Wet-paint Stenciling 2

Oh, summer, with your lovely breezes and tranquil sounds of leaves rustling and birds chirping. Our morning was well-spent amongst these summer sounds while creating with paint, fabric and stencils. My first foray into wet-paint stenciling was near four years ago. You can read all the details here. Today we leaped a little further into color and layering.

We followed the directions in Natalie Chanin's Alabama Studio Style book. We used Createx, Tulip Colorshot, and Marabu Fashion Spray fabric paints on 100% organic cotton natural colored fabric from Alabama Chanin and Organic Cotton Plus, as well as some miscellaneous pieces. We'll see how they all wash and hold up over time.

The above piece was made from a stencil I created using the Marabu paint in blue and gray.

You can see the progression of the spread of paint really well in these photos.

The fabric below was painted with Tulip Colorshot Espresso Shimmer. It seems the "shimmer" part clumped up and splotched. An oops that we actually liked, so it was a happy mishap.

Turn up the volume and enjoy the birds chirping, leaves rustling, and the sound of the snap of the fabric on the clothesline.

or click here.

A few Alabama Chanin Basics

Having a surplus of Apple, Burgundy, and Plum fabric, it was time to make something!

I had stitched up this top years ago. I've been envisioning a basic fitted dress to coordinate with it. Plum was a lovely fit.

I used the Alabama Chanin fitted dress pattern, raised the neckline a little, and shortened the shoulder straps.

My first garment using the feather stitch on the binding. Why did I wait so long? It's fairly quick and oh so beautiful!

Next up, a cropped wrap top using wet-paint stenciled fabric I had made years ago. You can read more about wet-paint stenciling here. I only had a few precious scraps of this fabric left, so the cropped wrap was the perfect project.

And the back:

My last basic (for now) is a pair of Alabama Chanin shorts.

I sized down to XS, left off the drawstring casing, and added foldover elastic. These are very comfortable and lightweight, perfect for summertime lounging, hiking, and gardening. I had about one-half yard of parchment Alabama Chanin 100% organic cotton jersey fabric, just the right amount for these longish shorts that hit just above the knee. I'm going to scrounge around through my scraps and see if I have enough to make a couple more for the summer. I also just cut and stenciled a pair of black on black shorts! I'm excited to see how they turn out.

What is your favorite thing to make with leftover fabric?


Just as the avid reader loves to have a queue of exciting novels to crack open and begin at the drop of a hat, I love to have a stash of projects ready and awaiting my hungry needle.

This nice stash does not come without a very lot of prep and work. I'll be honest, cutting and stenciling is not my most favorite thing to do. If I had unlimited funds, it would be so much easier to go to the Alabama Chanin website and let them do all the "dirty" work. Wouldn't that be lovely? Alas, I am fully capable of doing it all myself, so cut and stencil I shall.

I had come to my last project with nothing ready to start on next. I emailed my trusty creative buddy who had been wanting to try out her new airbrushing system. It was a date! We both agreed stenciling together would be so much more fun; and we were right! It was very nice to bounce ideas and information around. In some cases the extra set of hands was a project saver.

It took me a few weeks to plan out all the projects I would stencil. I took stock of the colors and quantities of fabric in my stash: I started a Pinterest board with ideas I had been dreaming of: And I started making my wish list. What began as just a couple projects grew to seven garments. That's a lot of cutting and stenciling.

I don't have any photos of our actual stenciling session; but here is a rundown of my process.

Spray in a well-ventilated area out of the direct sun and wind. Have paper towels and rags handy.
Lay down plastic and/or drop cloths.
Lay down a layer of paper.
Place a cut, top layer panel of your project, right side up, onto the paper.
Spray adhesive onto the back of your stencil. (The adhesive should last for four or five uses.)
Place the stencil on top of your fabric, press down so the stencil has good contact with the fabric.
Cover any fabric not being stenciled with paper or cardboard, just in case of overspray.
Spray fabric paint onto your project, slow and steady.
Blot off the stencil (especially mylar) before peeling it off of the fabric or the excess paint will drip off of it while lifting it away.
Carefully peel your stencil off of your fabric.
Move your panel of fabric out of the way, and begin on your next panel.

**Edit update: My friend used her Badger airbrush system with Createx paint and Alabama Chanin paint. She found adding thinner necessary for a successful spray. I used Tulip Colorshot fabric spray paint. In one instance I used beige paint on red fabric. Luckily I checked the results before lifting the stencil. It wasn't what I wanted so I added just a quick spray of black on top. Phew! Mistake saved. It was difficult to get the exact same results on all the panels sprayed, though. Next time I'll be sure to count the seconds of spraying to try to keep it more uniform.**

Here are the individual "kits" I put together. All the fabric is Alabama Chanin 100% domestic organic mid-weight cotton jersey; and all the stencils are from Alabama Chanin.

1) Black on black fabric; paisley stencil; Tulip sparkle fabric paint; Alabama Chanin drawstring pants pattern, modified. I'm not usually a sparkly or glittery paint person, but black on black is almost impossible to see, and even the gray paint I have is very faint. I've found that a little sparkle or glitter or pearl makes it easier. I may use the reverse applique technique, thus cutting off most of the sparkle....though I may change my mind and go with negative reverse applique to make a lighter garment.

2) Apple over white fabric; daisy stencil; Tulip colorshot fabric spray paint in beige; Dottie Angel Simplicity 1080 pattern, cut short to make a top. I've made this top in a basic and love the fit. You can read more about it here. I'll use the negative reverse applique technique.

3) Autumn over ballet fabric with hand-dyed madder binding; Angie's Fall stencil; Tulip colorshot fabric spray paint in beige; Alabama Chanin t-shirt pattern, sleeveless, shortened, with a v-neck; negative reverse applique technique.

4) Parchment fabric; daisy stencil; white Tulip colorshot fabric spray paint; self-drafted sleeveless shirt pattern; negative reverse applique technique.

5) Storm blue over twilight fabric; daisy stencil;  gray (or was it saddle brown???) Tulip colorshot fabric spray paint; Alabama Chanin mid length fitted skirt pattern; negative reverse applique technique.

6) Apple over burgundy fabric; new leaves stencil; Tulip colorshot fabric spray paint in beige then black; Alabama Chanin Factory dress pattern with a v-neck; negative reverse applique technique.

7) Suede over white fabric; I will use Abbie's Flower stencil; white fabric paint; Alabama Chanin t-shirt top, modified, with cap sleeves; negative reverse applique technique.

Our next "date" we'll be wet-paint stenciling. Summer is the perfect time for it; and I really enjoyed my previous foray into this technique with fantastic results. Read more about wet-paint stenciling here. Wish us luck for a second go-around!