As you may recall – in years past – I have been yapping about the personalized dresses that I’ve made for all the little girls in my family. This has been a great gift for several years, but now that my girls have become tweens and teens who only sport ATH-leisure, I’m not making as many as I used to. However, I still think it’s a great gift for a little girl and now that I’ve discovered a new source for some super-cute monogram blank dresses, I may be at it again.
If your are interested in making some personalized little dresses for Christmas, there are a lot of ways to go about it. Here are some resources from past blog posts + some new cute dresses that you can easily personalize with your embroidery machine!
MAKE YOUR OWN MONOGRAM BLANK FROM A T-SHIRT AND A SCRAP OF FABRIC
This weekend my sister-in-law let me in on a secret…. The darling dresses her little girls were wearing which LOOKED like Boden dresses were actually from Amazon and they were a fraction of the price… like $15. SAY WHATTTT????
But you know what would make them a bit cuter? if they were monogrammed or appliquéd!
I love embroidering gifts for my friend Alix, because she likes just about anything I make. (See lotus flower dress from last year.) Or maybe that’s just what she tells me. Anyway – when her birthday came around this year, I felt a lot of pressure to top some of the gifts I had embroidered in years past.. but was – JUST – NOT – FEELING – IT.
But – fortunately – things changed for me while taking a trip to Puerto Rico this winter. While dining in old San Juan, I noticed a skeleton face icon painted on a wall across from where I was eating. And the thought occurred to me that this would be a great design to digitize. I had wanted to digitize a “day of the dead” skeleton face – but had not found a great design. But once I spotted this sign – I knew I had found a winner.
I ended up finding a black longsleeved T-shirt with a slight swing in the hem on the Old Navy clearance rack that would be the perfect back drop for my design. I had considered stitching it out all in one color but opted to get a little crazy with the color combo and I think I made the right call.
I couldn’t be any more in love with this design. I especially love seeing my best bud in this ensemble. (The necklace is from Puerto Rico as well!)
I never anticipated that after I started making embroidery designs, people would start asking me how to use them. It all seems so simple to me now. But I remember when getting started – I, too, was perplexed about certain processes. The big mystery for me? appliqué designs.
Now I do tons of appliqué on my embroidery machine. In fact, a personalized, appliqué t-shirt or sweatshirt is usually my go-to gift for kid birthday gifts. (And either they all are lying to me but the kids LOVE them). One of my favorite items that I’ve ever made are these personalized tunics that I bought at Walmart.
In the following video you will see how I personalized a similar tunic. It’s cheap, it’s easy to do and kids will love it. I hope this helps + let me know what you think!
There is nothing better than seeing your friends and family wear the embroidered and appliqued items you have made, right? These pictures, from my friend, Alix, totally made my day…. mother and daughter having fun making silly pics with PhotoBooth and both wearing the shirts I made them. Pretty silly. Enjoy!
Why is it that I feel compelled to create ridiculous, personalized, embroidered party favors for my kids parties? As if I don’t have enough projects. Fortunately with this last one, I can at least say that I learned a valuable lesson – albeit the hard way: not all glow-in-the dark embroidery threads are created equal.
I had been intrigued by the notion of embroidering with glow-in-the dark thread for a while so when my daughter decided to have her birthday party at the glow-in-the-dark golf course – how could I resist NOT stitching something for the attendees in glow-in-the dark thread?
My plan was to keep in simple. I created a straight-foward 1-color personalized design for the t-shirts that I purchased for next to nothing at JoAnns, Then I started cranking out the shirts. Everything was going fine… until – I RAN OUT OF THREAD! Normally this is not such a big deal – but it was the Sunday morning of the party and the fabric store where I bought the original glow-in-the-dark thread was closed. UGH. So I ran to JoAnns as soon as it opened and was surprised/thrilled that they carried it. When I got back home – I carried on stitching the t-shirt that I had left in process on my machine. Finally – I finished all the shirts.
Fortunately – the girls loved their t-shirts and immediately put them on over the clothes to wear to the glow-in-the dark golf course. But when we got to the venue I was surprised/horrified to see that some of the shirts glowed and some of them didn’t. And the shirt that was stitched half with the original glow-in-the-dark thread and half with the JoAnns brand half-glowed. Interesting.
I have learned my lesson when it comes to embroidery with glow-in-the-dark thread and won’t be buying the JoAnns brand anymore. Fortunately eight-year-old girls are not tough critics and really couldn’t have cared less.
