I decided to try something different when screen printing shirts… bleaching. I’ve been seeing this done for awhile now, but haven’t tried it because I didn’t want to ruin “good tees”. But in a moment of procrastination I decided to take the plunge and see what happened:
As far as “process goes”, I used a mix of 50-50 bleach and water in a spray bottle, applied it to the shirt, and stopped it from bleaching with some hydrogen peroxide (so that you don’t wind up over-dying or creating holes). My first attempt was the “Freedom Rocks” tee – I got a little too happy with spraying and I feel like the bleached area is too large. I also didn’t put a barrier between the front and back of the shirt while bleaching and I wasn’t really thrilled with how the back looks.
I went with the yellow shirt next – again I bleached a little too much, but it was definitely more controlled and looked better overall. I also put a barrier barrier between the front and back so the bleach didn’t show through. By the time I got to the 3rd tee (the green Siren), I finally figured out how to achieve the look I was after. So, of course, for the next shirt I had to change it up. My last two shirts (both black) I tried “scrunching” my tee before bleaching (so it has more of a tie dyed look)… what I found most interesting is my results. The all cotton tee had some peachy undertones, while the blend tee (52% cotton 48% polyester) faded gray with some rust undertones. Overall it’s a cool effect – in fact, Easton like his so much that he decided to keep it plain!
Sonia Estep designs is celebrating their 2 year anniversary with all sorts of fun. Not only is the entire site 40% off but you can enter to win a serger (along with other goodies), enter to win daily prizes on her Facebook Group, and grab her latest pattern, The Kira (affiliate link), for free (with another pattern purchase) or $5 on it’s own!
A little about the Kira: this pattern is for a semi fitted, scoop tank, dress, or maxi (with side slits) that can be made from size 00-30. For my first version I decided to make a dress in a unexpected print: the sketchy penguin from Blended Threads Fabrics… and I love the end results. Not only is it fun, but I absolutely love how it looks on. While this is considered a fitted design, it’s not “clingy” in the waist or hips and I think that the scoop neck is very flattering.
The construction on this pattern is very straightforward – if you’ve made a tank before, I don’t think that you’ll be surprised by the instructions. Overall, this is a good wardrobe staple pattern! I plan on making at least a tank or two before summer is over, because it is VERY hot out! Be sure to grab yours before
This weekend I went out of town for a wedding, only to discover that my scheduled posts never posted. So, without further ado, the Solar Sundress that you should have seen last week!
For my first version, I wound up using a bright inked athletic knit from Blended Threads. Unfortunately, I only had 1 yard – which was just enough for the dress, built in bra, and the pocket on the shorts. The rest of the dress (the bra lining and the shorts) are both made with a hot pink cotton which worked out perfect because this particular knit is very thick and I’m pretty sure that would just be too much bulk in the end.
Overall, this dress comes together pretty quickly and easily… even with this entire dress having a built in bra and shorts. The instructions were clear and easy to follow, just be sure to follow them precisely, otherwise you’ll wind up with some wonky straps in the end!
And the fit? Pretty good overall! I think I would have slightly better results if my material wasn’t so thick, but otherwise, I would make the same size again. One thing I do like about this pattern is the variety of cup sizes for the bra (so that you’re not spilling out while you’re wearing it) and the measurements that you need to take to make sure that you’re cutting the right size. The only real test is wearing my new dress out and seeing how it performs…. my only concern is that since the shorts and bra are built into the dress, that I’ll be having to take it off to go to the bathroom. I’m starting to think separate shorts might have been a better idea!
I always forget that summer time means slower sewing – which is always a shame when you’re feeling creative. I’ve opted to put aside working on the tiered dress (because it just isn’t a fun as what it was when I first started it) and pick up a new project – the Solar Sundress. I thought this looked like an interesting garment to try out – and seeing that it’s still romper season, this seems to fit in nicely!
