Say Goodbye to Summer With a Commemorative T-Shirt

As much as I loved drowning swimming through the Michigan humidity this summer I’m pumped for the cooler weather of my favorite season, Autumn! That’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy my summer. We managed to fit a few trips in and made some amazing memories along the way. One of my favorite adventures I had this summer was in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula where we hiked to Tahquamenon Falls. The Falls were beautiful and we took a lot of pictures to remember them. It’s great to be able to look back at the photos, but I thought it would be more fun to wear them! A custom vacation photo t-shirt is just the thing to send off summer.

Many consider Labor Day weekend to be the end of summer as well as the end of white clothing. White is the coolest color to wear during the summer months, and for this reason the color is retired for the colder months in favor of darker, warmer colors. However, the first day of Fall is not until later this month and the majority of people disregard the white garment ruling. When it came to making my vacation photo t-shirt, though I knew I wanted to apply on a white t-shirt for a top that epitomizes summer. This made my material choice a no-brainer. ColorPrint Soft (clear) is the ideal choice for white and light colored garments. It’s super thin and incredibly soft!

So I’ve got my white t-shirt. I’ve got my ColorPrint Soft. What else do I need? Oh yeah, artwork! I chose my favorite summer snapshot and brought it into Adobe Illustrator. Within the program I added some text, bleed lines, and applied a vector cut contour. I resized my artwork to Height: 9″ Width: 8″ then saved it as a PDF. Unlike other print and cut materials, ColorPrint Soft does require you to mirror your image. You can make that change within Adobe Illustrator or in your RIP software. I used VersaWorks to mirror my image and make a few setting changes. I set the color profile to TTRH (Garment Heat Transfer) and changed my color management setting to Max Impact. Then I sent my design to the Roland VersaCamm where it print the image in Eco-Solvent/Solvent Ink and then cut the image.

Roland VersaCamm printing on ColorPrint Soft

I’m using a 45° blade with a down force of 45g

I took my transfer from the cutter and cut it down to size. Next, I grabbed my Siser Weeder and removed the cavities and the excess material around the image.

Weeding ColorPrint Soft (clear)

ColorPrint Soft doesn’t require a mask, so after it’s weeded it’s ready for heat application! Set your heat press to 311°F and adjust the pressure to medium. Set up your t-shirt on the heat press and cover it with a heat transfer cover sheet. Press your t-shirt for 2-3 seconds to remove any moisture or wrinkles in the garment. Now you can place your transfer with the material side down on the t-shirt. The words and images should now be facing their original direction.

Heat applying ColorPrint Soft to a white t-shirt

I’m pressing on a 100% cotton Bella+Canvas t-shirt.

Cover the entire transfer with a heat transfer cover sheet and press for 15 seconds. When the heat press is finished, remove the garment from the lower platen to give the carrier a chance to cool before peeling it. Peel the carry while it’s still a bit warm. You may notice it takes a little extra effort to remove the carrier sheet. That’s normal because ColorPrint Soft is so thin it bonds to the fibers of the shirt resulting in an almost screen printed texture.

Peeling ColorPrint Soft's carrier warm.

Wow! Just looking at this t-shirt makes me feel like I’m back in the U.P.

Custom vacation photo t-shirt

Lily's tahquamenon falls vacation photo t-shirt

I love my custom vacation photo t-shirt! It’s a cool feeling to take my own photo and make it into something wearable. It’s like my own personal souvenir that will remind me of the fun times I had this summer.

Even though it’s a perfect summer top I have a feeling I’ll be fishing it out the of drawer this winter to remind myself of the dog days of summer. It’s not all white now, so technically I can wear it after Labor Day, right? Right ;)