As I’ve been working on my beaded hat (I’ve finished it and I’ll show it to you on Friday!), I’ve been developing a version in my head for G. Another technique that the Alabama Studio Sewing + Design book talks about for embellishing fabrics (other than beading) is using stencils and painting them.
Unsurprisingly, the book has lots of gorgeous stencils you can use, and I’m sure I’ll be making several of them for projects I’ll be wearing in the future, but for G, I wanted something a little cooler.
What’s up t-rex?
To make the stencil (don’t worry, I’ll share it) I searched Google for pictures of the dinosaurs I wanted. I threw them into Photoshop and flipped, rotated and re-sized them til they fit the way I wanted and then printed the whole thing out. Then I traced the outlines, making sure to smooth out any especially nightmarish-to-cut-out sections and scanned it back into my computer. Back in Photoshop I lined up multiple copies of the traced stencil to make sure there weren’t any huge spaces when I used it as a repeating stencil.
When I was done, my stencil looked like this:
Once all that was done, I grabbed some clear template plastic from the quilting section at JoAnn’s and traced my stencil on with a Sharpie. Scissors aren’t really the ideal way to cut this sort of thing out, but they were what I could find easily. I’d suggest using an Exacto knife if you know where your is or are patient enough to wait cutting til you have one.
When my stencil was cut out I lay my fabric out with newspaper underneath and used a sponge brush to dab my paint on. I wasn’t paying as close of attention as I ought to have been when I grabbed my paint, so this was accidentally done with acrylic. Next project I’ll be sure I’m using fabric paint so it can get washed. Once I finished an entire stencil I wiped the back off with a paper towel to make sure I wasn’t transferring any paint to parts of my fabric I didn’t want it on and lay it over my next section, making sure my repeat lined up correctly.
This does take a while, but I love that I can customize my fabric with prints I’ve designed myself. I decided to print my fabric before cutting my pieces because I want the finished product to look like it was made out of manufactured fabric. I know myself well enough to know if I’d tried to stencil on the cut out pieces I’d have wound up twisting the stencils to fit more full dinosaurs on than will wind up on it this way. It’s going to kill me how much stenciling work I’ll be throwing away, but ah well, such is life.
Hopefully I’ll have a chance to finish his hat before Friday and can get him to wear it/hold still long enough for me to get a picture of it. If not, you’ll just be stuck with my goofy mug. See you Thursday!