Upcycled Lilly Birthday T-Shirt

So many words in that title I love!  It’s a birthday tradition in our house to get something new to wear on your birthday.  Last year I couldn’t find what I wanted for Little Cutie, so I made her a 6 shirt.  It was such a hit that Big Cutie has asked for a 9 at least four times, so of course I had to make her one!

This is a VERY easy project and I am NOT a strong sewer.  In fact, it’s a bit comical that I even own a sewing machine and it usually needs to be dusted off prior to use.  So here’s what you need: scissors, Heat & Bond, a pencil, fabric/old piece of clothing, plain shirt, a sewing machine/needle and thread and your iron and ironing board.  You’ll also need to choose a font for your number and print it out on heavy card stock.  I used Century Schoolbook and printed at about 700.

Cut out your number and then trace it REVERSE side onto the PAPER side of your Heat & Bond (check me out being so “green” reusing a piece of cardstock that didn’t go through the printer right the first time!).

Do NOT cut out the number on the Heat & Bond.  Just cut a bit closer to the number but leave an edge.  It will be much easier to do your fine cutting once you have the backing on the fabric to give it some “body.”

One of my favorite things about these shirts is the fabric.  We live far from all of our cousins, so we donate all of our outgrown clothing to local needy groups, but I hang on to the Lilly Pulitzer clothing to reuse the fabric in creative ways (I have a wee bit of  a Lilly Pulitzer *problem* that I’ll save for another post).  While it always makes me twinge to make that first cut into the cloth, I LOVE to see a cheery print on my big girls that I loved seeing each of them wear as little girls.

Once you’ve figured out where on your fabric you want to cut, iron your Heat & Bond to the REVERSE side of your fabric.  No, I’m not a lefty.  Yes, it’s strange to take pictures of yourself doing ordinary tasks – I’m clearly still getting the hang of this blogging thing.

Now cut out your number with a pair of good, sharp scissors.  Peel off the paper backing to the Heat & Bond and then align it on your shirt where you want to place it.

You technically could be done at this point, but in my experience, the Heat & Bond isn’t truly permanent after washing and will start to peel off the shirt after a bit.  It’s worth it to stitch it on now.  You can do this with a needle and thread if you don’t have a sewing machine or want bigger, contrasting stitches.  Otherwise, simply sew over the edge with either a simple straight stitch or a zig zag – whichever you prefer.  I chose a straight stitch because the 9 is curvy and I chose a more intricate font.  And again, I’m a pretty cruddy sewer.

That’s it!  You’re done.  This, and a new pair of jeans, and Big Cutie will be off to tell the world she is 9.  Now, I’m in big trouble next year trying to figure out the whole double digits thing…..

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8 Responses to Upcycled Lilly Birthday T-Shirt

  1. Myrna says:

    Oh, double digits!! When my oldest hit that, I told him the next year we’d start to count down … That was good for a laugh!

    Love the shirt. Very cute.


  2. Charlie's Mom says:

    I love it! This is such a cute idea.

  3. Lori S. says:

    SO darling! What a fun idea!

    ~Lori @ Paisley Passions
    Join my Linky Party Thrilling Thursdays

  4. Rebecca says:

    This is too cute-I’d love to make some fun shirts~!

  5. Diane says:

    cute! You did an awesome job! 🙂 Thanks for sharing over at Paisley Passions! 🙂 Have a great day!

  6. Lori S. says:

    Thanks SO much for joining in on Thrilling Thursdays @ Paisley Passions. I hope to see you again this week 🙂
    ~Lori S.
    Thrilling Thursdays @Paisley Passions

  7. very cute! thanks so much for sharing on Craft schooling Sunday, and so nice to “meet” you! Hope to see you again soon, and all the best!

  8. yeah – gorgeous – I love it…and reusing the fabrics that have special meaning is all the more wonderful. Great job!

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