Tag Archives: cotton tee

Ohhh, halfway there, OHH-OHH! LIVIN’ ON A PRAYER! Project 26: more bleach dye

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Ohhh, halfway there, OHH-OHH! LIVIN’ ON A  PRAYER! Project 26: more bleach dye

Woke up bright dark and early to a deliciously long thunderstorm (which is still going on) and a feeling of accomplishment. Two, count ’em, TWO crafts done! I’ll post them one at a time, though.

I made two new bleach pen shirts last night, since it was the featured craft at our (mostly) weekly art party, and I was showing people how it was done and whipping out all my samples of things I’d done with bleach or bleach and paint or bleach and glitter. I’d had a design in mind using a painter’s tape resist, which completely flew out of my head, and another based on a Zentangle pattern, but then I forgot to look it up before I left for class. So I didn’t really do anything planned, but I liked what I ended up with.

I had a couple of black cotton tees I had bought — one I got at the outlet for one of the catalog companies around here, which I’m not even 100% sure I originally meant as a shirt to bleach. It might have been one of those “can’t have too many black tees” impulses. Oh well, it’s black with bleach embellishments now! Among the goodies at hand in the Fabulous Back Room of Art was a book of lace samples that had been donated from another catalog company (they gift the arts center with various sample textiles, buttons, etc, which are just enough to make some wee thing from, not to use for a sewing project). I found a substantial strip of lace and placed it on the shirt, then put bleach gel in and around the strip. I wasn’t sure how it would come out, because some of the holes in the lace (is there a term for that?) were very small, so I didn’t know if it would go through or all mooosh together or what. Then I watched it for color, and when it looked right (and the last bit I had done seemed to have had enough time to take), I went into the kitchen and rinsed it off the best I could. (At home, this step is just tossing a thing in the wash mashine.)

I’m extremely pleased with how it turned out. The pattern is a bit low, but now I remember I was thinking of flipping the lace and doing the same thing above it, without really thinking about the fact that you have to avoid overexposing the first bit you did while working on the second. If I decide it needs more, I’ll go back and repeat the process. (But the first part should be washed and dried before repeating.) Or maybe I’ll just try on the shirt and see if I like it fine as is.

[Tried on the shirt. It’s fine as is!]

The design had a particularly gorgeous red tinge to it when it was still wet, but it’s still pretty gorgeous.

Come closer, my pretty. Clooooooooser.

The second shirt is a tank top from a local thrift shop. For this one I did a quick-and-dirty version of the process I used making my previous stenciled shirt (https://dangerouscraftsforgirls.com/2012/07/21/dont-worry-its-only-a-nip/). I used two stencils from a pack that Plaid sells of Wingdings-like patterns, flipping one to use it twice. Instead of making a stick-on stencil with Contact paper, I just lifted the stencil off as the bleach did its work and wiped it, flipped it, and did the other side of my pattern. I didn’t do any careful measurements of where to put them, either, just eyeballed it, and it came out well.

It’s a bit more rust than orange, which I’m not sure comes through in the pics.

I get fewer “artifacts” from smeared bleach every time I do this, yay.

So I came out with two shirts I’m very pleased with, despite neither being the things I had kinda sorta planned. Go, serendipity!

The other shirts my fellow art partiers did came out great, too! Too bad we didn’t get a picture of all of them.

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Life’s a bleach and then you dye; project 24

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Life’s a bleach and then you dye; project 24

I was feeling a bit rocky physically over the weekend (and still am), so my belated craft is a fairly simple one. I’ve been seeing some Pinterest pins on tie-“dyeing” with bleach, so I thought that would be a good choice for yet another shirt that had been rack-wrecked with an ill-placed drip of salad dressing. I’d been putting off doing this shirt, because it was pretty much brand new, and I love the color so much, and I didn’t want to do something that would render it completely unwearable.

I loved the way using rubber bands and little glass whats-its made such intricate medallion-like patterns on the silk scarves I dyed a while back, so I placed 5 around the V-neck in the front of the shirt. Following the gathers that made, I pinched the fabric in folds all the way down the front of the shirt, from the center on out. I had a couple of binder clips at hand, so I fastened them that way, just in a couple of spots.

I thought it would be cool to leave the back unbleached, so I put some bubble-wrap between the front and the back. (When I’m painting or using a bleach pen, I usually use a cereal box, but I was afraid some of the color would leach from the box onto the shirt with this one, so I went with the bubble wrap).

