Happy New Years

Or as we like to call it:

Happy Bean’s Day!

That’s right, our little Bean’s birthday is the first of January. No, I didn’t get anything special for pushing her out – a set of twins beat her to being the first baby of the new year at our hospital. But she’s still just as special as if she had been. She’s such a light in our lives! Just don’t tell her all those balloons that came down from the ceiling at the party last night weren’t for her birthday…..

Here’s the shirt I made for her to wear to the party.  (I used Illustrator and a computer print out iron on.) Of course I forgot to save the file in Illustrator and then dumb old Windows decided to update and reboot, thereby leaving me with no file of my work…. Ah well. At least the shirt survived and I think I can recreate it, if needs be.

Flower T Shirt Embellishment

Ha! When I said I’d get this tutorial up “soon” did anyone else realize that my soon usually is about a week (give or take)? 
Yeah, I’m a bit slow, but this time I can blame it all on the USPS. I don’t think that this whole “ship your package to the nearest large city via FedEx/UPS, then hand it to the post office to deliver it” system is anywhere near efficient. 
I live in a rural town. It takes a few days for things to show up from the “drop-off” town. And has the USPS ever been known for it’s quick delivery?  I guess I shouldn’t really complain, seeing as how the shipping was free, but something silly like that has never stopped me from complaining about inefficiency 😉
Anyways, for this tutorial, I ordered two shirts from LandsEnd, since their quality is substantially higher than WalMart’s (which is what I made my first shirt out of) and they had a bunch of their tshirts on sale for $4 (plus the aforementioned free shipping). I really liked their shadow stripe fabric, but not the idea of layering, so I bought a solid v neck shirt and a tank in the coordinating shadow stripe to cut the flowers out of. 
Now that the shirts are here, I can honestly say that I really love the feel of the cotton knit and even though it’s their “modern” fit, LandsEnd cuts their shirts just shy of being baggy to cut down on cling. Which, for my quasi apple shape, is essential in masking a muffin top.
So yesterday, I spent the late afternoon/early evening making the flower embellishments so I could wear the shirt to my hubby’s birthday dinner.  And today, I whipped up the pattern instead of working out. Hopefully it ends up being a good trade….
A few things of note, before you start your own:

  • I made big flowers because I have. a. big. chest. Please feel free to adjust the width of your strips to fit your chest size. (smaller for smaller busts, larger for larger chests) But don’t make them too narrow, or they’ll be a pain to sew.
  • Flower placement is all up to you. There is no special formula to laying them out on your shirt. Just play around with your flowers until it looks good to you. If you need inspiration, check out Anthropologie or JCrew.
  • I apologize now for the quality of the pictures. I had the ISO set really high for some mid day, high sun pictures I took and completely forgot to change the settings before I started shooting this project. So, they are a bit fuzzy. Sorry about that…
  • And there will inevitably be spelling errors in the tutorial, even though I’ve read through the thing a dozen times. **cough**rachel**cough**
Alright, enough text!
Here’s the tutorial (clickety click to make it big)

Origami Hibiscus Flower Shirt Embelishment

A few weeks ago, I mentioned this sweater from Old Navy that I had fallen in love with. The price tag was a bit much for a thin cardi (I’m totally cheap, fyi), so I decided to take the idea and make it my own.


My mom let me go through all of her fabric origami books, looking for the square flower that they had used. Turns out, it’s called a Hibiscus flower. I love, love, love the shape.  Turns out, that while a bit time consuming, they are pretty simple to make. Right up my alley! 
As soon as I find the book (which may just be out of print), I’ll post a link to it. Sorry kiddos, no tutorials on copyrighted patterns 🙂
Anyways, I bought a cheap deep v-neck short sleeved shirt from the afore mentioned store and hauled out my fabric scraps (the nearest fabric store, aside from a quilting store, is a 1/2 hr away, so no new fabric for this project). After fiddling with a few fabrics in varying weights and colors, I decided to use a light weight light blue shirt fabric. 
Regular weight cotton or linen was too bulky for the size flowers I wanted (about 1″x1″) and looked a little too quilt-y. Eyelet and other open weaved fabrics started to look messy the more folded up they got. So, lightweight (very very thin cotton, lining fabric, light shirtweights, silk, etc) fabric was the only way to keep the form with out the bulk. And keep the flowers from looking like a wearable quilt. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about.
I used three strands of embrodiery floss and used running stitches to tack down the flowers. It created a great x in the middle of the flower, just like the ON sweater. I think this step was the most time consuming, but I love hand stitching, so it didn’t bother me.
After 5 days of working on and off (probably two hours total, not including the trial and error up to getting the right look), I finished the embelishments, attached them with more embroidery floss and wore it today.
No compliments and the hubby thought it was too much, but I love it!

I really need a tripod – this was the only way I could get a shot of me wearing the shirt! Don’t mind the mess of my crap room…