Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Pastel Dye Sticks+Fabric+Vogue 1020=Great Top (The Kind You Wear)

Ok, this is a project for someone who likes to sew and draw. Not everyone who enjoys lowering the presser foot likes to cut loose with crayons (in this case, Pentel Fabricfun Pastel Dye Sticks). I do. I have ever since I was less than 4 feet tall. I'm a leftie, so all that painting, drawing, doodling comes naturally to me, although none of creative scribbles are valuable yet. That last word is the operative one.

Here's my recipe for success, at least for this particular pattern. Vogue 1020, view B. Your sewing-mileage may vary (well call that YSMMV).

1. You need a lot of space to draw. I choose to do my artwork in the Vogue Fabrics classroom where there are several cutting tables. I don't have that kind of furniture in my own home, so when I must spread my stuff out like that, it's off to the Vogue I go. You can draw on the floor if you don't mind kneeling on a hard surface for a long period of time (or you can wear knee pads, another item I don't own right now).

2. Sullivan's Fabric Stabilizer is your BFF, although it failed me miserably in my time of need. It wouldn't spray, not even when I poked the nozzle with a pin. I proceeded forwarded without it, but my masterpiece would have been easier to create with fabric temporarily stiffened by the spray.

3. Think larger than life when you're decorating a t-shirt. A gorilla-sized fruit (strawberry), a humongous smiley face, or porthole-sized sun or moon. Actually my blossom was too big, and I had to cut away some parts, especially the part when I signed my initials and dated it 2008. Sob. If I had to do it over, I would trace the pattern piece first, do my scribbles, plop the pattern on top of the fabric again and snip. I'd also use fabric markers that instantly set - I had to press an iron on top of paper to make my flower permanent.

4. Do the creative stuff one day, the nitty-gritty cutting and sewing another. It makes the process so much more enjoyable and satisfying, besides there's the danger you'll smudge other pieces of fabric while you're sewing and that will make you so cranky, you'll want to ditch the whole thing!

5. Do some strategic placing. I really tried to put the flower center elsewhere besides my bust, but it just didn't work. Oh well. It doesn't bother me that much, but will my friend Paulette care? She's getting this top for a Christmas present. I trust she will not say A Word about the stigma.

6. Embellish with embroidery and crystals to make it look it super ready-to-wear. A NY Collection tee decorated with a woman's face had purple crystals on the brow, red ones on the lips. I thought that was so clever, and I just might try to create my own version sometime.

More on the pattern shortly.

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