Monday, January 3, 2011

Funky-Furry Valentine's Shirt.

You will need:  
  • Any plain shirt.  I used Caitlyn’s stained shirt; it's cotton, size 3T.
  • Freezer Paper.  Find this by the sandwich bags and the grocery store.  This is a huge roll, and will last a very long time.  It is seriously worth the money, I think I paid $9.
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Fun fabric of your choice.  I used some super soft furry stuff from my stash.
  • An Iron
  • Pins
  • Your sewing machine, although you could do this by hand if you are that ambitious.

What I did:

First, I went to my clip art file, and found a heart.  You could draw one free hand, if you prefer.  I picked the one that jumped out at me, a short, fat, squeezable heart.  I suggest you pick the one that speaks to you.  When you print, you can adjust your settings to save ink depending on your program.  All you really need is the outline of your design.
Plug in your iron to warm it up.  I used a medium setting (4), but my temperature dial magically disappeared, so I do all my crafts on this setting.  Then, I traced the heart on to the freezer paper.  The shiny side is waxed, so flip it over, and trace on the regular paper side.  If you want to draw your own image, you could do it right on the freezer paper.

I cut a bit of a cardboard box to put inside the shirt to make my job easier.  I gave the shirt a quick iron to get rid of the wrinkles.   Cut your image out of the freezer paper.  Put the cut out on your shirt, shiny, waxed side down.  Line it up on the shirt where you want it.  I just placed it in the center, and when it looked good to me, I called it perfect.   Now go over it with your iron.  The wax will stick to the shirt, creating a temporary but strong bond to the shirt.  If you use your iron for anything besides crafting, I suggest that you put a pillowcase, or some other thin fabric between the pattern and your iron.  This will keep you from finding any surprises on your white dress shirts later on.  You are done with the iron, so unplug it, and put it somewhere safe so you don’t burn yourself.

Take out the cardboard, turn the shirt inside out, and put the cardboard back in (this makes pinning easier).  Cut enough fabric to cover your design, giving yourself at least an inch of extra on all sides.  You will trim the extra off later.  Pin your fun fabric to the shirt.  Remember, you will be pinning the right side of your furry fabric to the wrong side of the shirt.  I used a lot of pins on this one, and just removed them as they were in my way later on.

Take out the cardboard and turn your shirt right side out.  With the paper facing up, sew all around the design.  I used a straight stitch on pass one, followed by a zigzag stitch.  Remember, the idea is for this to be imperfect. If you go over the paper, it’s no big deal, tear off later.  Just be careful to not catch the backside of the shirt as you sew around your design.  You will probably feel the change of thickness it if you do.  If that happens, just pull the stitches back to the mistake, and start again. Be sure to connect the stitches, and backstitch to secure your thread.  After a couple of passes, you are done.

Now is the fun part.  Peel off the paper. 
You can see your stitch work, but not the furry fabric now.  Cut the shirt part out of the center of the stitched heart.  I found it easier to start with the tiny scissors that came with my sewing machine.  Start in the center and pull up the shirt from the back fabric.  Cut a small hole. Be careful not to cut through the furry fabric on the inside.  Keep cutting away the fabric using whatever method is the easiest for you.  You want to get about 1/8” from the outline stitches.  Just be careful not to cut into your sewing. 

Once the front is cut, turn the shirt inside out again, and cut off the excess furry fabric.   I left about 1/4 inch all around. 

You are done!  Turn the shirt back the right way. 

You could embellish the design with fabric flowers or buttons if you wish; they are a great way to hide little mistakes.  I think the furry heart is fabulous by itself.  Best of all, Caitlyn loves her new shirt.

1 comment:

  1. What a fabulous way to repurpose a shirt! Love it.