Monday, February 20, 2017

Happy Birthday, Keith!

Happy Birthday, Keith!  Happy Happy Birthday to YOU!  Keith's birthday always falls at the end of a long holiday season from December to the end of February we have my birthday, Chanukkah, Christmas, our non-wedding anniversary, Ryder's birthday, Valentine's Day and then Keith's birthday.  I frequently try to plan out all of these gift giving opportunities at the same time so it is hard for me to hold back gifts at Christmas time because I'm so excited for him to open them up.

This year I made Lucky's birthday shirt, I made Rowdy's birthday shirt (not yet published on ChemKnits), and I figured, why not make Keith a birthday shirt, too?

My original idea was just to put "33" on the front of the shirt.  But now this is a shirt that Keith can only wear one day.... ever.  (Technically he could wear it more days, but realistically I can't see him wearing it for more than 5 minutes.)  I could put "Birthday Boy" or "1984" on the front... but would Keith technically deserve a new shirt every year just like my other boys?  Even if this is mostly a gag gift, maybe I should stick to my original idea.

When I was shopping on Small Business Saturday, I found the coolest paper airplane fabric.  I knew that this would be the perfect choice to make Keith an epic birthday shirt.  This also meant that I didn't have to worry about creating something besides the number on the front of the shirt.

I thought I was going to put a large "33" on the front and a (slightly) smaller "DAD" on the back.  I could have done "DADDY" but I was afraid that the letters would be too narrow to really appreciate the fabric.  I printed out both sides so I could pick which one fit better.  In the end, I decided to go with Dad (less cutting and sewing PLUS more fabric for each letter.)

Selecting the fonts was easier this time.  I used the same font (Hobo Std) that I used in the applique name pillows I made the boys since I love how it turned out. The word "DAD" is size 350, "33" is 550 and "DADDY" is size 200.

I've now done a bunch of different applique projects so making this shirt feels like an piece of cake.  I traced the letters backwards onto some two sided applique interfacing and then cut out the letters and ironed them onto the shirt.

One one of my pieces of paper I had a 1"x5" box to help me scale items and I realized that I wasn't printing to scale, I think I might have been "sizing to fit" before I printed.  Ultimately this doesn't matter for this project but I need to pay attention when I'm printing out pattern pieces.

I used the settings 8, 2.0, 0.4 for my zig zag stitch.  This was slightly more open than I've done on other projects lately. I like that it is a bit open and that it looks almost like the lined paper the planes are made out of.  I would go with 0.3/2 distance in the future.  I especially was nervous because this is the same thread combo that gave me issues on my Wellesley pillow.  I had no issues with the applique!

This project whipped up so fast!  I'm really getting the hang of appliqueing things onto shirts.  I may need to find some better fusible web since that seems to become undone in the wash (I haven't washed this shirt yet, but my only ironed, not stitched Wellesley Tshirt W's came off and my red bird was a little wrinkled until I ironed it again.)

I can't wait to see Keith's face when he opens up this present! I'm not sure if he'll let me share a picture of him wearing the shirt with you, but I'll try to post an update if he gives permission.  

Now I need to start thinking about Indy's birthday shirt...  Thankfully I have until June to make this work!

Project started and completed 12/20/2016