Here it is ready to dip into the bleach solution:

I really need to clear an actual crafting surface to work on. Really.

The bleaching directions I got from this DIY project (found via Pinterest): http://honestlywtf.com/diy/diy-bleach-tie-dye/ (And boy, do I want to do a shirt like the one done here!)

And my advice if you use this method to do a shirt, pay attention to her suggestions about working outdoors and gloves. I was Miss Half-Ass-It, and it wasn’t that pleasant. And the fumes could be seriously not good — I used the exhaust fan in my bathroom as I worked, but it still was headachy.

The two things I think I’d do differently (besides working outdoors and wearing gloves): use a bigger vessel for the solution and clip the pleats all the way along their length. As for the first, I used the bathroom sink, a smallish oval, so I had to keep moving the shirt back and forth to be sure everything got in the bleach. When I checked for color, the back hem got into the bleach too, so I didn’t end up with the full unbleached effect on the back. This shirt was dip-and-check-dip-and-check, rather than the 30-minute resting period of the bleach pen. I couldn’t say exactly how long it was in the bleach solution, but barely over a minute or two. I rinsed it, pulled out the clips and glass bits, then ran it through the wash.

Here’s the front, once dried:

Bleach tie-dye

I’m a little disappointed by the medallions, which are just kind of quavery little rounded boxes. They may need some sort of embellishment. The resist effect only was clear where I had the clips in. I’d do it all the way down another time, but I still think this came out okay.

Jury’s still out on whether I feel there should be more embellishment of some kind on the front.

And here’s the back:

Looks cool, especially close up, but someone walking behind me down the hall at work yesterday thought I’d fallen into a puddle or something.

I learned a few things from this, and got a wearable shirt out of the deal, so it’s pretty much a success.

Don’t worry, it’s only a nip

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Don’t worry, it’s only a nip

Wednesday night I made another “bleach-paint” tee on another shirt with an unfortunate rack/grease spot OTP, this time using a stencil, and I really like the design I ended up with. It will surprise no one who’s been reading along so far that it didn’t come out perfectly. I was very careful to peel off the stencil carefully, but I still got some marks on the shirt, which don’t look it in the pictures, but came out looking kind of gray.

A little bit of bleed, so this is probably as fiddly a design as I’d be able to do with a bleach pen, but I like it and don’t mind the bleed. There are the grayish streaks, too, so next time I’d probably scrape off the bleach before removing the stencil.

The stencil, by the way, was made with two smaller stencils I got in a pack at Walmart, with lots of fleur-de-lis variations and other swirly bits, plus simpler shapes like the circle. I traced them onto white removable Contact Paper, then flopped the swirly design on the other side of the circle.

Like so.

I don’t have pictures of every step, since I did the Contact Paper bits at my art group gathering Wednesday night. Like I said, the design was a little fiddly, tough to cut out perfectly, but I don’t think it really made a difference with the bleach bleed anyway. But here it is with the bleach on.

Slightly different color results from the previous brown shirt I did, but that could be the smidge of spandex content in this tee.

Love it, totally planned to wear it to work the next day, but when I put it on … well, the combination of the circles, the placement, and the flesh* color (*flesh color according to the adhesive strip bandage industry, at any rate) made it seem just a little … nipply.

See? Or is it just me?

I decided making it not flesh* color in some way would probably decrease that effect, or my neurosis about it anyway. I considered a tie-dye look craft I’d seen done with Sharpies and rubbing alcohol, but the attempt I made on a test piece (I KNOW!! For once I used a TEST PIECE!) wasn’t awesome, so I decided not to go for that.

TEST PIECE! Who would have thought?

So I decided on the lace-spraypaint technique and just plowed ahead with it. I think that solves the prob, or maybe I’ve just stopped being neurotic about it. I thought I’d do something to mask the gray spots, so I moved the lace piece to different spots along the front and spray painted here and there. I ended up with some spots that were spray paint blobs, but I decided (once again) that I really don’t mind that. I have a printed tee I got at Maurice that looks like I rolled around on the floor of a wine bar or something, so it’s not a deal-breaker.

So here’s the final result!

I’m very pleased, all in all.

And a close-up.

Can’t wait to wear it!

Raclette, meet rack

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Raclette, meet rack

Last winter I discovered raclette, the absolute perfect food. Potatoes, melted butter, melted cheese. What’s not to love?

