Wednesday, July 26, 2017

A Grape Shirt for Lucky

I own a watermelon dress.  One day while at Target, we bought Rowdy a pineapple romper.  Lucky, logically, requested that I create a grape shirt for him.  (Apparently Daddy is an orange and Indy is a strawberry, but let's start with the grapes for now.)

I looked up a bunch of DIY Grape shirts and found the perfect inspiration. These grapes were constructed out of felt but I loved the scale and shape of the fruit.  I also really liked some resist dyeing options to create the shirt, but Keith preferred the applique form.  I do want to try some resist dyeing at some point, but I'll save that for another project.

A lot of the T-shirts I've used in my applique projects have been Hanes brand.  Not because of a quality or even brand preference, it is just what I happened to have purchased.  However, if I'm going to make a grape shirt, I should use Fruit of the Loom as a base, right?  I needed another package of Lucky sized white t-shirts anyway.  I prewashed the shirt and then was ready to applique.

Purple is my favorite color, so I had a lot of purple fabric in my stash already.  I have plans to do a fun pumpkin project created out of many different orange fabrics someday, and I couldn't decide if I wanted to do a similar feel for these grapes.  I could stick with the solid purple and make a simple solid pattern, or I could cut circles out of multiple different fabrics to create a more unique bunch of grapes.  I decided to at least start cutting out multiple fabric circles and then decide which I liked best.

I had a lot of scrap two sided iron able adhesive and small purple scraps of fabric in my stash.  See, there was a reason for me to start saving every little scrap!  I'm so glad it finally came in handy.  I need to do more projects so I can have even more scrap pieces...  Fabric collecting is really a slippery slope!

I don't have a protractor anymore  (I think I need to buy one!), so I didn't have anything to help me draw perfect circles.  I decided to freehand the circles and hope for the best.  I also cut the circles freehand and sort of made it up as I went along.

I really liked the extra dimension that the two patterns brought to the table.  I don't think I'm going to add more than two different patterns, but I thought that the added texture would help when I used textured green fabric for the leaves.

I carefully positioned the patterned grapes so they would be in a variety of directions.  I didn't want just one out of place so I tried to have many different orientations.

I had some purple thread in my stash ready to go for this project.  I think it was from the Wellesley shirts I made for reunion last year but I never ended up stitching down the W's.  It was then that I learned that the double sided iron on adhesive does not stay through the washing machine.

I chose a stitch length of 3.0 and a distance of 1.0 for my zig zag stitch.  The tension was really strange.  I stuggled to figure out what was going on and why my stitches looked so sloppy.  It turned out that the bobbin wasn't installed correctly so there was zero tension on the bobbin.  Whoops!  Fixing the bobbin fixed my stitches. Can you tell the difference?

I actually went through and ripped out the bad grapes.  This shirt was a fast project without a real purpose, but I didn't want it to look sloppy.  It was worth the extra effort to correct the error.

I switched the thread and bobbin to green for the leaves.  This time I used a stitch length of 2.0 and distance of 1.0 for my zig zag.  I find it easier to deal with small details when I use a shorter stitch.

In about 12 hours, this shirt was done!  It just needed a final pressing and we were ready to get dressed in our fruit outfits.  It only took me this long because I can't sew or iron while the boys are awake.  Well, while Rowdy is awake.  Lucky is old enough now to understand how NOT to touch the iron.

Lucky was in a grumpy mood.  He was very excited to see his shirt but was not as excited to take some pictures.  After some singing, he cheered up and was super happy to be Mr. Grape.

We took a bunch of silly selfies together.  Lucas doesn't always like to participate in selfies (he gets distracted really quickly) so it was fun that he was so happy to try different expressions with me.

It was a lot harder to get pictures of all three of us together.  Rowdy LOVES taking selfies... in certain situations.  If he is focused on going outside, he doesn't want to stop for a picture.  Sometimes we trick him by taking the pictures as we are putting on his shoes.

We went to a birthday party and felt full of summery fun.

I love to dress the boys in coordinating outfits.  In fact, separate from their dressers I have matching outfits folded together so I can easily pull them when I feel the urge for a twinning day.  I don't think that these outfits will be use exclusively for mommy and me days, but I have a feeling we'll still end up in a fruit basket together over the course of the summer.