the dinosaur

This is one of my favorite boy shirts to date! I hope I continue on this trend so every project I make is always better than the last. I found the material for this shirt at a “local” fabric store. Quotes on the local because it’s really 2 hours away, but I seem to go there quite often regardless. I had to buy it because the blue was so pretty and the fabric was sooooo light and super soft. Both my kids have a thing for soft. Rand always asks me is it’s going to be soft on the inside too. This definitely fit the bill.

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I have to admit, this post is making me cry. Just 2 years ago, my sweet boy was an even sweeter toddler and so cute and little…. The shirt on the left was his first Rand-A-Saur shirt and also the inspiration for his second Rand-A-Saur shirt. He’s of course grown out of both so I had to make him a third! It’s funny, the nickname Rand-A-Saur actually comes from my sister who stayed with us for a summer after she graduated before Rand turned 1. When she would feed him, she would always sing, “more, more, more, more, never feed a Rand-A-Saur, MOOOOOORE!” Apparently it’s an actual song. It stuck though. He’s been my Rand-A-Saur ever since.

I wanted to use the same applique that I used in the second shirt, but it was lost on my old computer. Luckily, I was able to find it again online after searching for a day. The original idea was to just re-make his second shirt in different colors. My original plans never quite work out though. I cut out the dinosaur head and decided I needed a background to go under it. After searching and searching for something that I could use, I found a sweet picture but wasn’t able to turn it into a stencil because the resolution was so small. I ended up making my own stencil using the same graphic that I used for the sparks on his construction shirt. I just put 3 or 4 together, rotated them, cropped them into a circle and voila!
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Here is a little bit of my process. I used my Cricut to cut out this stencil on freezer paper. This one took about 30 minutes to cut because it was so intricate. Too bad I forgot to make sure my circle was a perfect circle instead of an oval and had to re-cut it…. I really thought about just using my slightly wonky circle… no one would notice right? Well, I’m glad I fixed it because I think the perfect circle really stands out on the finished product. I would have regretted using an inferior stencil.

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So I ironed on the stencil and painted it. The first color turned out to be a little too blue-green. I’m not super awesome at mixing colors. I ended up painting over it and fading the light gray to dark gray. When it was done I thought it looked a little spacey… It kind of reminded me of the Death Star. What do you think? Then I regretted my color choice because I didn’t think the brown dinosaur would look that great over the gray. Husband to the rescue again! He convinced me to just sew it on before I went and cut out another applique in white. He was right. It looks great! I shouldn’t second guess myself so much. Side note: Gray/Grey?? Which one is correct? I seem to use them interchangeably.

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What a silly face. I thought about adding “Rand-A-Saur” somehow to the bottom of the shirt. I decided it looked great the way it was and left it off. Now it looks too grown-up… that’s why this post is making me cry. Kids grow up way too fast. I don’t even remember Rand when he was a baby or toddler. Is that why people have more than one child? To keep the adventure of all ages in the house? Every age is just as fun as the last. I’m excited to see where this kid goes in life.

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I never do his hair. He was so funny about it. Every time I brushed by him or wanted him to do something, he worried about whether his hair was still ok. He is quite the perfectionist in so many ways.

I’m now caught up on all the projects I’ve been doing this last year. I’m excited to share my new projects with you. I just finished my jumper so the tutorial is coming soon! It’s probably the cutest thing I’ve ever seen.

slicer shirt

This shirt was one of those ideas that I had imagined very differently in my head from how it turned out. I had this super lightweight material and I knew my son would want a shirt out of it because green is the only color he sees. I thought it should be a construction shirt since he had been asking for one. So I asked him what kind of machine he wanted on the shirt, and then began the loooong process. I like things quick and easy so this was quite the undertaking to finish. We spent 2 days trying to find the right construction machine to put on it. Apparently I have a very particular boy on my hands. He was quite insistent that he have a crane with both a hook and a grabber… Impossible right? After 2 days I finally convinced him that there was no such thing and showed him that all my attempts to combine the 2 looked ridiculous. He settled on this “slicer” which is probably a log cutter or something and was very excited.

So I cut out the stencil on my cricut from freezer paper and painted it….

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This is what happened. It doesn’t look terrible, but it doesn’t look great either. The black I used, took to the fabric like ink and was blacker than any black I’ve ever seen. Beside the black, the slicer looked dull and from a distance you couldn’t even tell what it was. I was sad. It took me forever to paint the stencil in different colors and do a few layers of paint. I absolutely hate to re-do anything but the idea of it just wouldn’t go away. I decided to throw it away and start again. Thank heavens it was cheap material and I had 2 yards of it 🙂 I always over-buy yardage. This time, I made the stencil a bit different in the track part and I made it a little bigger.

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See how I painstakingly ironed in those teeny tiny pieces in the track? It’s definitely not like me to spend so much time making something look just a little bit better. It really made all the difference though. If you’ve never done freezer paper stenciling before, I’m going to do a full tutorial on it the next time I do one. I’ve had a couple requests. Two things to remember are 1) waxy side down so that it irons to the fabric and 2) be sure to cut your words out accordingly so they aren’t backwards.

