Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Alice Inspired Altered Tee

One of the things I wished I could do is draw.  If nothing else, just to get all of these ideas out of my head and on paper.  It would free up some brian space.  And I think we would all agree that I could use all of that prime brain real estate!

The latest project I was trying to explain was an idea for an altered T-shirt.

I was doing some online research (googling) for Alice In Wonderland T-shirts.  I found some cute ideas but they were either too pricey ($30-40 for a Tee?) or weren't available in my xl size.  So then I had the idea to just make one myself.  The design was quickly thought up in my head, but alas I just couldn't convey what I wanted to do.  This is where the wish to be able to draw comes from.

So I started with a plain white Tee from Old Navy.  I figured that Old Navy would still have short sleeves.  Especially considering that it is still triple digits here!  They already had long sleeved out.  Searching for white short sleeves was kind of a pain.  Especially with Clover hiding in the racks and running out screaming "BOO!".  I did score a green short sleeved shirt in the clearance rack!  It bothers me slightly that they switched out the shirts.  I wear short sleeves all year round.  Why can I only find them for three months?

Anyhoo.  Before I started painting my fabric away I had to wash the sizing off the shirt first.  Also when you wash, do not include fabric softener the first round.  It stops the paint from soaking into the shirt.

I found this dye on amazon.  It's a dry version of Tie Dye.  Instead of soaking the shirt you can spray the dye on while the shirt is dry.  The colors even come in handy dandy little spray bottles.  So I sprayed the shirt with the dye.  I didn't have a plan at this point and just sprayed all willy nilly.  I used a garbage bag inside the shirt to keep the dye from running through to the back.  Then I hung to dry.  Once it was dried for a day I threw it in the dryer to heat set the entire shirt.  I also ironed the shirt but that was to get the wrinkles out before I started painting again.

Then I searched my few cricut cartridges to find a Teapot and cup that liked.  I found one in the options of the Everyday Paper dolls.

Hubs bought me a cricut two years ago as a Mother's Day/Birthday present.  I use it for everything.  Scrabooking to general craftiness to birthday party fun.  It gets a lot of use!  

For the stencils I used contact paper.  When I was teaching I used clear contact paper to protect everything from little fingers and developed a hate for contact paper.  After finding some crafty uses for it I have started to love the stuff.  I picked up some white contact paper and cut it to 12x12 sheets to run it through the cricut.  Once I found what I wanted to cut out I turned the speed down to low on the machine.  That way it doesn't pull up the contact paper as it cuts out.  I have used contact paper for stencils and for what I call "reverse" stenciling.  I put the cut out shape down and paint the edges.  Then I take the shape off to reveal the image.  This time I used it as a stencil.

I roughly cut out the stencils and figured out an arrangement.  Then I peeled off the paper backing and stuck them down on the shirt.  I pressed down the inside edges to make sure that the paint didn't run under the stencil.  Then the fun part!  The painting!

 It looks like a blobby mess right now.  I mixed some black acrylic paint with the textile/fabric medium according to the directions.  I added a tsp of water to thin it out a bit because it was super thick.  Then I started painting.  I start at the edges of the stencil and dragged the paint onto the shirt.  I have found that if I go out to in then I reduce the risk of the paint running under the stencil.  While the paint was wet I sprinkled on some fine glitter.

While the paint was still tacky I VERY CAREFULLY peeled the contact paper off.  Then I let the shirt dry.  The paint leaked through the shirt but that was kept from the other side by the large piece of cardboard shoved in-between.  I made sure that the shirt wasn't stuck to the cardboard before I left it to dry.  The next day I hung it up to finish drying and then heat set the shirt.  I then sewed on a strip of black lace on the bottom.


I just recently received my copy of 101 Tees by Cathie Fillian that I ordered last week.  This was the book I was looking for, only not to find it locally so I had to wait for it.  It has a similar painting method I have used it in.  Looking forward to getting some inspiration from it and trying out more designs.  

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