July 20, 2014

4th of July Lei and Super Hero t-shirts

Craftastic no. 2 - Patriotic t-shirts
Every 4th of July (Independence Day) we make unique patriotic T-Shirts.  This year we came up with some really great boy and girl shirts (and an OK adult tee as well).

First the Lei tee:

My daughter and I love the Flag, so we used three cheap lei's from the local party store to make a flower flagged tee.  She absolutely loved it, and I loved that there were no hard fast rules about where to sew them down!

Here's how:

Update: the flowers frayed after a few washes, so I highly suggest using flowers that are a little higher quality. First assign a helper to cut all the straw-like tubes off from between the flowers of the lei.  This allows the flowers to stack, so that you can lay them down on the t-shirt in a relatively straight line. Like this:

Pin those puppies down.  You can see that I didn't pin down each flower.  That would be crazy accurate and take way too long for me.  Next switch your sewing machine to some kind of decorative stitch.  I have a little asterisk looking stitch that I thought would be great for the inside of these flowers.

Note how I'm not even sewing in the center of each flower.  Don't worry, the petals hide the exact spot, and your eye tends to see them as the center even when sewn at random like that.

After you've sewn all that you need to tack down those flowers in a basic line (or rectangle, if you're doing the blue block), start snipping off the excess string between each center.  Front and back, or else you'll end up with a ticklish underside.  No good for anyone.

Repeat that same process for sewing each color until your flag is finished. Remember that stressing over perfection sometimes kills the joy of creating.  Try to let that go with this jumble of flowers.

It's important to note that these shed.  Yep, you can probably see it here.  That may have something to do with the fact that the whole supply of flowers for this project cost about 75 cents.  We were happy to deal with that.  Even after being washed, the flowers frayed, but looked like shabby flowers.  Not too bad.  I'll let you know after the 5th wash how they hold up.  

If you don't want the flowers to fray at all, I suppose you could graze the edges of them with a flame, to seal it.  Honestly, I've not tried that, and the cheapness of the flower could end up melting petals to your fingertips.  Just sayin. Let me know if you try it.

I also made one like this but in a different variation for myself.  The flowers went from the upper right hand shoulder to mid-torso, and I kinda felt like I was wearing a pageant sash the whole day.  Heeehee.  How's that for a self affirming shirt? I loved it anyway.

Now on to the boys' shirts!

My boys are at the age when super-heroes are all important, and regularly influence how they see themselves.  One minute they're the Hulk, another they're Thor.  So, logically, it was exciting to make patriotic heroes shirts, even if the actual colors of Hulk and Thor had to be changed for the holiday.  Because my Husband is the Young Men's President in our church group (he is responsible for the well being of young men ages 12-18 in our ward, and they emphasize scouting) We put the scouting emblem on there with the heroes too.

To make it:

Download these images that I designed with my Silhouette software.  Print them onto printable iron on transfer paper , and cut them out (or have your machine cut them if you have one).  You'll end up with shapes like these:

Flip them color side down, and iron them on according to the package directions for the iron on paper.

Peel off the backing, and you're done!
Yay, that was easy! (you can thank me later).  Instant boy and girl patriotic T-Shirts to celebrate independence day!

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