Ah, that. The pure liquid fat dripping off the fork and right onto my chest. And the plain t-shirt I was wearing for the first time. Raclette, just like salad dressing, likes big busts and it cannot lie.

Solid color tees, so great because they go with everything, are always the most endangered item in my closet. If they make it past a third wearing without being consigned to the pile of formerly wearable at work clothing, it’s a minor (and temporary) miracle.

My Pinterest board titled “T-shirt Renovations” is chock full of ideas for t-shirt fixes, so I thought I would share some of my attempts to rescue splattered tees.

The first one I did quite a while ago, shortly after the Raclette Incident. I found a perfect stencil in a pack I had bought, using my oil paint Shiva Sticks. The bigger circle in the center is right where the raclette spot was. It filled in nicely (though the iridescent charcoal and silver paints came out looking pretty matte black and grey on the cotton jersey).

Hit me with your Shiva stick, hit me, hit me!

Until it went through the wash. Then the paint over the grease spot faded out. I started drawing it in with a Sharpie in a moment of boredom, but I figured that might not end well. I have had some thoughts on how to deal with that center bit, but it involves a little something I have lost track of and I didn’t want to go buy another (and the hardware stores are closed on Sunday anyway). It’ll make a return engagement when I find the missing piece and get the project done.

Just recently I saw a P.S. — I made this! post about spraypainting a top through a yard or so of lace. So happens I bought 2 lace curtains at a Goodwill recently for under $5 total, so I cut one of the panels and spraypainted copper fabric paint onto this brown tee. The result is so subtle in person that the lace effect is pretty lost, but it looks like the stain was taken care of.

Um, well.

Neither thing appears to be true in this photo. Haven’t decided if it needs something further, or if I should just wear it as is. Since it’ll be 97 degrees F tomorrow and this has long sleeves, I have some time to think.

I also have a big piece of painted lace to use on some project.

I have some thoughts on that, too.

This last picture is the t-shirt rescue I like best. I’ve seen this one on Pinterest too. You make a design with the Chlorox pen on a colored shirt, let it rest 30 minutes, then wash. I freehanded the design, based on one of my favorite ZenTangle designs, the henna drum. I simplified it way down because the fine point of the double sided bleach pen is still pretty wide — it’s for stain treatment and not drawing, after all. There’s bleed, but I still love how it came out.

Life’s a bleach and then you dye.

I’m really looking forward to wearing this one.

The Week in Dangerous Crafts

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The Week in Dangerous Crafts

So I’m back from Wiscon, the feminist SF convention that takes place in Madison every year. It’s my mini-vacation; after the first year of commuting an hour each way, I started staying at the con hotel, which means I can manage later nights and/or earlier mornings. The last few years I’ve been putting stuff in the art show, some for sale, some not, but just to show off. Mostly scarves — first the very subtly colored silks I made with plants for dye. This year I’ve found ways to get much brighter colors, so I put in mostly those newer scarves, plus some framed collages and some of the galaxy tees and deconstructed tee shirts I made the last couple of weeks. It was a lot — 48 pieces, which required marking them all down on the control sheet, then making bid sheets for each one, which I usually do over lunch with my friend Gwynne, who comes to the con from LA.

I missed a lot of the opening stuff while I put up all my pieces (with help from a wonderful volunteer), and then was so tired I crawled up to my room without going to the opening ceremonies or parties.

I checked in once or twice a day to see how things were going, but for most of the weekend, it didn’t seem like much was moving at all. But by the time I took down my 3 panels, I realized some had gone. Once we checked the bid sheets against the control sheet, I realized it was even more than I thought. I haven’t added it all up yet (the art show folks double and triple check that stuff, then send a check), but I think it’s going to prove to be worth the work. Not THAT much work, though. Maybe I’ll take it back down to two panels next year, and mostly keep it to scarves.

When I get over Wiscon exhaustion I’d like to put some up on Etsy, and maybe try a few scarves in my flea market booth. Otherwise, they will just be hanging around the house for another year, bogarting the TV remote and drinking beer.

Anyhow, here’s my booth:

Panels 1 & 2

…and the other side:

Next year, I hope to pare down my selection and my work, and maybe put some of the energy into making a kickass outfit for the big party night on Sunday. Everyone looked so inspirational and fabulous for the dance party!

