02 March 2011

Love You Forever Skirt: Christie from A Lemon Squeezy Home

I don't really think any of my guests this month particularly need an introduction, as they're all well known in their own right, but I would like to tell you why I chose them to participate.  
photo by Rachelle Tomlinson
Christie from A Lemon Squeezy Home, although I've never met her in person, I can tell is the type of person you would call when you were having a bad day and you know she would say exactly what you needed to hear to give perspective and the confidence that things were going to be okay. There's a whole lot of love going on in that cute family of hers, plus a smattering of fun sewing projects and decorating.  She seems an endless source of clever little projects.  I'm so pleased to have her here today, sharing her favorite children's literature.

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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.
love skirt
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.
You’ll need:
-skirt, shirt, pants, bag, 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.
-embroidery floss with needle, buttons, lace, fabric flowers, crocheted flower or heart, or whatever else you want to embellish the “word stems” with
-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.   DSCF4816
**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 ;).
After your practices with the transfer paper, you are ready!  Cut the words out, very closely to the letters. DSCF4805
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.DSCF4807
Arrange the words however you’d like them.  You can even cut the “stems” apart in individual words and make a fun design. DSCF4809
Once you get them how you like them, turn them over (my sentences all started at the bottom, so I made sure that the first word of the sentence was by the bottom edge of the skirt).DSCF4811
Follow the directions on your transfer paper and iron them down.  DSCF4813
Let cool before peeling off the backing.
Take four small squares of interfacing and iron them down above the “word stems”.  Careful not to iron the words or they’ll stick to whatever they are touching underneath. DSCF4895
Trace the flowers and use an embroidery hoop to embroider the flowers once the words are dried and cool.  DSCF4820DSCF4824DSCF4825
I used a lace that doesn’t fray to cut out the heart and circle flower with buttons.  I traced the shapes with an erasable marker, cut them out, then washed the marker off and sewed them on. DSCF4804
Embellish however you choose and enjoy watching your child wear the words every mother feels. 

i'll love you

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I think I'll cry every time I read that book now!  What a sweet skirt and even sweeter sentiment.  Thank you Christie!


  1. I remember this book form elementary school too, but haven't seen it since then. Now I'll have to find a copy and my husband will think I'm crazy when I start crying during story time! Thanks for the wonderful idea!

  2. this is so very sweet...gosh, this is shaping up to be an incredible month!

  3. I love that book too and that skirt is adorable! What a great idea!

  4. You've got me all teared up and it's only 7:23 in the morning! Love that book -- can't get through it without getting shedding a tear. That skirt is the sweetest thing I've seen in a long time -- and the little one wearing it is sweetness personified!

  5. The skirt is so sweet and pretty Christie! I Love You Forever is one of my favorite books too(it is translated in Japanese as well).
    Thank you for sharing such a cute idea.

  6. I love your choice for book and the skirt is beautiful. A little skirt for her to keep even once she has outgrown it. If God blesses her with a little girl; you know she will want to dress her with it as well.

  7. I love this book! I can't get through it without tears either.
    Beautiful skirt!

  8. Definitely a three hanky book!
    I would love this project on a napkin or tiny bag to go in a school lunchbox wrapped around some lovin' from mom. And can I mention that I have been so excited to get up each day this week and check out Once Upon a Thread!

  9. What a perfect, sweet little girl to wear the sweetest of all skirts! It warms the heart.

  10. This is so very sweet. Wonderful idea and I love that book also.

  11. SO precious! I just "LOVE" it - what a wonderful idea. I can tell this blog series is going to be SO much fun!! Great job, Christie!


  12. I love it! This idea would be so awesome on a baby blanket, too. Great job, Christie.

  13. Oh. That book makes me cry too. I love it so much when he picks up his old mother! adorable skirt! thanks for the ideas.

  14. I had never heard of that book until recently while in a bookstore with my son....it brought tears to my eyes too!! And that skirt is amazing!! She's a lucky girl :)

  15. Christie I LOVE this skirt! And I love that book, too. Great idea!

  16. That is adorable. One of my very favorite books, too! Christie is awesome!

  17. How appropriate that you made a paper bag skirt for the words from Robert Munsch's book "Love You Forever." His book "The Paper Bag Princess" was a favourite in our house, along with several others of his books.

  18. This is darling. I have also never made it through reading this book without crying!

  19. There is NO WAY I could make this skirt without inserting a tissue pocket for it. I would cry buckets, I tell you, buckets of tears. The kids got this book from my mother when they were born. To this day, I can NOT read it to them. That was 13 years ago. I LOVE LOVE LOVE your skirt. ::sniff::

  20. VERYVERYVERY cute!!!!!! I adore the subtlety.

  21. This is the sweetest thing I've ever seen! I also can't get through that book without crying, my daughter pats me and says, "It's ok mommy!" (She's almost 2.)

