Saturday, November 26, 2011

Basic steps for how to alter a t-shirt

I am going to attempt to do a mini-tutorial to show how I went about altering some basic boy t-shirts to a more flattering girl shirt to do freezer stenciling on.

I started with a plain white Hanes t-shirt in size M(6-8). I looked for basic girls shirts in a multi pack but couldn't find any, so I had to settle for the boys version. But to make them into a cute girly shirt I wanted to alter them a little so they weren't so big and boxy. This shirt was for a friend's little girl who just turned 7. Luckily I have some cute bigger size shirts stashed for Evie in totes, so I grabbed an Old Navy size small which is around a 6/7 I think.

I started by cutting the sleeves off as close to the seems as I could, then I laid the other shirt over and cut along the sides about 1/2 to 3/4 inch away to give a little room for growth. I left the length because it was only a little longer than I wanted it and it made it a lot faster!
 Next, I took the sleeves, one at a time, and pinned them back onto the shoulder putting right sides together. I started with the center and then went out towards each end.
Then I used my serger and reattached it. I repeated this on the other sleeve and then I flipped the shirt right sides together (sorry I forgot to take a picture) and pinned the sleeves and sides together, making sure that the end of the sleeve and the bottom shirt hem were lined up. I serged these too, starting at the sleeve and finishing at the bottom hem.
 There are a few different ways you can take care of the ends of the serger thread. You can tie them off, snip them and use fray check or, like I did below, thread them back into the serged edge.

 Then, I had Evie model it over her pj's. This is what happens when I say "smile at the camera"! If there are any distractions she smiles while looking at them instead.
 And, I couldn't help showing off the pretty black sparkly M! I LOVE the glitter topcoat... maybe more than the one I used on the Kenzie onsie (though this picture doesn't do it justice). I'm so bummed that they are clearing them out at Hancock's... well, not about the price I guess :) But I'm going to have to go grab whatever they have left!
So, that's it! I have a few shirts that I need to use this on - like the XL shirt from my 1st July 4th 5k run. GIGANTIC! And poor Evie doesn't have a freezer stencil shirt yet either!

Note: If you don't have a serger, you will want to use a stretch stitch if possible. I'm not sure how a zig zag would work for side seems. If you shorten any of the hems, my suggestion is to get a double needle, they are incredibly easy to use and give the shirt that nice finished look AND they stretch like a zig zag stitch so they are great for knit fabric. Here is a great tutorial on different stitches and using a double needle.

Thursday, November 24, 2011


What is Thanksgiving?

I would guess that the first images that pop in your head would have to do with turkeys, pumpkins, lots of food, family gatherings, maybe football (if you are like my husband!)... but what does it really mean? Why do we celebrate it? It is so hard sometimes to focus on the intended meaning behind many holidays here in the United States. With all the materialism and media influence over time, things seem to shift WAY off course.

according to,

Thanksgiving Day is a national holiday celebrated as a day of feasting and giving thanks for divine favors or goodness, observed on the fourth Thursday of November in the U.S. and in Canada on the second Monday of October.

thanks·giv·ing [thangks-giv-ing]

1. the act of giving thanks; grateful acknowledgment of benefits or favors, especially to God.
2. an expression of thanks, especially to God.
3. a public celebration in acknowledgment of divine favor or kindness.
4. a day set apart for giving thanks to God.
5. ( initial capital letter ) Thanksgiving Day.

We've got the "day of feasting" part down, no question there! But what about the "giving thanks"? I know I could be better at it. I am a Christian and so I believe that every good thing comes from God...

I am so thankful for...

He is the reason, for everything good in my life

My Husband
my best friend and #1 cheerleader

My amazing daughter, Evie
she is the best teacher God has given me
and filled with so much love it never
ceases to amaze me!

My family

My church
Especially my women's group (Titus2)
these girls are such an amazing support group

There are so many other things that I am truly thankful for! I pray that you would be reminded of all the blessings in your life today and every day!

There is always at least one thing to be thankful for every day!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Camo isn't just for boys!

Am I the only person who has a habit of starting a project meant for a gift and then not always getting it completed, thus leaving me with cut out pieces of various things that I have to try to find new homes for? Well, this happened out of one of those projects. I don't even remember who the original recipient was anymore. It had been for a new baby boy though, so after a certain point the size 0-3 month pants and hat were no longer going to work. I started with digital camouflage fleece cut out for an infant hat and pants, then I had an idea to turn it into an outfit for my new niece (whose oldest brother is a HUGE camo fan).

I sewed up the pants and hat. Added a black fleece flower on the hat and black fleece "ruffle" on the bottom of the pants, to make them girly. Then I moved on to the onsie...

I cut out a freezer stencil for military id tags and mixed up some fabric paints to come up with a shiny metal look for the front tag (turned out PERFECT) and an avocado green for the back tag.

