I am so excited about today’s guest, Caila of Caila Made. 

I have recently come to know this incredible Momma, and let me just tell you – she rocks my socks off! Caila’s talent is through the roof, and I was so excited when she signed on board for K.I.D.S.  I may have done a dance around my living room, just a little :).

A freelance writer turned sewing enthusiast, this Momma of 3 little ones taught herself to sew through the internet!!!  She is officially my hero. And exactly why I couldn’t wait to feature her here on Me Sew Crazy! She literally embodies the very reason I blog.  And I couldn’t wait to see what Caila and her children would come up with for K.I.D.S.

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Me Sew Crazy readers! I’m so happy to be here today! This has to be one of my favorite series out there in blog land, because I love seeing the unique personalities of our children emerge in our sewing. If motherhood has taught me one thing, it is that my children are not me. They are their own individual selves.

This is particularly true of my oldest son, Hudson. He’s five, and though we are very similar in temperament and personality, our interests are completely different. His brain is all science and math, whereas mine is full of words and art. Readers of CailaMade already know that Hudson is a walking encyclopedia of facts about Outer Space. He could name all the planets in our solar system (in order) when he was 3, and his knowledge just keeps increasing. He watched with fascination when the Curiosity Rover landed on Mars, and tells me with confidence that he will one day walk on the moon. I don’t doubt it.

He’s also a lego guy and I frequently find lego spacecraft and moon rovers of his own design laying around the house. I guess maybe he and I aren’t so different in our interests? He loves to create in his own way.

When I originally asked Hudson to design an outfit for this series he gave me a flat out NO. All he said was, “Just make me a space shirt, mom.” But I’ve already done that! Help me out here, kid! I tried for at least three weeks to get him to draw me something space-y so I could use it for inspiration, but no. Suddenly, one afternoon I saw him building this and it clicked:

Hudson didn’t need to draw me some space inspiration, because he was already building space inspiration every day! His creations are literally under my feet on a daily basis; all I had to do was pay attention.

So I snapped the photo above with my iPhone and sent it to my computer. I opened it in my photo editing software, Pixelmator, and turned it into a sketch. I’m sure you can do this in most photo editing programs, but I’ll share my steps using Pixelmator in case any of you want to try my method. By the way, I purchased Pixelmator for $7 through the Apple App Store on my computer and it has never done me wrong. It’s great photo editing software with a lot of extra perks, for very little money. Great for this blogging mamma!

OK, so this is what I did. Here is the original image in Pixelmator:

Using the Effects Browser, I chose the “Sketch” option and turned it into a black and white sketch. I played with the threshold and contrast until I was satisfied, and then added the words “moon rover” under the image.

All those little gray checks show that the background is transparent; they don’t show up in the printed image. Here is a side-by-side of Hudson’s moon rover pictures:

Pretty cool, huh? When I printed out the sketch, Hudson was so excited we had to frame it for his room. That’s success, ladies!

Putting it on the shirt was just as easy. I used a transfer paper called Josie’s, which was purchased at Joanne’s or Michael’s (can’t remember which) and I was not pleased with it. I usually use Leslie Riley’s Transfer Artist Paper, which is fantastic and comes out like a screen printed image, but I didn’t have any on hand. As a result, the image on Hudson’s shirt looks faded. But I’m taking this in stride because faded is kinda the “in” thing here in Southern California.

Using Transfer Artist Paper is very easy, and I offer simple instructions in this post. The two most important things to remember are:

  1. Print the image as a MIRROR IMAGE, otherwise the finished product will be backwards on your shirt.
  2. Cut closely around your image to avoid extra TAP sticking to your shirt.

Lastly, follow all the directions specified on your particular TAP. I didn’t follow the directions very well with this TAP and as a result I have a faded image. Boo. 
But I think it’s still a pretty cool shirt! On a pretty cool boy. Gosh, I love him.
OK, some details on the actual shirt:
I used the Banyan Tee pattern by Figgy’s Patterns. The fabric is all repurposed: the gray stripe came from a men’s t-shirt from Target, and the white from a women’s shirt purchased from Nordstrom once upon a time. I made two changes to the pattern:
  1. I left off the pocket.
  2. I cut a size 6/7 but had to add 3/4″ to the side seams and 2″ to the bottom hem. My son usually wears a size 6 (or Small in Quicksilver shirts, which is what he mostly wears). Next time I will probably cut the 8/9, but I thought I’d give you fair warning. This pattern may run small, or maybe it’s just my boy. 
I cut the neckband out of the gray knit along the bias, which is what makes the stripes go at an angle. I love that detail! My challenge with boy sewing is learning how to make stylish items that my son can wear to school. I’ve mentioned before that we are pretty casual (he could wear this outfit to church, fyi), so I’m currently trying to master the casual-cool-surfer-boy look in my sewing. This pattern is a great fit for our style!
He’s wearing his Moon Rover tee with the red shorts I made him last fall. Red’s his favorite color so, yeah, I was inspired by him there, too!
Thanks so much for having me in this series, Jess! It was such a great experience for my boy and I. He loves his shirt, and I have learned to better appreciate his unique creative genius. And thank YOU, for reading! To see more of what I’ve been making, visit my blog, CailaMade. You can also find me on Pinterest, Facebook, and Flickr. Bye for now! 


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Caila!!! I am totally geeking out over this post and what you made for little man! That is INCREDIBLE!!!! You literally just blew my mind! Thank you so much for sharing this, that tutorial is incredible and I will definitely be using it as Ben gets older. After all, what little boy doesn’t love legos?! This whole thing is just WOW. Thank you so much for being here and being a part of K.I.D.S.

Please be sure to head on over to Caila Made and show her blog some love, it is filled with incredible inspiration just like what you saw here today!!!


Thanks so much for stopping by, and until next time…

Happy Sewing!