The Nightmare Before Christmas Inspired T-Shirts

We’ve been to Disneyland at almost every time of the year.  We’ve braved the crowds during summer and spring break and enjoyed the relatively empty park during the off seasons.  We even got to spend Christmas there a couple of years ago.  The one season we haven’t experienced is Halloween, and from what I hear we’re really missing something special.  We’re going to remedy that next fall, but in the meantime I have to enjoy Disney Halloween from the comfort of my own home. When Undercover Tourist asked me to come up with a craft to celebrate Mickey’s No-So-Scary Halloween Party at Magic Kingdom in Disney World, I found out this year would mark the first appearance by Jack Skellington and Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas, so my project almost had to revolve around them.

Update 9/17/15:  I've added the patterns and instructions to make these t-shirts here as well.  Enjoy!

Jack and Sally T Shirts - Crafty Staci 1
Jack and Sally T Shirts - Crafty Staci 1

I made these shirts using reverse applique and embroidery.

We'll start with Jack.  To make this reverse appliqué shirt, you'll need this pattern, a white t-shirt, black fabric, black and white craft thread (also known as embroidery floss) and iron-on interfacing.

Starting with Jack
Starting with Jack

Trace the eyes, nose and mouth onto the non-fusible side of the interfacing.  Cut out, leaving about 1/2" around the shapes.  Iron onto the back of the black fabric.  Cut the pieces out loosely around the interfacing.  Turn the t-shirt inside out.  Using the pattern as a guide, pin the pieces in place onto the shirt.  It helps if you slide a piece of cardboard or something else flat and stiff inside the shirt so you aren't pinning through the back.  Pin generously.

Jack's face
Jack's face

Using the white craft thread, stitch around each piece following the line.  I used a backstitch.  This takes a while.  I'd recommend popping in your favorite Disney movie while you sew.  Carefully trim away some of the excess black fabric, leaving at least 1/4" from the stitching.

Inside of Jack's face
Inside of Jack's face

Turn the shirt right side out.  Carefully snip only the shirt inside one eye.  Using that as a starting point, cut out the shirt inside and stitching.  Be very careful not to cut the black fabric or the craft thread.

Cutting out Jack's eyes
Cutting out Jack's eyes

Repeat with the other eye, the nose and the mouth.  If you're concerned about cutting the tiny nose, you can cheat and color inside the stitching with a permanent marker.

Jack and Sally 5
Jack and Sally 5

To create the stitches over his mouth, thread your needle with the black craft thread.  Knot one  end.  Start your first stitch up through the center of the mouth at one end, down about 1/4" above the top edge, back up about 1/4" below the bottom edge and down through the center where you started.

Stitching Jack's Mouth
Stitching Jack's Mouth

Repeat all the way across Jack's mouth at 1/4 - 3/8" intervals.

Jack's Mouth finished
Jack's Mouth finished

To make the Sally shirt, you'll need a light blue shirt, white fabric, red fabric, light blue craft thread, black craft thread, iron-on interfacing and two small black buttons.

Follow the same process you did with the Jack shirt to add Sally's eyes and mouth, using the white and red fabric.  I used ombre craft thread, so you'll see variations in the color.

Beginning Sally's Face
Beginning Sally's Face

Slide the paper pattern inside the shirt and sketch the eyelashes, mouth and scar with a pencil.  If necessary, pin the pattern in place and hold up to a window so you can see through the shirt.  Iron interfacing behind the sketched areas to provide some stability for your stitching.

Inside Sally's Face
Inside Sally's Face

Stitch the eyelashes, mouth and scar as shown.  Don't forget her blue nose, like I almost did.  If you don't want to spend the time sewing the black areas on either of these shirts, you can draw them on with a permanent marker.  Just be sure to test the marker in an inconspicuous place to make sure it isn't going to bleed.

Sally's face
Sally's face

Make small marks where you'd like the pupil to be, then sew the black buttons over the marks.

Sally's eyes
Sally's eyes

And Jack and Sally are ready to hit Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party!

Jack and Sally T-shirts from The Nightmare Before Christmas
Jack and Sally T-shirts from The Nightmare Before Christmas

I think these would make fun Halloween costumes.  Jack would be complete with a pair of black and white striped pants.

Jack and Sally T Shirts - Crafty Staci 2
Jack and Sally T Shirts - Crafty Staci 2

And Sally just needs a patchwork skirt.

Jack and Sally T Shirts - Crafty Staci 3
Jack and Sally T Shirts - Crafty Staci 3

Jack and Sally are ready for their Halloween Disney trip.  How about you?

Jack and Sally T Shirts - Crafty Staci 4
Jack and Sally T Shirts - Crafty Staci 4