Tuesday 29 December 2015

Gift Sewing Part III - Little Drummer Boy (and dad)

My one and only nephew has never escaped a Christmas without something handmade by me. This year would be no exception.

My brother and his family live in Germany, so we only get to see them once a year, if that. Two years ago his "thing" was astrosaurs (apparently they exist) and now, I'm told, he's a veritable child prodigy on the drums.

I figured a drum kit would be a fun stencil to cut and paint. Google images provided the silhouette of a drum kit and then I made up the Beatles-esque font myself.

There's a fun and free way to get a couple of words in any font you like. If you use myfonts.com you can search for a font that suits your purpose, type in your words as a tester and then just right click and Save Picture.

The all caps font that I liked didn't have the variation in height of the Beatles logo, so I just fiddled a bit with my M and L in paint.net 'til I got it looking right. I traced the image onto freezer paper and then set to with the scalpel.

Saving all the little cutout bits and getting them back in the right places is fiddly, but kind of fun too. Paint away, let it dry, peel the paper off then iron the heck out of it to make sure the paint sets and is wash proof. Easy!

I'd been stuck for what to give my brother for Christmas, until I decided he could have a T-shirt too. Same drum kit image, only seeing as he's not the star of his own show anymore.....

...he got the Roadie's version.

I couldn't possibly cut the stencil all over again in miniature, so this one is T-shirt transfer paper. I had no end of trouble with our new home printer bleeding across the T-shirt transfer paper. Eventually I printed this at Flipper's work. Technically the printer there is a laser printer and the transfer paper is intended for bubble-jet printers. The image was sharp, but annoyingly the background is very slightly yellowed. For a last minute gift that was kind of a gag I was satisfied.

Both were received very well and worn almost straight away with the sizing being just right. Milo also inherited the Darth Vader stencilled T-shirt that I'd made P back in 2013 (previous astrosaur link), along with other clothes and the second School Days wool duffel coat that's been handed down to him. They don't get a lot of wear in our climate and so it's as good as new and will be worn a LOT back in Berlin.

and that makes me a happy Christmas gifter!

Patterns: Oliver + S School Bus T-Shirt & Liesl & Co Metro Men's T-shirt
Sizes: Size 5 with 6 length ('cause it was drafted) and size XL (likewise!)
Modifications: None, but I would take half an inch off the neckband of the men's T-shirt if I could remember to next time.
Fabrics: Leftover knits from the stash
Paint/transfer: Setacolour fabric paint in black. Canon T-Shirt Transfer Paper


  1. I must say, you sure are handy with a scalpel! That drum-kit image is beautifully sharp and both tees look great.

  2. Thanks Marisa. It pays to have surgical training when you sew sometimes!

  3. Surgical training!!! That makes so much sense, and totally reminds me of a scene from M.A.S.H. where a woman doctor (from Sweden) says she loves to sew, it keeps her in practice for surgery, and BJ, who is mending his shorts, responds "I practice surgery to keep in practice for sewing."

    1. I think there's a M.A.S.H. scene for every situation! I think I could definitely have the manual ability to make a good surgeon. It's all the other attributes I lack. Still I do the neatest routine surgeries you'll ever see and love my general medicine consultations.

  4. I'm super keen to give the freezer paper stencilling a crack - what blades are you using in your scalpel? I only have rounded blades but wonder if the fine tipped ones would be better. It's amazing how "real life jobs" help with sewing.

    1. Give it a go Ansley, it's addictive fun. To be truthful, I'm using a craft knife not technically a scalpel, that was a bit of poetic licence. However, the craft knife has an annoying looseness and I want either a better quality one, or perhaps to bring a scalpel handle home from work with me. By the way, an old xray light box would be the perfect way to trace stencils, and with everyone moving to digital radiography, they're being thrown out of vet clinics all the time.
      A no. 11 blade (small pointy) would be best.
      Happy stencilling.


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