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Saturday, December 10, 2011

Santa shirt tutorial

Last week my oldest son, Ryan was Santa for his Kindergarten class play, "Twas the night before Christmas."  He was incredibly excited to be Santa.  His teacher asked me if I could get a costume or have something for him more than just a red shirt to wear.

His teacher was great and let me know about it in early November so that I would have plenty of time to figure something out.  So what did I do?  I waited until three nights before to figure out his costume!  I am great at procrastination!



I firmly believe that sometimes procrastination pays off.  In this case, it did.  I was browsing around Joanns looking through patterns trying to figure out how to make this costume for Ryan.  I like to sew, but I am no seamstress.  I had no clue how hard it might be to make sleeves for a jacket or how to do button holes, zippers, etc.  My mind was spinning and I wished I hadn't waited till the last moment.

I found a pattern (FINALLY) but it was a group pattern for a bunch of costumes.  It was also $17.  The cost of the project was going up and I was considering buying a pre-made costume at that cost.    Ryan would only be wearing this costume for about an hour on two separate days.  This hardly warranted me spending any amount on it, but I was about to get creative.

Thankfully, as I sat and looked at the costume pattern, I thought about transforming a red long sleeved t-shirt into a Santa costume. The pattern showed a costume with a piece of fur down the middle of it.  I grabbed a my cell phone snapped a picture from the pattern and headed to the fur fabric section.  I knew I had a long sleeved red t-shirt at home that was Ryan's size.  If I added the fur to it, then it would be simple to make and cost effective.  I purchased a yard of white fur (way too much but I have plenty for the future) and used my 50% off text coupon (thank you Joanns!).

I've made you wait long enough, here is Ryan in his shirt and hat.  I'll give you the detail of how to do this afterward.  I have to say I am quite proud of myself.  I think he looks pretty darn cute and definitely like Santa.



Tutorial


Supplies Needed

  • Red Shirt
  • 1/4 to 1/2 yard of white fur fabric
  • white thread
  • sewing needle and/or sewing machine
  • sewing pins
  • measuring tape
1.  Take your red shirt and do some measurements.  You want to measure the width of the shirt, the length of the shirt around the bottom, around the sleeves bottom and around the neck.
 2.  Then cut out corresponding pieces of fur.  Below are my cuts for the arms and for the middle piece going down the front of the shirt.  I also did a long piece to go around the entire bottom of the shirt and completely around the neck. The width of all the fur was about 2.5 to 3 inches throughout.


3.  Pin down your middle piece to the shirt.  Make sure it is centered correctly (learn from my previous errors).  Leave enough room to add fur to the neckline and around the bottom.  Sew along both edges and then remove pins.  Make sure you don't sew through both layers of the t-shirt.  It is a bit awkward on the sewing machine, but I refuse to hand sew anything if I don't have to.

3.  Pin down the bottom portion that goes around the t-shirt.  Make sure that the fur lines up with the middle piece.  Sew along the interior and exterior edges of the fur fabric. (Ignore the sleeve in the picture).
4.  Sew the fur around the neckline.  I forgot to take a picture of this so I will do my best at explaining.  I pinned the fur to the middle of the front and started sewing there.  The curve can be tricky and I knew no one would pay attention to the back.  I started sewing from the middle to the shoulder and then switched and did from the middle to the other shoulder.  This gave a great curve to the front.  Then I finished sewing on the curve around the back.  I ended up with a little gap in the back as I didn't cut a long enough piece.

5.  Here comes the most tedious part.  It is really hard to sew the fur onto the sleeve using a sewing machine.  I did sew part of it though.  I lined up the fur edge with the seam of the sleeve.  I sewed a straight line with the sewing machine.
6.  Then I lined up the other edge and sewed a straight line up on the other edge.  Then to my dismay, I broke out the needle and thread and sewed the interior and exterior edge to the sleeve.  The sewing machine didn't work for this part without ripping the seams of the sleeve out.  Here is a picture with all my pins.  If you know how much I hate to pin things, you will be proud that I took the time to do this.

That's it!  Very simple and makes an adorable Santa shirt.
Ryan already had a Santa hat.  I took some more fur and cut out a beard for him and sewed it onto the hat.  I freehanded the beard so it isn't perfect.  He didn't care.  Ryan loved his outfit as did his classmates!


Besides feeling a sense of accomplishment, I got big smiles and the vote of approval from Ryan.  He said, "You did such a good job sewing, Mommy."  I think that is equivalent to the Best Mom Ever Award, right?  I take it as that!

Merry Christmas and Ho ho ho!


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