Last week I taught my class at the church on Clothing Refashioning (the one I made the corsage t-shirt for) and I think it went really well! I had a great attendance and the ladies seemed to really enjoy themselves. It was a little tricky as I can't actually try on any of the shirts I made, so I'm not entirely sure how good they actually look on a body!
This was a $10 shirt from Target. To embellish it, I simply made three fabric yo-yos. I actually had never made a yo-yo before (even though I've always meant to learn) so I used Heather Bailey's tutorial. They were easy but if I was planning to make a whole bunch of them I'd definitely invest in a little yo-yo maker gadget. Three for a shirt wasn't bad, and to fancy them up a bit I sewed a coordinating pearl bead in the center of each before tacking them to the shirt.
I haven't washed it yet so I don't know how well they'll hold up in the laundry but they were so easy that I can reattach (or ultimately remove) them as needed.The next shirt was a $5 hoodie from Old Navy. For this one I raided my stash of vintage covered button blanks that I've been slowly collecting, one thrifted bag of sewing notions at a time. I used some fat quarters I had on hand from some other project and made buttons in a variety of sizes. Those little covered buttons are addicting! I love how smooth and perfect they turn out and can't wait to make more--I'll be on the lookout for these while thrifting for sure.
To embellish the shirt I laid out the buttons in a pattern I liked and sewed each one to the shirt. That part was actually harder than I anticipated, as I didn't have a good way to mark on the fabric where each button should go. My tailor's chalk just doesn't work and since the shirt is black a disappearing ink marker wasn't an option. I ended up taking a photo of the button layout and printing it to use as reference, then just eyeballing it but I think my arrangement suffered a bit as a result. I also think this would work better on a garment with a little more heft to the fabric; the knit is very thin and the weight of the buttons causes them to lay a bit funny. The good thing is that I can easily snip off the buttons and resew them on a different shirt or sweater--heck, I can even change out the fabric if I want!
This last shirt I made to show how you can doodle with a Clorox Bleach gel pen. I don't totally love how it turned out but at least it gave people the idea of what you can do. The shirt was less than $5 on clearance at Target so no big loss if I can't salvage it.
I placed a large piece of cardboard inside the shirt before I started so that the bleach wouldn't go through to the back, then free-handed a design with the bleach pen. Using the bleach pen takes a little bit of practice to get a nice, even line without smearing or blotting. I let the design sit for about 20 minutes and then I carefully folded the shirt in half with the bleached side out and put it in my laundry sink that was filled with cold water. I let that sit for a while until the bleach gel washed off and then I threw the whole thing in the washing machine. I still got a ghosting effect from the design in some places-- I'm not quite sure how that happened, but I don't like how it looks so that's why I'm not happy with how this shirt turned out. However, this could definitely be a fun way to salvage a shirt that got splashed with bleach: it's ruined anyway so even if you don't like how the bleach doodles turn out, you're really no worse off, right?
The other technique I showed in my class was freezer paper stenciling, which was so fun and just as addicting as everyone says! I'll show those shirts in another post.