.  I used fusible webbing with adhesive on both sides.  I used Steam-A-Seam brand but you can use whatever brand you want, just follow the instructions on the bag.

Here’s what you’ll need to make one of these for your child!



T-shirt or Tank Top in the appropriate size.

Scarps of material for appliques.

Double sided fusible webbing.

Coordinating Threads.

Ribbon if you’re making a Minnie version

Mouse Ears and Letters templates – click here for free templates!

For dress:

1 fat quarter in coordinating color



Download the templates and save on your desktop (to find it easily)

Upload templates to your cutting machine’s app like Cricut Design Space or equivalent.

Re-size template to fit your t-shirt or tank top front.

Stabilize your fabric with iron on fusible webbing, follow manufacturer’s instructions.

Place fabric on cutting mat, paper side down, secure with tape to hold it in place, cut out applique.

(If you will be cutting applique by hand download and save templates.  If the size is correct then print it out then cut it out. If you need to re-size the image or letters upload it to a photo editor like Photoshop or upload to, a free online photo editor. Then print and cut it.  Pin to stabilized fabric and trace the outline onto the back of the webbing (paper side), cut out the appliques)

mouse ears appliquesFollowing the webbing’s direction iron it on to the front of the shirt.
Stitch on the appliques with your machine’s satin stitch.

If your are making a Minnie tie a length of ribbon in a bow and tack it on between the ears.[spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]

mouse ears appliquesContinue on to make dress:

Measure the hem of the shirt all the way around.

Cut out a 8″-10″ wide strip of the fat quarter equal to 1 1/2 – 2 times the hem measurement. (For longer strips you will have to cut out 2 strips and stitch them together to make one long strip.  The longer the strip the fuller the skirt will be.)

With your machine’s gathering foot stitch the top part of the strip, stitch .

Stitch ends together to form a ring.

Pin skirt to hem of shirt, right sides together.  Arrange the gathers equally around the shirt and pin.  Make sure the gathered edge and t-shirt hem match up, don’t leave gaps in the skirt.

Stitch skirt to t-shirt.

Hem the bottom of the skirt to desired length.

Make a bow with the ribbon and tack it on between the ears.

mouse ears appliques