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More Goodwill Finds and Dabbling in Textile Art

I’m not sure what I have been doing lately with dye and fabric paint can be considered art but I am slowly figuring it out. I have always been a bit intimidated by painting and dyeing which was unfounded, not because it is easy but because you can keep redoing and modifying your piece until it looks like you want. I know one of Van Gogh’s most famous paintings has like seven hands where he kept repainting the hand. So I am working on dying some jersey knit that I got from the clearance bin at Walmart for 1.50 a yard, so not a huge loss if I ruin the fabric in the dying process. So far the result has not been what I wanted. I tried dying it a dark red color but it came out more wine color since I mixed bright red and dark brown. Then I tried adding stripes using tan dye a shibori technique from the rit dye website. It has not gone so well so not part of my fabric is just a darker hue of maroon. I think I am done trying to dye this fabric and I will proceed with making something with it, maybe a layered jersey pencil skirt. We will see how that turns out, it might just be 3.00 dollars lost. If nothing else it was worth three dollars to find out that I not an expert at dying fabric and to practice sewing knits with the sewing machine which I anticipate having a bit of a learning curve.

Ombre Dyed SkirtOn to talk about my successes of the last two weeks.  A moderate success was ombre dying a skirt I got at Goodwill. The color change is more subtle in the picture than it is in real life. I used a denim blue dye to ombre dye the skirt however it just tinted the fabric, which I anticipated because it is 60 percent polyester. I forgot to take pictures of the skirt before I proceeded with the dying process but it was a light grey-blue color with some spots that had faded to almost a yellow color. The faded spots are now gone and the color is a bit more vibrant than before. Dying this skirt was a risk because it is dry clean or hand wash only and 60 percent polyester both of which the rit dye website says should be avoided. But since I got the skirt for 3.75 at Goodwill if it was ruined in the process it would not be a huge monetary loss. Luckily I did not ruin the skirt; while, it did not turn out as ombre as I hoped, it is definitely something I will wear since I dyed it thus I consider it a moderate success.

Another finished project is galaxy painting a t-shirt I got at Walmart. Again I did not want to invest a lot of money into the shirt as I was unsure of the end result. I read several tutorials online about galaxy painting clothing. It seems that there are two approaches: fabric paint and fabric dye. I chose the fabric paint approach. Several tutorials talked about using acrylic paint and washing the clothing very carefully but I would rather invest a bit more in fabric paint than spend time hand washing a t-shirt. I bleached the shirt first with a half bleach and half water mixture in a spray bottle. It is important to spray the bleach and then wait for it to work otherwise it is possible to bleach the shirt way to much. It only took a few sprays. I washed and dried the shirt before I started painting. I started with the back and I used blue, black, gold, silver and a flesh tone color paint. Of course I also used white for the stars. I used some painting sponges to apply the paint. After I painted both sides of the shirt I washed and dried it. I was still not entirely pleased with the result so I applied more paint and painted the sides of the shirt. For the stars I put white paint on a paint brush and slung the paint so that the stars would be random. In a previous post I mentioned getting a black skirt from Goodwill that I was afraid to paint. But with the success of this shirt I think I will attempt to do that same to the skirt. However, I do not care for the texture of the fabric paint so I want to try the galaxy effect using rit dye and bleach. I will bleach it in two phases so that some of the bleached areas will be lighter than others and I will use blue and wine colored dye in spray bottles. For the stars I think I will try using a bleach pen. This project is far down the list though so it will be awhile before it shows up here. Before I undertake that project I need to finish many other projects that I have already begun.

I have been off my blog posting schedule. We were on vacation and we will be moving soon so I anticipate weekly postings being difficult to maintain. Although I hope that I will get some projects finished before we move.

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