garden season is fast approaching, my friends, even here in Zone 5. add that and my susan khalje camp chanel at the end of the month, and time is slipping by fast. to mitigate these #firstworldsewingproblems, i dove head-first into a weekend of fabric stenciling to get some fabric ready for construction later this month (and this season) as i get pulled in all kinds of other directions.
to recap: as part of my SWAP for this year, i’ve found myself completely drawn to knits. but i can’t have it that easy – the colors and inspirations i am working from demand more! so i grabbed my trusty alabama chanin books, as well as ms. chanin’s new crafsty class, and decided to go all-in on knits assembled and embellished by hand. i’m working from a few basic patterns – mostly the AS+D basic T, the “sloppy josephine” from papercut patterns, the copellia from papercut patterns, and a few drape drape knits – and then incoporating ideas and techniques. it’s definitely been a spaghetti approach so far, and i’m just waiting to see what sticks to the wall (and makes sense) after all of the experimenting.
i took a spaghetti approach to my supply shopping as well, buying a lot of different kinds of fabric paint. natalie chanin uses an airbrush, and after a few experiments, i can see how the predictability and ease of an airbursh would appeal. for myself, i used mostly two major techniques: fabric spray paint, both in a plain spray bottle and in a compressor bottle; and a foam stencil brush.
i did decide, after a lot of deliberation, to pony up and buy three of the alabama chanin stencils from their supply website. i had intended to make the stencils by hand and save the money, but then took one look at this (in its 20×30 glory):
envisioned the hours of cutting with an x-acto knife, and decided that those hours were worth the cost of the stencil – as well as the neatness of a laser-cut mylar piece over a hand-cut piece of craft felt. i also went in for the “all-over bloomers” motif, which is a gorgeous leaf pattern (a one-off of this comes with the alabama stitch book, which made it a great vessel for testing paints and for bastic motifs) and a gorgeous rose.
after a quick infatuation with “wet-paint stenciling”, i realized that my compressor bottle of black spray paint was gorgeous but much too thick and heavy for what i was working on.
and settled in to daubing the paint – the bottle kind and/or the spray bottle kind – over the stencil using my foam stencil brushes.
and then, because i am me, and i cannot help myself, i did an extra layer of stenciling with a little bit of metallic paint in it, because if there is no sparkle there is no point.
my first victim awaits…