09 March 2010

Making it my own

Yesterday I wrote about my first Alabama Stitch project, the dishtowel.   I wrote that even though the reverse appliqué technique was new to me, I felt that it was one I could easily make my own.  And I did.  In fact, even before I finished the dishtowel, I got this idea for a birthday present for Jared’s oldest nephew who just turned five.  

This boy, well, is he ever special.  Soon after Jared and I started dating, before we lived in Minnesota, we came here for Christmas.  His older brother, sister-in-law, and their first child had just moved back here from a few years in Florida (in fact their move was so recent that we all slept on the floor since they didn’t even have any furniture yet).  I remember this little one, who was just nine months old at the time, was just working on scaling himself up the wall and standing up by himself.  I know it’s wrong to play favorites, but I guess I just feel an extra little connection to this boy since he’s the oldest and I remember him before he was a big brother to two other amazing little ones (not that the other two don't get showered with handmade goodness, they do).  

In any case, he had a very important fifth birthday coming up, and I was short on time.  This is a boy who likes to build (as most five year old boys do, I'm learning).  I'll admit that just about everything I know about farm and construction vehicles, I've learned from him.  In fact, at age three and a half, his favorite movie was the John Deere instructional video.  So naturally, I knew that this idea of mine had to tie into that.  

The t-shirts I used were from American Apparel and I found images of the gears and the bobcat online and made them into stencils, transferred the stencils onto the shirt, stitched the backing fabric and snipped away the top fabric to create the reverse applique.  Sadly, the birthday party had to be postponed, so I haven't gotten a verdict on the shirts yet.  But I love them.  And I'm pretty sure he will too.


  1. Those will be loved gifts for sure! I'm eagerly awaiting that book from the library now!

  2. I love, love, love the gears one. Perfect for a little boy without being overly cutesy. Great job!

  3. the gears are fantastic! I think I have that very same bottle of yellow fabric paint. I love the way it looks with the blue shirt and the brown applique. I am gearing up (oh, haha!) to work on an alabama stitch project myself and you are giving me the extra push I need to get started. thanks!~