Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Custom Caveman Shirt

I received a custom order through my Etsy shop just before leaving Puerto Rico. The customer wanted a caveman inspired shirt for her son to wear on a fieldtrip (coinciding with the new movie The Croods).

This shirt was pretty simple to make once I got the design all figured out. Do you have a little person (or not so little person) in your life that might want a Caveman shirt, too? Let me show you how I made this shirt:

The customer sent me a rough computer sketch, and this is my pencil sketch.

I had a friend (back in Utah) go shopping for fabric, but ended up finding some in Puerto Rico (much to my surprise) that I liked. After tracing the shirt (for size) onto my freezer paper, I sketched the shirt design onto the freezer paper-this helps make your appliques the right size for the shirt your are working with :)

Don't you just love my Mom-in-law's pattern weights? Widget loves playing with them, which is why I usually have to sew during nap time when we are at Grandma's house.

After drawing the 'shirt' design, I traced the neckline and added the shell took a couple of attempts to decide which shell and in what size I liked the best. If you are not familiar with the movie, I used a sea shell necklace on the shirt because the 'teenage boy' character in the movie wears a shell necklace.

Once the pattern is all traced, I ironed the entire freezer paper sheet onto my animal print fabric and cut out the pattern (cutting through both the freezer paper and the fabric).

I didn't want the entire applique to be stiff (like when a full sheet of adhesive backing is used), so I used a roll of  'hem tape' and strategically placed the strips around the edge of the applique and throughout the rest of the applique---

--then I peeled each strip backing (the white paper shown) off as I ironed the applique onto the tshirt (working from the bottom of the shirt upward).

I picked up some leopard print (slightly) fuzzy letters at Hobby Lobby and spelled out the boys name across the back to the shirt (like you would see on a jersey).

And, then I mailed it off to the customer!

Oh, and I also used a couple different fabrics (sewn together) to make the shell. After sewing 3 or 4 fabrics together, I ironed the freezer paper down onto the collection, then cut out the pattern and adhered it to the shirt using the same method as with the animal print. I think it gave the shell a more realistic's pretty hard to find a shell (like the shape I used) that is a consistent color throughout. 
Now you can make your child (grandchild, other child) a caveman shirt...Happy Sewing!

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