Baby Einstein Shirt

Eli has long loved Baby Einstein. He signs (his version of the word) “glasses” when he wants to see it. He inspects the DVD for the Baby Einstein logo before approving it for insertion into the DVD player, often exclaiming “Oh, oh, oh!” when said logo is located. Actually he is now quite a bit less addicted than he was a few months ago, for which I am glad. I should have made this shirt much earlier, but it’s made now and I think he’ll get plenty of enjoyment from it.

The Baby Einstein face I copied freehand onto freezer paper and then carefully cut out using small embroidery scissors. If I do this again I’m going to get myself an exacto knife!

The freezer paper stencil was then ironed onto knit fabric. Then I applied the fabric paint over the stencil.

In my haste to get as much done before Eli woke from his nap I removed the stencil while a few areas of paint were still a bit damp. Baby Einstein now has an extra freckle, dimple or perhaps a zit.  I’m sure it will bother me much more than it will bother Eli.

I traced around a bowl placed over the image with a sliver of soap.

I didn’t like the placement the first time. That’s the beauty of using the soap sliver… the line where I goofed just becomes extra clean after the wash.

I trimmed around on the soap line.

I then added a circle of Heat ‘n’ Bond to the back that was slightly smaller than the fabric. This way I didn’t have to sew through the Heat ‘n’ Bond when I attached it to the shirt with embroidery thread.

In making this shirt I learned experientially about the way the same pattern in different fabrics can fit differently. I made the pattern by tracing a 4T shirt that fits Eli well. When I used it to make the giraffe shirt (with a much heavier knit material) it came out fine in the length but is a bit tight around the chest when putting it on or taking it off. I also had to cut the neck hole of that shirt larger to accommodate his big noggin. The same pattern used in this shirt made with recycled T-shirts ends up being a bit big on Eli all around. That’s fine with me because I know he won’t be growing out of it any time soon.

While on the giraffe shirt I had to cut the neck hole bigger, on this shirt the neck hole was too big right from the beginning. I used the neck ribbing from an adult medium t-shirt with no adjustments.

I hope to find a basic t-shirt pattern that will work well for Eli that comes in various sizes soon. Ottobre has been suggested to me as a good place to look. Any suggestions as to which particular Ottobre edition I should purchase for this?

Thanks for reading!


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  1. May 8, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    So cute! I love how the stencil looks like chalkboard. Thanks for sharing!

    • May 8, 2012 at 3:21 pm

      Thanks… i hadn’t thought about it looking like a chalkboard, but now that you mention it I really like that it does. 🙂

  2. Amy Walker said,

    May 8, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    Wow, what a great idea!!! I haven’t used heat and bond yet, but it’s on the bucket list. This is inspiring!!!

    • May 8, 2012 at 3:23 pm

      Oh, there is much fun to be had with Heat & Bond (or a similar product)! The light weight requires sewing as well if you want the thing applied to stay. The heavy is almost impossible to sew through. Just something to keep in mind when you go to get some for whatever project you are planning.

  3. Maysem said,

    May 8, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    Adorable shirt! I’m sure Eli loves it! Whenever I do sew something for the girls, I always make it a size bigger so that way it can last longer… because they sure do grow fast!

    • May 8, 2012 at 3:25 pm

      Yea, it’s frustrating to spend a lot of time on something only to have them wear it for a couple of months (or weeks in some cases!) And when it is made very personalized it isn’t always something that will be as loved once it is handed down to another child. So big they are made!

  4. ReStitch Me said,

    May 9, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    This turned out so cute!
    A book (with multiple patterns and sizes included) that I used ALOT with my 5 kids, was Kwik Sew Pattern Books for Children. It was published in 1993, I think, but it has several basic patterns–tshirts, pants, sweatshirts, jackets, etc–all from knits. There are many variations for each pattern. It’s dated now, but I think with modern fabrics and your expertise you might like it!

  5. May 9, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    I love that shirt! So subtle, which makes it cuter, in my opinion.

    I haven’t pulled out Baby Einstein for Noah yet – Ali hated it. I should give it a try…

    • May 9, 2012 at 3:24 pm

      When Eli was an infant I could buy about 20 minutes with him out of my arms and in a bouncy seat if I put on Baby Mozart (VHS). I never thought I’d ever give my kid screen time so young, but then I was in the midst of it and sometimes you just need to put the baby down and not hear him scream because of it. Then when he was about 5 months old we bought the DVD version as we were going to be traveling and who besides us even uses a VCR anymore. The new version swapped out a couple of toys to the same music and he cried like his best friend had died. That’s when I first got an inkling that he was perhaps a bit too emotionally invested in Baby Einstein! I’m glad he now prefers to have us read stories to him over watching DVDs (usually, at least). For about a year and a half I’d worried that I’d already failed miserably in this aspect of parenthood.

  6. Ana said,

    May 9, 2012 at 6:44 pm

    How neat! My son is also a big Baby Einstein fan. 🙂

  7. May 10, 2012 at 6:28 am

    CUTE!!! You could sell those shirts!! 🙂

    • May 14, 2012 at 7:51 pm

      Maybe when I replenish all the clothes Eli has outgrown I’ll make some to put in Etsy. By then I should have the process down pretty well and won’t have any of the little areas of wonkiness that these shirts I’m making now do. Mostly only visible to me but… Anyway, thanks for the comment. 🙂

  8. faerylandmom said,

    May 11, 2012 at 9:24 pm

    Very cute! i never thought of using soap…

  9. Melanie said,

    May 14, 2012 at 7:30 am

    Super cute! Thanks for linking to Things I’ve Done Thursday!

  10. May 15, 2012 at 7:27 pm

    That shirt is adorable and such a fun technique too! Thanks for sharing!!

  11. Sherry said,

    May 16, 2012 at 5:16 pm

    How cute! Thank you for joining me at Home Sweet Home!

  12. six sisters said,

    May 16, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    This is just so cute!! We are so happy that you linked up to our “Strut Your Stuff Saturday” and we hope you see you back next week!! -The Sisters

  13. Denise B. said,

    August 20, 2013 at 9:56 pm

    Where did you get the Baby Einstein Face from?

    • August 21, 2013 at 8:39 am

      I looked at the small logo on a DVD case and drew it on the papery side of freezer paper just free hand. You could enlarge the little logo on a photocopier, or maybe somehow on the computer, I suppose.

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