Friday, March 11, 2016

DIY Tee Shirts

Sometimes, the Internet behaves badly....

Well, let's be more specific - my connection to the Internet can often be disrupted by things that happen in Chicago, or that happen in my (VERY large) building, or that take place in the phases of the moon which govern our connectivity to the rest of the universe. (this last issue might explain why I personally am often stymied about how to get things working again!)

At any rate, sometimes I have NO ability to comb through the world of online merchandise, searching for the perfect tee shirt or scarf. It is during these times that I play with PowerPoint...

PowerPoint is ideally suited for making fun graphic images, especially those that use standard shapes that are arranged in essentially geometric systems. You can resize things, change colors, and just generally go nuts... and when you're through playing around, you can put PowerPoint on your resume! 

I call this "Star-gyle"

If you come up with a design that you like well enough to wear on a tee shirt, nothing could be easier, if you have an ink jet printer. Light-colored printer transfer paper is readily available (here), and if you want to put a transfer onto a darker-colored top, those transfers are also easy to do (paper available here.)

A couple of years ago, I bought a wonderful cardigan in Amsterdam - fluffy grey alpaca with stars woven into it. Recently, I've started wearing tee shirts with stars on them. So I thought I'd design a few of my own! 

While this looks a great deal like a smile, these stars should arrange neatly around the neckline of an L.L.Bean size medium tee shirt. I intend to find out. (These are what I think I'm going to use...)

If you "right click" on these images, you should be able to copy them into a document and print them for yourself. Or of course, if you get stuck, send me an email ( and I'll send PDF's to you.

Now that the Internet is back in gear, chez moi, I'll get back to finding some lovely accessories...




  1. I totally sympathise. We live in an area with poor and variable connection.
    Today I went way back in your files to French Chic and it was so intresting
    So thank you I loved them. I hope communication improves for you. X Chris Australia

  2. France Telecom isn't any better, especially in the country.
    I like your DYI. There are so many ways to amp up the style of basics--different buttons, adding a ribbon or a trim.....

  3. "Star-gyle" ... I'm still giggling about it. Very clever.

  4. Wow, the stars around the neckline look very much like some of the promo shots for the last Bowie album - is what it reminded me of.

    Just an FYI, as some people (like me, evidently) will immediately see the link. Cheers!

    1. When I wore one of my star tee shirts, a friend of mine asked me immediately if it was related to the album in any way. I hadn't thought of it, although I've listened to Blackstar about 50 times since I bought it. Any time that I can do anything even vaguely like David Bowie, I am a happy woman; what an elegant and stylish man.... sigh...

    2. Interesting how you ended up at a similar design by a different, unrelated route. I have that graphic on the mind as I'm designing a Bowie retrospective-like scarf for a friend as her wedding present. He really was lovely, it's a great album.

  5. Finding what to wear when it is TOO DARN HOT outside is always a challenge for me, I spend a lot of my day outside...

    I love your idea here and will use it to solve that problem: Blackstar flair in soft taupe on an a plain tee! Tea daa. Complete outfits without the heat or bulk of jewelry/scarves. A simple skinny bracelet, lightweight watch, or my fitness band and done!

    If I throw a little cardigan in the backseat or in my bag, I'm ready for restaurants, libraries, movies, shopping...all the air-conditioned indoor places, too. What was just a skirt, top, and sandals fit only for home or the playground becomes a complete outfit fit for most of the places I frequent. Wonderful.

    BTW, I changed out the buttons of several of my sweaters and blouses after another of your 'upcycle' DIY posts, and it has made all the difference. Good fit and subtle details take a simple wardrobe from merely okay to truly wonderful.
    Thanks so much, as always. Sue G
    Sue G

  6. What a pain when our technology does not work! Star-gyle! Love it!! I like a good DIY project. The nested stars design is my favorite.

    The trick to the transfer paper is lots and lots of pressure! Press on a hard surface and really put your weight into it. I like to iron the backside of the design too just to make sure I am getting a good bond. I use parchment paper as a cover sheet.

    Linda in Arkansas

  7. Janice,
    Now that you're having an Internet intermission, I've been meaning to ask you -- who is the Vivienne whose name you have chosen for this site ?

    1. Vivienne is someone I knew in Paris about 20 years ago - she worked at a hotel where I stayed, and where I often conducted training seminars. We got to be friends, and for a while she was sort of a touchstone and reference person for all things French Chic, for me, and for members of a discussion group on Yahoo, of which I was a member.

  8. For those of us crafty folks with a Cricut or Silhouette, the world is your oyster when it comes to designing T-shirts.