DIY Birthday Shirt

Leading up to Connor’s birthday party I was looking at options for a fun birthday tshirt! My husband lives in baseball-style shirts so I thought it would be cute to dress him up in one of those.

I picked up the shirt from the sale rack at Old Navy for about $5.

I decided to test out my applique skills for this project, knowing it would be a bit more involved than what I’ve done in the past. I enlisted the help of my darling husband as he has mad drawing skills. We looked at how big the monster should be (based on how big the shirt was), and started to plan out the project.

We looked up some images on Google for monster birthday shirts and came across a design we loved. This is not our original idea, though Matt did draw it by hand. Within a few minutes he had drawn this little guy:

To applique this, he had to cut out (from paper) all of the layers separately to make a pattern, so first he cut the body (with arms attached), then the horns, then the eyes, then the mouth, then the teeth. We spent some time coming up with the best color scheme for the monster.

Then he cut out the letters (from paper) for “one” and we chose fabric to match the monster.

Here are the materials you will need for this project:

  • A paper pattern (you can create your own)
  • Heat’N Bond Lite
  • Coordinating fabric
  • Scissors
  • Contrasting or coordinating thread
  • Iron
  • Lightweight interfacing (optional but helpful)

Once your pattern is cut out of paper you will want to iron the Heat’N Bond Lite to the back of the fabric per the instructions on the package.

Use your pattern pieces to cut out the fabric pieces.

Position the monster body on the shirt where you think it best fits. Position the letters for “One” underneath. Once you’re happy with the placement, peel the backing off of the Heat’N Bond Lite and make sure the steam setting is turned OFF on your iron. Iron these pieces in place.

Next you will add on the horns, the white part of the eyes and the mouth. Press those in place.

At this stage I would cut a piece of interfacing and place on the inside of the shirt. This is optional, however if the shirt fabric is really stretchy or flimsy, a little stabilizer on the back does help with the applique, especially when going around the tiny little monster fingers.

Before adding on the pupils and the teeth, applique all of those pieces in place. To applique you can use either a very small, tight zigzag stitch on your machine or a regular applique stitch. The zigzag may be best if this is an item you plan to wash and wear often, as the zigzag will be best at preventing fraying over time. But this shirt was to be worn once and then put in a memory box for Connor, so I went with the traditional applique stitch. On my Janome Horizon Memory Craft 8200 it’s stitch 39.

Once you’ve appliqued all the way around these pieces (using either a contrasting thread or a matching thread), you can iron the pupils and teeth in place as pictured here:

Applique the last pieces added.

Give the shirt a good press with your iron and it’s ready to wear! I did throw this one through the washer to soften up the appliqued fabric a bit before wearing.

This project can take a little time, maybe 90 minutes or so. But the result was so darn cute I would do it all over again!

Thanks for checking out my post.

Heather

Cake Smash Photo Set-Up

Last weekend we had the great pleasure of working with my darling SIL on our sons 1st birthday photos. We had a LOT of ideas and it was difficult to narrow down exactly what we were going to do. I searched and searched for the perfect colors and accessories for his shoot, and the result was perfect.

My son is fair skinned like his mama so I knew I wanted a really colorful setting to really bring his photos to life. I started with the backdrop color, which was a dark, indigo blue. Next I needed gold and blue accents. I ordered blue and gold tissue flowers from a seller on eBay, but I was sad to learn that only about half of them would show up, so I sent Hubby out to pick up some tissue paper and I got snipping. Here’s an excellent tutorial by Hey Let’s Make Stuff on how to DIY tissue flowers.

Next I needed a tassel banner for the backdrop, which I knew would be primarily gold tissue but I wanted to throw in some dark fabric accents. (Side note: If you haven’t already, please check out my post on the Diaper Cover.)

I ordered the gold tissue tassels from eBay as well, though they are terribly easy to DIY if you need these in a hurry. Here’s an excellent tutorial for tissue tassels by Pizzazzerie. I decided to add pieces of the multicolored, patterned cotton, as well as the midnight blue broadcloth that I used for the lining. I also had some blue confetti print cotton (from the first iteration of the diaper cover) and decided to put that in there as well.

A few helium balloons and gold stars later, we were ready to go!

The cake was lovingly baked and decorated by my MIL, and the photo was taken (and is being used with permission) by my SIL at J.MacPherson Photography.

I had a ton of fun finding everything I needed to bring this to life. The banner was a super quick DIY and coordinated perfectly with his diaper cover.

Thanks for checking out my post!

Heather

DIY Tutu

Recently I had the tremendous pleasure of making a tutu for one of my favourite babies in the whole world. The occasion was her 1st birthday and I convinced her mama to let me take a crack at making an outfit for her photos. Amy, thanks for taking a chance on me!

I had a vision of a very full tutu with several shades of pink, but I also knew I wanted lots of texture! I decided to make a tutu with an elastic waist as opposed to a ribbon waist. Ribbon (specifically the bow) can be difficult to position properly on a squirmy baby for photos, so I played it safe.

I looked up measurements for a 12 month old baby girl and most people agreed that 15 inches seemed to be the average waist circumference, and a tutu 8 inches in length seemed appropriate. I headed on over to our local Fabricville store and found the perfect combination of tulle.

Materials:

  • 9m of assorted tulle
  • 17 inch strip of 1 inch elastic (white)
  • Needle & thread
  • Scissors
  • Measuring tape

I selected baby pink, bubblegum pink, dusty rose, gold and bubblegum pink flocked tulle. I got less of the dusty rose, flocked and gold as I knew those would be accent pieces. I used 9 meters of tulle in total, with very little left over, surprisingly.

I used 1 inch elastic and formed a loop, overlapping and stitching the ends together. The loop needed to be 15 inches when complete, so I cut 16.5 inches to allow a decent overlap. I used clips to hold it in place. I then stitched the overlap of the elastic together.

To make the tutu I would cut strips of tulle just over double the length I needed, as the tulle would fold in half over the elastic and would be looped in place. So I smoothed out the tulle and cut strips that were 6 inches wide by 16 or 17 inches long. I wasn’t too precise with this as I knew I could trim pieces when I was done. I forgot to get a photo of the gold once it was cut, but you get the idea.

Next I looped the elastic waistband over the lid of a container I had. Some people use cardboard, but you can use whatever you have.

To secure the tulle over the elastic I folded each piece in half. Lay the folded tulle flat against the elastic, wrap the cut edges around the elastic and pull through the loop at the top. Pull tightly to secure. Make sure you are wrapping in the same direction for each piece of tulle.

Once you’ve done this, the top view of your waistband will look like this:

The underside of the tutu will look like this:

I added the tulle fairly methodically, particularly when I was adding in the flocked, gold and dusty rose tulle. I wanted to ensure they were evenly spaced, so I roughly alternated colours.

Once it was done I took a final measurement of the waistband (as adding in a lot of fabric can make the elastic stretch) and laid the tutu flat for an inspection. I trimmed the longer pieces to ensure it was the proper length all around. If you do notice that your waistband has stretched, removing a few pieces of tulle evenly throughout the tutu will help.

The tutu ended up being exactly as full and textured as I had hoped. I loved making it and it took about 90 minutes in total, including the time it took to cut the tulle.

Happy 1st Birthday, little sweetheart!

Heather