So happy to be celebrating a colorful summer with you today! I’m a big fan of the men-wearing-purple trend right now. But it’s still not something you will likely find in the boy’s section at Target.
So when Delia invited me to play at CYS, I knew I wanted purple, and I knew it would be something for my boy!
- 1/2 yard of interlock knit (More for a kid bigger than 4t, or you can always upcycle an old adult tee.)
- 1/4 of contrasting rib knit
- Thread that matches the interlock
- Embroidery floss or perle cotton that contrasts the interlock
- Chenille needle, or other embroidery needle with a large eye
- 1/4 of Pellon Wash-n-Gone, or other stabilizer
- Chalk or marking tool
- Stretch machine needle
The front of the neckline needs to go lower than the back, so take just one of your cut pieces and draw a lower curve at the neck, taking off about 2 inches at the lowest point. Cut.
Press all seams toward the back of the shirt and topstitch the shoulder seams to reinforce.
At this point, I always try it on Hendrix to see if I need to cut a little more off the neck or armholes. I almost always need to cut the neck bigger than I think for his giant head.
Now it’s time to cut the ribbing for finishing the arm and neck holes. Measure around the neck by using a string or thread to find the exact distance around. Subtract 1″ from that number and that’s how long your ribbing needs to be, times a width of 2″. For example, my neck was 12.5″ around so I cut it to 11.5″ inches (with the stretch) by 2″ wide. So the most stretch is going from left to right in this picture.
Sew the short ended together on all three pieces. (Don’t get your neck and arm pieces confused!)
Now fold the circle you have so that the long raw edges are together and the seam allowance is sandwiched inside, so wrong sides together.
Start with the neck. You are going to match up those two raw edges of the ribbing with the raw edge of the neck on the right side of the shirt.
Begin by pinning the seam on the ribbing to one of the shoulder seams. Then find the exact opposite point on the ribbing and pin that to the opposite point on the neck hole (which is not necessarily the other shoulder seam, since the front of the neckline cuts lower.) Keep pinning in quadrants, stretching the ribbing slightly to match the shirt. The idea is to distribute the stretch evenly around the hole.
*KNIT TIP: Use lots of pins for this. LOTS! And just sew over them, much easier than trying to finagle them out while sewing in a tight circle.
Sew all the way around the hole, with the ribbing down against your needle plate, and the shirt fabric facing your presser foot. This way, you can make sure you don’t get any puckers in the main fabric and also make sure you aren’t stretching that fabric at all as you sew. Remember, it’s the ribbing that is stretching slightly to match the neck hole, but if you pin well that will take care of itself.
Flip the neckband up and press. Now repeat the same process for each armhole. Hem it if you want, but otherwise, your shirt is sewn!
Time to make it your own with reverse appliqué. Decide on a simple shape or two that you want to use and draw the design lightly in place with chalk or a water-soluble marking tool.
Now cut a piece of Wash-n-Gone stabilizer and a piece of your contrast knit (the ribbing is fine for this) both large enough to cover the space of your design. Turn the shirt inside out and simply pin those down behind the design. The knit will be against the shirt, and the stabilizer on top of that.
Turn the shirt right side out again and use your perle cotton or floss (You only need three of the six strands in the floss) to stitch your design on. There is no magic skill to it, just use a running stitch or a sloppy-ish backstitch like I do. You can find a great tutorial on these stitches right here.
Very carefully pull apart the two layers of fabric in the middle of your shapes and cut out the middle of the top layer.
*Just a note…this week will be a wild card mix of all the colors. Come back each day to see what colors Kojo and I will be celebrating.
love the shirt, love the boy, love the Jess! ps. she's just as super rad in person 😉
Tansy Dolls says
I love this shirt.
You’re so sweet! Sarcastic joy? I like it. I mean, whatever, I’m too sarcastic to care.
Love it, Jessica! The purple on a boy shirt is great (H looks so rad), the reverse applique is fun, and the hand-stitching really adds a special touch. Nicely done, lady!
ReStitch Me says
You make it look so easy! This turned out great!
Love it! I’ve always wanted to try reverse appliqué and I love the hand embroidery. And you can’t beat a good Prince reference! Now there’s a man who can pull off purple 😉
What a fun shirt! Love the reverse applique and knit tips (except I’m scared to sew over pins ha).
Ella Ava says
its really difficult to design dresses for the babies… this all cutting and stitching procedure is very easy to understand… thanks for your great idea