Sunday, July 25, 2010

Alabama-style stitching - Part 2

[missed Part 1?  catch up here.]


This was my first ever try at freezer paper stenciling, and info on what heat setting to use when ironing the freezer paper onto fabric was elusive. I took a break with the finished stencil in place, and did some research.

Of the many online tutes turned up by a Google search, only one addressed iron temp, and recommended "hot." I didn't trust that. My iron packs a lot of heat, and I was wary of scorching the paper, so I turned off the steam and tried the "silk" setting first. It was was not hot enough: the paper adhered while warm but loosened as it cooled.

I pressed again on "wool" and that worked beautifully. The paper had good adhesion, and didn't lift off as I applied the paint, but peeled off very easily afterward. Here it is pressed (edges trimmed before pressing). I pressed on a folded towel on the counter because that was easier than relocating to the ironing board in the sewing room.


I've never used fabric paint before, so wasn't sure what to expect. One reason I stalled on getting started on this project is that every time I thought "fabric paint" I thought:  mess, clean-up, ugh.

I'm pleased to say it wasn't that bad. I used acrylic craft paint, 'cause that's what was available at the crafts store here in town. It's those little bottles in the pic above. The nice lady at the store advised to also get the fabric-formula goo and mix it in at 2 parts paint to 1 part FFgoo. I started with a tablespoon of paint, which turned out to be not quite enough; next time, for this size stencil, I'll mix up half-again as much.

My inner six-year-old (who likes all things tacky and bling-ish, and whom I usually keep under strict control when making wearable decisions) woke up in the paint department and insisted that we really, really wanted to use SILVER paint.

Uh huh. Metallic. Fabric paint. On a T-shirt. This is not the sort of look the grownup me goes for, so I thinned the paint with water and hoped it wouldn't be too glittery.

I used a round sponge-on-a-stick thing and tap-tap-tapped the paint onto the open parts of the stencil. Quick and easy!

I think the silver paint turned out okay. There's a teeny bit of glimmer to it (accentuated by the flash, below), but overall it's more of a tarnished silver look, which is exactly how I hoped it would turn out:

I cut the stencil into pieces as I removed it, because I hope to reuse at least some of it on the back. The stenciled shapes are nicely sharp-edged, by the way. Don't know why they look a bit blurry in the photo, but if you click on the pic for enlargement you can see the edges came out very well.

I still need to heat set it (iron again, with a press cloth), and then stencil the back and fill in at the sides for more of an all-round effect. The paint needs a good while to dry, so it will take another day to get all the stenciling done.

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