Scarf by a Thousand Cuts: Project 15

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Scarf by a Thousand Cuts: Project 15

It’s been a bit of a busy weekend. I ran a ton of errands Saturday morning in a string from home to Milwaukee, where I stayed with my friend Saturday and then went to the Bel Canto Chorus performance of Dvorak’s “Stabat Mater.” Which brought up tons of thoughts about creativity, and tied in with other thoughts about creativity I had been having, and I’m hoping to get them all into a post which makes some sense. Which is damn inconveniently timed, considering I also have a ton of things to finish getting ready for my art show booth. But I’ll do my best to do that soon.

So this week’s craft isn’t actually a “finished it at the last minute” piece — it’s been ready for a while but I haven’t had time to sit and write about it. It continues the theme of hacking up tee shirts, only from a perpendicular perspective. It’s another Pinterest-inspired project, which I found here:

http://psimadethis.com/post/117053343

The P.S. I Made This blog is pretty cool, by the way. It takes a lot of designer looks and shows interpretations of them that can be pulled off for much less (or nothing) using recycled items or stuff you already have around.

So I had one of the two print tees I’d bought at the Mart of Wal, one which got made into several necklaces and bracelets last week, after being tossed into a dye bath. This time I didn’t over dye the print, just used it as is. Cut it so it was a tube shape, cut the strips, pulled them (and despite what I’d read somewhere, they do curl up the same whether you cut jersey with or against the grain). And I’d stumbled onto some pretty little shell danglies at Jo-Ann Fabric, so I decided to sew one on every third fringie. I wanted the scarf to stay print-side out, so I folded the intact part of the tube inward and put a couple of stitches at four different places about an equal distance apart.

Simple, cute.

The really daring, I suppose, could wear it as a skirt.

And a close up of my own variation:

A closer look at the shell embellishments I sewed on.

This one will be for sale at the Wiscon art show.

‘kay, it’s been a long day, so no brilliant posts of theorizing or anything. I hope y’all have great plans for the holiday weekend (those of you who will be having a holiday weekend…) Do something creative, yeah?

Let’s try this again…

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Let’s try this again…

Some of the first pins I saved on Pinterest were various things you could do with t-shirts, and I finally got around to a couple of the ones I’ve been wanting to try. This is one of those crafts I’ve done in stages: I dyed two tees turquoise in the same dye bath as my jeans I did a long while back. Neither one was pure white; one was a print tee I got at the Mart of Wal for $3, and the other was a Race for the Cure tee with about a million logos all over it.

I’d tested cutting a few strips off each to see if they would curl — some tees, like the thick cotton ones Lands’ End has (or had at the time I bought mine, about 7 years ago) don’t curl. But both these did well. I finally got around to cutting all the strips — still attached at the sides, so essentially a big circle of fabric about 1″ wide — on Wednesday at the art gathering I attend most weeks.

Sunday I finished them, trying out several different kinds of ways to bind the strips together. Just to be sure, I sewed them together, then covered those bits (and the parts that wouldn’t curl because there was a seam) with other fabric.

I braided 3 different colored strips of yarn made of sari silk and wound them around one set of tee strips. Bright and colorful, but the strips of silk are very ravelly, so there’s a kind of hairiness that obscures the fact that it’s braided to some degree. (The tee strips don’t ravel, by the way, since they’re knitted, not woven.

“Opera length” schmatta necklace.

I have discovered that sari silk yarn will shed like a bastard, so be advised. You will wear this long after you wear it.

The print shirt had side seams, which made it a little tougher to get a smooth look. I made one long necklace with strands from the seamless tee and the one with seams, letting those land wherever they would, and I wound a tee strip around the loops.

The color is actually a lot more vivid than in this picture; it’s just like the rest of the items in this post.

The next item I made from the print tee, I doubled the loops so all the seams were together, then put a stitch in to keep it in place. I hid that behind a big button, and now I have either a shorter necklace or a bracelet that wraps around my wrist 2 or 3 times. (I go for 3.)

I like big buttons, and I cannot lie

In fact, the “opera length” necklaces can be doubled too, like such:

The wrap holding the loops on this one is a 5.5 mm yarn with a honeycomb pattern between the edges.

And to wind this up, two more bracelets I made from the sleeves of the bigger tee — the print had cap sleeves that didn’t allow cutting across the knit. (And this was something I added on my own; none of the tutorials I saw used sleeves — now if I could just figure out a way to use the part from armpits to neckline…)

The closure here is the border from an Indian silk tunic I’m working into another project. I wish it were rounder, but I’ll get that figured out at some point.

…Aaaannnnddd, that’s a wrap.