Loving your thread

A recent crafty exploit was inspired by a recent purchase of a book: the Alabama Stitch Book and it shows appliqué and reverse appliqué techniques with cotton jersey along with some good projects. Even the projects are not massively prescriptive and there is plenty of scope to do your own thing in the choice of stencil, paint, colours, thread, stitches and finishing.

I had received a request from G for a t-shirt with a crustacean on it and her birthday was approaching. I found a good source of good quality t-shirts and set about with a prototype. I found that my Pebeo spray paint was a bit too runny for jersey but it still made a reasonable design. Instead of using up another new t-shirt for the reverse appliqué fabric I rooted through my old t-shirts and found one that I no longer wore (way too short in the body). The stitching was relaxing and spent a few comfortable hours in front of the TV to complete it.

I particularly liked the process of “loving your thread”.  I further customised my t-shirt by restyling the neck – I traced the neckline of a t-shirt I did like, drew it on with disappearing marker, chopped away, turned over the edge and stitched it down with one the stitches which would stretch.

The birthday t-shirt differed in that I did not customise the neck as I felt that the lobster design should dominate. I chose purple because that is a colour I associate with her and went for an orange design. I used a more reliable paint this time which I daubed on with a sponge (although it took much longer to dry) – Jacquard Lumiere in copper. Anyway G seems pretty pleased with it and is modelling it very nicely over on her blog.

As the designs were intended to be one off I decided to cut the stencils from waxed freezer paper and iron them on before applying paint. They peeled off easily enough afterwards. The colours I used were brighter than the ones Alabama Chanin typically use but I guess that is where my own style comes in.