A different kind of reveal ….

Hi there,

It’s been quite a while since I have managed to actually write a post and for that I feel a bit defeated. The school holidays have been so full on and my main goal has been to keep the kiddies entertained rather than writing! With just 2 weeks of the holidays left however I hope this is soon to change and normal service can resume.

This little project has turned out far better than I would have originally thought and has really ignited my enthusiasm for something bigger but more of that later. Let me start from the beginning ….

One of my friend’s is taking her daughter to Disneyland in Florida for her 13th birthday in a few months time and as you can imagine, a great deal of planning and mainly saving has gone into the preparations. When my friend first told me about the trip, I immediately thought that I would like to create something for it and asked if she had any ideas – she is as obsessed with Pinterest as I am! The idea of personalised t-shirts was floated and I then began to do my own research for unique ways that I could fulfil this brief. I had some Disney fabric that my friend had previously given me to make Disney-themed fabric covered eggs for Easter (see previous post http://treasuredbuttons.co.uk/fabric-not-faberge/ ) and along with a plain t-shirt, I had all that I needed.

While I was exploring the idea of appliqueing (this being a separate post coming up), I stumbled upon the method of reverse applique; this being the method of cutting out an outline from a top layer of fabric and a second layer of fabric being exposed from underneath. I immediately loved the concept and being keen to try something new, I decided that this would be my method of personalising the t-shirt.

I decided that I would use a simple design, partly because this was my first attempt at reverse applique and also because my friend’s daughter would prefer something a bit more understated. In the small pile of different Disney fabric that I had available, this was my favourite and I thought it went quite well with the blue t-shirt – I hope!

My 1st task was to find a suitably sized template of a Mickey Mouse silhouette and use this to cut out the fabric. I have recently purchased a set of fabric pens that are just like using a ballpoint pen to mark out fabric and templates and which marks disappear once exposed to heat – I never did get on with tailor’s chalk. Once my fabric shape was cut out, I needed to pin this to the inside of the front of the t-shirt. I turned the t-shirt inside out and placed the outline face down onto the t-shirt fabric. I spent quite a while on this as I really did not want to damage the t-shirt fabric by having the unpick any stitches if they were in the wrong place. I didn’t want the design to be too high on the t-shirt either so I really wanted to take my time with the positioning of the design. Once I was happy with the position, I needed to pin the fabric in place for me to stitch around it. Again, this had to be done very carefully so as to only pin the design to the first layer of t-shirt. So many possibilities for error – it would be just my luck to be happily stitching the design in place, to then realise that I had stitched both layers of the t-shirt and it couldn’t actually be worn!

Once the Mickey Mouse design had been stitched into place and secured, now was for the fun bit! I turned the t-shirt out the correct way, which leaves you with a stitched outline. I was very critical of my stitch line at this stage, as is often the case and briefly considered going back over the stitches but I decided to see how it turned out once I had completed the next step. I now needed to cut around the outline but inside the stitch line and so pulled up the front layer of the t-shirt fabric, having to make sure that I was only going to be cutting through the top layer of fabric and not through to the Disney fabric itself. Having made a slight incision in the top fabric to reveal the Disney fabric underneath, I was able to squeeze my scissors into the space in between the fabrics and cut a longer line. This was the exciting bit! I called my eldest over to see what I was doing and he watched as I carefully cut away the blue fabric to reveal the Disney fabric underneath – he thought it was magic and I have to agree!

All that was needed now was for me to cut away the remaining fabric and tidy up the edges close to the stitch line. I wanted to trim as close to the stitch line as I could so as much of the Disney fabric was showing as possible but in retrospect, I may have cut a bit too close to the line. The beauty of the outline design fabric being stitched in place is that the t-shirt fabric edges will not frey past the stitch line and so if I was to leave more of the outer fabric around the edge, this would only frey up to the stitch line and possibly add a bit of a shabby look to the t-shirt design.

I am really pleased with how the finished t-shirt has turned out and so is my friend. Only time will tell if her daughter likes it too but I will have to wait a little longer to find that out. I am so pleased in fact that I am thinking of making more and have already been thinking of possible designs using different fabrics and characters. The possibilities really are endless.

I really enjoyed customising this t-shirt and already have ideas for making some for my boys in the near future. I’d love to know what you think and whether or not this would be a product that you think many people would pay for. Let me know your thoughts!

Thanks for listening!

Till next time

L x

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