Sunday, April 12, 2015

Elven Baby Dress Progress 2: Stenciling the Embellishments.

I wanted to embellish the dresses with some vine-leaf motif gold design.

Not wanting to spend $$$ on trims that don't wash out mashed-up banana easily (I want to actually put the kids in these on a daily basis and throw 'em in the washing machine), I decided to make my own.

Not wanting to spend hours stitching embroidery, I decided to just use fabric paint and stencils.

Jenny was helping me steady it for the picture...

Not wanting to hand cut stencils from freezer paper that I could only use once, I opted to cut the stencils out of stencil blanks.
First, I traced my facing pattern pieces, then I freehand drew my designs onto them with a sharpie.

Then I cut them out with a utility knife. The stamp blanks are quite sturdy ("Show-Offs" 8x10 value pack, 12 sheets $7, before coupon) and  hard to cut.

Cutting all those little vine-like curves with enough pressure to get through the plastic, but not enough to slip and ruin the design....and then having to recut them and sorta pull them out with the tip of the utility's painful. And slow. And my hand was cramping up.

And because I am a total idiot stubborn, I decided to cut out a stencil for each yoke size (3-6mos, 12-18 mos, 2-3T).
It took me at least good 6 hours adding up all the times I was working on it, I think.
I went through 2 blades with 3 neck yokes and 1 section of belt trim.

My hand hurt and I was vowing never to do this again. And then I printed the designs (just taped down the stencils with painter's tape, and sponged on Tulip fabric paint with cosmetic wedge sponges from dollar tree).

And I felt better.

Note: If you want your lines to be "cleaner" (and you can also cut a lot finer lines too) then you should use freezer paper, that you can iron on (just showing how intricate you can get with freezer paper, see how I recreated the Penguins logo on these shirts), or maybe try doing mylar stencils with a spray-on re-positionable stencil adhesive (I think I shall buy some, and review it).
But honestly, I kind of like the home-made "woodblocky" printed look of my mylar stencils...

2nd note: USE A SHARP UTILITY BLADE. Cutting with even a slightly dull blade is torture. I used 2 blades (they're double sided) to cut out 4 intricate patterns, so kind of a new sharp edge for each. This adds to your cost, but replacement utility blades are 33 cents a piece, so its really worth it in the end.

3rd note: notice that I broke up the framing lines into sections. If you don't do this, the whole thing kinda puffs up and leaks more when you are sponging on the paint. I learned this the hard way.

4th note: If you want to save your hand some work and some time, perhaps you should try using a stencil cutter. I think I might just go out and buy one now, I will review how it works form me when I do.

5th note: If you actually own one of those wonders called a sillhouette stencil cutting machine, than this whole thing will be a breeze for you :)

1 comment:

  1. This is all so helpful, thanks! I look forward to your reviews of the other stenciling tools, as this looks like a much more efficient way of doing stencils than cutting out freezer paper every time...