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Comics Inspired Sweatshirt Tutorial

Over the last couple of weeks I have sewn up some of my favorite handmade gifts for worthy kiddos.  This time around I leaned on Comics inspired graphics as subject matter but over the years I have made multiple variations of these towel shirts.  They have taken on the forms of monsters.  They have displayed beakers for a kid science day.  I once made one of these sweatshirts for my kids’ swimming teacher with fish, bubbles and all.  The possibilities are endless with your imagination as a guide.  And do you want to know the best part: THEY ARE SUPER EASY AND INEXPENSIVE TO MAKE!

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And because we all could use simple, inexpensive, handmade gifts that even teens like in our arsenal, I thought I would share my methods.

Supplies:

Sweatshirt or tshirt

Towels (old or new)

Thread to match your towels

Misty Fuse

Stick on Stabilizer (I used Sulky Sticky +)

Graphic Design for your shirt, Scissors, an iron, sewing machine and marking pen

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Step One: Cut out the graphic design you will use.  Iron on Misty Fuse to the back of the towels.  Flip the graphic design outline so the front is facing the Misty Fuse side of the towel and draw around it.  Cut out the towel pieces you will use on your shirt.

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Step 2: Place your cut out graphic over the fusible stabilizer and cut out the appropriate size.  Flip the shirt/sweatshirt inside out and peal off the paper.  Place the fusible backing on the inside of the shirt in the position you plan to put your graphic image.

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 Step 3: Flip the shirt/sweatshirt right side out again and center your background graphic image making sure to position it over the stabilizer on the inside of the shirt.  Iron on the first background image then using a zigzag stitch with thread that matches the towel, zigzag around all edges.

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Step 4: Repeat the last step with your top graphics and iron in place.  Zigzag using thread that matches your towel around all edges.  When all graphics have been fused and sewn in place use scissors to trim any frayed threads.

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Step 5: Turn the shirt/sweatshirt inside out and trim or pull away the excess stabilizer.

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Now wasn’t that easy?!  The one thing to remember with these towel shirts is that with time, the fabric can fray a bit and may need a “haircut” to trim them off.  After a few washes this is rarely necessary but I always tell gift recipients when I give them away.

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Happy Creating.

 

Hillary

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I’m Done Breaking the Rules

Ha, that would be a no! I am done however with my Break the Rules Baby Quilt.  Like most quilts, this one started as an image in my brain that was made into fabric without much planning. There’s some magic for me cutting and sewing without putting it on paper first.  I explain the origins of this quilt in a previous post here:

Let’s Break the Rules. Shall We? | Entropy Always Wins.

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You might hate me if you knew how easy this quilt was.  No question it is a design that could go a few different ways.  This is the third quilt I’ve made with canvas which gives a definite matte look and also adds weight.  I think it will hold up to the rigors of a baby/toddler well.

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My recent love affair with minimalism is reinforced by the fact that I like the back as much as the front.  Though the substrates may have been “low brow” (ikea canvas, remnant bin denim) it was quilted with “high brow” Aurifil thread.  (Oh my, I love that stuff.)

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I’m hoping to break out my newly purchased fabric dyes later this week.  There are a few projects in my brain that “need” hand dyed fabric.

Hillary

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Everyone Loves Catwoman

Hey everyone!  I’m back from LA invigorated . . . and determined to get in better shape.  Going to LA and being around all those crazy fit, beautiful folks will do that to you I guess?  Unfortunately I missed seeing my friend Lori.  We were hoping for a quick meet up but her honeymoon trip to Italy got in the way-priorities, priorities.   BUT I did get to meet with some college friends and we had so much fun.  There is nothing like hanging out with gals you’ve known since the age of 18 to help put everything in perspective.

One of the bonuses of the trip was that the Noodlehead Envelope Clutch (Noodlehead Envelope Clutch with Umbrella Prints Fabric | Entropy Always Wins.) I made and gifted made it’s way last week to a Democratic Fundraiser . . . featuring President Obama . . . at Gwenyth Paltrow’s house?!  They confiscated all cell phones and cameras at the door so we didn’t get any pics of the bag with celebrities but it was surreal to get the texts from my friend afterward.  I mean, what do you say to Julia Roberts when she is sitting next to you?  To be honest these famous people sounded pretty grounded and lovely.

IMG_0749Oh, how I’ve loved sewing since returning.  I am completely geeking out on minimalist designs.  The baby quilt top above was a blast to make.  It required a gigantic circle template which was a first for me and pretty darn easy.  I’m looking forward to quilting this and thinking about binding it in a yummy bright solid.  My leather scraps have also been keeping my imagination going and I have made up a few more bags with them trying to use up every last piece.

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At the end of the month I am hosting a Mother/Daughter Halloween party for my friends and their daughters.  Everyone has been tasked with dressing up as their famous female icon to celebrate girl power (the picture below is on the invite).  Trying to encourage the gals to dress up, I made the bag below as a prize for the best costume (at my dress up parties, the young ones always pick their favorite).  I’m calling it the Everyone Loves Catwoman Bag.

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IMG_0754Well, I’m off to work on my costume.  Happy weekend!

Hillary

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Noodlehead Envelope Clutch with Umbrella Prints Fabric

There’s nothing quite as satisfying as combining a great pattern with some treasured fabric.  I’m heading to LA to visit some girlfriends this weekend and in anticipation, I wanted to make up something as a gift.  Anna of Noodle-head re-engineered her Envelope Clutch recently and I couldn’t resist trying it out with some treasured Umbrella Prints fabrics.  Pattern is here: Envelope Clutch PDF Pattern – Noodlehead.

