Friday, December 19, 2014

Ugly Christmas Sweater Day - sharing a craft project

Today is ugly Christmas sweater day at school. I don't have any Christmas sweaters - got rid of those things years ago. I decided that it would be fun to make my own "ugly" shirt instead.

I remembered some great shirts I saw at Christmas Village last month. Remember these? I was too cheap to buy them at $40 and $50 a pop. Here are a couple of pics to refresh your memory.

Because I'd been so inspired by them, I had actually bought supplies to make the Christmas tree shirt a couple of weeks ago at Hobby Lobby. Since I already had all that stuff on hand and since it seemed like the easier of the two, I decided to make that one.

Step 1: draw my pattern on muslin. I used a couple of wooden Christmas trees I had as a guide, but it was very loosey-goosey in nature. I just used a plain old pencil to draw it out on the muslin.

Step 2: cut out muslin patterns. I used new scissors which really helped, but again, it's not perfect.

Step 3: cut out Christmas tree shape from three different printed fabrics. Trace from the back side of the fabric, so you can see your pencil marks.

Step 4: cut extra muslin piece for double layer of each Christmas tree 'planter." Cut fabric and muslin star pieces too. I just drew the star by hand and cut it out roughly because I wanted it to look slightly wonky and primitive.

Step 5: no pic of this - sorry! Stitch together muslin and printed fabric using a simple running stitch/backstitch. Make sure your knots end up on the back of the trees (muslin side).  I chose embroidery thread that blended with the printed fabric - dark green for the two dark trees, cream for the star tree, and a medium brown for the planters for a bit of contrast there. Add a tiny bit of batting in between the layers of two of the trees, so that they have a bit more dimension. At first, I added too much and had to take some of it out.

Step 6 - using fabric glue, liberally coat the backs of your stitched trees and stars. Place the two taller trees first, then layer the smaller tree so that it overlaps the others slightly. Add one star to the top of the short tree and one to the side of the dark tree like it has fallen down somehow. Press the trees and stars into the shirt. (It's smart to put a piece of cardboard between the layers of your shirt, otherwise you'll have to pry it apart before you wear it because the glue seeps through just a little bit.) Lay flat to dry overnight.

Step 7 - if you want, trim the frayed edges of the trees/stars. I like the shabby chic look, so I left mine raw.  In fact, I think I might purposefully fray more of the edges next time I make one of these. Before I left the house this morning, I added a star shaped Santa pin to my top star; it fit perfectly. That was like fate or something.

You can see a little more of the shirt in this selfie that I took at school this morning.

And here is the whole shirt from a rather unflattering angle. Lol!

I'll try to get some shots today with kiddos who are also dressed up for ugly Christmas sweater day. If I do, I'll add those here later so you can get a better view. Update!!! Here I am posing with my bestie at school. Neither one of us likes this picture, but it was the best we could get a kiddo to take. Maybe we're just a little demanding...

And here I am posing with some of my seniors who wore ugly Christmas sweaters too. (Notice I have my glasses on at this point - my eyes and contacts were driving me nuts for some reason.) Aren't we adorbs? Haha!

 I've had tons of compliments so far about my shirt today, so I'm thrilled with the finished product. Apparently, I can do shabby chic pretty well.  Happy crafting! :)