I was asked by Jessica from
to participate in a sewing series called
where for once the children are the designers. Mister M, Miss E and I had so much fun, you can read all about it on the
I loved the idea so much that I wanted to share with you today, how I went about to re-creating Mister M's illustration and making into a t-shirt, a tee I think he will cherish for a long long time.
I created a t-shirt, but imagine the possibilities, take any drawing your kids made and reproduce it on anything you like... a bag, a pillow, some drapes, on the back of a hoodie... I could keep on going! These would make amazing gifts as well. Just sayin'.
First thing, have you kid design his t-shirt. I traced Mister M's best fitting t-shirt on a large piece of paper, then I had him color in his design, life size!
Here is what he came up with...
Now here's the list of what you'll need...
It looks long, but really it's not all that complicated.
I'm not going to give you a full tutorial on how to make the t-shirt, but I thought I'd share a few of the steps I took in case you wanted to give it a try. You could always buy this great
or an already bought t-shirt.
Step 1- Turn your favorite tee inside out and place it on top of 2 layers of jersey material. Make sure to follow the grain or your tee will twist after one wash!
Step 2- Trace around half of your t-shirt and cut. (I use just a white pencil.)
Step 3- Fold you t-shirt over and cut the other half. Shape the front neckline and make it about 1.5 cm lower than the back.
Step 4- Trace your sleeve and cut, twice.
Grab your Freezer paper and trace your childs illustration. You could skip this step if you have your kids draw straight onto the freezer paper ( I should of thought of that before!). If you don't have any freezer paper (it's hard to find here in Montreal, I got mine in the US), just use tracing paper.
Next, figure out if you want to add texture and felt to your design. If not skip to step 6. I choose to make the planes and the balloons out of felt to give some added color and pop.
Once you figured which elements will be in felt, trace those onto the tracing paper. Cut the tracing paper, pin it to the felt and cut out the felt.
The felt elements will have to be cut out from the freezer paper. This doesn't have to be exact, use the exacto knife and cut roughly around the elements. This will help us place our felt pieces at the right place on the t-shirt.
STEP 1- Place your freezer paper over the front of your t-shirt. You will be able to see through it.
DO NOT IRON YET.
STEP 2- Put some glue on the back of your felt element and place them in their place onto the t-shirt. Press down firmly.
I could have used heat-bond, but I felt it would be to heavy and opted for some good old stick glue. I used this a lot for appliqués, I find it to be less stiff and I always seem to run out of heat-bond anyways!
STEP 3- Remove your freezer paper and keep it for later.
STEP 4- Sew all around your felt elements at approximately 2-3mm from the edge.
STEP 5- I sewed the shoulder seams and sleeves of my t-shirt, leaving the side seams open to make the sewing experience easier. Also, I did this because the clouds overlapped onto the sleeves in the design.
STEP 6- Cut your freezer paper and place them on your t-shirt as in your child's drawing. Iron. Be careful not to iron onto the felt, it could melt if it's not 100% wool.
***if you do not have freezer paper, trace the illustrations onto tracing paper, then pin the paper to your t-shirt and topstitch *** I've used this a lot in the past.
Step 7- You are ready to stitch on top of your freezer paper and follow the lines of your kids illustration. I doubled my thread for a thicker topstitch, just use 2 bobines of thread and thread your machine as if it was one. Put your second bobin in a jar or tall glass so it doesn't get away.
You might want to do some test runs, as the sewing machines tension can be off if you double your thread. I also put my stitch lenght at #4 making them long and therefore more visible.
I followed my sons drawing and color choices, changing my thread often.
STEP 8- Remove the freezer paper GENTLY. Finish sewing your t-shirt and you are done!!!
This is just a close up of all the stitching I did on top of the freezer paper.
And here it is all done!
You know I'll be keeping this illustration and t-shirt and one day when I have a grandchild I'll pull this out and give to Mister M. I think he might appreciate it even more then.
Thanks for passing by and let me know if you ever try this out. It really not complicated, it requires a little patience all depending on your kids illustration. Mister M wanted to make me work!!!