This was actually the first of three stencils. I painted the machine on, adding white to the black so it wouldn’t look so inky, but I thought that it needed something more. I knew I wanted to do sparks from the beginning, but I wanted some wow. I decided metal would be cool and implemented that idea as shown… I’m not in love but it IS pretty cool. I didn’t think it was going to work at first. I used a sparkle silver and boy was it sparkly! I had to bring in my husband for his opinion on whether or not it looked too girly. He assured me that metal could have a little sparkle. It ended up washing mostly away anyway.

As always, there is a lot I would do differently if I were to ever re-create this piece. Maybe it would help if I drew out the whole design first instead of going step by step without thought for the future 🙂 My drawing skills aren’t quite up to par for that task though… I think I’ll stick to the haphazard processes of Ariel. They serve me pretty well.

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It’s all about the kids though right? When I finished this shirt, he wore it for three days straight. I think he likes it just a little bit. The sparks are his favorite part. They are mine as well.

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Mr. fake smile.

Don’t all the cut down branches look great for a background? And the pots and stumps off my porch? I really am a pro at photography 😉

See you next time for another toddler girl tee. This one is super easy. I’ll probably be working on the bubble romper for a week or 2 so don’t get too excited about that yet. But DO get excited. It will be awesome… just not yet 🙂

Hearts Shirt

Can I just tell you? I have been having the worst luck with my projects lately! It started with this heart shirt. I was so excited about the heart stencil. At first I was thinking I should do a black heart on the blue. It just didn’t feel like my baby to me. She needs bright colors. So I started painting the pink. I was having a hard time getting the color I wanted. I painted over it a few times to get it right. Well, on the last coat of paint I accidentally dripped paint on the shirt! Like, a whole long line from the shoulder to the heart!!!! AAAAAHHHHHHH. I freaked out. I was so mad. I immediately took it to the kitchen and started scrubbing it with hairspray. I saturated and scrubbed and rinsed and repeated.

TADA! It worked! If you ever want to get wet fabric paint out of your fabric, YOU CAN DO IT!

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Unfortunately the story doesn’t end there. When you get fabric wet, it spreads… In this case the water spread under my stencil and into my wet paint. I was hoping that since the stencil was stuck on, the paint wouldn’t bleed. No such luck. I tried to use a Q-tip soaked in hairspray to get between the design and clean it up, but it just made the paint around it bleed more. This was even after it had dried. I was going to throw it away. It looked terrible. My husband calmed me down and told me to just wash it in the washer and see what happened. I did. It didn’t come out.

While I was waiting, I had an idea. Thus, the second heart on this shirt was born. I cut strips out of a tee shirt, ruffled them down the middle and sewed them on in the shape of the heart.  I actually think it looks better than it did without it! You can still see a tiny bit of the bleeding above the white heart, but it does a pretty great job covering most of the mess. It’s great when you can make something wonderful out of an awful mistake.

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Aren’t those sleeves the cutest? They also looked pretty bad before I fixed them. I always forget that when making little girls shirts, the sleeves need to be quite short. I made them too long and they looked a little boyish. It was super easy to sew an elastic up the middle and bring them up. I just used a normal straight stitch and stretched the elastic as I went. The result was nice bunchy, girly sleeves.

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That tongue! She is always sticking it out. I think she likes her new heart shirt.

I know I said this was just the start to all my sewing mishaps. You are sure to hear about the rest as I post my next projects!

HAPPY

I’m going to be posting quite a few baby girl outfits I’ve been working on this month. This is the first of about 4 tops that I’ve made for baby girl and I’m so HAPPY with all of them. Ha ha… This project actually started out with a ruined shirt. I made the mistake of letting my baby eat spaghetti in a white shirt. Could I have cleaned it? Maybe… I didn’t really want to try that hard though. The shirt had some issues already anyway.

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This is after I cut it all apart to make a pattern. As you can see, the sequins were coming off. That was more than enough reason for me to make something new. So like I said, I cut the shirt up to make my pattern. I used some awesomely soft material that I got at Wal-Mart. I’ve been going for darker colors as I think they are safer for babies. Why do they make all little girl’s clothes in white and pale pink??? I vote for spill hiding colors from now on!

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Yep, that’s right! Some great yardage for $3! I love shopping the clearance isles.  I used the rest of the material to make the dress I’ll show you in the next post.

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She really is such a happy girl. Love her so much!

moto tee

When I asked my son what kind of shirt he wanted, of course he said motorcycle. He loves motorcycles. Sometimes, his dad lets him ride on the back of his Harley, from the sidewalk to the garage. It’s only about 20 yards, don’t worry. So here we have the motorcycle shirt. Not too fancy, and a repurposed shirt from his grandma as usual. My husband came up with the tag “steel horse.” I didn’t execute it quite as well as I would have liked. I know it’s hard to tell that the second word is horse. I’m thinking my new fabric paints should help that problem in the future.

The other obsession of my son of late is quarters. If he finds or is given one, he holds onto it for days! When I say he holds on to it, I mean it is in his hand 24/7. He goes to sleep with it clasped in his fingers, and wakes up with it still there. That is quite a feat. We’ve convinced him to use his pockets for most of the day, but that means that he will only wear 2 of his shirts… the ones with pockets. His pant pockets are too tight.

Sooooo you guessed it. This one has an added pocket. I used my pocket tutorial and just added one for him into the side seam. He loves it.

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And there he is, posing in front of his “motorcycle.” My husband added the lawnmower wheels for his training wheels.

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Little devil. I love making things for him. He always says, “thank you mommy, for making this for me.”

You are welcome son!