Before I got my super duper sewing machine with the embroidery function, I struggled for ways to make my homemade gifts really personalized for my friends. In October of 2009, I had what I thought was a stroke of genius: I would take the technique for reverse applique and apply it to modified photos for t-shirt designs.
It worked like a dream.
Exhibit A: This Prince t-shirt was made for my friend Kenina, who said she used to kiss the Purple Rain poster above her bed every night in elementary school.
Exhibit B: Older, wiser Prince for my friend Callie, who would do a lot of my super duper monogramming for me before I got my awesome machine!
For my friend Tinita, something to wear to her Celtics games - her man Kevin Garnett!
And finally, for my daughter's first birthday party (which was Elvis-themed since she shares her birthday with him), I made myself a fun little Elvis shirt...embellished with some rhinestones, natch.
Now, I've been waffling over whether or not to try and sell these for the past two years. I want to sell them, but they are extremely labor intensive and that kind of freaks me out when I think, "What if I have five people order them all on the same day and I have to turn around and do all the design work plus the sewing and cutting in a few days?!"
But I think I've found a way around it, and so starting Monday, April 25, you can order a totally customized to you t-shirt from the Etsy store! Prices will start at $45 for a 100% cotton T-shirt reverse appliqued with an artistic version of a photo that you email me. You can have your favorite artist, your baby, your boyfriend or your pet. Not all photos work well for the technique; It's best to have a simple, close-up photo that is super clear. So have a backup picture in mind. I'll have the options for the t-shirt colors with the listing.
Not only could you feature a picture, but if you are a small business owner, I can do your logo as well! What a fun gift to give a new client or your employee of the month! Below are two of the t-shirts I've done for my favorite coffee shop downtown using the same reverse applique technique.
Playing on the "other guys" logo, I made a t-shirt to promote buying local. At this restaurant, they get as many of their products from local sources as possible, so you really are promoting the local economy by patronizing this shop!
This shirt is simply a logo shirt, but also created using the reverse applique! What a fun way to support your favorite local business!
As an alternative for kids, who really don't mix with expensive art shirts, I created this simple embroidered version of the logo tee, featuring the phrase "all natural" on the front and the coffee shop logo on the back. I love, love, love it!
So if you or someone you know would love to have a custom tee, be sure to check out the Etsy shop Monday for the listing! To start, I'll only be selling three at a time just in case I have a run. The first "My Bucks" t-shirt sold in 24 hours and I have one requested that has to be finished Monday, but since the digitizing is already finished, it can go a little faster. Expect any new custom order to take a week from photo receipt to shipping.