Wednesday 17 February 2016

DIY: Personalised First Birthday Top

I love craft projects but rarely make enough time for them nowadays, which is such a shame. For our wedding we made so many of the little touches and I really enjoyed using/testing my creative side. Isabella's first birthday is the perfect opportunity to test my creative flair and ability again, especially as I'm still on maternity leave. One of the first projects I gave myself was to make Isabella a '1' top for her to wear on the morning of her birthday. Now sewing is not something I'm very good at, in fact I'm pretty awful but I was determined to not let that hold me back. 

This floral material from Tiger (£2 for 50x50cm) caught my eye as we're having a floral theme to Isabella's birthday party. Use whichever material suits your little ones birthday party theme/interests. I then searched through our box of 12-18 month clothes that are waiting for her to grow into and found this long sleeved pink top from Next (£3). I opted for 12-18 months because I made this about 1.5 months before Isabella turned one and I didn't want it to not fit her after all my hard work!
Before sewing the birthday top I practised by sewing an 'I' onto a plain white bodysuit. If you're like me and a bit useless when it comes to sewing then I'd recommend doing this. I learnt which way to sew on the floral fabric was the easiest for me and the importance of not sewing with a very long piece of thread. It kept getting knotted up, which was not only frustrating but took up a lot of time. 

As the top I used was pink I used a pink thread, by using a matching/similar colour thread it makes any mistakes or imperfections in your sewing a lot less noticeable. Lets be honest, I needed all the help I could get! 
Now onto how to get the 1 shape - you could print off a template, cut it out and draw round it or just go freehand. I drew a template on paper freehand (with the help of a ruler for the straight lines), as it meant I had a bit more flexibility with the size I wanted it. I then cut out the 1 and placed it on the top to ensure it was the size I wanted it etc. Once I was happy I used it to cut out a 1 from the floral material. You could pin the paper template down but I found it created holes in the materials, so opted for lightly drawing around it. When you're cutting the 1 out make sure you add an extra 1cm all the way around. This is so that you can fold over the edges to get sharp finish that won't fray. 
Next fold along the lines you've lightly drawn, ensuring the floral pattern is on the outside. You could either then sew around the edges first, then sew the 1 onto the top or sew it straight onto the top. The first is more time consuming but I personally find it easier and it's the method I used when I did the 'I' bodysuit. For this top I had a go at the first method again and I'm pretty happy with the results. 
By doing a running stitch you can quite easily create a fairly neat line of thread around the outside of the 1, which you can see below. I try to keep the space between the stitches pretty even, as it helps to make it look more 'professional' and less homemade by a complete amateur!
To attach the 1 to the top put it in the position you'd like and repeat the running stitch all the way around (going through the top as well). When you're doing this keep checking the positioning of the 1 because it can easily move around. Once you've sewn all the way around make sure you back over a couple of stitches to secure the end of the thread in place. You're then done and it's ready for the birthday girl/boy to wear!

Did you/are you doing any craft projects for your children's birthday?

Feel free to leave a comment :)

Helen x
Let's Talk Mommy


  1. That looks so easy. I have to admit I bought my little ones outfit online. I am no good at crafting but if I had a tutorial like this I would probably give it a go.

  2. What a cute top and a clever idea. I looked all over for my daughter a Number one top and could not find a one we like and I never thought to do something like this xx #sharewithme

  3. Fab idea. I'd never thought of sewing one on and you've made it look so simple.

  4. This is such a cute and inexpensive idea! Something you can keep as well as a reminder :) #brilliantblogposts


  5. This looks fantastic. Thanks for sharing with us.

  6. What a lovely little creative project. It looks so cute. Thanks for linking up to Share With Me. I hope to see you again tomorrow for another great roundup! #sharewithme


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