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Birthday girl t-shirt… very much appreciated by the birthday girl.

Birthday crown applique design
Birthday crown applique design modeled by my daughter’s friend.

Today was a banner day for a person like me who has a “pathological need for approval.” (This was my sister’s diagnosis but I can’t disagree with her assessment.) I started out my morning with a stop by my sister’s house to drop off the lab coat she loaned me for my daughter’s mad scientist Halloween costume and lo-and-behold, my nephew, Wilson, was wearing the ski shirt I made for him. I remember it turning out pretty well, but DANG – it looked great! And, most importantly, the kid was wearing it.

Then I got a text on my phone with a picture and message from the parents of my daughter’s friend, Maya. They just wanted to show me how cute Maya looked in the personalized (with initial) birthday crown appliqué t-shirt I made for her. Adorable. I didn’t have the shirt done on Sunday (the day of the party). But I did have it ready on Tuesday and sent it to school, wrapped, with my daughter so that Maya could wear it today (her actual birthday).

There is not much to report on the process of making this shirt, or digitizing the design as I created this birthday crown months ago. However, I hadn’t used the file in a while – and never on a girl as old as Maya (10). I do think that it looks completely age-appropriate, and again – most importantly, Maya seems to love it.

Like the design or have suggestions for alternative birthday designs? I would love to hear your thoughts. Check out the birthday crown design on my Etsy store.

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Birthday crown appliqué design – I finally stitched it out straight!

The birthday crown design on a t-shirt.
The birthday crown design on a t-shirt.

School is back in session and the birthday parties have begun.  I think we have one every weekend for the next few weeks – but I’m not complaining.  Each birthday party provides an opportunity to make a new design or try out a new technique.

This week’s birthday party was for one of my son (the four-year-old Casanova’s) girlfriends, Maitland.  Since Maitland was turning 5, I thought the birthday crown design was perfectly age and occasion appropriate.  Now I just had to sew it on straight (unlike my last attempt).  Now that I mastered my folding technique for centering – all my projects are coming out a lot better.

Anywho… the shirt I got for Maitland was purple and the piece of fabric I used for the crown was a left over scrap from my daughter’s duvet cover.  I think it coordinated quite nicely with the silver stitching.

Prior to stitching it out I did do some fine tuning on the design to make sure it stitched out nicely.  Previously I had not been happy with the way the inner jewel circle was relating to the outer circle.  Once I made more overlap of the two shapes in the digitizing software the stitching looked SOOO much better.  Now that I am happy with the file – I saved it out for every letter of the alphabet as well as a plain crown and put it on my Etsy store.

Check out the birthday crown design (finally) on the Etsy store


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When will I learn to take my time? How many embroidery projects can I screw up when I’m in a rush?

Birthday crown applique design on t-shirt - crooked!
Birthday crown applique design on t-shirt – crooked!

I’m beginning to realize that whenever I execute the project in a rush I always make some type of stupid mistake. Case in point: the belt that I embroidered last week for my husband that I stitched upside down. But bless his heart – he’s wearing it in the opposite direction – so I won’t be tearing it out. I think the reason why I screwed it up was because I was rushing to get it done on the morning of his actual birthday.

This week – once again – I was in a rush to try to complete different project and royally messed it up. I was trying to appliqué a little t-shirt for my cousin’s daughter who turned one. The design that I was stitching out was the birthday crown appliqué I made a couple of months ago. My intention was to digitize all of the different letter possibilities and put the design on my Etsy store. So I considered this project to not only be a gift, but also a another test stitching of this particular design.

Unfortunately because it turned out so crooked, that is all this particular project is going to be: a test stitch out of this particular design. I mean it’s not even a little bit crooked. It looks horrible.

The design, on the other hand, does not look bad. I want to go back and rework the circles on the points of the crown. I think I need to add more overlap between the inner and outer circles. So I guess it’s a good thing that this particular project did not turn out the way I wanted it to. Because I still need to make this gift, I have another opportunity to stitch it out again.