A First Birthday :: The Birthday Shirt

It wouldn’t quite be an official birthday ’round here without the siblings’-made special birthday shirt, now would it? And we might have made it in the last possible second, but it did get done!

Birthday Shirt All Done!


Another Shot of the Shirt

As a matter of fact, everyone joined in the fun and wore their own very special birthday shirts!

Everybody's Birthday Shirts

One of them you’ve seen before, and here’s the four year old’s shirt’s debut ::

Birthday Shirt for a 4 Year Old

And the six year old’s shirt’s picture ::

Birthday Shirt for a 6 Year Old

You can see in the 6 year old’s shirt why I stopped using Sharpies; after one wash the orange bled all over the place, front and back of the shirt. After so much effort from us all, it was pretty heartbreaking to see the mess that came out of the laundry, but I was the only one who seemed to mind so instead of making a new one as I planned, I grit my teeth and let it go. The bleed has faded a good deal after several more washings, but it still looks sloppy.

I gathered the kids up the night before the littlest one’s birthday and we stayed up a little past everyone’s bed time to get the drawing completed… I did the sewing and made a total mess of it not once but twice which caused me to go to bed right around 2.30, way past my bed time too. Metallic embroidery floss is not my favorite; although it’s shiny and sparkly it kept tangling, breaking, and it was rather kinky. I think I’m going to throw the rest of it out so I’m never tempted again.

How to BeginThe First ArtistThe Second ArtistCompleted PatternBig Number 1Cutting Out the 1The Cut Out 1Pinning the 1All Sewn On

It took a few steps, but it’s really not that hard. First I cut out a nice sized square, trimmed so the final number wouldn’t be larger than the area on the shirt front it was going to be sewn to. Then I taped it down with clear packing tape to stabilize it for the kids to draw on. You could also do this by ironing freezer paper with the plastic side to the back of the square and then taping it down, but I was running short on time. Next I taped off two areas for the older kids to draw on, and let the three year old do her drawing first. We used Marvy Opaque Fabric Pens in silver and gold glitter, and pink. The four year old worked above her after I removed the protective tape from his section, and the six year old above him after the same. Once the drawing was done, I quickly sketched out a big fat “1” on a blank piece of paper and cut it out so I could trace it using the silver glitter pen directly on top of the patterned drawing the kids made. You could also do this by printing out a big, bold, blown up number “1” in your favorite font, but I didn’t want anything fancy (and again with the whole running out of time thing!) this time around. Once the tracing was complete, I cut out the “1” and then placed it on the shirt. I would like to tell you that I then pinned it in place and began sewing it to the shirt using a simple running stitch, but that wouldn’t be honest. I started sewing, realized it had gotten completely wonky while doing that, then went back and ripped out all my work, and then repeating it all again before I was smart enough to go grab some pins. I’m sure there are people who would also recommend using some sort of stabilizer on the back of the shirt and securing it all with an embroidery hoop, but honestly, I couldn’t be bothered. The fact that it took me three attempts and way too many episodes of Iron Chef might mean that you want to ask someone who is much better at this than I am for better advice. Sometimes winging it works out just fine for me, but I wouldn’t want to lead you along my faulty path… without proper warning anyway.

So, let’s see how that all comes together in the end?

How It Comes Together

Let’s face it; the shirt is cute, but it’s nothing compared to those cheeks!


9 thoughts on “A First Birthday :: The Birthday Shirt

  1. I think it looks adorable! And a big happy 1st b-day to the youngest!
    BTW, maybe consider making a tassel (to hang on one the little one’s bedposts or attach to a card or something) w/ the embroidery thread. No sewing, but then it’s not going to waste either.

    • Thanks Kerrie! I didn’t think the tassel idea would work since I didn’t have so much floss to begin with, but I think I may have just enough to do a tassel for a book mark! Excellent idea!

  2. Kerrie–you are so innovative!!!. Cheryl where did you get your talent? I struggle just coming up with ideas for a gift. I really love the birthday shirts! Love your ideas. Love you

    • She is, isn’t she? Mom, the apple doesn’t fall from the tree as far as talent goes. Glad you like the shirts!

    • Wow!! That’s the best type of praise to hear that I’ve convinced someone else to give it a try! I hope you’ll take pics of what you end up making!

  3. Pingback: Another Birthday | It's Two AM

  4. What a fabulous tradition! These shirts are cool, kind of funky and adorable all at the same time! I would love to try this with my girls. Thank you so much for sharing!

    • Thanks so much Anneliese! Especially for stopping by! I have to admit, you’re definitely one of my favorite bloggers and I’m thrilled that you took a look!

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