Tie T-Shirt Tutorial and FREE appliqué pattern!

If you ask me, there are few things cuter than brothers in matching shirts. For Valentine’s Day this year, I made my boys these super adorable tie t-shirts, but how great would these be for Easter as well?! You can whip one of these up with this free tie appliqué pattern!

Tie Tshirt TutorialThese t-shirt ties are easy to make and you can make them for any holiday – or even everyday wear!

tie shirt tutorial for boysSupplies:

  • t-shirt
  • woven (non-stretchy) fabric
  • sewing machine/thread
  • scissors
  • pins
  • optional: Wonder Under (affiliate link)

1. Download and print out the Tie Tshirt Pattern. Use it to trace and cut your tie(s).tie tutorial step 1

2. Pin the fabric onto the front of the t-shirt. The top of the tie pattern has a curve that follows the neckline, so you can pin it right underneath the neck. Optional: fuse your tie fabric to the front of the T-shirt using Wonder Under – this will help your tie to stay in place without shifting.tie tutorial step 2

3. Using a wide but short zig-zag stitch, sew along the outside of the tie. Keep the tie fabric flat. I like to go over my stitching a second time to make sure the fabric is secure in place.tie tutorial applique step 3

Tip: when stitching the tie, you’ll have to finagle your shirt a bit. I recommend beginning on one side, sewing down to the bottom. Then, start back at the top and sew to the bottom along the opposite side.tie tutorial step 3

I used the same pattern for both my two and four year olds, without changing the size, but you could easily scale the pattern up or down to make it suited for an older or younger child.boys valentine shirt

Then pop those shirts on your little cutie patooties! And share your photos with me on Instagram, so I can see your sweet boys in their tie pattern for boys tie tshirt

Brothers in matching shirts – seriously, is there nothing quite so adorable?!boy valentine tie shirt


Now go make your little men some adorable tie T-shirts!Tshirt Tie FREE pattern and tutorial

Happy sewing!


DIY geometric typography tee [a tutorial]

My friend Stacey at Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy asked me to join in on her Fashionable Type series – celebrating all kinds of typography in fashion. I had a few ideas right away, but with the Straight Lines and Angles series still in my head, I decided to go geometric again.

geometric typography tutorial

I was inspired by this amazing typography, and I used some scraps of striped knit to create a similar design.

I made my T-shirt out of some absolutely delicious Ponte de Roma knit from Girl Charlee, though this could be done on a store-bought tee as well. Here are the super easy steps…


1. Cut out the letters from knit scraps and iron lightweight interfacing on the back.


2. Trim any extra interfacing


3. Pin the letters onto the shirt’s front. If you’re sewing the shirt, do this before you sew the front and back together. I like to pin the corners to keep the letters from shifting around.


4. Then carefully top-stitch the letters onto the fabric. Go slowly and carefully so they don’t shift out of place. Since knit doesn’t fray, you don’t have to worry about finishing the edges of your letters. A ready-to-wear shirt will be a little bit trickier to maneuver in your machine, but if you go slowly, it should be no problem. :)


A couple notes about this knit… I LOVE Ponte de Roma knits. They’re quickly becoming my favorite. They sew together gloriously and are super comfortable. My tunic that I made out of stripey Ponte de Roma (also from Girl Charlee) is one of my favorite handmade garments. Plus, how fun is this vibrant orange?!

Funny side note: I actually made this shirt for my two-year-old. But trying to get a two-year-old to wear something when he doesn’t want to… yeah, that’s not a battle I’m willing to fight. Lucky me, I have another boy waiting in the wings who is more than willing to let me take his photo and just a wee bit taller than the aforementioned toddler.


This is fun, right? ;)

The Fashionable Type Button

Now make sure you pop over to Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy to see the giveaway for Dead Ringer Designs, which has some sweet t-shirts, and to enter the link party.. and see what kind of typography fun A Jennuine Life for the series today too!

Re-using Handmade Birthday Decorations [happy birthday, E!]

When my oldest turned three, I went on a little birthday decoration making spree.

I made him a crown.

I appliqued T-shirts with threes on them.

I even made a no-sew birthday banner.

In the past two years, there have been many birthdays, but I have yet to make anything new to add to the collection.

