I've long wanted to paint a tee in a one-color tattoo effect with silk screens. This cotton/lycra jersey from Marcy Tilton nicely presented the opportunity. As I pondered colors, I realized silver paint would pair nicely with the soft coloring of the fabric.
I began by cutting out my TNT pattern for tops, Butterick 5215. (Yes, this is my second version for the PR contest.) I used the neckline as drafted on the original pattern, but after draping it on my front, I decided to lower it an inch. I should have added an inch to the side and sleeve seams, as the fabric has just a little stretch, but I didn't think of it at the time. Fortunately, the negative ease through the bust line looks okay. But the sleeves tend to bunch up under my arms, as they're a bit too tight. Time to get those dumb bells out!
To determine the selection and placement of the silk screen images, I laid each piece out and auditioned various groupings. Once I had established the layout, I took out my disappearing chalk and drew a diagonal line from the upper right to lower left. I also drew lines to indicate where the edges of the images should fall. The fine white lines can be seen along the sides of the center image in this photo:
This chalk erases with ironing and washing. It was a great help, as each of the screens has a wide frame, and it can be tough to figure out how to align the images. Here are the screens I used for the back:
Here is the finished back. I also painted a small element on each sleeve.
To add a slight variation in the patterning, I added foil to the dragonfly images. The foil comes on thin plastic sheets. It and the adhesive it requires are available from Marcy. I also have a package by Jones Tones, but I don't recall where I purchased it. Perhaps from Dharma Trading? I see they stock it.
The foil on the left is holographic silver, and the right is silver with swirls of almost iridescent color. Funny how you can see the reflection of the camera and my hands!
The foiling process is quite easy. First, the adhesive is applied to the fabric and allowed to dry. I painted it on through silk screens, but it could be painted by hand, with a rubber stamp, or whatever. It looks like this when dry:
Once dry, the foil is placed over the image, and a hot dry iron is touched to it. Using the side of the iron to burnish the foil works well. The heat makes the glue melt and stick to the foil. Once it cools - just a minute or two is usually ok - the foil sheet is peeled off. I started with the holographic foil.
The foil sheet is clear where the foil has come off. You can see that all of the foil didn't come off. That's because the holographic foil had stuck to parts of the image. I like layering different colors of foil in this manner. On this top, I liked the swirl foil better, as it added some subtle color to the design.
Simply beautiful! Here's what the foil sheet looked like when I was finished.
The sheet can be used again and again. On future projects, if I want just parts of an image to be foiled with this color, I can place a partially used area over the glued image, burnish it with the iron, and repeat the process with a different color. Layering the colors like this makes the image more interesting, especially when solid color foils are all one has. I really lucked out with this swirled foil. I just love the effect on this tee!
Sewing the top was very straightforward. I chose pale gray thread for topstitching the neck band and the hems. I really like how the color ties in with the paint color.
I also double stitched the sleeve and bottom hems 1/8" apart. I find this easier to do than using a twin needle. I also like the closeness of the stitching lines.
This top is comfortable and fun to wear. Now I need to make up that charcoal cotton from Marcy into a pair of capris. They would look great with this top!