Thursday, June 24, 2010

potatoes and lavender

Yesterday, the 3 year old and I decided that we wanted to sew some lavender bags as gifts -from fabric printed with potato stamps and hand cut stencils.

Instead of buying specific fabric to print on, I cut up an old linen shirt- which was about six sizes too big for me.

Linen takes on the fabric paints beautifully and the weave in it suits these forgiving, organic looking techniques.
I cut some really simple stencil shapes free hand from an old soy milk container with a X- acto knife and carved up the flat side of a potato cut in half.

We mixed up two different shades of blue fabric paint onto saucers and went for it in own own instinctive way to cover all the panels of the shirt.
I got engrossed in the repetition of the potato stamp.... paint, press, lift, paint, press, lift...
For the stencils, we used a proper stencil brush -which you use in a vertical dabbing motion to prevent any bleeding of the paint under the surface of the stencil.

After we had dried and heat set the paint with an iron, we cut out some 26x19cm rectangles, including a 1 cm seam allowance around 3 sides. We opted to include some of the shirt cuff for interest and folded them in half long ways with right sides together ready for sewing.
We also made some small strap loops- kinda like bias binding, so you can hang them in your wardrobe (lavender repels moths) and on door handles (great for freshening up a stuffy room). They were sewn into the bag, with the ends extending beyond the seam edge.

Once two sides were sewn, we turned them right side out and stuffed them full of lavender that we had harvested earlier in autumn, ironed the opening inwards and top stitched it shut.

The wee man loves getting to push the foot control peddle on the sewing machine. It's got to be the next best thing to driving a car.

Also, just so those of you with children don't get the wrong impression, this was done over two afternoons- the printing on one day and the sewing the next. It's important to have realistic expectations and outcomes, especially when you're crafting with kidlets!

Et voila!
The printing resource book. You can get it here or here
Nothing nicer than falling asleep with a hottie AND a lavender bag in your pillow (it will exert a soporific effect)

... MMmmm bliss