Tuesday, May 8, 2012

I Heart My State T-shirts: A Tutorial

Part of our homeschool studies this year has been to study the United States.  We've gone state-by-state to learn about each one's history, famous landmarks, industries, facts & features.  It's been a lot of fun and we've all learned a lot.  For our home state, Michigan, we've done some extra things and one we really enjoyed was making these I Love My State Tees.  It's a fun way to show where we're from:)

Here's how to make your very own (using your own state, province or country of course!) -

You'll Need:
- Some cheap blank tees (mine were about $2.50 each)
- Scrap fabrics
- Paper
- Scissors
- Sewing notions
- Shaped buttons/beads (optional)

First we made some paper patterns for our state and used their hands for sizing.  Since we live in Michigan, it was pretty easy to trace the state shapes with hands for both the Lower Peninsula:

and Upper Peninsula:

After cutting them out, I used them to cut the state appliques from some fleece scrap fabric:

I pinned them into place on the shirt fronts and then stitched them with a 1/8 inch seam allowance.  Using fleece meant there would be no fraying and the shirts would still feel stretchy and soft even though the appliques are big:

I wanted them to have a bit of fun flair so I added some little faces.  I cut some circles from white and blue fleece for eyes on my older son's shirt and a "U" shape for the mouths and stitched them on so the eyes of the UP & LP look towards one another:

We also hand sewed some buttons & charms to represent the various industries of the state and where they're located: cherries for Traverse City, a copper bead for the copper mining in the UP, a car for Detroit, a star for the capital, a heart for where we live, etc.

Now he's got a shirt that shares what he's learned and is fun to wear too:

For my little guy's shirt I went a bit more Kawaii (cute) style with some rosy circle cheeks, wider mouth and a little "Hi!" message:

Now we're all set to celebrate our state any day of the week!

Sharing this with my FAVE LINK PARTIES too-
Click HERE to check them out!


  1. These are just adorable!! Thanks for sharing at Terrific Tuesdays.

  2. Those are so cute! And the fact you let your kids help makes them even more special. I gotta figure out how to make California!

    1. Having them help definitely made it more fun. Maybe trace and arm & fist for California? :)

  3. I love these...going to save this and make my family some Michigan ones someday too :) Great idea!

  4. Those are so cute! Missouri...out of body parts though...hmmm?

  5. OMG these are too cute! I'm from Michigan too so I absolutely love this idea.

  6. I love these, especially since I am a fellow Michiganian and am "smitten with the mitten". I would love it if you would share this on Tout It Tuesday. http://www.claimingourspace.com/2012/05/tout-it-tuesday-5.html

    1. Great! Thanks for the invite - I've linked up to your party:)

    2. Thanks so much for sharing on Tout It Tuesday!


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