  22. Ive tried reading it to adopted daughter a few times since we brought her home in Aug. Havent been able to yet. (I just skip parts with a lump in my throat.) I cannot wait to go find something to do this on. I have a transfer pencil and will just embroider the words too..... thank you so very much for such a sweet idea.

  23. Such a sweet idea! So cute and subtle.

  24. I never got into that book but I love the skirt!!!
    You have inspired me and I am thinking of another book idea.. I love the purple crayon idea too! So sweet!

  25. What an adorable skirt Christie. I wouldn't have expected anything less from you though! You always amaze me with your creativity. Love you! :)

  26. Honest to goodness, the skirt brought tears to my eyes. Maybe it's the post-baby hormones, maybe it's the fact that I can never finish that one without tearing up, myself. What a beautiful choice for the Once Upon A Thread project, and what a beautiful skirt.

  27. So sweet, so beautiful! It kind of choked me up over here =)

  28. Another amazing tutorial! I love this skirt!

  29. Here is a project I can totally do! I love this.

    Katy - I am super amused that in your bookshelf heading, you have the Dangerous Book for Boys.

  30. wow I absolutely love that!!!! Brooke
    Girl Boy Girl Inspired

  31. My mother gave this to each of her children as they had children. She loves it so much. I love the skirt and am excited to make it for my little lovely. I think I will use the idea to make something for my mother as well. Thank you so much for sharing.

  32. so clever and lovely. Thank you for sharing your idea. The transfer of text is smart and quick. Thanks!

  33. Beautiful in its simplicity, this is a wonderful project. And my kids love that book, too.

  34. Awww...I love this skirt and i LOVE that book. I cannot read it without bawling either. What a beautiful idea!

  35. I cry whenever I read that book, too! And what a sweet skirt!

  36. That is soooo awesome!! Just darling!! Thanks for the tutorial and all the great tips.

  37. I love it! What a way to showcase a book. I would have to save this forever and make it into a scarf for her wedding day. Just beautiful!

  38. One word: BAWL! Everytime I read that book my boys look at me and wonder what I'm crying about. Super cute skirt...love the "stems"

  39. One word: BAWL! Everytime I read that book my boys look at me and wonder what I'm crying about. Super cute skirt...love the "stems"

  40. I haven't read that book, but cried reading the one page you photographed for this post. I don't know if I dare read any more!

  41. ok with so many people reading this book, i'd like to hear everyone's versions of the TUNE. i read this when i was a "big sister" so i don't ever remember crying, but maybe it would be different now...

    thank you to christie for going through all the trial and error of transfer paper so others don't have to!

  42. My older daughters call this book "the book that makes mommy cry". I am not sure that they even know what the real title of the book is. When we welcomed the newest little sister (ten years difference between her and the next oldest) they wanted to make sure that we read "the book that makes mommy cry" to her right away. I love the skirt and will be making one of my own now. Thank you.

  43. Oh, I've never heard of this book! It's so sweet! and it touched me so much! I really ant to buy it, so I'll look out for it. The skirt is so cute, it's a lovely job. Beautiful post altogether!

  44. I received that book as a gift after my son was born and I can't get through it without crying either. He is nine now and we still read it together on occasion and it STILL makes me CRY. I don't know why, but I am glad to know that I am not alone. And yes, that is a very cute skirt:)

  45. My mom gave all of her kids this book....I never got the true understanding until I had children myself. Now I cannot get through it without crying!

    Thanks for the tutorial - super sweet!

    Unleash your creativity

  46. My kids actually called this "The Crying Book" when they were little! Very cute skirt-someone commented that it would be cute on a baby blanket too. It would be a nice handmade gift to give along with the book. Okay, the thought of giving that even makes me cry...

  47. This is such a sweet sweet skirt! I linked to your tutorial on Craft Gossip Sewing:

  48. Love the book. Love the skirt. The book has me sobbing every time I read it. Our family sings this song as one our our bedtime songs, but we have changed the lyrics. We sing "through out all eternity my baby you'll be." Or "through out all eternity your mama I'll be."
    I must go make my daughter a skirt now!

  49. I love this! I might have to copy it.

  50. This is so sweet and I really like it.Thanks for giving me the idea.

  51. Maybe it's just me, but that book creeps me out. I get the sentiment behind it, honest! I just think it's weird for an old lady to crawl into the house late a night and cuddle her grown child. Maybe it has to do with me not being a mom? I don't know. However, I love the words you showcased on the (adorable, sweet, cute) skirt. I love that you pulled the best of I'll Love You Forever in a subtle way!

  52. I could have been that elementary teacher who read it with tears in my eyes. Did I teach you in third grade? It's definitely one of my favorite books.

  53. I don`t know the book (mabey because I`m from Germany?!), but reading through your post I also got tears in my eyes. You are totally right! I`m mummy of a little boy (4.5 month) and I never thought that there could be such a deep and endless love without any compromise! Thank you so much!



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