Monday, June 6, 2011

Tutorial - Custom T-shirt

You know you're a CRAZY mom when you make a concious decision that your son has to have a "commemorative" t-shirt for his birthday party that matches the theme of the party.   The good thing is that there are lots of other CRAZY moms out there in blogland so I didn't feel like I should be committed.

But-- as a cheapskate, I couldn't imagine spending $36 dollars on a t-shirt for a 4 year old for 1 day (like I've seen other places) so... I took matters into my own hands.
AND I don't (currently) have any actual sewing skills, so I had to come up with another option.  BTW-- I'm hoping to work on the sewing skills in the future.  It's on my list.

Enter Heat & Bond.  (sorry I don't have a great picture of it-- I was so excited to try it out I ripped into the package before taking too many photos)

So, I gathered my supplies: 
  • a white pocket t-shirt from Walmart: $3.50
  • A fabric quarter from Joanne's Fabrics: Clearance $.99
  • Coordinating embroidery floss  $.59
  • Heat N Bond sheet:  $2.99 (and I only used a VERY small portion of it  -- woo hoo-- more that means more fabric projects to come!)
First thing I did was remove the pocket from the t-shirt using my seam ripper.  I did this last year for the custom t-shirt I made for Cole's birthday last year and it worked really well so...  immediately after removing the pocket you'll see the outline of "holes" but both times I've tried this, after I've washed it (instructions say to wash both fabrics before "adhereing"), the lines have disappeared.

Following the Heat N Bond directions--I  ironed it to the patterned fabric, cut out my shape (using my computer paper  template that I made earlier) and ironed that onto the t-shirt.  Seriously it was THAT easy!

note the template had to be cut out backwards because the heat n bond was ironed on to the back.

But wait!  There's more...

It didn't quite look finished so... I broke out the embroidery floss and went to town.  In hindsight I would have used a lighter green floss-- I don't feel like this green color stands out as much as I wanted.  Not enough contrast in colors.  And I probably would've left more of an outside border of the patterned fabric, but...  here's what I ended up with.
To get the desired thickness of the floss I cut a long piece, strung my needle to the middle part of the piece and tied the two loose ends together-- that way I had a double thickness when hand embroidering the detail.
My spacing and length of the stitches leaves a lot to be desired, but... it was my first embroidery project (since elementary school) and Cole's four.  He didn't care.

Ta da!
One custom t-shirt for one cute four year old.

Cheap and easy!

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