Yes! I did it! I finally made something for Yuki that she really likes!
I have to admit, I’m pretty psyched about this project. A couple of months ago I saw a little toddler wearing a tunic that was similar and definitely had an “I can make that!” moment. Well the idea has been rolling around in my head since then and I just needed the time to do it. Isn’t that what KCW is all about!?
The theme for this Kid’s Clothes Week is “Mini Me” so I decided to make one for little sister as well. Yuki loved that she and Kaya had matching shirts! Unfortunately, Kaya wasn’t really feeling the photo shoot. But I have a feeling she really loves the shirt too :P
Yuki says, “Can you see my panda ears?” The 3D ears are definitely the most fun feature of these shirts. And though these are pandas, you can really make this shirt into almost any animal! Want to make one for your favorite animal lover? I made a tutorial!
Here’s what you’ll need:
- a raglan t-shirt pattern (I used the Oliver + S Field Trip Raglan T-shirt Pattern, but you can use any, or draft your own)
- knit fabric (refer to your pattern for amounts) and coordinating thread
- scraps of fabric for the ears (knit or woven)
- freezer paper
- precision knife/scissors
- fabric paint and brush (be sure to read all the directions on your fabric paint before you begin your project)
To get started, cut out all your shirt pieces as your pattern directs (shirt front, back, two sleeves and a neckband). Lay out the front shirt piece and place your freezer paper on top, shiny side down. Sketch your animal face.
Make a pattern piece for the ears. We will add a small pleat to the ear, so add a little width to the base and also 1/4 around for seam allowance.
Carefully cut out your stencil, making sure to keep any small pieces you need to place on the inside of your stencil, like the eyes.
Place your stencil where you want on the shirt (shiny side down) and iron it on using a high heat setting. Be sure to press well especially around the edges of the design.
Put your fabric on cardboard or paper, in case the paint seeps through. Apply the fabric paint in a thin and even coat. Try not to paint towards the edges of the stencil to avoid sweeping paint under the stencil. Wait till the paint is mostly dry (30 minutes) and apply another thin and even coat.
Allow the paint to dry completely before peeling off the stencil.
What a fun (and slightly nerve wracking) moment :)
Now for the sewing part. Cut out 4 ear pieces.
Place two ear pieces right sides together and pin. Repeat for other pair.
Sew along the curved edges with a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Leave the bottom open. Trim the curved edge to 1/8 inch.
Turn right side out and press. Add a small pleat to the center of the ear (the two ears should have pleats going the opposite direction). Pin and sew pleat in place.
Trim the bottom edge so it is straight again.
Figure out where you want your ear on the shirt front and align the raw edges, right sides together. Pin and baste the ear in place 1/8 inch from the edge).
Now we will attach the sleeve to the shirt front. Align the raw edges of the shirt front and the sleeve front, right sides together. The ear should be sandwiched in between. Pin and sew according to the pattern directions.
Finish edge if desired. Press the seam allowance towards the shirt and the ear pointing “up” towards the sleeve. On the right side of the shirt, top stitch the ear to the sleeve close to the seam.
Repeat on the other side with the second ear.
Now finish the shirt as directed in your pattern and voila! An awesome panda shirt for your little one!
Trust me, I reeeeeally think they’ll like it!
Now I’d seriously love to see what other animals you guys can make into shirts!! If you use this tutorial to make a fun animal shirt, please let me know! You can add a picture to the you & mie flickr group or just leave me a comment or email me. I imagine a whole zoo of fun animal shirts :)
It was so great to just make something fun, not for a specific project. Thanks for the motivation Kid’s Clothes Week! Hope you’ve been able to make something fun too!