How To Make Customized Occasion T'scomments (5) June 11th, 2012
Summer is a season of celebrations! Whether you're planning a party or simply a gift for a graduation, wedding, birth or holiday, here's a project that can suit any occasion. Lots of people buy new T-shirts and have them printed with family names and dates as souvenirs for reunions, weddings or picnics. I know this because I've seen hundreds of these T's on the racks at thrift stores. In the spirit of Do-It-Yourself and reducing our impact on the earth, why not upcycle thrifted shirts into unique works of art? You might find that everyone wants in on the fun!
What You'll Need:
Scraps of T-shirt fabric
1. Draw your numbers and letters. Using a disappearing-ink marking pen, sketch out the letters of whatever you want to say. Think names, dates, hometowns, schools, mottos... just remember you have to sew each letter on! So keep it fairly simple, like a sports team jersey.
2. Cut them out. With your sharp fabric scissors, carefully cut out each letter. Lay them out on the shirt and pin in place. [Note: You could use a fabric stabilizer such as Wonder Under to adhere the letters to the shirt. This would make the sewing part easier, but is optional.]
3. Sew the letters on. Use a satin stitch (a wide but short zigzag, I used 3mm wide and .6mm long) to edge each letter and attach it to the shirt. The stitch should cover the cut edges of the letters and securely anchor them to the shirt. The outermost edge of the zigzag should be even with the cut edges.
Practice on some scraps first to get the stitch settings right and perfect your technique on corners and curves. Your thread can match or contrast with the letters; I used a variety of contrast thread colors to add a bit of extra fun.
4. Press flat. You may find that the stitching has stretched out the shirt and your letters are lumpy, but just give a quick press with a steam iron and they'll look crisp again.
5. Customize the rest of the shirt as desired. I cut off the neckband and the cuff and bottom hems, but this is personal preference. Or let the recipients do their own!
Customizing these shirts (and giving them a second life) is so easy and satisfying; you could feature a T-shirt making activity at your shower, picnic or party. Kids will be thrilled to get in on the designing-and-cutting action with an adult to do the sewing. Fun for the entire family!