Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Chimpanzee Shirt from Ottobre

This was my first ever attempt at painting on a shirt. Ottobre patterns are simply fabulous in my opinion. The chimpanzee may be a bit scary, but I rather like him. :)

Pattern Description:

A raglan sleeved t-shirt with a stenciled chimpanzee print. The raglan seams are curved, making this design unique from most raglan shirts.

Pattern Sizing:

European sizes 92-122; I made a size 122 for my 8-year old son.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?


Were the instructions easy to follow?

Very Easy. However, I did not follow Ottobre's instructions for the stencil. More details below.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

Everything to like, nothing to dislike about this pattern!

Fabric Used:

I used a poly/cotton jersey fabric from my stash.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made:

No alterations, and no design changes. The only thing I did differently from the instructions was my procedure for cutting out the stencil design.

Ottobre suggests using plastic (like from a sheet protector) for the stencil design. Instead, I traced the monkey design onto freezer paper and then cut it out with an x-acto knife. Next, I ironed the freezer paper onto the front of the t-shirt and proceeded with the paint. The freezer paper works great because you don't have to worry about paint seeping under the edges of the stencil and smearing the design.

For the paint I used Tulip Soft Fabric Paint--black and white, mixed together to make gray. I used a sponge brush to paint the design. I am very pleased with the results, but I'm curious to see how this will hold up in the wash.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?

I'd like to do more stenciling on clothing. I probably won't make the same chimpanzee again, but I'd like to try other designs. Also, I will definitely be making this raglan shirt pattern again. The pattern goes together quickly and I highly recommend it.


This was the first time I've ever embellished a piece of clothing with this stenciling method, and I enjoyed doing it. I also enjoyed seeing Jacob's delight when he first saw the shirt this morning. I have a feeling he will be wearing this shirt a lot.

Update, 2/5/09: I just took the monkey shirt out of the dryer, and the paint stayed on, didn't smear, and didn't melt. Yay! I washed the shirt turned inside out with a normal load of dark clothes.


  1. Your sewing skills never cease to amaze me.

  2. It looks awesome! I might have to try that as a batik design!

  3. Elliot would love it if I made him a shirt with a car stenciled on it...

    I'm curious how it will wash too.

  4. I just love it. I'd like to hear how the paint holds up after a few washings too.

  5. Awesome, I see why he loves it!

  6. That looks great! I've bought fabric paint but not tried it out yet - thanks for your tip about the freezer paper.

  7. Very nice! I've always wanted to try stenciling something like that!

  8. Looks awesome! Nice to see something for a boy! I am still trying to rally the money for the Ottobre subscription, but I'll get there!!! I continue to love what you make! Hope your son enjoys the shirt.

    Captain Momma

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  10. Ah,very cute. You did a great job!