I’m right in the middle of party prep for Sophie, which reminded me that I never posted the stuff we made a few weeks ago for Heidi’s friend, Cassie.
Gift #1 for the girl who loves horses and the color blue: a blue “I Heart Horses” shirt.
The “I” and horse image were done with freezer paper stenciling. Rather than read any of the 71,800 tutorials online, I remembered that Lorraine had recently rocked a freezer-paper-stenciled R2D2 shirt, so I asked her if she had any last-minute tips for me.
- Iron a piece of freezer paper onto the inside of the shirt first. A lot of tutorials say to use a piece of cardboard on the inside to protect from paint seepage, but I really liked using freezer paper instead. Gave a nice smooth surface to iron the outer design onto (I think this would be especially handy for designs with loads of little detail, like L’s R2D2 shirt!!!). And it was a great stabilizer for the applique I sewed on later.
- Gently paint AWAY from the edges. In other words, start with the brush on the freezer paper and pull it towards the open area of the stencil. That way, the paint has much less chance of getting under the edges of the stencil, making ugly blobs and non-crisp image edges.
I used “Velveteen” Tulip Soft Fabric Paint in White, which meant that after I’d painted it on and let it dry, I held a steaming iron over it which made the paint “rise up” and become just a little “puffy.”
See the difference in the photos below? The flat faded-looking “I” is the BEFORE. The raised, solid brighter-white “I” is the AFTER.
By the way, I was glad I’d remembered to make a little practice shape on a scrap of knit. That allowed be to test the iron settings/position/etc on it instead of messing up my final product.
And then the heart was stitched on. Some tips for this part:
- Sew the outline, THEN cut out the heart. I didn’t call Lorraine for tips on this part, but this tip came from her anyway, from way back when I first starting reading her blog. In a tutorial on making multi-layered masks, she suggested cutting the eyeholes out of the top layer only, then topstitching around the eyes, then cutting the holes out of the bottom layer, so you wouldn’t have to worry about keeping the holes aligned while you sewed. I’ve used that tip SO OFTEN since then! In this case, I cut a big square blob, sewed the outline of a heart in the middle WITHOUT HAVING TO WORRY ABOUT GETTING TOO CLOSE TO THE EDGE BECAUSE THERE WAS NO EDGE YET, and then cut close to the sewing line all the way around. (Just don’t cut the shirt in the process!)
- Use two layers of red fabric for more “fringe” when the edges start to fray. And because of how fabric frays, I cut one square blob with the grain, one on the bias. (That means cut one square with a side parallel to the straight edge of the fabric, cut the other one as a “diamond” – with one of the corners pointing at the edge of the fabric.)