Dirty Laundry T-Shirt

I don’t sew. I like to dabble in crafts, I’m teaching myself to knit… but I don’t sew.  I wish I could sew, but that’s another matter entirely.  The other day I caught an episode of She’s Crafty – on, like, one of three channels we get now – and the guest was Teresa Findlay of Dirty Laundry.  She upcycled an old t-shirt (or a new one, if you prefer) using embroidery thread and felt decals, and I thought it was fabulous.  Especially since you don’t need to use a sewing machine.  Or complicated stitches.

I didn’t write the directions down, assuming I could fine them online.  I eventually found a tutorial for a recycled t-shirt based on the episode, and I cross-referenced this with the actual t-shirts on the Dirty Laundry website.

A while back I bought some plain white baby shirts and a fire truck decal, and thought this would be perfect for the project.  The shirt is small, I wouldn’t have to make my own decal, and I’d have a super cool new shirt for Josiah to wear.  Let’s see how it turned out…

embroidery thread
embroidery needle
straight pins
iron-on decal

Cut along the sides and arms, following the serged edges (simplified by turning it inside-out).

Use tons of pins to hold it together.

I found it easiest to start at the bottom and work my way around the armhole, then the bottom of the armhole, finishing with the neckline. I think it’s just a simple running stitch, and I suppose you should try to make the as uniform as possible.

Iron on decal according to package directions.

Ta-da! It’s size 18 months, and J’s only 15 months, but look at that pudgy belly!

It’s super-cute, but I’m going to consider it my practice round. Because of the infant-style cross-over neckline, it was a pain to stitch.   And made the neckhole considerably tighter. *sigh*

Then I tried one of Gwendolyn’s old shirts; it’s cute, but once again the neckline needs a bit of help.  Since there’s already a decal on this shirt, I didn’t have to do anything extra to it.

Because of the raw edges, the material is supposed to curl or fray with use. Uber-cool.