Handprinted Dharma Trading Unitard

This fabulous project taught me lots and lots. There are a few aspects of this project where I will continue to find and apply solutions to perceived problems.

I started by printing a small swatch of cloth, just to see if my color choices were pleasing.

The Unitard is a  ‘clothing blank’, made of cotton jersey, procured at Dharma Trading. I love it. The medium size fits my body well, I am 5’2”, weighing roughly 130 pounds. The gathering at center front is pleasing and easily printed over. The plunging back is a fun addition to the design. The legs are about 6” too long, which I think is a great addition to this piece-as yoga clothing goes, allowing you to pull the excess length down over your ankles and heels. My one complaint is that the bodice is slightly long, although this may just mean, I am short  🙂

I decided to Playful Fabric Print the Unitard in an all-over design that contains Roses and Forget Me Nots. The repeat is a six inch square (Page 26, Playful Fabric Printing), the multicolor print set (Page 29) contains a total of 5 possible layers to print. The Rose and Forget Me Nots were carved from Eko Carve, and the additional color separations were printed using plexiglas mounted, sticky back, fun foam stamps (Page 63). This was printed using thickened Procion MX Dyes (I swapped out Turquoise Blue, Fuchsia, and Lemon Yellow dyes when mixing color numbers 2 (an Orange), 15 (Teal) and 22 (Red). I did this because I wanted bright colors (see the value bands on page 57 of Playful Fabric Printing).

My one hesitation in printing this, is the need for an insert or form, as I discussed in this post. I traced the Unitard out onto an opened cardboard box, including an additional 3-4″ to stretch the knit jersey and separate the front from the back. 

Recycling a cardboard box meant there were folds in the cardboard. Those folds were nearly impossible to print over. I had to fudge, add thickened dye with a brush and make due on this account. It’s nothing major, the print is pretty forgiving. Also, the Unitard, stretched over a full length form was a bit ungainly to manage on my small print table. But, oh well, it was necessary. 

And, I have two more Unitards to print!

Next time, I am going to try printing with Thermofax, as I think the color saturation with be super pleasing. Overall, I think printing on clothing blanks is something I am going to thoroughly explore! When I bought these babies, I also bought a skirt, a camisole and I recently dug out a tunic and a kimono (similar to this one) from my stash.

Stay tuned to more printing on clothing blanks!

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Blowsy Rose hankies! An update.

In all, the Blowsy Rose print in Florabunda is a four color design, or as we call it in Playful Fabric Printing, a four color multicolor set. In this case, the set consists of one hand carved rubber layer and three fun foam layers that color the background, the leaves and the petals. 

In my opinion, three color designs are the most efficient and easy to print designs, they are approachable, easy to complete and they give you many coloring options. As I print this 4 color design, I periodically drop a layer out, making three color prints, I use all 4 layers too! My goal is to print as many different hankies as I am able in a short period of time, while maintaining consistent print quality.

As I continue to print each of the 48 hankies, I pull some out of the ‘Working Pile’ and place them in the ‘Ready to Steam’ pile.

I rather like these hankies with white background! They are sweet.

So far, I have completed 14 hankies and am well on my way to completing this print job. I am doing this in part to fundraise for METAvivor. There are four hankies for sale, to meet my goal of selling all 48, and donating 240$ from the sale, to this upstanding organization.

I do hope you will head over to my Etsy page and get your hankie today!

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And join our Facebook Community Page while you are at it! This is the place for Live Video, asking questions and learning to Playfully Print your own fabrics!

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Get your Hankie here! Plus.

As I talked up the creation of the VIP Offering to the AnaOno #cancerland fashion show, many expressed interest in owning their own Melly Made hankies! In gratitude for this opportunity, I have decided to print 48 more hankies and donate a portion of the sale to benefit METAvivor.

I have ordered 48 more hankies. I plan to print them using the large floral design featured in Floribunda! by RJR Fabrics. Each hankie will cost $20.00, with 5$ of each sale donated to Metavivor. Each hankie will be mailed via USPS stamped envelope. If you prefer UPS shipping let me know, I will send you an additional request for $ to cover the cost.

Please purchase your hankie through my Etsy store. While there, perhaps you might purchase Playful Fabric Printing, then head over to the Playful Fabric Printing Community page on Facebook! I will be doing live video updates while completing these hankies and would love to see you there!

My fingers are crossed that I sell all 48 hankies and be able to donate 240$ (my fingers are triple crossed).

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Printing away the day.

This is a day of off-set printing and I am using the StencilGirl L498 Vine Swirl to do so. 

As an aside, when I was at the Fashion Institute of Technology, I took a screen-printing class. I loved it. My first print was a design based on shoes and I got to cut rubylith, which is such fun to do. My teacher was disappointed in my final print because he felt it would benefit by off-set printing. Or printing the same image, one on top of the other, but offset slightly.

He gave me a B+ for my effort. SD 181 (Surface Design 181) at left, its more recent interpretation (at right) went on to live among its fellas in the Meadowlark by Windham fabric line.I love seeing the original artwork alongside its current interpretation.

At the same time, I am playing with some hand cut stencils too. It was been fun to experiment with the many ways to apply dye through a stencil in order to color cloth. My current favorite method is by way of squeegee-ing dye through the stencil. I find this really saturates the cloth and allows for great penetration of dye.

So, I think perhaps I will be playing with value/color choice and off-set printing. (I would like at least 8-10 more of this print, so I gotta get busy.)

Using a white foam roller works well too. (Page 82 PFP)

Please note, I love using tags here on my blog. If you have questions on a specific topic, please search this blog, there is a search bar at right. A very handy feature.

And! Please join the Playful Fabric Printing Community page on Facebook! It has been so much fun to see what my fellow textile design artists are doing while learning from Playful Fabric Printing.