Crafts, toys, and meals from one mother to another
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Here's another example of taking a plain t-shirt and adding some paint and some stitching to make it more fun. I started by sewing a t-shirt like this blue one using a light gray knit; this was my first shirt so I hadn't realized I needed to lengthen the pattern for my little guy's long torso. I love argyle of any kind so I decided to try some stenciling and some flossing like I have seen all over mommy blog-land recently. I got the idea for the flossing from Cheri over at I am momma, hear me roar.
Once I had the shirt made I decided to tape out an argyle pattern using my trusty blue painter's tape. I wasn't sure how I would make a freezer paper stencil for this pattern and it seemed like a lot of tedious work to cut out a bunch of tiny diamonds. In theory, the tape was a great alternative (you'll see in a minute why this idea might not have been my best). It was really easy to lay out the pattern and I could keep repositioning the tape until I liked the spacing and layout.
After taping off the argyle pattern it was time to paint. I used blue, orange, and lime green fabric paint (Tulip matte soft) so the finished product would be nice and bright. I just painted random diamonds. I didn't want to cover up all the spaces I had taped off and even though argyle is usually a repeated pattern I didn't want mine to be perfect; I like the random quality. I also doodled a little on the tape with a Sharpie to see how some stitching would look.
I decided that I needed to define each of my diamond shapes with some machine stitching so that the unpainted shapes would stand out as well. Here is where my brilliant plan to simplify the stenciling process by using the tape went awry. I decided to use the edges of each strip of tape as a guide while sewing on my outlines. By sewing over tape I ended up with tiny squares that had to be pulled off one at a time. Once again, my desire to finish a project got in the way of double-checking to make sure I wasn't making more work for myself. I'm sure you've heard the adage, "measure twice, cut once." Sadly, it is one I usually forget to remember. On the positive side, I really liked the way my lines came out; the tape did help me sew in nice straight lines.
Here's what it looked like after I'd finished picking off all my tiny squares of tape (some of them with tweezers). I watched a little TV to make the process a little less boring. I was pretty happy with my efforts thus far but I still felt like it needed something more. Enter the flossing.
I used white embroidery thread/floss to add the hand stitching in the middle of each empty line. I think it made the whole argyle pattern look more authentic. I'm so happy to have finally finished another cute shirt for my little guy.