I currently have the pattern taped together and have decided to just go for the whole attached shorts\bra garment – I figure if I’m not fond of the way it feels, then if I make it again, I can go with separates. I’m also leaning toward using an athletic knit with this one as well. I’ve not tried using that sort of material for a dress, but I figure it works with the style and I’ve been seeing activewear fabrics in casual clothing more, so why not go for it?
These are very large fabric panels with two coordinating prints (a smaller floral and a stripe) that are on a cotton lycra base… and they are extremely difficult to photograph! I opted for the orange, pink, and white floral prints. As far as projects go, I’m leaning toward casual tees with stripe shorts and possibly a dress for the white floral, but we’ll see in the end what they become. I can’t wait to try these out, they look so fun to work with!
This is the week that I don’t read things carefully enough and wind up with all sorts of problems… or in this case prob-llamas.
I needed a llama plush. I had originally settled (and purchased) Urban Threads stuffy kit only to realize that not only is this not an in-the-hoop project, it’s also much larger than what I wanted, too (even though this is created in a 5×7″ hoop, if you scroll down and read the description, it makes a 17″ llama!). After some searching I found a project that was more along the lines of what I was needing from Planet Applique. I was so excited to try it out, that I (again) neglected to see what the finished size was and ended up with a teeny tiny llama (bottom left)… it’s really adorable (at 4″), but way too small for what I needed and it was a real booger to turn in the plush material that I selected.
Finally, I tried a larger size and got EXACTLY what I needed… and then I made 3. They were actually a lot of fun to make, but the plush fur definitely made it more challenging. As for the tiny llama, he’s become my little mascot in my sewing room, although Easton thinks I should just put it in my purse and carry it around.
Have you ever had a strong desire to make something, but not sure what? Since I’m avoiding gathering tiers to my dress, I decided I wanted to tackle something else. I had thought about trying this in-the-hoop zip top wallet, but after careful consideration, decided against it because I couldn’t really use any of my fun zippers or pulls with this one (and since I have a lot, I really need to find projects for them!). So instead, I decided to make my own!
I used a fun, faux-Coach vinyl that arrived last month, a rainbow zipper & pull, Tula Pink lining, and rainbow hardware (I am currently waiting on a rainbow lobster claw so I can attach a strap). I didn’t use a pattern for this one, which is always very liberating, but I would do some things differently if I tried this again. Overall, I’m fairly pleased with the end results… and now I need more rainbow hardware – it looks amazing with the right fabric.
After my embroidery binge, I’m back at the patterns I’m wanting to tackle. I decided that I would try Pattern Emporium’s Easy Fit Tiered Dress first since it seems like it might be the most comfortable to wear in our recent hot weather. I put together the pattern and pulled the sage viscose crepe slub knit to use with it (it is just enough material that it will work)… and now I’m “stuck” here:
Let’s just say that while the fabric looks and feels great, I haven’t enjoyed working with it. My machine doesn’t care for it very much so I’m finding the whole process slightly frustrating. I stopped at adding the tiers because not only do I not like making gathers, but I’m envisioning how I’m going to fight with material when I add them. So, I set it aside and will try again in a few days – sometimes things just seem to work out when you take a break.
Yesterday I was going to post my progress on the tea towel\coaster\notebook progress, but since I talked about it the other day, I thought I might just wait to post until everything was complete… which means I can share today!
I’m not going to lie, this project was a labor of love. Each towel took at least 90 minutes stitching time, plus whatever time it took to cut jump threads and do color changes. I’m not sure how people can make a living selling these because I guestimated that each one would cost (based on the stitch count alone) at least $37 (that’s on the low end) and I’m not sure who would pay that much. Don’t get me wrong, they’re adorable, but lots of effort.
With that said, I’m glad I worked on this. It was a nice change of pace from other projects and I adore this set. I had thought that I would make some for gifts with the extra towels, but I think I’ll take a break for awhile and see if that’s something I really want to take on!