DIY {BE...} Appliqued Tees

Thursday, June 28, 2012

This is going to be one of the very few tutorials I post over the summer and I'm really excited to share it with you. My good friend Laura of Laura Winslow Photography and I were chatting over dinner a few weeks ago how our little guys (both just 5 years old) are *already* starting to feel pressure from friends and classmates to act a certain way, hang out with certain kids, or do certain things. We both feel strongly (really, I'm sure most parents do) that it's our job to give them the confidence and sense of self worth that they need to be comfortable with who they are. We came up with these designs and this super fun shoot to help our kiddos learn to embrace who they are and let their unique personalities really shine. 

Laura is not only an amazing photographer, but she is the one person who can really get my kids to be themselves in front of the camera.  They had such a blast with this shoot and it was so fun to see Laura in action. I'm pretty sure her mantra is BE AWESOME - because she totally is. To see more photos from our fun day (and to read a far more eloquent reasoning behind this idea), you can visit Laura's blog here. Take your time. It's pretty amazing.

We thought it would be fun to create a tutorial of this and share these three designs with you all. Yay for you! Aside from the designs you see in these photos, you can create so many others...BE UNIQUE, BE YOURSELF, BE HAPPY, etc. I kept these designs short so I didn't have to sew too many letters. 

What You'll Need:

Blank t-shirt, one piece, or tank (pre-washed)
Felt or fabric piece for the applique (I prefer to use eco-fi felt by Kunin - it holds up great in the wash)
  Sewing Machine or embroidery floss and needle
Scissors (small scissors with a pointy tip work best)
Fusible webbing
  Templates for the applique (download here - BE RAD, BE COOL, BE KIND). Adjust the size of your template as needed. 

 Since I use Heat n Bond, my instructions will follow Heat n Bond's instructions. If you are using a different fusible web, simply change out my instructions with the instructions on the package. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact me and I can help you. 

Getting Started:

The first thing you'll want to do is take the template and place it under a sheet of your fusible webbing. Take your pencil and trace your letters on to the webbing. Any time you applique letters or numbers, you'll want to trace them in the reverse since you will flip them when you adhere them to your garment.

 Next you'll want to iron your webbing onto your felt or fabric. For Heat n Bond, set it on the "wool" setting (NO STEAM). Iron the design onto the felt or fabric for about 3 or so seconds so it looks like this:

Carefully cut out your letters. Peel off the paper backing.

Place the letters exactly where you want them on the t-shirt with the glossy/fusible webbing side face down. Iron the appliques on to the t-shirt pressing for about 10 seconds. I ironed BE first and then KIND second. Again be sure to use the wool setting with no steam. Check to be sure that the appliques are firmly adhered to the shirt.

At this point, you can either hand stitch the letters using a basic straight stitch (great tutorial here) or you can use a sewing machine. I usually prefer to hand stitch but for this project I used my machine. If you use your machine, you'll do a running stitch just inside the border of each letter.

Once the letters are stitched, trim the thread and you are finished.

Easy, fun, cute, encouraging.

 As always, if you get stuck on a step, feel free to let me know so I can help!
A HUGE thank you to Laura Winslow Photography for these amazing photos and designs.

Camping at Big Lake

Tuesday, June 19, 2012
This past weekend we took the boys camping up at Big Lake (near Eagar, AZ). This is one of the few areas of Arizona I've yet to visit and I was absolutely blown away at the beauty. If you've never been to Arizona or you've just stuck to the Phoenix area, you might not know that there are rich, green pine forests and rolling meadows covering a lot of the state. Although I love the raw beauty of the desert, it's nice to escape (especially when it's 110+ degrees).

I grew up camping and used to be able to hang with the best of them but since I've gotten older, I've learned that I appreciate a few camping "luxuries" like flush toilets and showers. I did my research and found the perfect campground for us - Apache Trout Campground right next to Big Lake. Gorgeous. As soon as we arrived, the boys dove right in and started exploring.

Sticks and dirt. Life doesn't get much better for Oliver.

Once we got settled, we headed down to the lake to check it out. We could have stayed there for hours but it was getting super cold so we headed back for dinner.

Unfortunately, I decided it would be a really fun idea to come down with strep throat after a five hour drive to go camping so we had to cut our trip short after just one night. I did manage to pump enough ibuprofen so we could spend the next morning exploring roads to nowhere, giant skies and giant clouds before we headed home.

Thankfully, I am on the mend and looking forward to another adventure this weekend. More on that soon. I hope you are all staying healthy and enjoying summer!

Blogging Over at All for the Boys

Wednesday, June 6, 2012
As a mom of two little guys, All for the Boys is one of the few blogs I read daily and I'm excited to be guest blogging for my friend Allison today while she's on vacation with her family. It's a tutorial you may have seen here but in case you haven't, pop on over there and check it out. And while you're there, check out all of the other guests posts she's lined up so far - fun, fun stuff.

Thanks for having me, Allison!