Sunday, January 26, 2014

O Canada Birthday T-Shirt: PASS

My kid and I have started a tradition of a custom t-shirt for his birthday. The deal is simple: he designs, I sew. This year he chose red and white stripes with a Canadian flag and the number eight. My husband the artist convinced him that just the maple leaf element of the flag would suffice.

With this year's simple design (vs. the six or seven colors of years past), I could get smart about the process:

  • Bought big t-shirts half-off at the thrift store instead of trying to scrounge the bits I needed from my old t-shirt stash.
  • Made the stripes twice as wide as last year which so there were fewer strips to sew and hems to match.
  • Began my stripe cutting and sewing at the Southeast Michigan Crafty Meetup, where I could cut on a table instead of the floor and chat during the mindless part of the project.
The pattern is Rae's Flashback Skinny Tee, which I HIGHLY recommend if you sew for children. It includes detailed instructions as well as collar and cuff variations for when you're not using thrifted t-shirts.

Do you sew for other people? And if so, how much do you let them steer the design process? (I think when folks heard I was rolling with my kid's insistence that the stripes be actual strips of fabric instead of applique, they thought I was nuts...)


  1. What a fantastic shirt. I think it is really great that you made the stripes out of fabric as designed. The idea of letting him design the shirt is what makes it so fun and exciting. If you mess with his design, the process would lose a little of its purpose. Hope he enjoyed his day.

    1. Thanks, Anna! I think you're right about staying true to the design. And I remind myself of that each time I'm sewing t-shirt strips together. :)