Monday, October 31, 2011

Dye Design T-shirts with Sharpies: part 1

Maybe this is old news to some of you, but I ran across something very cool and wanted to share it:
Dyeing t-shirts with Sharpies! 
Who knew?
Okay, some of you probably already knew, but thanks for letting me have my moment.

Flash back with me, if you will, to this past July when I may or may not have gone a little overboard with a t-shirt sale at JoAnn Fabric. Okay, so I did. They were on sale for only $2.00 each. Plus I had a coupon. Why not a few in each color?

Ideas for refashioning these tshirts included:
  • Bleach designs
  • Tie Dye designs
  • Fabric designs
I started with bleach designs. Not sure if I didn't let the bleach sit long enough or if the fabric blend isn't conducive to bleach designs. The color pretty much hung out with the bleach like they were old pals. Not a bit of fading. Wham! That idea is out [for now].

On to Tie Dye. 

As I did my research, I found that dyeing t-shirts not only included a few chemicals I didn't have (in order to set the color), but also seemed a bit messy for our little apartment (visions of a dark blue bath tub came to mind). And that's when I stumbled upon a youtube video of a woman making faux tie dye silk scarves using sharpies and rubbing alcohol. Say, what? She had me at Sharpies. Easy. Clean. Totally doable.

Today is my first attempt at dying-t-shirt-knit with sharpies and rubbing alcohol. Here are my test pieces.

Kind of cool, huh? I only had a black sharpie at home, but tonight I'll try to get some colored sharpies and do some test strips with color. I think I may like that even better.

Here's what you need (use in a well-ventilated area)
  • White or light colored t-shirt [*100% cotton or color will fade!]
  • Rubbing Alcohol
  • Dropper or spray bottle
  • Cardboard
  • Sharpie (try colors!)

here's my dropper, rubbing alcohol, t-shirt test strip, cardboard

I drew my test designs (can use an embroidery hoop to keep fabric taught)

And used the dropper to drip rubbing alcohol willy-nilly on my design  (see video below to watch the design transform).  *You can calso use a spray bottle for a different effect (which I'll try later)

Now we're getting hi-tech people! Watch the magic of sharpie dyeing in action!
[sorry the vids are pretty much snoozers. I'll work on that]

I've read that you set the colors by putting the shirt in a hot dryer for 15 minutes or rinsing it in a solution of  vinegar and water. I'll let you know my experience with that when I make my final shirt design.

Check out this much better post starring sharpie designs in color
Oh yes, it just keeps getting better.

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Saturday, October 29, 2011

How to make a small costume bigger {The witch}

Technically I had 364 days to get this finished. So why, on the eve of our school's Halloween party, was I up sewing until the bewitching hour?

In a word: crazy overambitious

Two years ago I was a witch. Found a black wig, bought a witch hat, borrowed my sister's black dress and bought some striped tights. Ugh. Those blasted striped tights. Let's just say "one size fits all" only applies if you're crotch comes down to your knees. But hey, we teachers are inventful right? Nothing some scissors and rubber bands can't fix. Who needs blood circulating through your legs anyway?

Flash forward to this year. I borrowed my sister's black dress again.
I thought I had it in the bag, until I ran across my niece's old pre-teen sized witch costume.

If only I had an off button. 

It wasn't too bad, actually, other than a wee bit of cursing and a little midnight sewing. (I am a witch after all, what do you expect?)
Here's the before (pre-teen size):

Alteration plan -
1. Cut to create short sleeves, since moving my arms at the party might be necessary.
2. Add panels, using sleeve material, to the chest area, since I might need to breathe during said party.
3. Add extra pieces to shoulders, using sleeve material, to drop neckline and eliminate armpit squeeze.
4. Re-attach waistline to new bodice and pray for a miracle that it all fits.

Drumroll's the after:

It actually worked. I know it only appears like I cut the sleeves off, but there's a lot more room in there. No stuffing, squeezing or bodily smashing required. Now it fits.

Okay, here's the madness of it all:
*Tip: don't wait until the night before your party to do this. haha. Yah, joke's on me.

1. I separated the bodice from the skirt, cut off the sleeves, and used the extra sleeve material for the shoulders and bodice width

2. I cut the shoulder seams

and added two strips from the excess arm material, by sewing each piece in half, turning it right side out and then attaching it to the shoulder seams

which brought the neckline down. Goodbye armpit squeeze.

