She’s Got Eyes for This Shirt

I’ve been wondering what sort of t-shirt I could paint for my niece. I thought I might use freezer paper to paint “Steve” across the side of a shirt for her after hearing Obama say he was going to change his name to Steve. I thought that would be hilarious. Then I thought maybe I’d do these reverse applique eyeballs I saw on Creative Kismet. That would give my niece, who is frequently the target of some critical eyes, the opportunity to say all sorts of cornball things like, “Why do I always feel like someone is watching me?” or “I have my eyes on YOU!” But, unlike her aunt, she’s probably way too cool to reveal the inside joke.

I can’t give my niece some crappy gift though, so I had to do a test run first. What’s great about this project is that the 6YO girl and I got to do it together. We pretty much followed the tutorial with a few exceptions. I used acrylics instead of fabric paints because that’s what I have. Also, I painted then cut where CK cut then painted. So, you know, we made it totally our own.

* First we got an arm pit-y white shirt from my drawers (the girl strictly forbade the raiding of her father’s drawers) and a stained hand-me-down from her brother.
* Then we both painted the eyes on the pit-y shirt.
* Next the girl cut out the eyeballs and told me where to pin them to the inside-out, hand-me-down shirt.
* We changed the needle and thread and bobbin on the machine to match the colored shirt.
* When it was time to begin sewing, the girl raised and lowered the presser foot and cut the strings (any ideas on how to set things up so that she can reach the foot pedal?).
* Finally, we turned the shirt right side out and used a seam ripper to start cutting out the eyeball shapes from the hand-me-down shirt to reveal our eyeballs.

What I learned:
* The girl is ready for bigger and better crafts.
* We should have been more careful about how we placed the eye and/or where we painted the eye sparkle, because on the front of the shirt where we have multiple eyes, the glint inexplicably comes from multiple light sources.
* I need more practice sewing jersey.

Share your thoughts.