Fling Before the Ring – Shirt Painting Tutorial

Going through all my old craft supplies in an effort to downsize and I found a huge collection of fabric paint!

Fabric paint and acrylic paint mixed with acrylic medium are around $1-$3 each, so it is really easy to amass a large stash quickly and I couldn’t bear throwing them away. It is a rule in my house that if you don’t use it (or know you have it) for over a year – out it goes! Being the hoarder that I am, I decided to paint shirts for a bachelorette party and hold onto the paint a little while longer. 

Fabric PaintWhat you need:

  • Fabric Paint (or Acrylic paint with Acrylic medium)
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • cardboard or card stock
  • paper plate
  • Paint brushes (I use cheap $1 isle brushes, nothing fancy)

Note: If you use acrylic without the medium mixed in the paint will be very hard and stiffen the fabric. No bueno.

supplies

 

1. Make sure to put paper down or to work on a surface you don’t mind getting paint on. 

2. Lay your shirt out with a stiff piece of cardboard or card stock under the painting surface to prevent paint from bleeding to the other side.

3. Get out your pencil and ruler and lightly draw your design.

Note: It is very hard to get the paint to do clean fine lines on softer cottons, so remember to keep the designs bold.  Don’t draw the pencil too dark because it can take a few washes to come out of the fabric (found that out the hard way). You can see below how even with lettering, I made sure to keep the strokes nice and wide.

Maid of Honor

4. This is where the paint medium comes it really handy. When you pour your paint out onto the paper plate, give it plenty of room to spread out and mix with medium. I suggest going with a 1/4 to 1/2 medium to paint ratio. The medium helps thin the paint so you can smooth out your lines and keep the paint a uniform thickness across the fabric, so if you are struggling, add more medium. For some of my older fabric paints that were a little dry and stiff i added paint medium just to get the consistency. For these I went with a lighter ratio, but it is really up to you to find a consistency you like to work with. Also, the paint dries very quickly, so I suggest working with only one color at a time.

Bride

5. To set the paint, you have to steam iron it once it is dry to the touch. I left the paper in between the layers and placed a piece of pressing cloth on top to protect the iron in case the paint was still a little wet. Put the iron on the hottest setting and make sure it has plenty of water in it so you can just steam away! Since you have to iron anyway I added a few iron on gems to this one for a little extra bling. 

Fling Before the Ring

For the Maids of honor I ended up following a few T-shirt refashion tutorials on Pinterest.  I dyed these shirts pink before starting with rit dye. It is a great way to add color cheaply. I really like this ombre tutorial as well, I didn’t find it until after this project so I might have to try it next time. 

Shirt refashion

This project is so easy and perfect for a rainy day or a quick gift. It would be a great party craft for middle school or high school kids as well.  Next I think I will make some hand painted outdoor cushions. I think painting on duck canvas will be a bit easier than cotton.

I hope I have inspired you to dig through your old supplies and get a little crafty!

 

 

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Getting Organized – Filing Your Fabric

Fabric stash disarray is an epidemic. Every seamstress I know has piles of folded fabric that inevitably fall over, yardage they lose of forget about and random bags, boxes and drawers of notions and pieces they have to dig through every time they start a project.

 With all of the sewing I have been doing lately, I was going crazy! Folding all of my fabric into bags, forgetting what I have and digging through like a dog looking for a bone every step of the way and ending up at the fabric store when I can’t find what I know I already have some where.

I started my solution search on Pinterest, as one does, and came across this.

The problem for me was that I don’t have extra closet or floor space in my 650 square foot flat for a filing cabinet, but what I do have are nine foot ceilings and shelves. I also wanted something clear so that I could easily see what I had stored, especially if it was going to live nine feet high – I want to know what I’m grabbing without opening every drawer.  So, I went to my local office supply store and picked up several clear vertical filing boxes, 100% recycled file folders (why not? They are the same price), an accordion folder and a stiff file folder with pockets.

SuppliesMy original intent was to use the accordion folder for my patterns, but I found that the hanging folders worked better for that.  I ended up using it to sort my notions, mostly ribbing, bias tape and elastic and I used the zip envelope for zippers and closures. I kept my sewing box to takes care of all my pins, scissors, needles, thread etc.  

I think deciding how to file your patterns and notions is going to be very personal depending on how big your collection and if most patters are for you or children or whomever.  Some ideas are to file by sex, or size or garment type.  Most of my patters are for me so I went with the latter.

