Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Pajama Top Problem

Below is the first tee I ever made for Elijah.
Its great right? Best shirt ever? or just maybe It looks like a pj top and I should have made cute little matching shorts and let him sleep in it.

The truth is making a print shirt for a boy or girl for that matter that does not look like a pj top can be a bit of a challenge. Its a topic that comes up on my favorite sewing board regularly so I thought I'd post some tips and some examples.
  • Avoid using a print for the entire shirt.  Honestly, I would also avoid using a print for everything but the cuffs and collar.
  • Beware of white back-rounds.  As you will see in the examples I use them some but you have to be even more careful.
  • If you think a print is too babyish for your son it probably is so don't use it.
  • Add details like hoods, collars, and double sleeves.
  • Try color blocking.
  • Add pockets, patches, and freezer paper stencils. 
  • Upcycle xl shirts with pictures that they like.
Add solids and coordinating stripes.  For girls dots are nice as well but I don't do dots on my boy.

Now on to some examples.
I don't remember what pattern this one is but he has worn it into the ground.  The fabric is David and Goliath "This is how I roll."  I'm pretty sure the hood came with the pattern then I added the picket for an extra detail.


This is and Imike from Sewing Clothes Kids Love.  It was my first attempt at freezer paper stenciling and faded quite a bit because I didn't add textile medium to the paint but its still cute.  I also did double sleeves and a hood.  He liked the golf fabric but I new it would not work as the body of the shirt.
This is another otto shirt using 3 different fabrics. 
Here is a v-neck with some color blocking and a Sonic patch.  The patch was only a few dollars but it added a character he really liked to his shirt without a whole lot of extra work for mama.

He picked this David and Goliath print.  This was the second shirt out of it so there was not much left.  The stripes are from the same cut as the space shirt.

Twin Ooga Booga shrits for best friends.  Imike's again with double sleeves but no hoods this time. 

Hope that was a bit helpful. I probably make more knit shirts for my son then anything else.   There are a few more in his wardrobe that I can't find pictures of so I'll have to show you some more another day.  I also wanted to add that this gets easier as you develop a bit of a fabric stash.  Many of these solids and strips have appeared in more then one project and some undies, but buying 3 fabrics to make one shirt can seem daunting at first.  Hope your projects are going well.  Look for an Easter shirt post later this week.  They are both done I just need to get pictures.

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