D's owl shirt appliqué

D needs more long sleeved shirts to get him through "winter" here in So Cal. I'm trying to make, not buy, so I pulled out my bin-o-knits, and found some jersey heavy enough to withstand all the grubby-little-boy activities he so loves.

One of the bits I found was a shade of pumpkin-y, orangy-brown, perfect to make into a jack-o-lantern shirt. wouldn't that be so cute? I could totally picture the little black appliques turning my boy into a pumpkin.

WHen I asked him about it, he was excited, but also very clear that it had to be a friendly pumpkin, NOT a scary pumpkin face. ... so... I decided to do a search for templates so I could run the design by him.

... while searching for a traditional, happy jack-o-lantern, I found THIS:

(here)

ergo:

I used some scrap bright orange jersey for the owl, and a teeny piece of nice tissue jersey for the branch... traced the shapes (hence the stencil still on the window) onto Steam-A-Seam, (hence the reverse of the stencil, because I didn't really care which way the owl faced), cut the shapes out, ironed them on and you see what we get.

I love the idea of using JUST steam-a-seam, but I totally don't trust it. at least not for something that will need to get thoroughly washed at least once a week)

so I decided to free-motion all over it to hold the appliques down:

I'm in LOVE

isn't it so cool!?!?!?

CLEARLY I need to do more of these... I might need a shirt this cool for myself.

(assuming, of course, that this shirt actually gets sewn and fits well, etc)

I'm waiting to decide if I should put in the moon, I have some white jersey.... I'm also thinking about stamping in some little stars (in lieu of the dots)

HELP! advice/input appreciated!