Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Custom Shirt, as a Present or for Yourself!

Here we are! My netbook finally crashed last week, so I had to put all posts on hold. I'm not sure how to title this or describe it, but it would be a really great custom present to a loved one or yourself. 
The idea is to have someone write a word or phrase and then transfer it to an item (in this case, a shirt!) It came from my husband, who for a few years now has had a tattoo of my signature. I was really opposed to it at first because I really dislike my sloppy handwriting, but he's sentimental and now it makes sense. 
It's a really easy process! All you'll need is a product (in this case, a tissue tank), sequin strand, needle + thread, Gem + Glitter Glue from Aleene (if using sequin). Alternatively, you can use fabric paint + a paint brush (and glitter- see tutorial here!)
Start by having the artist write his/her word or phrase. I wrote out "love" for the display. It could be a small "I love you" written by a child for his grandma or aunt, a note to a significant other, someones name (like my husband did), whatever. The bigger, the easier. I filled a standard size piece of paper and wrote with black crayon.
If you're using a see-through product, this is SO easy! Just slide it underneath and you can trace from there. If you aren't using something see through, especially if you're painting it, use this STENCIL TUTORIAL HERE with contact paper or THIS ONE with freezer paper.
If using sequin, trace over the letters with your glue, a little bit at a time. If you're using paint, just start painting over it!
As you put the glue on, loop the sequin around and press it into the glue.
Until everything is finished! I kept the letters together until the v/e because it mimicked my handwriting. You can make breaks in the looping too, which makes a cleaner, flatter result.
Trim the edges (be sure to leave some edges when adding the sequin!) and make sure that each end point is glued really well. Allow to dry for a few hours.
Next, because I never trust glue, ever. I tacked down the lettering by hand stitching it, which is really easy. Here are a few methods. Either way, start and the end and push your threaded needle up through *right by* the sequin thread.
Wrap it around a piece of sequin and push the needle through to the back again right by the sequin center thread on the opposite side. See how the thread is over a piece of sequin? Just move it over with your nail and tuck it under the piece.
From behind, this is a tighter stitch. I just pushed the needle through that little chunk in the middle which is the actual sequin thread.
And then looped it around and around til the letter was finished.
You can also do the same thing much more tightly, which will make your piece last a long, long time.
And here's the finished product! It's common to give away customized shirts and what not to family and friends for presents, but when we let a two year old loose with a fabric marker we end up creating something that is treasured, but perhaps not worn. The goal here is that by adding sequin or giving structure, we make something that is treasured *and* really wearable! I hope you enjoy it. All the best and as always, thanks for reading!

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