Pimp My Clothes

Last Wednesday I spent the day at DIY Textile School playing with paints and fabrics and threads.  I decided I wanted to pimp some shirts.  Here’s what I made.

I used techniques I learned in the Mixed Media class to dye these 3 shirts.  I let them sit in the dye overnight in zip lock bags and then rinsed them out the next morning.  Here they are drying in the garden.

So, from left to right…. first the long sleeved t-shirt.  It started out white.  I rolled up the sleeves and put rubber bands around them.  Then I folded the body, rolled it up as tightly as I could and put rubber bands around that.  I then dipped it into some purple dye all around the edges and stuffed it into the plastic bag.  Here is the result:

I think it looks like some kind of weird alien x-ray!  Cool, right?

Then the yellow tank top.  I bought it at the HEMA.  It was a solid bright yellow.  I spun it into a spiral shape and put rubber bands criss crossed over it.  I poured red dye into the center and dabbed dark blue dye (which turned pine green with the yellow fabric) around the edges.  Results…

Yay! Hippie tie-dye bright shirt! I love it.

Finally, this kind of beach cover up dress.  It started life as dull beige.  Who wants dull beige?  Not me.  So I dyed it in purple, spirals again, one below the other.  As I type this post I’m wearing this dress now.  It’s not as bright as I really wanted, but it will do.

Interesting how the red split from the blue in places.  I mixed red and blue dyes together myself, in liquid form, but still the red broke away.  I like it.  Now, as long as our heatwave keeps up I’ll be wearing this dress a lot.

It’s super easy to do!  Go on, give it a try!

I’ve spent today dyeing yarns.  That blog post will be coming up on Friday.  More beautiful colors to show you!

Playing With Paint and Fabrics

I’ve had two more Friday Mixed Media classes at DIY Textile School so I have some photos to show you.  These past two classes we put paint onto fabric, and then learned how to take color out of fabric.  For example, here are two screen prints made with the same screen.  The one on the left was printed with silver fabric paint.  The one on the right was printed with homemade color remover.  I love them both!

We actually made the screens ourselves using photos or drawings that we brought to class.  I used a photo of a lace shawl that I knitted for my mom, with a little editing in Photoshop.

We also made our own stamps and stamped paint onto fabric.  This one started out life as a cleanup rag during the first class!  I stamped my self made stamp on it and I think it’s pretty cool just like it is.

During this past class we also made a fabric collage.  The idea during all these classes is to learn to use the different techniques and not worry so much about what you actually produce.  But of course we want to make something we like!  We can’t help ourselves.  Here are our collages, with Ginni giving us some hints and critiques about what we’d made.

Mine is the second from the left on the bottom row.  See the little purple flowered fabric in the bottom right corner of mine?  That fabric has a little story.  Before DIY Textile School was in its present location, I went to see Ginni on a “sewing night” at her old place where she first started having classes.  I had to cut out fabric for a dress that I was making to wear to my niece’s wedding.  I used Ginni’s big tables to cut it all out and I gave her the leftover fabric to use in her class.  I had forgotten all about it.  It was 4 years ago after all!  Well, I was rummaging through Ginni’s bins of fabric scraps to find something for this collage and I came across my own fabric! It was so funny!  What memories it brought back – of cutting the fabric, sewing the garment, going to the wedding, M&J now.  I had to use it in this collage.

We have only one more class in this course, which is a little bit sad.  I want more!  I guess I’ll have to sign up for more!  If you want to play with fabrics and paints and stamps and screens and photos and stuff, go check out the school web site and sign up for something.

Creative Sunday

Yesterday was a very crafty day.  I went to a spindle spinning class at Penelope Craft in Amsterdam, taught by the very talented Christopher.  He’s a wizard with a spindle, with any kind of fiber, and can stand there making lace weight perfect singles while talking to us at the same time.  He’s also a professional singer and musician.  Such a talented guy!

Some of the students had done this before, but most of us had not.  It’s much harder than Chris makes it look.  My feeble attempts came out like bulky weight thick/thin singles.  The only fiber that I was really happy with was the pure silk.  It was just easier for me to draft for some reason.  I find that drafting (pulling the fiber out it just the right amount at the right speed) is so difficult to get right.  I know, practice makes perfect.  Chris kept reminding us about how long it took us to get really good at knitting and not to be disappointed in our first 3 hours of spinning.  We all seemed to be perfectionists who want results NOW.  Silly us.

At the same time as this class was going on, Ginni was having a craft market at her studio, DIY Textile School.  I didn’t want to miss it so I ran out of Penelope Craft just at 3pm and headed to the other side of Amsterdam as fast as I could.  I got there in time to buy a necklace of crocheted steel and beads, and a pair of earrings made with vintage beads.  And I had a tiny piece of the most amazing chocolate pecan pie.

If you are in Amsterdam at the weekend before Christmas, I think the Sunday Market at the Westergasfabriek will be pretty amazing.  I won’t be able to make it because I’ll be busy painting our downstairs toilet (more on that later).  But go there if you can.  Happy crafting everyone!

My Own Bird’s Nest

Last Wednesday night I went to a one evening class at DIY Textile School to learn how to make something from fabric and “stuff”.  I ended up making a bird’s nest and I have to say I’m darned proud of it.

We had to bring a glass bowl to use as a mold.  We then proceeded to cover it with whatever stuff we wanted, using gel medium to glue it down.

Ginni had lots of stuff on hand we could use to cover our bowls with.  She had bright colored silks and organza fabrics.  Feathers, string, ribbons, wood fibers, etc etc etc.  I was inspired by the small bowl shape and all the natural things on hand to use.  I used wood fibers soaked in water and stretched out, feathers, and plant fibers that looked like stuff birds would love to pick up and carry off to build with.

Here you can see a couple of other projects being worked on.  At the left if are a couple of finished vases made bright colored fabric and fibers.

At the end of the night we wrapped our projects in plastic wrap to take them home to dry.

And when I got home I unwrapped it, but left it still on the bowl form, and hung it upside down on a bottle to dry.

A day later I took it off the glass bowl and it looks like this:

You can see that it’s translucent and all the layers of stuff show up.  Here’s a photo of the inside, looking down into it:

Those white string bits are actually bleached wood bits that were soaked in water first to make them flexible.

It’s still not super hard and sturdy, but I will paint some paver pol on the inside which will make it hard and water tight.  You could actually cover a glass vase using this technique, paint it with paver pol on the inside, and use it as a flower vase.

Here’s a photo of another example the teacher had made.  It’s simple, but really beautiful.

I also learned that you can use this technique to do loads of things.  I now have big plans to transform our small downstairs WC.  It’s covered in ugly white wallpaper and frankly needs a complete remodel.  No money for THAT, but I can cover those walls with fun stuff like paper fish, cloth fish, photos of fish, shells from the beach, rushes from the dunes…… it will be amazing.