Saturday, April 7, 2012

Ready for Baseball Season 2012

I have friends that are huge Orioles fans and celebrate opening day of baseball season like it's a holiday. :) Three of the past four years (2008, 2009, 2010) I made special shirts for the kids to wear. Last year they were ready for a new look -- the kids were outgrowing that monogram. Kelli and Daisha found a screenprint tee online that they liked, and asked if I could recreate the look. The reality was that I couldn't recreate it at the same price, so I bowed out. Disappointed... but their shirts were really cool!
However, when I posted Dashiell's applique script name shirt in January I figured I might have gotten my job back. ;) After lots of brainstorming and emails back and forth, here are the kids ready for baseball season 2012!
Aren't these shirts awesome!?!? This has been one of my all-time favorite projects and it's been a long 3-4 weeks keeping it quiet! :)
So here's the backstory:
I created their names in Embird using the Applique Script Alphabet by Hang To Dry Applique and sent preview images. Daisha came back with a suggestion (because they are ALWAYS stretching me beyond my current ability level, hahahaha!). Here is her mock-up based on an Orioles shirt:
So I had two things to figure out -- how to outline it in white, and how to add the underline. Since the alphabet is digitized with a triple bean stitch, I figured I could relatively easily digitize my own underline for the names (which I did, woo-hoo!). But I am not Embird Studio savvy enough to figure out how to add an echo satin stitch to something that already exists. So instead I suggested using the next best thing -- fabric! 
This technique went pretty fast at the machine. I got the shirt hooped. I put Heat-n-Bond Lite on a layer of white fabric and a layer of orange fabric. I cut them larger than my hoop to be sure it was big enough for the whole design so I could skip the placement stitches (saves time!!). I laid down the two layers of fabric and stitched the triple bean stitch design and was done doing the embroidery!
Now came the tedious part -- trimming. But this could be done sitting on the couch watching TV with the kids, so it wasn't nearly as restrictive as a complicated design that you have to monitor at the embroidery machine. I first trimmed the orange as close as I could to the stitching line. (Remember I used HNBL so I shouldn't have to worry about fraying or the fabric pulling away from the stitches.)
Next I trimmed away the white leaving about a 1/4" echo patch around it. And then I pressed it really well to get the HNBL to adhere the fabric to the shirt.
Thankfully the mommies were pleased with the results, and I moved on to the other three shirts. They needed a shorter underline that had to be digitized separately, but I was able to use the new one for all three:
The one final detail that was added to each shirt: A baseball on the back of the shirt near the neckline. The "12" commemorates the year.
I used an applique baseball but deleted the satin stitch step and instead stitched the tackdown line a couple more times. I use Embird Alphabet #14 for the 12.
This was such a fun project! I always enjoy working on things for the Sheets clan -- they keep me on my toes and I'm always growing. It's awesome.
UPDATE: After numerous requests, Crissie at HTD has digitized her own version of a "tail" to go with the applique script. It is available on her site as a part of a power-packed fundraising set: Garden Valley Optimist Football Design Pack

10 comments on "Ready for Baseball Season 2012"

Daisha on April 7, 2012 at 5:48 PM said...

We love "stretching" you. :) Being able to help design our shirts and your willingness to play ball with our designs is one of the reasons we love working with you. :)

We love how these turned out!

Debra on April 7, 2012 at 6:32 PM said...

Thank you for all your creativity, hard work, and skill to make these fabulous shirts for my grandchildren! They look great. I look forward to this every year.

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh, Janay! These are absolutely awesome!

gardentilly on April 9, 2012 at 11:21 AM said...

I love what you did with the underline. Do you sell your designs? I bought the alphabet from Hang to Dry but with baseball season starting, it would be so cute to have the underline too.

Janay on April 9, 2012 at 1:48 PM said...

Daisha and Debby, it's always a pleasure, I look forward to it, too!

Gardentilly, I do not sell my designs, not confident in my measly digitizing abilities except for personal use. However, about a month ago I sent a picture of this project to Crissie and she was very excited about the idea of adding on an underline design to the HTD applique script. I haven't heard from her recently, but hopefully it will be an addition soon. I'll try to keep you posted. :)

gardentilly on April 9, 2012 at 5:02 PM said...

Well I have my fingers crossed that we can purchase the underline. You did a beautiful job on the shirts. My grandson's play baseball and I think the season goes from April until Sept.

Tara on April 12, 2012 at 4:56 PM said...

Beautiful job as always!! You are just so talented!!!

Tiffany on April 18, 2012 at 11:54 AM said...


Shaunee on May 2, 2012 at 7:53 AM said...

I would LOVE to be able to add the underline!!! This is something that I have searched everywhere for with no luck!!

Janay on May 26, 2012 at 3:07 PM said...

UPDATE: After numerous requests, Crissie at HTD has digitized her own version of a "tail" to go with the applique script. It is available on her site as a part of a power-packed fundraising set: Garden Valley Optimist Football Design Pack





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