After reading a few tutorials, I did a reverse applique for the initials: I pinned the contrasting fabric behind the front of the shirt, and a letter stencil (hand-drawn, thankyouverymuch) to the front, sewed around (but not on) the letter, then cut inside to expose the contrasting fabric. After washing, the edges look nicely ragged. I LOOOOOVE it, and it was really fast and easy. The best part is that I started with clearance shirts from Old Navy...$1.74! You can't beat personalized birthday presents for $1.74. The 'L' is for Lyssette, who also received a cutie tutu, and Brighton got a pair of pants made from the sleeves of a sweatshirt that never fit me quite right.
But the following is my fav-fav-favorite. I started with a hot pink shirt (like Carly's 'C') but I didn't want to do a grey E for my girly little niece Emma. SO, after much thought and consideration, I decided to use a fuzzy black velour-type fabric for her E. I had already finished all the other shirts...this was the last one...and I messed it up. On the final stretch of the 'E,' the whole thing got caught in my machine and ripped a hole in the shirt. When surveying the damage, I noticed that the whole thing turned out wonky (that velour has a lot of stretch...hmph). So back to Old Navy I went, not hopeful at finding another shirt, since they were mega-clearance to begin with. But what I found opened the door to a beautiful little outfit of which I am proudest, to date. I used the back of the messed-up pink shirt as my contrasting fabric. Then, I noticed that a skirt I've had in my stash for awhile, waiting to be repurposed, was the perfect shade of over-dyed denim to create a little matching skirt for baby Emma. I hacked it up and considered how to create it, when the faux wrap presented itself as an option. Serging the edges with contrasting-but-coordinating thread gave it that unfinished-finished feel, but it still seemed incomplete. And so I embarked on my first-ever embellishment, which fringed nicely in the wash. Still not satisfied, I decided to attempt leggings for the first time ever, as well. The sleeves of the pink shirt were perfect for a 3/4 length style, but I did have to piece together scraps from another pink shirt to have enough for the leggings...I'm super happy with the cuteness of the extra stripes on the bum. I sewed it all together to make one-piece, so the skirt stays rightly-oriented on our wiggly sweetie, and, VOILA! hands down, my favorite project yet!