Little Car Man

July 20, 2011

So this friend of mine, she’s got a car fan. He’s 3 and totally obsessed with all things vehicular. While watching a show on tv, he saw a pillowcase with a big car on it and got really excited, so a few months ago she asked me if I could make him some car pillowcases. I’m ashamed to admit how long this project has taken me, but I really hope our little car man has sweet dreams on his new pillowcases!

She knew a giant car would be his first choice, and past that, we explored other options. He likes race cars and traffic lights, so I made this case (and love the exhaust!).


And since our kids are currently obsessed with all things alphabet as well, one features his name in super-huge letters made from vehicle fabric.

And lastly, a box truck. I picked the bicycle fabric for this one because I thought it would be precious to personalize it.

As I was finishing the pillowcases, she asked me if I’d kill her if she added a few shirts to the mix. Last year I made him a whole pile of appliqued tees to last all summer, and he’s still wearing them this year! They’re both getting a little bored of the same wardrobe, so I had no problem throwing in a few shirts, too.

This car shape and this fabric were his favorite, so I repeated it on the shirt.


And the race car was one of my favorites, so I played around with placement.


(I had to have Sofie model it to get the full effect and clearly 4T shirts are too long for her! She has shorts on under there!)

He also really likes fire trucks so I found this awesome graphic. I love this one!


But of all the shirts I’ve made him, and all his obsessing over cars, his all-time favorite is the giraffe!


I love this face!


I was so excited to get everything finished and boxed up to mail.

I really will be sad when I run out of these fabrics!


I hope you love your new shirts and pillowcases, Little Buddy!

19 Responses to “Little Car Man”

  1. KellyS said:

    I love all your shirts and pillowcases. I also have a car lover and fire truck lover, so I may be making some shirts here in the near future. I LOVE that giraffe, so adorable!!

  2. Alison said:

    These pillow cases and tshirts are amazing, my son would adore them! I love the giraffe too, he is so cute!


  3. Sydney said:

    How do you do that beautiful zig-zag stitching around the apliques?

  4. Julia said:

    okay, so you have just made what my 3 year old grandson would LOVE to have. I guess I’d better get busy and make some vehicular pillowcases for him, too. He especially loves fire trucks since his dad is a volunteer fireman.

  5. chili pepper said:

    I love playing with applique and haven’t done it in some time. We are in the midst of redecorating our three boys’ bedroom with a vehicle theme. These little darlings would be a perfect addition.

    Thanks for the idea,


  6. chili pepper said:

    I read your post on diy maternity clothes the other day and tried to leave a comment but couldn’t get it to work. I tried again just now and it still isn’t working… just so you know. Anyway, I so wish I had read this a few months ago. I just had our 9th and was lamenting the serious lack of maternity clothes that are both stylish and will fit someone with my build… 5 foot 2 and 111 pounds. Everything is so long! Tops hang to my knees! And they are so big all around, I end up looking like I am wearing a sack. I ended up buying a lot of camisoles in medium and making do. I am passing this post on to my daughters who are also seamstresses who are considering adding maternity clothes to their business. I think these are just the sort of things we women need!

  7. Michele said:

    My son was asking me for a pillowcase this morning. I still don’t know what he wants for sure, he never really told me when I asked, but I’m SO running with the Name idea for ALL MY KIDS. Including their towels. Thanks for the reminder and adorable ideas! LOVE THE GIRAFFE THE BEST. And the race car…truly…you’ve done it again! 😉

  8. Serendipity said:


  9. Lexie said:

    You do a lovely zig-zag stitch!! I would need a lot of patience for that but i guess with the amount of applique you’ve done you have a bit of practice. And i love your retro/vintage fabric of the bikes & scooters. I have a bit of this fabric as a well and don’t really want to use it but each time i do, it’s just so cute! Nice work!

  10. Pippa said:

    I love that Giraffe how cute. I want one of my own :p
    Did you copy a graphic or make it up yourself?

  11. Melissa said:

    Hi Pippa! It was a shirt we found on etsy a year and a half ago and I traced the graphic from my computer. It’s no longer searchable, so I had to use pictures of the first one I made to make this one.

  12. Pippa said:

    What a lovely idea.
    Would you object if I did the same thing with one of your pictures here and made one for myself ?

    Pippa x

  13. Melissa said:

    Not at all, Pippa! I’d love to see what you make! 🙂

  14. Jenni said:

    So cute! I’ve never tried applique yet, but think it needs to be on my list of things to try in the near future! What kind of material do you use? Does it have to be cotton, or can you use knits or possibly even felt?

  15. Melissa said:

    99% of the time I use cotton. You could also easily use felt. My only hesitation with using knit is that it’s so stretchy I’d be worried about it bunching while stitching. I also don’t have much knit around, but TONS of cotton, so it’s the smarter choice for me to use anyway! I hope you give it a shot!

  16. Whitney said:

    My son loves cars. Would you mind if I copied your graphic to make him a shirt?

  17. Alli said:

    I LOVE the fire truck t-shirt. I am going to make one for my 2 year old today! I might make him a pillow case for his new “big boy” bed to match. Great ideas!

  18. Corrie said:

    These are so cute!! I am just starting to applique things, and it is so much fun! Thanks for the inspiration 🙂 Where do you buy your plain cotton shirts??

  19. Kat said:

    I have never appliqued before, but I am in love with that giraffe.

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