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The only modifications I made were including heavy duty Pellon interfacing with the fusible fleece on all outer parts, ditching the side D-ring in lieu of a leather tab and using some more repurposed leather for the trim, handle and inner card pocket.  (Side note:  Can you believe I now have 3 stuffed garbage bags full of leather and suede that friends have given me?!)  I was able to sew through all of these layers because of my industrial Juki.  Even with that, working my way through two layers of fleece, heavy interfacing, fabric and leather was a chore.

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While in LA, I’m hoping to visit a girlfriend from high school.  While I went to undergrad and medical school, she moved to LA to be a dancer and had quite a run dancing in the Academy Awards, on tour with singers and on TV.  In my mind, she is most famous for her part in George Michael’s video “Faith”.  Anyone else remember those amazing legs?  Yep, that’s my friend Lori.

 

Can’t wait for some girl time.

 

Hillary

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Bohemian Rhapsody

Sometimes a riot of color is a good thing, no? And mixed with flowers and vintage textiles . . . for me it is irresistible!

I got into a bag making frenzy this week and sewed up some vintage Thai textiles.  The first was a clutch I made with the sleeves of a black leather jacket a nurse friend gave me.  Once again I used a tribal tassel repurposed from a belly dancing costume for the zipper pull.

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My last Thai baby carrier became a bag for a girlfriend.  I added an inset zippered pocket to the lining (a first for me and so easy!)

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Lastly, i used more old climbing rope, Marcus organic cotton canvas, some thick vinyl and a pretty Kaffe print to make a bag for my girl.  I added some of my handmade linen and voile flowers and am calling it the Bouquet Bag.
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It’s pretty liberating to make up designs that are floating in my head and equally exciting to see my sewing room floor that is a tad less cluttered after finishing these to-do projects.

Peace out ;),

Hillary

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The Hills Are Alive . . .

Guten Abend , Ich habe dich vermsst.  Just off the plane from Switzerland and I still feel in sensory overload.  Truth be told, I never knew I wanted to go there.  After being gobsmacked with such stunning natural beauty, I can’t imagine that I didn’t always dream of a visit”

Our family loves to travel.  My daughter once told her teacher that traveling was our hobby. :)  I think we inherited this wanderlusting from my sister and brother in law who have explored the world at length, lived in London and Europe and now have permanent residency status in Australia.  Once we started exploring at home and abroad, we put money away every month for our travels (while making ourselves comfortable with our old cars and home.)

My husband gets a few weeks off a year.  When his week off came up for September, we decided to do a little hiking in the Alps while my parents generously volunteered to watch our kids.  One of my favorite things about traveling Europe is the amazing rail system.  We took advantage of the Swissrail during our recent trip and toured the country without a car.  Those train trips gave me plenty of time to complete a baby sweater for a friend whose daughter just got out of the NICU.  I was able to use some of my vintage buttons and knit it with Cascade 220 yarn in gray.  The pattern is Little Buds and can be found on Ravelry here: Ravelry: Little Buds in English pattern by Karen Borrel.  It was such a fun knit, I am sure to make it again.

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On our recent trip, we spent time in Zurich, Wengen, Zermatt and Lucerne.  It was a thrill to hike so close to the Eiger and the Matterhorn.  We heard (via the bells around their necks) and saw sheep and cows all over the hills.  We hiked among Chamois and saw Edelweiss up close and personal.  We channeled James Bond and hiked to Schiltorn in the Jungfrau region and we hiked to the Matterhorn base camp to see climbers heading up the mountain and rescue teams plucking folks off the mountainside.  Honestly, it was one of our best trips ever and it has inspired many creative ideas that I am anxious to share soon.

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imageAuf Wiedersehen,

Hillary

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Let’s Break the Rules. Shall We?

Let’s break the rules.  Let’s deviate from the pattern or not even use a pattern at all.  Let’s create with nonconventional/non-flavor of the week fabric. Let’s repurpose when we can.  Let’s think outside the box.  Anyone with me?

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Ha!  I sound like such a rebel don’t I?  Obviously I’m being a bit dramatic but must say I’ve been pondering a lot recently on the substrates I use for creating. I don’t know if anyone else feels this way but I am often left overwhelmed by all the newest fabric lines that seem to appear every hour.  And don’t get me wrong, I cherish my designer fabrics and special threads, etc.  Sometimes though, I feel like bucking the system and deviating from the norm.  This theme helped in the making of my latest baby quilt pictured above.  Not surprisingly, I named it “Break the Rules” baby quilt.  It garnered this name as I used nontraditional fabrics (ikea canvas and denim and cotton from the remnant pile off my local fabric shop), made up my own design that is pretty modern and nontraditional for a baby quilt.  I also mixed techniques making this using both traditional piecing and needle turn appliqué.

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I followed the same theme with a cowl I made yesterday.  Once again though the beautiful green yarn was lovely, my rebel streak made me add a postage stamp splash of orange.

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For some real rebels check out Luke Haynes who often makes his quilts with repurposed clothing.  His fiber art is off the hook cool.

LUKE! – Luke Haynes.

Also check out my friend Bianca who sews almost exclusively with vintage patterns and fabric. She is amazing.

Thanks! I made them!.

Now I need to play with some of my plentiful designer fabric and work on a sweet toddler girl sweater because we modern girls are allowed to be girly and traditional too.

 

Hillary