The next step was just following along with the original tutorial. In the tutorial they suggest you cut the folders so you get two-for-one as it were, but I left mine intact in case I have smaller pieces I want to file with the large piece or a project I want to keep together. I  tend to have several projects going at once, (and by that I mean I have bought the notions and patters for them but not started) so I filed the zipper and patters in the hanging folders before draping the fabric over the top. I was able to fit a surprising amount of fabric in each box (the picture below is before the box was full).  You can also iron your fabric before filing it, but I did not because I end up ironing before I cut anyway.

filed fabricI don’t have a ton of fabric right now, so I organized by project type: a box for clothing, a box for quilting, patterns and notions, and a box for costumes and upholstery fabric.  The division worked out perfect. You can fuss and organized depending on the composition of your stash.  The good news is the files are so easy to pull out and move, changing your mind after you start is no big deal!

Now I just have to set up more shelves so I don’t have to stake them 😉

finished filed fabricand voila! filed fabric stash! But beware, this could lead to higher fabric stash capacity and corresponding fabric shopping sprees. Happy sewing!

 

 

 

Finished Duvet

After taking quite a long break from blogging and from many of my craft activities, I finally finished that Duvet I was working on in my first post.

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The difficult part was sewing the quarter circles to the outside section that makes it a square, but once I succumbed to the use of many, many more pins than usual, success was mine.  In an effort to make it a duvet appropriate for not just me, but my fiance as well, I backed it with a bright green solid cotton that really pops.  Finally, I decided no more of those annoying buttons at the top that come undone and get your hands caught in the gaps when your sleeping, no, instead I used a sleeping bag zipper put in with an overlap to keep it from scratching so it doesn’t matter if it’s at your feet or your head.  This has been my favorite part about the new duvet, and I will never go back to buttons again. 

If I can manage to dig up the pattern I made, I will post it for easy replication.

Halloween

It has been a busy Halloween season and I have quite a few things to share.

Friday night I was an owl. I used a tutorial you can find here.  It was so easy and so much fun!

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On a cold night I added some leggings, a sweater, Uggs and face pait, Perfection!

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Saturday night I was joined by my beau and for the first time in eight years I convinced him to do a joint costume! Pebbles and Bam Bam were super easy – I just pattered a long tank and some boxer shorts out of black and leopard print and then sewed some oversized bones in for effect.  Easily my favorite of all time.

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Wednesday had to be work appropriate and I had been digging on some Pinterest awesome in way of face paint.  45 minutes and a re-purposed Cinco de Mayo dress later I was ready to go.

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Happy Halloween and Happy Crafting everyone!

Home.

The past two years since I got back from traveling and settled down to make a real home with my boyfriend and work full time, I have had to re-visit my crafty talents in an effort to create a budget friendly decor.

Having never purchased furniture before, but instead receiving hand-me-downs and things left behind by friends, I had no idea what a financial commitment a couch could be.  Up until recently we didn’t have an Ikea, and any furniture beyond a futon was well into four digits.

My digs

After countless internet searches and trips to furniture stores all over the metro area and beyond, I finally found a matching couch and chair at Macy’s on a half off sale.  Of course our macy’s doesn’t carry furniture, so even that was some 30 miles away.

I found the poofs in Marakech and the cherry coffee table came cheap at an unfinished wood store.  Even though it was cheap, i treasure it knowing I’m the one who finished it.

Fabric- my first love
My mom has been sewing since she was a teenager, even making money on the side for a while as a seamstress in high school.   This means beautiful fabric is always lying around somewhere, and I may have picked up the habit of buying fabric and textiles everywhere I go just because they are pretty.  It took just a little digging for me to find some light weight upholstery fabric, now vintage, that my mom had left over from a pillow project in the 70’s.  I bought some piping and made pillows for the couch.
Then I trued a few yards of several fabrics I picked up in Melbourne and Nairobi at random flea markets to make curtains for our 6ft windows, I didn’t realize how wonky the fabric could get just from disuse.  And finally all the unused pieces made perfect table clothes.

I had also collected post cards from all over in my travels, mostly from museums, so I mixed them with art made by friends in college and threw them in some thrift store frames to make our wall a bit more interesting.

Essentials.

The kitchen is even smaller, but with a large wood block found in the basement, there is always room for a kitchen aid, some sharp knives and of course, Thomas Keller.

Overall I think it came out nice and I really enjoy our tiny space.