sort of tutorial: Sawyer’s graphic tee

I thought I’d share a kind of tutorial for the shirt I made for Sawyer to wear in our family pictures. It was a last minute thing because I couldn’t find just the right shirt for him to wear. Solution: make one.

I wanted something with a bold black and white pattern. I really like herringbone so I went in that direction. (It actually ended up looking like tire tracks, which I guess is ok. Modern tire tracks?) I hand drew the pattern and used the ol' freezer paper method to stencil it. 
 First, I used my ruler to draw a pattern on a piece of printer paper and then colored in the dark parts that would end up being the black shapes on the shirt.
No, I don’t have a Silhouette. I don’t think I want one. I can’t justify it because ugh the thought of having to get out my computer, bring it to my studio and hook it up and design something and oops I just watched 5 episodes of Dawson’s Creek rather than do all that. Working with paper and pencil just feels better to me and I enjoy it a lot more than looking at my computer while crafting. I spend 8 (or more) hours a day looking at a screen, so when I get creative I like the tactile-ness of working with my hands and not a machine. I bet you wanted to know all of that.
After I had my pattern drawn, I laid my freezer paper over the pattern and traced the areas that would be cut out. I used an exacto knife to cut out the pieces, ironed the pattern to my shirt, and painted it using black fabric paint. I think it was actually puff paint but I just sponged it on so it was not, in fact, puffy. Make sure you put a piece of cardboard in the shirt so the paint doesn’t bleed through.
I let it dry over night and peeled off the freezer paper. I did not pre-wash the shirt and was worried that it might get weird once I washed it. Happily, I have washed and dried the shirt a couple of times since I made it and it is holding up as well as a white t-shirt on a 2 year old can.


  1. Love that shirt! And I love that pattern. I've got plans to make a herringbone pillow this winter. :) And I'm with you on the Silhouette - I had one, used it 5 times, and sold it. I thought it was much more hassle than it was worth.

  2. I definitely noticed his shirt in your pictures and loved it. Great job!


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