Fabric Medium & Acrylic Paint

 I've been looking into block printing a lot lately after being wildly inspired by Block Shop Textiles. Seriously, check them out. I started researching different printing techniques and materials and discovered a new product! Well, new to me anyway. Textile medium, how could I not know of your existence?! With fabric painting being one of my all time favorite things to do, textile medium is a total game changer. For those of you who were also in the dark on fabric medium, it allows you to turn regular acrylic paint into fabric paint. Which means pretty much limitless color options for way less money, kids. I'm all about it.
 While traditional block printing uses some kind of natural ink or dye and intricately carved wooden blocks, for the less experienced and budget minded folks (like me), the same effect can be achieved with simple homemade stamps and some fabric paint.
 Making The Stamp: I knew I wanted to do a simple triangle pattern. I used a thin sheet of craft foam and cut out 2 identical triangles. I taped the triangles together, just for some added thickness, and then taped the triangle to a wooden block for stability. Obviously, this technique can be adapted for any kind of shape your crafty heart desires.
 The Printing Process: I put a book in between the layers of my shirt to create a hard, smooth service and to prevent the paint from bleeding through to the other side. I decided to do a color gradient of yellow to green. In a cup, I combined 2 parts dark green acrylic paint to 1 part fabric medium and mixed with a paintbrush. I applied a thin, even coat of paint to my stamp and pushed down on both sides of the block to get an even color distribution. I reapplied a coat of paint prior to each stamping. As you can see from the above picture, it's not a perfect process, but I actually like how the stamps are slightly imperfect. It adds character.
 Because I was working on a color gradient, I was able to just continuously mix my color in the same cup by adding paint and fabric medium as I went.
 After the paint dries completely, it must be heat set. I layered a scrap piece of fabric over my design and used a dry iron (no steam!) to go over the painted area for 20 seconds. The textile medium I used suggests waiting to wash the painted material for 7 days after printing, but follow the directions of whatever you use.
 I love how this turned out! I started with something simple because I've never used textile medium before, but it's very easy to use. I have visions of hand printing a scarf or quilt next. Have you ever tried block printing? What materials did you use?


Before & After // London Fog Trench Coat

 A few weeks ago, I thrifted this perfect dove gray London Fog trench coat. I used to steal my parents trench coats when I was younger to play dress up. I liked to pretend that I was a detective, okay? Jeez. Now I have my own. I couldn't resist the color of this coat and, for $6, it was a bargain. This is a perfect DIY for Fall fashion.
 This was a very simple alteration. I wanted to shorten the jacket from full length to knee length because it complements my dresses better. I used a ruler and some chalk to draw a line straight across the outside of the jacket to make sure I made an even cut. I ended up only removing about 7 inches of fabric, deciding to make a wide double hemmed band across the bottom (which took the hem line up another 3 inches or so). I folded the cut edge twice and pinned it in place before using a simple straight stitch to create the new band at the bottom.

 I love altering thrifted pieces to better suit my style. It's fun to work from scratch sometimes, but these projects are rewarding because they tend to be pretty quick and simple.


we are the party people

OUTFIT DETAILS:: Shirt, Old Navy// Jacket, thrifted// Jeans & Boots, Kohls
I wore this yesterday for my friend's birthday outing at the 
Pan American Grill (awesome place, btw) and Brick Bar. 
Simple, stylish, comfortable; Perfect outfit for spilled drinks and crowded bars. 
Happy birthday, JoJo. All the love to you!


Dying with Inkodye

 If you've been around the blog awhile, you've probably noticed some recurring themes in my DIYs. Namely, fabric paint, stencils, and dyes. Paint is my favorite medium with dye coming in a close second. This project uses a sun-activated ink, called Inkodye (check it out here), and a stencil. Shoutout to a Mr. Zachary Mink for supplying the dye! This was my first time using Inkodye and I did not have enough ink to do a practice run. I am pleased to report that the ink is easy to use. Even for newbies.
My best friend from high school has a birthday coming up and she is obsessed with Pocahontas so I decided to make a Pocahontas silhouette stencil. I found a picture I liked online, traced it onto a white piece of computer paper, cut it out, traced it onto a black piece of construction paper using a white crayon, and then cut it out again. Inkodye activates in sunlight, so I wanted to block out all of the ink from the sun except for the Pocahontas silhouette. I figured black paper would do the trick. I still had a few light leaks, but it worked pretty well.
The Inkodye comes in these little packets that you just bend in half to break open. I know the red dye is pictured, but I used blue for this project. I placed a piece of cardboard between the layers of my shirt to prevent the ink from bleeding through. After watching a video of the process on Lumi's website, I decided to squeeze the ink out of the packet into a disposable container and use a foam brush to apply the ink to my shirt. I felt like I had more control over the ink application this way. I was sure to apply the ink to my shirt in a dim corner in my room. Then I smoothed my stencil down over the inked area, making sure that the details of the silhouette would lie flat and stay in place.

 Now it's time for the sun to get to work! I brought my shirt outside and let it sit in direct sunlight for about 10 minutes. It's so cool to watch the ink activate! It works quickly and the longer it sits the darker it gets. Because of how quickly the ink activates, it's important to have the stencil in place before you bring it outside. I didn't fully cover the area that I inked so I have some random blue blobs, but I actually like how they look so I got lucky.
After I brought the shirt inside, I brought it down to the basement before removing the stencil to prevent further activation. Lumi recommends washing the shirt with their Inkowash, but I used a bit of regular laundry detergent, washed the shirt on cold, and dried it normally and it seems to have worked just fine. Washing and drying the shirt makes the ink permanent and safe to wash with other garments.

I love how this turned out! I like that I have more control over what areas get dyed with Inkodye vs. using a traditional dye. It allows for greater project possibilities! I would love to try using a photo negative for my next dying experience. What design would you dye?