Friday, February 15, 2013


Oh Camden just melts my heart.  He is at that perfect stage of being funny without intending to be funny. He makes me laugh and smile all the time.

He came downstairs just as I was finishing up the photos of Riley in her Valentine's Day shirt and promptly moved her out of the way so he could have a turn.  After every shot he says, "My see it?" and runs over to try and swipe the screen of my camera, typical Apple product generation child.

He recently started making this funny face and he loves for me to photograph it.  Then when I show it to him on the preview screen he laughs hysterically, which in turn makes me laugh hysterically.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Hand Embroidered Loved Tee

Riley had her Valentine's Day party at school today. I found this cute red and white polka dot fabric at Joann's on clearance recently and knew it would be cute on a tee.

I made this tee the way I make all my own DIY tshirt projects.

I begin by drawing or in this case tracing the design or lettering I want to use.  You could find an image you like and print it and cut it out to use as a template.  I remove the printing step and usually trace (carefully) right from my laptop or iPad screen.  This time I found a heart image, enlarged it, traced onto computer paper, and then cut it out.

I always use heat n bond when I make t-shirts.  Following the package instructions I ironed a piece of pre cut Heat 'n bond to the back of the red and white polka dot fabric.  After it cooled to the touch, I used my template and traced the heart onto the still papered side of the Heat 'n Bond (now with the glue side attached to the red fabric).   Because it was a symmetrical shape I didn't have to worry about tracing the mirror image - keep that in mind if you're making a shirt with words or other things that aren't the same front to back.

I cut out the fabric heart using my good Fiskars fabric scissors.  This keeps the edge neat and limits fraying.  Following the Heat 'n Bond package directions I ironed the heart to my pre washed tee.

Before I started the hand embroidery I lined the back with Sulky Stiffy Stabilizer tear away paper. I discovered this when I was shopping for the supplies for Riley's birthday tee and it makes a huge difference.  Cut the stabilizer to size and slip it inside your tee backing the area that you will be sewing on.

I use a 9" embroidery hoop to hold the stabilizer in place and help get a nice taut surface for my needle and thread.  I use embroidery thread and an embroidery needle.  You can find all of these items at any local craft store.

I did a simple, imperfect running stitch using a coordinating pink thread around the edge of the heart.  Notice I said IMPERFECT - none of the stitches are the same or even perfectly even with the edge of the fabric.

The original plan was just to sew the heart onto the shirt, but it was large and I felt like it was missing something.  I asked Tata for her opinion on some ideas I had and with her help I decided to stitch 'loved' on the heart.

Using a piece of chalk I hand wrote 'loved' in the middle of the heart.  The first go round it was sloping down so I wiped it with a damp paper towel and tried again.  Nothing I do is ever perfect and that's okay.

I used the chalk as my guide and a smaller running stitch to embroider 'loved'.  You can still see the chalk a bit even after a quick rinse cycle wash if you're zoomed in, but in person it is not noticeable.

Even though we're in an awkward posing for photos stage I think she is cute as can be.  And certainly well loved.