Then for the chain, I used the back of one of my small paint brushes as a stamp for the ball part and then a teeny tiny brush to make the thin connections. I folded up the neckline so the chain disappears underneath. Viola!
Then, originally had the idea to use some tiny typewriter font letter stamps I had but I couldn't get the paint to transfer right so I had to freehand the lettering. I put her first and middle name on line 1, birthday on line 2 and then line 3 is the work "destined" in Hebrew, which is the spiritual connotation for the name Kenzie.
 Ta-da! In this picture the hat kind of looks like one of those bucket helmets (probably not what they are really called).

 I have also been tinkering around with homemade labels...

Fun, no?! Yes!

Monday, November 21, 2011

More Freezer Stencil Shirts (I'm addicted!)

Sorry this has taken me so long to get out here! I had the pictures of these shirts started a long time ago but I couldn't show them until the recipients actually GOT them! We had a new niece born at the end of September and I had gotten a bunch of clothes to send out to my sister in law for her but they also have two older boys age 6 and 3 so I wanted to be able to include something for them in the box too without it being to heavy. So, I came up with these shirts! I was just going to put their first initial on them but after some thought decided to add the rest of the name in smaller letters.

The oldest nephew's was easy to come up with. He LOVES camouflage, I think he would be content if his entire wardrobe consisted of nothing else! So, I used the "stencil" font and then I hand painted the design. I was really happy about how it turned out. Except, I did find that when painting in a larger area on knit fabric the fabric will stretch a little and end up not as flat and even. I tried to fix this by putting paper over top and ironing it to coax it back into place and ended up with a very slight wave in the I which may go away (or get worse I suppose) after washing.

 The next was a lot harder. I had planned on just making them unique to each child by the paint within the stencil boarders only, no extra designs. Judah loves green, so I started with that but then got stuck... I just couldn't come up with anything I thought he would like much and didn't want him to feel like Isaiah's was "cooler". I put his on hold and worked on baby girl's then when I came back to it the only thing I wanted to do was have it yellow instead of green.... well I tested the cover up of yellow over green on my fancy paint palette and as you can see, not so great. Then I decided to test a "primer" of the cream color and it seemed to block it out so I started layering.

 Cream and then the bright yellow.
 And this is what I came up with for the construction vehicle lover :) SO much for my original plan *sigh* I'm learning to be flexible though.

Then my favorite font for girly letters is the "curlz". So, I did purple and then finished it with a glitter topcoat (which you can't see very well here) but believe you me, it was ADORABLE!

Don't believe me? You will after this picture!  

Sunday, November 20, 2011

First real snow of the year!

Imagine our wondering eyes November 9th when we woke up to over 3 inches of lovely white! Evie exclaimed "SNOW! Snow, snow, snow... YAY winter!"
We hurried through our breakfast but by the time we got outside it had warmed up so much that it was pretty sloshy but she REALLY wanted to build a snowman. So, I thought 'why not THREE snowmen?' A little family :) She thought it was great! Carrot stick noses, stick arms and black beans for eyes and mouths!
 A line of snow angels
 Got the jeep stuck... didn't have snow tires on yet ;)
 By later that day the family had thinned up a lot and didn't take long to disappear after that... but they'll be back, the next time it snows!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Prince Ky and Princess Evie

Ky comes to our house on Tuesdays. Most of the time they just play but every once in a while I have crafts for them to do. We paint, we color, we did sticky faces on little pie pumpkins... this time Evie wanted to be prince and princess so I had an idea. We had some paper crowns left from her birthday party back in February and so I got those out for them to color on and then I embellished them with gold puffy paint and fake jewels. Evie also decided that Ky needed a sword and a shield so I pulled out the cereal boxes that I had been saving and went to work. Some foil, glue and more puffy paint later... wah-lah!

Defending the kingdom with swords and mirrors!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Fun at the Farm! aka Becky's house

Do you know where your eggs come from? We do! We even know the chickens! If you have never had fresh eggs, you don't know what you are missing! After having these kind, if you make scrambled eggs from regular store bought they look like scrambled egg whites! And there is so much flavor! Anyhow, that is not what this post is about...

Here is the egg factory and off to the right is the rooster keeping an eye on us so we don't get too close to his ladies! He was crowing every 30 seconds while we were standing there!
 Caught him in the middle of a "cocka doodle doo"!

While mom and I were perusing the pumpkins and gourds, Evie got chilly so Becky asked if she could take her out to feed a gourd to one of the cows. Sure! I didn't know cows ate gourds but I guess it makes sense.
 Becky did this one because Evie was a bit unsure and dropped the gourd before Jenny the cow had a good hold on it.
 Trying to pet her... Evie is facinated by all kinds of animals.
 She looks so small next to that giant Jenny cow! This time she got it in her mouth good before she took her hand away. Such a brave little girl!
 They didn't come any closer and backed away when Evie tried to go to them. Then Becky said, maybe that's enough for now... I think she was getting concerned that Evie would get squished if she went in between them, which she seemed to have no fear of doing!
 Her display barn for all the fall goodies! I bet it was bursting at the seems before we went the weekend right before Halloween.
 Love these Cinderella pumpkins! Becky said that they are really good for baking with too, not just to look at ;)

Simple, just the way I like it!