3. Next, I cut the side seams

and added panels of fabric (leftover from the sleeves) on either side of the bodice which gave me room to breathe

5. Then I sewed the puffy tulle sleeves back on the new bodice

6. I got a little more room in the waist by popping a few skirt seams (there wasn't any elastic) and sewed the new bodice back to the skirt.

I was so glad it worked! And with only a few hours to spare before the party. Why do I do that to myself? I'll definitely need some Halloween candy in order to recover.

I found some spooky jewelry at an estate sale that I'm going to wear. Bats, skull and crossbones. Perfect.
And yes, I did buy some new tights. No rubber bands this year.


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Friday, October 21, 2011

Out of the mouth of babes

In my non-sewing time I work as an assistant manager for an after-school program. The best thing about my job is the kids. Not a day goes by that I don't have a funny or heartwarming story to bring home with me.

This week's highlight from a 2nd grade girl (she showed me her list. It was the cutest thing I'd ever seen)-

Is that not the cutest thing?? The rollercoaster of love has begun.

Have a great weekend - and don't forget to wear lip gloss xoxo

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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Shag Heart Textured Pillow - with fleece

Either I'm a glutton for punishment, or I just really love shag pillows.

I loved the way my last shag pillow turned out, and even though it took a long time to cut and sew each individual lovely little piece, I decided to make another; this time with a little more heart (haha. Pun fully intended).

I just love this texture...reminds me of a swirly frosted cake...

I decided on a zipper closure like the first one. I really like the way zippered pillow covers fit nice and snug. Here's a shot of the back. Soft white fleece. Just like a pillow should be.

Now the question is, where's the best place for it?
The couch
or the bedroom?

{Get one for your home here}

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Monday, October 17, 2011

My birthday suit

Okay, it's not what you think.
I'm actually talking about my birthday outfit. Meaning fully clothed.
And yes, I was going for shock value.

In honor of my birthday last week, I decided to go shopping. I really had nothing to wear and who wants to turn a year older with the same old clothes?

I'll admit, I'm not really a shopper. I have to be in the right mood. But I made an exception for my birthday and after way too long inside the department store, I came out with my new birthday outfit.

Sorry, you get the dress form version. I don't like pictures of myself. Maybe later.

Okay, here's the low down.
The new items are the shirt and jeans. Yes, even that took me hours to find.
I already had the jean jacket and necklace, but found it added just the right touch.

I LOVE the ruffle at the bottom of the shirt. The material is really delicate (maybe tissue jersey?), with clear sequins sewn up the front.

 I like how the antique-ish necklace added a pop of color, while maintaining the style.

I was surprised to learn that as far as Levi's are concerned, that I'm curvy. Imagine that. I've always known I could stand to lose a few pounds, but I never really thought of myself as curvy. But I guess if the jeans fit...

And P.S.? If you decide to take a picture with your dress form? Remember where you put it. I took my photos, went to do other things and when I walked back in the front room I about had a heart attack. Someone was standing in my front room. Breathe. It's just your mannequin.

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Saturday, October 8, 2011

Silpat Giveaway

Love baking?? Then you'll LOVE this giveaway!

A friend of mine is hosting a giveaway on her blog for 2 Silpat mats to one lucky follower! Woohoo!

I'm secretly, or not so secretly hoping I'm the lucky winner, but why not invite friends??

Go to Frieda Loves Bread and find out how easy it is to enter. 
Offer ends midnight 10/16/11.

Good luck to us all!

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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Shag Textured Pillow - with fleece

I'm not gonna lie. This snowy white fleece shag pillow took a lot of time to make. I'm not sure whether it's because I had to spread it out over a couple of weeks or it just took that much time to cut each little piece and sew them on individually. Whew! But I love the end result.

Makes you want to touch it, doesn't it?
I never get tired of texture
Every time I catch a glance I want to run my hand over it

I've seen shag pillows made with jersey knit, but I decided on fleece.
1 piece of fleece for the back 
and 1 for the front with bunches and bunches of little 1x3 pieces of fleece, scrunched and sewn in place 
and a zipper to close it up 

Looks like I found a place for it.
I mean how many pillows can a girl have? 
My husband would say we have more than enough. ;)

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