March 1st, 2010
I use bleach. I know I shouldn't, but it just gets things so damn white. I do clean just about everything else with baking soda or vinegar, because they clean just about everything else. But when you have been potty training a certain little boy for over a year (there's something that's not so much fun to celebrate) bleach it is. Also, I'm a little sloppy and tend to splash the damn bleach on my shirt, only of course when I am wearing one that is A.) new or B.) my favorite. So after seeing all of Amy's fabulous bleach pen projects in her new book, I thought I'd rescue a couple of my shirts.
Here is the before picture of the first shirt I did. It looks a little weird because I ironed some freezer paper on the inside before I remembered to take the before shot. I know is just a cheapy target shirt (that describes 80% of my wardrobe) but it fit me well. So of course I had to splash bleach on it.
And here is the after. Yes, I am trying too hard to look cool, but it's not easy to take a picture of yourself without trying a little. I read the directions for this project after I actually did the project (smart), so I didn't realize that Amy uses a smaller tip over the bleach pen to get a thinner line. That would make your design look a little crisper, I think, and better overall, because really I'm not fooling anyone: it looks like I drew on this shirt with bleach. But it is a slight improvement over the before and I can leave the house in it without feeling like a total slob.
This is the second shirt I did. I know it's hard to see the spots, but they were smack dab in the middle and very hard to disguise. I wanted to do a color wheel shirt, much like this one modeled by the lovely Martha (I could not find another photo of it on the internets anywhere). I'm pretty crazy for the color wheel right now (like this print I love). I feel like it's a grown up version of the rainbow, which is very big in our house at the moment. I was never one for rainbows, but they are growing on me. Anyway, the shirt. I wanted the circle to be wonky and off center and partly off the shirt, but the bleach spot dictated where it would go and it ended up just a tiny bit off, which makes it look more like a mistake. Really there are tons more mistakes, but I don't care, I love it.
I borrowed this stuff from a friend of mine that turns all acrylic paint into fabric paint when you mix it in. It's made by Golden and called GAC 900 fabric medium. It works pretty well as far as I can tell. You just mix it 1:1 with the paint and you're good to go. I think I should have used a little less paint and more of the fabric medium stuff because the shirt is a little stiff in parts, but it's been through the wash a few times already and looks great. Though with all that bleach on it (the pinky color was made with a bleach pen) I'm sure I'll wear a hole in it quickly, but i don't mind really, I'd like a reason to make another shirt like this.