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Embellishments for fabrics

Favorite t-shirt with food stain covered.

Favorite t-shirt with food stain covered.

Those of you who know me are aware that I cannot eat without staining my clothes.  This is why I always take a busy scarf to restaurants.  So much more attractive than a bib.  Some years ago, in a moment of genius, I combined some of my bits of freeform knit and crochet with my stained T-shirts.

This new challenge to alter Erica’s jacket (here) has sent me a different way.  Paint and thread, but embroidery.  Since I know little about painting cloth, I experimented.  (Not knowing what I am doing has never inconvenienced me in any way.)

Acrylic paint with stencils on muslin and flannel

Acrylic paint with stencils on muslin and flannel

Painted Cloth2

Acrylic paint with stencils and stamps on cotton gauze and a medium weight cotton.

Painted Cloth3

Acrylics with stamps and other stencils and some embroidery on a linen/cotton blend.

Painted Cloth4

My favorite after I change the pink thread on the right–A light weight cotton, with paint smudged on and actually used to wipe up a spill. The birdcage is stamped using acrylic paint.

These samples are made without a textile medium to change the paint from regular paint to fabric paint.  Fabric paint has additives that increase its ability to be soft and flexible even after washing and drying.  Tulip makes a good product available at Michael’s.  I haven’t played with mixing my own colors using that paint.  Crayola makes an awesome fabric marker and they are cheap.  Still I have the color problem.

Yes, I have dyes–lots of them, but they involve measuring and not breathing powder and it is sort of like cooking.  I don’t do that.

I even have a bottle of Golden’s textile medium (GAC-900, I think), but in my excitement I forgot all about it.

I kept the paints sheer  and thin except for a few stamps.  This makes if very easy to handsew on it.  The handsewing was important to me because I wanted this to be a portable project.  I have avoided beads and plastic buttons only because I don’t think they fit with my “vision.”

Next time, I will also drag out and paint bits of shiny cloth and some upholstery things buried somewhere in the attic.  I have already washed some dark pieces to try, but who knows when.

My next decision is whether or not to just deconstruct the whole jacket so I don’t have to wrestle so much as I try to add pieces.  If I do that, I can also trace the pieces and make some other jackets.  Yeah, right.  Too many ideas, too little time.

If you have any advice, please don’t hesitate.

More later–



One Response

  1. Hi Jane,

    Wonderful, fun experiments with paints and fabrics! Love the flower stamp/stencil? I use GAC 900 and think it works quite well – fabric stays soft and color stays bright after washing.

    Be bold – deconstructing the jacket will open more possibilities!


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