Summer Shirts

When it comes to kids clothes, I’m kind of a “one or the other” sewer.  Either I sew a shirt and buy the shorts…or sew a skirt and buy the shirt….or buy a onesie and paint on top.  Okay that’s not sewing.  But you know what I mean.  It’s nice to maximize creative time by purchasing some things and throwing one handmade item in the mix (similar to our discussion here)

So I pulled thrifted T-shirts from my stash on Saturday and made Owen new summer shirts.

I used the 90 minute shirt tutorial and created my own pattern.

But since I haven’t used that pattern in over a year it needed some tweaking.

It worked!

Actually, the neck on the first shirt was a little wide (but I sort of like the boat neck).

So I redrew the pattern neckline and shoulders to make it smaller. 
Little changes; big improvements.

I wonder if he’s too old for an envelope Tee.  Maybe it’s too little boy for him?  I mean, look how much he’s grown in the last 2 1/2 years!

I guess if he still likes riding this itty bitty bike though, the 90 minute shirt works.

The kid does have a real bike in the garage but he really loves this thing!   He can zoom around so fast.

So there you go.

$5 shorts from Target.
$2 shirts from me.

  1. I’ve made quite a few of these envelope-style tees for my Etsy shop. I often wonder if my almost-3-year-old is too big for an envelope tee but if Owen is still wearing them then I guess we’re good! 😉 I really like the contrasting necklines you made. And my kiddo has about 5 shirts right now (he just keeps growing) so I think I need to make a few more. Thanks for the inspiration!

  2. You know what? I don’t think it’s too young at all. It seems like kind of a variation on a ringer tee or something – it’s totally fun, and I like it. I actually had a couple of short sleeved tees for me a year ago or so that were envelope style, and they were great. (Okay, not great – they were cheap and distorted with washing so I chucked them eventually but I did like the neckline). I’m kind of a sucker for details and I think especially on boys clothes it’s such a great way to add to the distinctiveness. Own it I say!

    I’m actually off to make one as a birthday shirt for my little man, who turns 2 on Sunday.

    I love these shirts and have made them as gifts and for my boy repeatedly – see (scroll to the bottom), and! :).

    Okay, that totally looks like shameless blog plugging, which is not my point – only go see if you want to! – but the point is I am fairly militant in my INSANE LOVE OF THESE SHIRTS and I want to make everyone else love them too :-P.

  3. 3) amelia

    My son is 4.5 and still likes his little 4 wheeled little tykes “bike.” He looks ridiculous on it and his knees are so close to scraping the ground I cringe when he’s speeding along but he loves the thing.

    Love the shirts, no matter the age.

  4. 4) Laura * Suman

    I can’t believe you still have that bike!! Ours bit the dust years ago. Wow. Owen is so adorable. Love him!!

  5. Love the envelope shirt. It’s been on my list for a while. I’m getting anxious to make some. My little dude will be 3 in August. I think they look super cool with the contrasting colors. Totally age appropriate.

  6. 6) Kristin

    So cute! I love that they are unique and not just something you can go buy. I think I need to jump in and make my little boy some shirts! Yikes. 🙂

  7. Can you really grow out of envelope tees? I would like to have one for myself and I’m 40! I’m still hoping I would have energy to try it again at least in kids’ size, but choosing the fabrics and the dimensions on the shoulders has been sort of tricky. Sad, it seems that everybody else gets them right on the first attempt! But the endless possibilities with contrasting colours and Dana’s pretty pictures have sort of hypnotized me. I really need these.

    • Oh dude no. I have had to take a couple of runs at it to get my pattern to a point where I’m happy with it – the first few times the necks were too wide and the shoulders were wonky. Keep at it though – you’ll be so surprised at what a huge difference a tiny little adjustment to your pattern will make!!

  8. Wauw! supernice. And i love your doughters hair! greetings from belgium 😉

  9. 10) Aliya

    I always have the issue of the neckline being too wide when I try making the pattern. I would love to see what the flat modification needs to be to bring it in, as you did.

