Leggi questo post in: Italiano
It’s that time of the year again. You know, when your Facebook feed is full of first day of school pictures? Yes, back to school! Where we live, kids up through 5th grade have to wear these hideous smocks, but in the hotter months they’re allowed to wear a white t-shirt. I, of course, find plain white t-shirts terribly boring, so I like to embellish them (like I did with these spiral applique t-shirts and this other ruffled t-shirt).
Nicky did one year of private school/day care before he was old enough to start public nursery school last year. These two shirts were part of his school’s summer uniform. They were still in perfectly wearable condition, but I don’t like my kids going around like walking advertisements and in any case I don’t think his current school would appreciate him coming dressed in another school’s shirt. So what did I do?
I grabbed a bunch of t-shirt scraps left over from other projects in various shades of blue…
…and made some ombre stripes!
This could be done in a simpler way than I’ll show you here, but I wanted a perfectly clean effect, without any raw edges sticking out. To do this, I opened up the sleeves to be able to enclose the ends of the stripes. See? You would never say that these shirts hadn’t been made like this in the first place! Would you like to learn how to cover up logos on clothes with applique stripes? Then read on!
First off, let’s take some measurements. Measure how high the space you want covered is. Be sure to leave at least 1 cm above and below the logo. Imagine that you want it 15 cm high. Divide your measurement by the number of stripes you want. I made one shirt with three stripes and another with four. In this case, let’s say you want three stripes, so 15 / 3= 5 cm each, which is how high each stripe will look. Now add 2 cm for seam allowance. So 5 + 2 = 7 cm. This is the height that you will cut each stripe.
As for the width, measure across your shirt in the widest part of the area to be covered, close to the armpit. (I suggest not making your applique go over the armpit itself because it will be more complicated to sew back together again.) Add at least 2 cm to this measurement. So if your measurement across was 30 cm, your final width will be at least 32 cm. Therefore, for this example, you need to cut three strips of fabric 7 cm high and 32 cm across. Be sure to cut the strips horizontally across the grain of your jersey fabric, so that the tiny stripes of ribbing run down the short side (in this case, the 7 cm side). If you sew jersey fabric with the grain running in different directions, you will have problems, so don’t even try it! (You can read more about grain in this machine sewing lesson.)
Pin two adjacent stripes together, right sides facing. Then, using a ballpoint needle, sew down the long side with a 1 cm seam allowance. Continue pinning and sewing all of your stripes together in the order that you want them.
This is what the back will look like when you’re done.
Open up the fabric at the seams and iron it flat.
Then fold the edges of the two outer stripes in by 1 cm and iron flat. Press again from the front, and your stripes are all ready!
Let’s prepare the t-shirt. Position your sewn stripes over the logo to be covered. Again, make sure that they don’t get too close to the armpit. Mark just above and below the four corners with pins.
Remove the stripes and turn the shirt inside out carefully so that the pins stay in place. Using a seam ripper, open up the seam between the pins on both sleeves.
Remove the pins and turn the shirt back right side out. You now have an opening in each sleeve.
Pin the stripes back in place.
Be sure to pin up to the very edge of the t-shirt fabric, beyond the original seam.
Sew the stripes in place as close as possible to the edge, starting from beyond the original seam as seen in the previous photo. Sew slowly to avoid bunching of the fabric. I found it useful to use a blind hem foot for the bottom edge. On the top edge closest to the collar it was impossible to position the stripes to the left in order to use that foot, so I used a regular zig-zag foot with the needle moved all the way over to the left.
Now the top and bottom of your stripe panel is attached and the sides are still open.
Turn the inside-out again. Line up the seams that you ripped open earlier, positioning the ends of the stripes between them. Make sure that the stripes are flat against the front of the t-shirt and not pulled out in the center. Trim the stripe panel to make sure that the original shirt seams are lined up perfectly and pin in place.
Here’s another perspective of how the three layers are pinned together.
Making sure your fabric is flat, sew along the original seam lines. You can use a regular sewing machine or an overlock machine (as I did).
And you’re done! Turn the shirt right side out and admire your work!
Look how perfect the applique is with the ends sewn into the arm seams! Very professional!
Now go do it with a second (or third, or fourth…) t-shirt!
And put them on your adorable little model! (Who you just might need to bribe with bocce balls….)
There are no extra itchy or bothersome bits on the inside of the shirt, so your little guy can run and jump and play without distractions.
(Until, of course, he finally gets fed up with his photographer….)
So now we have two more white t-shirts that Mr. Nicholas can wear to school… or play bocce in! (By the way, see those trucks in the background? Those are some of the many carnival rides under our balcony that I complained about on Instagram the other day.)
Are you preparing your kids for school, too? Don’t forget that you can still get a 10% discount on Sticker Kid labels with the exclusive Cucicucicoo discount code! Order from any regional website of Sticker Kid and use the code “CUCICUCICOO” at checkout. (You can read my review of these very durable customized name stickers and labels here.)
Question of the day: Do you do back-to-school shopping for your kids?
When I was little, I used to love back-to-school shopping. I’d plan my first few outfits of the school year with excitement. Now I truly despise shopping and in any case pledged a couple of years ago to no longer buy any new clothing for my kids or myself as a form of protest against fast-fashion, sweat shops and underpricing human labor. I now only make or refashion our clothing, accept hand-me-downs or buy used clothes. I suppose that I could always sew some special back-to-school outfits for my kids, but I never manage to do these sort of things in time. Though last year I did manage to get Nicky’s school backpack ready for him in time. I guess that’s something, at least!