Last weekend we had Gordon’s First Birthday. It was a football themed party so, of course, he needed a tiny #1 jersey. I took to a plain white t-shirt with a pair of scissors and crafted one up quick and cheap. With the playoffs this weekend, it’s the perfect time to show some spirit without shelling out big bucks for team jerseys. Here’s how you do it!

1. Purchase a plain t-shirt one size larger than your child. Craft stores usually have them for $3-5.

2. Cut the sleeves off of the shirt with the seam attached to the sleeve portion.

3. Measure about 1/2 way down the arm holes. If you want to add a name across the upper back of the shirt, make sure you leave enough room on the back.

4. Using a rotary cutter, cut through both layers of t-shirt from arm hole to arm hole.

5. At the front-center, cut at an angle towards the collar as shown.

6. Continue cutting around collar and back down to front-center point. Discard neckline.

7. Cut a strip of your accent jersey 3″ tall and approx 24″ wide. Enough to go around the neck hole of the shirt. The ribs of the jersey should run the short way. Fold in half for a 1.5″ wide strip.

8. Align the two cut edges of the strip with the edge of the neckline with right-side-facing. Leave a bit of a tail of trim.

9. Sew or serge the trim to the neckline of the shirt. Pull the trim so that it is very stretched out while you are sewing/serging. If you need some tips on sewing jersey without a serger, see Sewing Jersey 101.

10. Cut off the excess trim but do so at an exaggerated angle as indicated by the white dotted line.

11. Sew the seam down to the shirt with a row of stitching (optional). Using the trim color adds a nice touch.

12. Overlap the ends of the neckline to form a v-neck.

13. Sew from corner to corner to secure.

14. Match up the front of the neck portion of the shirt with the front of the shirt body and sew/serge back together right-sides-facing.

15. Align the back of the neck with the back of the body and sew together right-side-facing.

16. Your shirt will look like this.

17. Add a row of decorative stitching across the front and back just below the seam.

18. Reattach the sleeves by sewing/serging around the entire arm hole with right sides facing. Start at the underarm in case you have to fudge the fit a little. Jersey is very forgiving so it shouldn’t be a problem.

19. Frankenshirt all sewn back together!

20. Now it’s time to get fancy and add some applique numbers and letters. Find a font that you like and print out the numbers and letters of your choosing, in reverse, at the correct size. I used Collegiate which you can download for free.

21. Trace the numbers and letters on to Heat n Bond or any paper-backed, fusible adhesive. 

22. Iron your letters on to the back of your applique fabric. More brown jersey!

23. Cut out your letters and numbers. If you have a silhouette, this would be a great project for the fabric cutting but I wanted to show that for simple shapes, you can do this easily by hand.

24. Now you should have all your appliques.

25. Peel off the paper backing.

26. Position an applique in place.

27. Press using a dry iron.

28. Zig zag stitch all the way around the edge of your shape.

And you’re done. Hey, wait a minute mister!

And he’s off! “Just try to get a picture of me woman!”

 I have places to go!

Trapped. Boo.

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