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Monday, June 11, 2012

The "I Drew It" Tee

transfer a child's drawing to fabric

My six year old has started placing orders.  I came down at nap time the other day to find a hand written note asking for a wallet.  First came the thrill of realizing, with some effort mind you, I could read his writing.  Then it dawned on me how entirely wonderful it is that he feel has the confidence to ask me to make him something.  For this weekend, the wallet was put on hold while I completed his first request.

C has been asking me for months to make him an AT-AT T-Shirt.  I've let this one swirl around in my mind for a bit because honestly, it just seemed like torture to figure out how to simplify this intricate design for a freezer paper stencil.  And then the light bulb went off.  Why not transfer his drawing and then embroider it?

You can use this simple technique to transfer your child's drawing to any fabric and if you don't embroider, you can skip that step and just transfer the drawing using fabric crayon or marker.


White or light colored T-Shirt or fabric scrap
child's drawing (the simpler the drawing the easier it will be to transfer)
Water Soluble Fabric Marking Pen ( My favorite is the Prym Dual Purpose Marking Pen)
Embroidery thread, needle, hoop

Step 1:  Tape child's drawing to the inside of your t-shirt.  Then tape the shirt to a window.

 Step 2:  Trace the child's drawing using a water soluble marking pen.

Step 3:  Insert fabric into the embroidery hoop and embroider.  Ideally, your hoop should be big enough to fit the entire design.  I was just too lazy to run downstairs to get the bigger hoop.

I used a basic running stitch but a back stitch would also work just as well. Once you've finished embroidering, simply blot away the marker with a wet paper towel.

 Two things I learned while working on this project:   If you decide to embroider on a knit, use a piece of fabric stabilizer and stay away from a ribbed knit.

embroidering a child's drawing

Like I said, I'm not the world's best embroider, but the boys have declared the AT-AT recognizable and that's the point.  C is very proud to be wearing something of his own design and I love the fact that we've got a piece of his art work that won't be sitting in a drawer begging for the recycle bin.

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  1. Wow, what a super-clever idea. You are obviously very talented, and I'm sure these tops will make an amazing keepsake when they're older. Thanks for sharing!

    Lauzi @ Happy Little Munchkins

  2. What a super cool idea! We did a crossstitch of one of my drawings for my Grandma when I was little. I love the shirt he can wear, though, with his own artwork.

  3. That looks beautiful! Thanks for sharing at T4


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