    He’s totally still pulling off the look. It almost looks sporty with the grey and green. 🙂

  10. I love the striped one! I don’t think he’s too old for the look. I might be though!

  11. 13) EMILY

    my (almost) four year old still rides his teeny bike/car too! We now have another toddler that he refuses to share with… the little guy should be the one riding it. How fun and I love your shirts.

  12. 14) Jamie

    I soo need help with making mine better. I made 4 for my 3 year old and every single neckline is different!!!! Argh! I have one boat neck, one sideways neck, one that kinda came out looking really good that I could not duplicate the 4th time 🙁

  13. 15) SleepyKnitter

    I love the envelope shirt and want to try it for my little boy. I tried to find the ribbing for the neck line at Hobby Lobby but the store worker didn’t know what I was talking about. Does Jo Ann’s carry this kind of ribbing, or do you buy it online?

    I love your baby girl’s hair pictures in the previous post. Soooo cute! 😉

    • 16) Jeanne J.

      I have bought ribbing at Joann’s. I had to go to one of their larger stores.

  14. They look great. I don’t think he is too old for the envelope shirt. I think it looks great on him! I love how you use thrifted tees! 😀

  15. 18) Sarah K.

    I want to make one for my almost six year old daughter – I think it would be so cute! I need to adjust the pattern I used for my son last summer though. The neck is too floppy (if that makes sense?). I think maybe it was the type of t-shirt I used – very drapey material. I just put safety pins in though and it still fits over his head. A work in progress. 🙂

  16. 19) Lauralee

    He would LOVE a plasma car! My kiddos zoom around on it (inside the house) at a zillion miles a minute it feels like! We are going to change the wheels to rubber wheels so they don’t scratch the floors, but every one can ride it – even Daddy!

    I love the shirts, and after your inspirational post last week, I am gathering my nerve to try knits… Perhaps the 90 minute shirt would be a good start.

    Thanks for your posts!

  17. Oh, wow! You’re little man has gotten so big. Thank you for the remake. I thought about making the “90 Minute Shirt” for my 4 year old (almost 5) but wasn’t sure if he’d outgrown the style. It looks great on your son. I’ll be making one soon!

  18. 22) Kari

    What is the color you used for the blue on your walls? I need a blue for my living room!

    The envelope shirt would work well for my boy’s big noggin. 🙂

  19. That Stripey turquoise tee is awesome. And gotta love that smiling face!

  20. Not too old for envelope shirts at all. At least I don’t think so! He is such a handsome boy Dana!

    You should design kids clothes I think. 🙂 Love the colors you chose. The kelly green on gray is my favorite.

  21. Not too old- I got out some fabric to make my 5-year-old one of these shirts yesterday (then promptly started another project, then another…). If it is pink, she’ll wear anything 😉

  22. I’m never brave enough to try this…any chance you’ll sell the pattern someday?

  23. 27) Indiengmom

    love those Tees. What is that aqua/babyblue wallcolor name where Owen is riding a bike?

  24. 28) Side Stitches

    I don’t have kids, but when I do, this will be at the top of my list! And if I get the pattern down when they’re little, they’ll probably be wearing envelope tees until they’re 18! Love them! Can’t wait to try this one someday 🙂

  25. I am so anxious to make these! I am ga-ga over the envelope shirts. I am anxious to make babies too… maybe I should start with them. 😉

  26. Very nice tutorial! Also, being a former Texas girl your Ozarka water bottle caught my eye. It’s weird I know but Ozarka is hands down the best water ever!!!

    – Katie Fleming

  27. 31) bdaiss

    Awesome! I really need some me-time to hit up a few thrift stores. (My kids are still riding their learn-to-walk car things. One is 5 the other is 2. What is the deal? I’m seriously tempted to stash them in the basement for a few weeks to see if they notice them missing. They are killing my floors.)

  28. 32) Tracy

    I’m thinking of making one for my youngest and she is 6. I think as long as you and Owen both like them, then you are good. I’m not a fan of sewing knits, not much experience with them but I’m going to try this.

  29. 33) Susan Hedstrom

    I’m so happy getting back my divorced husband through lordzakuza7 @ gmail . com

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