One of my most favorite children’s books is Love You Forever, by Robert Munsch, Illustrated by Sheila McGraw.
It was first published in 1986. I remember in elementary school, one of my teachers read this book and had a difficult time getting through to the end because of her tears.
That memory never left me. After I had my first child and he was a little older, I found a gently used copy at a thrift store and planned to give it as a gift. I read through it once I was home, and had to buy another copy because I was keeping this one for myself!
I have yet to read this book to my children without crying :)! So when Katy asked me to participate in Once Upon a Thread, I thought about many different books I love. But I kept coming back to this one because never has a children’s book stirred so much emotion in me!
I wanted to design something that was subtle enough that you really have to look to read the words, but we know it’s there, even if no one else does.
This can be done with iron on vinyl, transfer paper, or even embroider the whole thing. I’ll show you how I made mine with transfer paper.
-skirt, shirt, pants, bag, blanket, or just whatever you’d like to apply the design to. Just make sure that the material and the transfer paper are compatible. I just quickly sewed a paper bag skirt.
-transfer paper. I bought this paper from Amazon, mostly because of the price.
-Pattern. Create your own in a word processor program (my transfer paper came with instructions on how to do this) OR you can print off the same one I used. Click here to print the words, and here for the flowers. Please note, the words are a mirror image because I got the transfer paper for light/white fabrics.
As you follow this tutorial, you’ll notice that the words are all orange, but on my final skirt they are turquoise. I just wanted a little more color on my skirt!
Here are some tips for your transfer paper, assuming that your instructions are similar for the brand you have:
**I strongly recommend practicing at least 2 times with your transfer paper, onto some test fabric that is the same as what you’ll be applying the design to. The reason? My instructions seemed very thorough, but once I tried following them exactly, my results varied. For instance, mine said to iron for AT LEAST 2 minutes. Well, less than a minute into it, the background to my letters turned yellow.
**I found that if your background remains shiny, however, that you didn’t leave the iron on long enough. So find an even balance.
**If working with light fabrics, clean your iron before use!
**Apply a pillowcase or other fabric that can handle high heat over the transfer paper when ironing on. Make sure that the pillowcase is wrinkle free.
**Read the reviews on the transfer paper you are buying. Read the reviews on others as well. I actually read a lot of the reviews on this brand and took the advice found there.
**Make sure you are getting the right transfer paper for your fabric. Is your fabric dark? Then you need different transfer paper than I used, and you might not even have to mirror your words. Read the instructions thoroughly!
**You may want to choose a fabric that doesn’t wrinkle easily, as you cannot iron over the transfer paper once applied. I quickly swiped mine with some fabric over it, and they were fine, but if I put them onto the pillowcase and ironed over them for a little longer, the words came off onto the pillowcase. So it’s probably better to just leave the iron off of the transfer paper once it’s applied.
**And finally, your method of applying, fabric, iron, brand of transfer paper, etc. will all come into play. It was not difficult once I practiced a couple times, but please do not get upset with me for any problems that might occur. I’ve washed my skirt once and the letters stayed on just fine. 15 washes? I have no idea. Just to put that disclaimer out there ;).
My instructions said not to use an ironing board. I assume because of the holes. So make sure that the pillowcase or fabric you lay under your skirt (or shirt or whatever you are applying the words to), is ironed flat.
Let cool before peeling off the backing.
Embellish however you choose and enjoy watching your child wear the words every mother feels.