This blog is a place to archive project processes and techniques from Painted Threads with descriptions of how work was produced. I am including comments that contain questions and answers pertaining to the work from many of the original blog posts.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

DIY Ombre Skirt



I've had this jean skirt for a couple years and have hardly ever worn it, the first reason is the length was not flattering being right at the knee, as you can see here in this photo from quilt festival with my friend  Jane LaFazio and one of my students, Nasreen. It makes my long legs look stumpy and it was just kind of boring.

So I cut off 3 inches and left a raw edge. I'm a 70's girl at heart, I always liked that raw edge on cut offs. Then I set to work bleaching the bottom edge.
Here it is after, much improved, I think.

This is how I did it:
I used bleach, unfortunately with denim there aren't really any other good options for removing the dye, and a bucket.

First I saturated the skirt in water so the bleach wouldn't make a sharp line when I first dipped it. I put about an inch of bleach in a bucket and dipped the skirt in.

Then I poured hot water down the skirt and into the bucket, so there would be more bleach in the bucket but it would be diluted. I slowly dipped the skirt in a little deeper so the diluted bleach went up higher on the skirt. I repeated dipping and pulling the skirt out of the bleach until I got the bottom edge very light and had a nice gradation.

I ran the skirt through a long wash wash cycle to get all the bleach out and put it in the drier on hot to get the bottom nice and frayed.

Now back to work prepping for all my classes at International Quilt Festival next week.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

How can you resist such a simple technique


One fun little technique I found works great with acrylic inks (this would also work with Tsukineko inks) is to draw on fabric with a colored pencil or china marker and paint over it like a simple resist. Kind of like in grammar school when you colored with crayons and painted india ink over the top.

So why pencil versus china marker? Simply, pencil will give you a thinner defined line and the china marker a thicker heavier line.

In this case brand does matter. The first sample, if you can see it, was written with a Blick store brand white colored pencil and the second was a Berol Prismacolor white pencil. The Blick pencil was not as creamy and waxy and did not create a very good resist, the ink painted right over it.

If you are unfamiliar with china markers, they are a pencil that can write on a non-porous surface, like plastic, glass or metal and then can be wiped of with a firm rub with a dry cloth.
You don't sharpen them, instead you peel back the paper wrap covering by grasping that little string and pulling it back to the first perforated row
 grab the paper, unwind it
 then draw.
This is a sample I worked on in the acrylic inks class, layering up multiple different techniques.
The thick white lines are textile paint, the thinner flower vine pattern in the center of the paisley is china marker.
The little pale blue crosses in the background were also drawn with white china marker and then painted over with blue ink. I like how they show up really well and have a hint of blue.
I painted over the center of the paisley with red ink.
The pencil does not penetrate the fibers like a gutta resist, so if you have a lot of ink on your brush and the fabric gets really wet it will bleed beyond the pencil lines, but the white lines of the drawn imagery will show through, which to me is the effect I really like.
I painted inside the flowers and leaves with red-violet ink to make them stand out more. The benefit of the china marker was that I could quickly add color without being too fussy and neat because it kept the ink fairly contained.

Voila!
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