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art shirt/ failing my daughter

sometimes the things i make don't work out the way i have planned, which is great. in fact, it's the way i prefer to operate; the unforseen adjustments and even mistakes are a part of my process. a different fabric is chosen, a piece is added here, a cut, a pleat, a stitch or a button there. . . or it is all eliminated and simplicity reigns. in the end, the result is so much better than the original idea, than the original sketch. 

this is not an example of that happening. . . a cute little white shirt with gathered sleeve, tiny orange ribbon to tie in back and - to make her love it - a tansfer of eve's very own artwork. perfect idea, right? i thought so, but it didn't work out. my floor is burned (i'm an idiot), the transfer is weak. so weak that i pulled out the sharpie to fill in some of the most glaring gaps- a desperate low. and for the first time since the apron i made her when she was two, eve doesn't like it. she saw it and decided she doesn't want to wear it. ever. "it's supposed to be blue at this part, but it's white! where's the green i colored, mom?! i think you didn't do it right!" i agree. 

but, despite my apparent lack of iron-on transfer skills, i'm really good at reverse psychology. and bribing. the shirt was agreeably worn to school and at the end of the day eve reported that both julian and brody liked it. and if julian likes it, everyone likes it. especially eve. first he introduced pokemon, then "dude!" and now he has restored my daughter's faith in me.

i might put a proper hem on the shirt after all. and then experiment with the iron-on transferring, it shouldn't be that hard, should it?

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Reader Comments (22)

I think little mistakes make life more interesting. I'm so glad your daughter liked her shirt in the end.

March 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKate

That's what I thought too about iron on transfers. Super easy! Well, the transfer is not good at all. The color is also weak like yours and I got some ghosting because I can't resist to peek. Apparently, the instruction told you to do it on a flat hard surface, NOT your ironing board. Oops...

March 6, 2009 | Unregistered Commenteramanda

oh, how funny. This is not the same, but the other day I was sewing myself a shirt and as I pulled it on I realized I forgot the arm holes. ugh.

March 6, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterpaula

I love everything you make your girls! Any way you'd share where you get your pattern ideas? Please tell me there are patterns!

March 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSara

I was about to suggest you do a big ol' applique over the offending transfer, but sounds like school boy saved the day. But I know how it is to have a project just go completely south over the finishing touches. It's a blow.

March 6, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterlarissa

Great idea, turned out awfully sweet, thank goodness Julian approved. :)

March 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterStacey

I agree with Julian...it's darling. The little peek-a-boo in the back and the orange tie are what makes it. I kind of like the unfinished edge...everything you make seems so special!

March 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJillian

Remember when I asked you how to do sleeves, like 9 months ago? The sleeves on Eve's shirt reminded me of that, and the fact that the dress I was making (9 months ago) lays unfinished with a pile of other fabric because I'm afraid of said sleeves..

You on the other hand- are amazing. And Eve looks like she is getting so grown up- I'm glad that we are going to be able to see you guys this summer in Oregon. Speaking of which, we'd better figure out when in the world we are going so we can not miss the party this time...

March 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMegan

I used to love iron on transfers and I would make these days of the week onesies foe anyone I knew having a baby.. it was only after I gave them to my sister in law (who loves me enough to be honest) who told me that after washing them once the iron on transfer completely flakes off and peels away (but not cleanly, just enough to make it a big old mess). Well, shoot.

I guess I should apologize to the 12 other people I gave those to.

March 7, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterbrooke

I have used a lot of iron-on transfers in my crafts lately (check my blog). And I have made a quite a few mistakes as well. It's not an exact science, I'm afraid... My latest mistake: forgot to flip the image before printing - very annoying when you're trying to make labels - I can tell you! But, I love your shirt! It's a nice way of displaying your kid's artwork differently. Need to try this with my girls' drawings!

March 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPascale

I think the tee is adorable!!

we're planning a trip to NYC! i'm goiing to baltimore for work the last week of april and we'll be in nyc for a couple days the first week of may. if you guys are around it would be fun to say hi!

March 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPatria

that style of shirt is adorable! bugger about the transfer. i just bought a whole heap in recent weeks after we raved about it in our magazine. hopefully they'll turn out ok!

March 7, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterbelinda

She may not realize it now, but when she's 22, this will be yet another reason to admire, emulate and revere you. Just wait...

March 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterHaven

Well, things like this happen to us all. I thought the T shirt was darling!

I made a pair of pants today, just cotton with three diff patterns of the same colorway, but I forgot I have lost weight and my daughter told me they look like clown pants.

Sigh, it was beautiful fabric too.

March 8, 2009 | Unregistered Commentertroutay

i love how eve finally did like it afte rall. i bet she has such pride in taking part of what she is wearing.

we did this in college as sort of an impromptu art show....we'd all just stop in the street and hold still (wearing our art shirts) - eve's is much better than anything we did though. our transfers held up decently, but it was so long ago i couldn't tell you anything about how we did it.

March 8, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPam

I kind of like the transferred artwork (faded colors, sharpie additions and all). Looks like all the geometric stuff being done by the cool kid artists these days. But I realize that It is supposed to look like Eve's original art...which is what matters most. I too love the peek-a-boo back and orange tie. cute.

March 8, 2009 | Unregistered Commentermer

that is a really cool idea, to put their art on their clothes!! i like how it turned out.

and do you have ANY idea what Pokemon is? I am so confused by the whole concept. maybe i need to talk to julian and he can explain it to me.

March 10, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterlynne

sara- usually, unless i specify otherwise, there aren't any patterns for the things i make other than the ones i draw up myself. i am heavily considering "publishing" (that term is used VERY lightly) some patterns to share and sell. as for the ideas, i find them everywhere. in the clothes we already have, in the streets of the city, in children's books, in the clothes of my childhood, and sometimes there is no specific source other than the idea floating in my head.

lynne- julian has tried to explain pokemon to me at least eight times. every time my eyes glaze over and i just nod and pretend to understand. with the next conversation he tries to have with it becomes very clear that i don't get it at all and the whole process repeats itself. . .

March 11, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterkatie

I totally think you should heavily consider publishing. I would buy a book of patterns and ideas from you. Some of your stuff reminds me a bit of Denise Schmidt, but I like yours way better!

March 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAndi

Have you played with fabric crayons with your kids? My mom used to make our clothes when I was little too. She'd make me matching outfits for my Cabbage Patch doll, always with a bib (I was the oldest, so I knew babies wore bibs) and she would let me decorate the bib with iron on crayons.

I just looked them up again on Amazon, and it says they work best on synthetic fabrics. Maybe that's why it was always my CP doll's bib that got decorated. Dad's old work shirts were fun to draw on with the iron on crayons too, the cheap poly/cotton ones he wore while he was still in college. We wore them as art shirts, worn backwards over our clothes to keep us clean while doing messy crafts.

May 17, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterviolarulz

oh gosh, would break my heart if my daughter turned round and was unhappy with a top i made her...phew, thank God for little friends at school who make you think it's awesome...

June 4, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJos

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