But lucky for me, this little lovey turns three today! And we get to re-use all of the wonderful birthday decor that I created two years ago. [we do use the banner all the time… it’s very well-loved by now]

So happy birthday to my Eli! Three years of hugs, laughs, and trains. And just enough nutty to keep mama on her toes. ;) Wouldn’t change it for anything.

Owls and Stars

Are we sick of owls yet? Is that trend over?

Well, either way, I still like them. And since I have a tendency to scoop up plain T-shirts when they’re on clearance, I had a white tee that was in need of a little … something.

So, a little felt owl appliqué, a few freezer paper stenciled stars, and boring T-shirt no longer.

These freezer paper stencils were made using a star hole punch, which is quite possibly the easiest way to make a stencil for fabric paint.

And points if you can spot the avocado on his shirt. Because everyone lets their babies eat avocado right before photographing them, right?


Today I am 30.

I don’t mind getting older.  In fact, I like it.  Ask me again when I turn 40, I might have a different answer, but today I’m good with it.

As a birthday present to myself, I made a pillow.

Made from a felted wool sweater that was so thick I thought my sewing machine would spit at me in protest.

Perfectly cozy.

Linking up with these parties.

You Are My Sunshine

Awhile back, I was totally and completely shocked to wake up to an email telling me I had won a Silhouette SD from the Tatertots and Jello blog!

These machines are amazing.  They are cutting machines that cut… well, everything.  I finally had the chance to give it a try.  And I just might be in love.

My little sunshine, in his new upcycled tee. [This is my favorite face that he makes, trying to hold back his smile. He could get anything from me with this face.]

I made the T-Shirt from my own pattern, upcycled from an old tee of mine.

Cutting out the words with the Silhouette was amazingly easy and fast. It looks so awesome – I am totally and completely hooked. The sun was just a simple machine-stitched applique (not cut with the Silhouette – and upcycled from another old T-shirt, of course!)

And he lets out the full smile, to completely melt my heart.

I’m linking up with these parties!

Quick Upcycled Tee

Oh, spring.  I have been waiting and waiting for you.  Thank you for finally showing up in the midwest.  It seems my 16-month-old is at a serious loss for short-sleeved T-shirts, though.  This seems silly to me, since he has an older brother.  Maybe I should check that growing pile of laundry in the basement??

But let’s be honest, who wants to do laundry when you can make a T-shirt in half the time? [I’m raising my hand, because that’s me!]

This tee was entirely upcycled, and took me less than an hour, [thank you, napping children!] including cutting apart the men’s T-shirt, cutting out all the pieces, serging it together, and the super simple applique.

Have I mentioned how much I love my serger?  I have?  Well, I just might have to mention it again.  I l.o.v.e. my serger.

If only my little man had been in the photo-taking mood to model it.

Check out the parties I’m linking up with here

An Upcycled Christmas

So, if you read my blog pretty much ever, you’ll notice I’m a big upcycler.  As evidenced here or here or here or here or here or here…. just to point out a few.  Because there are more!

There are a lot of reasons I upcycle… I love that I can re-purpose something that would have otherwise been thrown out or unused.  But mostly, I am cheap thrifty.  I love to buy clothes at a thrift store, then turn them into something else.  Because let’s face it, that is way cheaper than buying fabric.

So that was my goal this Christmas… to upcycle as much as possible, preferably with things I already had on hand.

This is a gift for one of my nephews.  He’s a super handsome kid, so he’ll be a heart breaker for sure. ;)

The pants are simple elastic waistband pants, made from a medium-weight sweatshirt.  They have stretch, which is good when you’re a super active two-year-old.  I didn’t make the shirt itself, but I had purchased it awhile back intending to make something for my oldest.

The applique is cut from the same shirt (and I still have the sleeves leftover to make pants for my littlest).  I did a spray fabric adhesive, then machine stitched them on.

I don’t know about you, but I have been sewing non-stop for the past couple of weeks.  I’ve been thinking of naming my machines, we’ve been spending so much time together.  Sid the Serger?  Sonya the Singer?  I’ll post some more upcycled gifts soon.  Some of them will have to wait until after Christmas, though… don’t want to give away any surprises!