A while back, I saw a blog post about a mama who made her kids a fun shirt for their birthday, telling the world how old they were that year. The idea stuck with me. I made one for my niece's first birthday. Another sweet little girl in my life had a birthday last week, and I made one for her too.
I used the reverse applique technique, and I'm just in love with it. I'm working on a few more shirts using this technique. For this one, I took pictures as I went along to show you how I did it. It's so easy! And you don't even need a sewing machine.
Here's what you need:
store-bought t-shirt sized to fit the birthday kid
coordinating fabric of your choice (can either be knit or woven - I used woven for this project but have used knit for others and both work just fine)
thread - either craft/button thread or thick cotton floss
needle in a size to work with thread
lightweight heat and bond
number template sized to fit your shirt
water soluble fabric pen
spray bottle with water
Ok, here we go:
Start out by creating your number template. You could use a stencil or even freehand it. I picked a font I liked in my word processing program and enlarged it. To make it the right size, I ended up enlarging it on a photocopy machine.
Iron your t-shirt and fabric.
For the next step, I did this the hard way (by placing the template between the front and back layers of the t-shirt and then tracing the number onto the front of the shirt - see photo below).
It would be much easier to just cut around the number on your template, center it on your shirt, and then use the fabric pen to trace around the number.
Here's a closer picture of the tracing:
Pin the fabric to secure it to the front of the t-shirt, making sure the contrasting fabric stays flat and doesn't pucker:
Starting from the inside, use running stitches to sew around the traced number:
Turn your shirt inside out and trim the contrasting fabric just outside of your stitching. This is what mine looked like when I was finished:
Trim any longer threads (I didn't photograph this step).
Next, take a small pair of scissors,
and carefully pulling the t-shirt fabric away from the contrasting fabric, make a small cut in the t-shirt fabric.
Starting at the cut you just made, use your scissors to cut over to the edge of the number, and cut around the inside of your stitches. Cut about 1/4 inch away from your stitches. Because knit fabric doesn't fray, you don't need to do anything else to finish these edges.
This is what mine looked like after cutting:
Use a spray bottle to wet the fabric, which will remove any ink markings.
Let the shirt dry.
:: I didn't take photos of the following steps - so sorry - but I will add them as I complete another shirt. ::
Turn your shirt inside out. Carefully cut away the excess contrasting fabric around the outside of your stitches - leaving about 1/4 inch of fabric outside the stitches.
Put the interfacing over the number/contrasting fabric and trace around it, about 1/4 inch outside the edges of the contrasting fabric. This is so the interfacing will completely cover the contrasting fabric and your stitching. Make sure that the silky side is up and the knobby/glue side is against the shirt.
Using your tracing as a guide, cut out the interfacing.
Carefully position the interfacing over the number/fabric on the inside of the shirt.
Follow the package directions to secure the interfacing to the shirt (you will use your iron).
This is the inside of my shirt when I was finished:
And you're done!