20 June 2011

Tutorial: A Birthday Shirt

Did you notice the shirt Eli was wearing on his birthday?  Well, let me refresh your memory:
I didn't think he would like it so much, but he wouldn't even put his pirate shirt on because he "loves the shirt that says I'm four."  He wanted to wear it the next day too, but apparently when I made it I forgot that no woman in her right mind would make her four-year-old a white shirt for his birthday, however cool it is?  I should have picked the blue shirt.

The shirt was so easy to make. The t-shirt cost me only $6 at H&M, the fabrics for the applique were just scraps from the Black Apple Dolls I made last year. I am going to make one for Silas's second birthday - I just have to find a plain blue shirt in his size.

Okay, let's get started:

Stuff you need:
- plain t-shirt (beware of white!)
- 2 contrasting fabric scraps
- a lightweight, double sided, fusible interfacing - I use Heat'n Bond Lite
- sewing maching

Take your shirt, fabric and interfacing. You will use a lot less fabric if you cut out your fabric shape and the interfacing first, and then very carefully iron the interfacing to the wrong side of the fabric.  Otherwise you can iron a large square of fabric to the interfacing and then cut the shape out of both.  Because I was using scraps I did it the first way and just trimmed the edges afterward.  So, once you decide which way you want to do it, pick a shape, any shape, and using one fabric, cut that shape out.  My circle was precisely the size of that nice yellow record sitting beside the t-shirt.  You could cut out a star, a square, even a trapezium if it suits your fancy.  Any shape will do.  Out of the second fabric cut a number.  I just drew mine freehand, but you could blow up a number in Word and use it as a stencil.

Peel the paper backing off the interfacing and iron the shape to the centre of your t-shirt.  


Using a matching thread and either a applique stitch or a zig-zag stitch, sew along the entire edge of your shape.
Iron your number anywhere onto your t-shirt and sew it onto the t-shirt too.

 And that's it.  You're done.  Your kid will never forget how old they are again (and neither will you)!  Enjoy.


  1. I LOVE IT!!!! Maybe I'll be ambitious and use this to make monthly onesies and take pictures... and then again, maybe I won't ;)

  2. Mindy, I did that with Andy and the pics are so cute. Well I just had 3, 6, 9 m and 1 year. But cute!
    Very nice Jenny!

  3. Mindy, I will do it with you. It will be easy, I promise.

  4. Can you help me get my act together and get my receiving blankets sewn too???? lol, I've got TONS of cute fabric, just haven't had the motivation to do it.

  5. Awesome!!! Sure makes me wish I had taken that tutorial class on how my sewing machine works, lol! I can do basic sewing but don't know about going over the edges of the appliques like that. Yeah for your creative self!


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