For some strange reason, I have been absolutely OBSESSED with the idea of shoemaking. I have even tried my hand at making shoes for myself and developed my own pattern for some ballet flats. And for my birthday this year, my mom actually gave me a class at the Chicago School of Shoemaking, which I am SO excited to attend.
So naturally when I was racking my brain for Christmas gift ideas for some little people on my list, I thought about making shoes. I got the idea while browsing the patterns at Joann’s recently, when I discovered an adorable Green Pepper pattern (#557) for some sporty looking kid slippers… perfect for the three babies I have on my Christmas list.
But why spend the time making fuzzy baby slippers yourself, when you can just buy them off the shelf? Because when you make them yourself, you have the opportunity to monogram them. And doesn’t every baby need to have a monogram pair of slippers? I think so, which is why I decided to make three pairs for all the babies on my list.
For the outer fabric I chose a quilted cotton/poly fabric, and for the inside, a white fuzzy fleece. To complement the white lining material I monogrammed the booties with white thread. For the soles of the booties I used a no-slip dotted rubber fabric. Even though these babies are not on their feet yet, it’s only a matter of time…
The booties turned out SO cute. I think they will be a total hit at Christmastime. If you are looking for a unique baby gift around the holidays – I highly recommend this project. Just be sure to double check for any pins left in the booties before you wrap them up!
A friend of mine is totally and completely dreading her Thanksgiving dinner. Let’s just say she has a bit of strained relationship with her mother-in-law and her sister-in-law. Nevertheless – the matriarch has insisted that they all dine together for Thanksgiving. AWK-WARD!!
We have had several discussions about coping strategies – agreeing that consuming the perfect amount of alcohol to “take the edge off” a bit is probably wise. You see – we are both loving drunks – so even people we are not so crazy about become more tolerable after a glass or two of fine.
So to put her in the right spirit I will be delivering a bottle of pinot grigio with the pictured tag attached that I designed and made in-the-hoop on my embroidery machine. And I CAN NOT wait to bring it over.
Perhaps you are in a similar situation? You gotta laugh (and have a drink).
A quick follow up from yesterday’s post. I have to share one more picture. This is the same design that I showed yesterday on a new dress. I cranked this out for a birthday gift… (party’s tonight). Once again the $6.49 Walmart dress scores. Hope she likes it!
This summer we took a trip to the Iowa state fair (my husband’s idea), where we mingled with the locals and ate every meal (and dessert) on a stick. While I can’t deny that milking a cow wasn’t a thrill, my favorite part of the trip was stopping off at Amana Colonies, Iowa on the way home.
Amana Colonies is a German colony in Eastern Iowa that has remained relatively preserved. The town is quaint and charming, attracting tourists from all over to sample their restaurants and purchase handcrafted goods. After eating our body weights in spaetzle, we headed over to the Amana Woolen Mill where we purchased copious blankets for Christmas gifts that were made at the facility. (Yep – we started our Christmas shopping in August.)
Of course – I didn’t want to just give the throw as a Christmas gift without something personalized and embroidered. So I ordered a pillow sham in a coordinated color and designed a new single initial monogram design. I am pretty happy with how it turned out – but even more thrilled with the fact that I’m making my way through my Christmas list.
What do you say when the godfather of your son asks you for an emergency embroidery request? Is there any answer other than “yes?” I didnt think so – which is why I spent a good part of my day shopping, digitizing and stitching out logos on eight polo shirts Thursday and Friday.
Here’s what happened. My husband’s best friend, who is also the godfather of our son, called me in a panic Thursday night. The fledgling company he owns is exhibiting in a trade show starting on Monday (today) and the vendor they planned to use for their eight embroidered corporate shirts flaked. Now they had nothing to wear at the show. He wondered if this was something I could help them with. Oh – and the completed eight shirts needed to be dropped off at Fed Ex within 24 hours.
Now – keep in mind – I do not fancy myself a corporate shirt embroiderer by any stretch of the imagination – but for Alex – I suppose I could fake it. This was truly a make-it-work moment. Dang! Tim Gunn would be proud.
I raced off to Target and found some nice mens polos for about $14/each. Then I raced home, digitized their logo, and snapped some pictures of the digitized logo and my test stitch outs. Once I got the thumbs up on the look of the embroidered logo – I went to town. Between my regular work on Friday I shuttled mens shirt on and off of my machine until I had eight done. And the miraculous part of it all? I didn’t screw a single one up – meaning no return trips to Target were required and I made it to Fed Ex by 5 PM.