Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Print fabrics!

Happy Wednesday everyone,

I love print fabrics. Even if the fabric stores are filled with beautiful patterns I really enjoy making my own print fabrics with textile paints. That way you will get exactly the colour mix and patter you need for your project!

Textile paints come in various colors, and although some fabrics may need a specific type of paint, in general all fabrics can be decorated with paint. For best result wash and iron your fabric before painting. Textile paint must be heat-set with an iron for permanence, and some manufacturers recommend waiting at least 24 hours after the paint has dried before washing the fabric. Remember always to follow the instructions of the paint manufacturer.

This textile printing technique is super easy. However, if you have not used textile paints before I suggest you try them first on a small piece of fabric. Then you will know e.g. how much paint to use for the best result. And the best thing about this technique is that you can utilize your favourite Sizzix dies!

When cutting the stencil you need to pay attention to the stencil material selection. When using thick plastic film cut the pattern with Sizzix Bigz or Movers & Shapers dies. These dies are designed to cut a wide variety of materials. Sizzix Sizzlits Decorative Strip dies must be used only on thin materials like paper, thin cardstock, vellum or very thin film. Thick materials may ruin your Decorative Strip dies! In this project I used a very thin foil, thinner than the film you use for printing. However, vellum would have worked just as fine.

I used my print fabrics for making small cosmetics bag (size 20cm x 10 cm x 10 cm).
Here’s a list of materials I used:

- Big Shot Machine (655268)
- Sizzix Sizzlits Decorative Strip Alphabet Die - Stenciled (657849)
- Very thin film / vellum
- Red fabric paint
- Self-made paint dabber (made from a piece of sponge)
- Grey and pink cotton fabric (0.5 meters each are more than enough)
- 14 cm of bias tape (optional)
- Small piece of self adhesive, sticky backed acrylic felt
- Zipper, 20 cm
- Sewing machine with zipper foot, grey sewing thread
- Piece of black cord
First you need to cut the stencil. Choose your favourite die or dies, place them on the stencil and run through your BigShot. When finished, cut two rectangle pieces of the fabric you want to use for the outer sides of the purse (I used gray canvas type cotton). Take two pieces of corrugated cardboard and tape both pieces of fabric on the cardboards with masking tape. Corrugated cardboard will give you a nice and smooth surface for painting and it will prevent the paint bleeding through the fabric on your table.

Use masking tape also for fastening your stencil on the fabric. Paint over the stencil by dabbing textile paint on the fabric with a sponge. It is better to paint several thin layers than using too much paint. That way the paint will not run under your stencil and you will get a nice printed image on your fabric. Let dry and iron your printed pieces of fabric.

Cut a pattern and place over the printed fabric. Cut two identical pieces of printed outer fabric (remember seam allowance!) and two slightly smaller pieces of inner/lining fabric. Cut two pieces of acrylic felt (no seam allowance) and iron them on the back of your printed outer fabrics. Be patient and let cool properly before continuing as this will fasten the felt tight on the fabric.

Sandwich your zipper between one outer piece and one lining piece that have right sides together. Use a zipper foot on your sewing machine and sew a straight stich quite close to the zipper. Repeat for the other side. Open out, press and topstitch close to edge.
For easy opening and closing the zipper cut two 7 cm pieces of wide bias tape, fold the pieces in half and topstitch on both edges. If you don’t have bias tape make it yourself from lining fabric (cut two pieces of size 7cm x 6 cm).

Open the zipper. Place the two outer pieces together and two lining pieces together (right sides together) and make a seam on both sides and on the purse bottom. Before closing the sides remember to sandwich the folded bias tape pieces between the outer fabrics. Do not close the bottom corners yet.

Then start working on the bottom corners: Starting with the outer fabric fold the corner (right sides together)by aligning the side seam with bottom seam. Stitch across. Repeat on the other end and on one of the lining corners. Leave one lining corner open and turn your bag around. Close the fourth corner with hand stiches. Finish your hand printed bag with tying a piece of cord on the zipper tab.

I love my new cosmetic bag. Maybe next weekend I will make another. Hope you will give it a try, too!
If you have any questions about this project please leave comment on my blog.

Have a great and inspiring week,


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