I'm posting about a project that was completely independent, i.e. not driven by a guild challenge! ;) Don't get me wrong, I love my guild challenges, but I never seem to post about other projects here. This one happened because I have this coral/salmon colored t-shirt that acquired some bleach spots at the bottom. I love the cut and fit of this t-shirt and really didn't want to retire it to the household chore wardrobe. So, I decided to cover up the spots, with polymer!
I sketched out a basic radial design in washable fabric pen, then I set to work attaching small circle and oval cut outs of polymer in shades of blue and white (yep, still in that orange/blue phase that I've been in for the last 2 months...) ;) The blue and white clays were rolled out to a thin gauge (#4 on my Imperia pasta machine, which has a range of 6 different thicknesses, #1 being thickest and #6 being thinnest). I used a tiny round kemper cutter to cut the round circles, and I used the empty ferrule of an old paintbrush that lost it's bristles to make the tiny oval slivers. I kept the cut pieces small to eliminate cumbersome feeling within the shirt and keep the fabric movable. I attached each cut shape by applying bake n bond to the backside of the polymer pieces. I worked in segments of about 6" by 8", curing in between segments to keep the areas for curing totally flat in the oven.
Here's a shot of the shirt before the applied polymer, you can see the bleach spots (lower center and right) that I was trying to mask:
So, next time (and I do plan to do more of these), I will use a thinner setting on the pasta machine for my polymer sheeting, probably #5. While the #4 guage worked okay here, it did add a bit of weight to the shirt. I also think that a thinner setting will make for a sturdier design. You might ask, is it machine washable? I tested that, this shirt has gone through the wash on a normal cycle and survived, only one of the polymer pieces came off (as you can see in the front view below). This I consider a success, and I will be replacing the piece that came off. If you decide to try this for yourself, please consider washing your finished garment (in cold water only) with small loads of laundry or, choose delicate cycle or hand wash to avoid causing any missing pieces... and always air dry (heat from the dryer could effect the polymer).
The design wraps around the side and also spreads across the back. Here's the flat back view:
And the flattened side view:
I had so much fun making this, I love that I saved a favorite shirt, and I love how it turned out! I can hardly wait to jazz up another piece of clothing! I can also see this idea put into use to cover up unwanted holes in clothing.... lots of ideas running around in my head! So, until my next project posting, leave me a comment and tell me what you think about my polymer bedecked T-shirt... Thanks!
UPDATE 7/19/15: I just reattached the one piece that went missing after machine washing, and I removed and replaced the one circle that (for whatever reason) got a little darker than the rest. It must have been touching the side of the oven at one point and got a bit scorched. Let me tell you, removing that little circle was tough! I couldn't believe how fast it was attached... and it ended up tearing into the blue clay and leaving a bit of the blue behind... I was thinking it would just pop off with a little pressure, but it did not! So, now I'm even more certain about the strength of these little pieces attached to the shirt.
I'm so happy to report that this project was shared on Polymer Clay Daily!! Here's the link: