Painted Torrens Box Top

Hi. This is a post about the loveliest boxy top pattern from Muna & Broad, well, there may be less words this time and more images hoping you'd feel inspired to make and paint your own. I've purchased this pattern recently and I enjoyed sewing it, especially since I was being guided by the lovely instructions on their YouTube Channel.  So I thought of brush strokes and I chose a few colours. I went with my intuition and didn't think of any design. I love to help an idea come true, but it's fun to just start making without planning, to just go with the flow. Soon, a kind of a rainbow appeared and then another! :)
For this project I chose a soft linen and I used fabric paint this time. The feel of the paint on the fabric is just like the screen printing ink, so the fabric stays soft (with acrylic paints the fabric gets a bit rigid).
Besides the great experience of the video instructions, to me the highlight of the Torrens Box Top pattern was also learning a new technique. Attaching and sewing the sleeve band was ace and I got it right the first time. I don't know if it was beginner's luck, but I'm pretty inclined to think it's simply an awesome pattern. You can see below how perfect the underarm looks! (thank you, thank you!)
Here it is, a wonderful pattern, straightforward but with a twist, that you can make yours by painting too (among many other hacks). Have fun and paint your style!

How to print & wear a drawing


Hi, how are you? Today I'll show you how I made a unique present for my mum. It was her birthday a few days ago and Sean and I prepared something I know she'll love - Sean drew for her and I printed it on a shirt. I also made the Tee using a free pattern by Grainline Studio in a very soft cotton jersey. Through the years, Mum always appreciated a handmade card I made for her, instead of a store bought gift, so now I'm very happy she gets to wear something made especially for her and keep us close at all times. Except on laundry day. :)

Alright, so if you are not sewing, any T-shirt will do, provided it's a good quality fabric with over 50% cotton content so the fabric paint will print and stay nicely.

First step - I copied the drawing onto freezer paper and cut a stencil along the lines using a craft knife (x-acto type). I removed the cut parts and I ironed the paper onto the T-shirt in the place where I decided the print would be.
 
I painted over the paper in two layers of fabric paint, but you could play and find out your favourite look. The more layers, the more opaque your design gets. I kind of liked a bit of transparency and didn't worry about the 'mistakes' as it added up to its handmade, unique personality.

Once it was dry, I removed the stencil and set the paint it by ironing for a minute. It was ready. I shipped it to our mum/gran and we're waiting for the surprise to get there and to see her shine.

Supplies:
  • T-shirt
  • line/contour drawing
  • freezer paper
  • craft knife
  • fabric paint & brush
  • iron
  • love
Have fun making some unique gifts for the people you love. Thanks for stopping by!

Diy galaxy painted sneakers


Hi, I'm happy to be back! As you might know over the past few months we moved in a new place, not only a new apartment, but a new country too. We live now in sunny Portugal, have loads of dreams and stories and creative ideas in our pockets and of course, we're looking forward to new adventures.

While moving houses and countries I focused a lot on finding smart, sustainable solutions for traveling, wearing, housing and living in general. It's true, when tools, space and means are scarce you have to get more creative - which is great, cause it's how we evolve to making the most out of living with less without having to buy new all the time in order to satisfy a need or a want.


These are the trainers I've been wearing for the last year and a half, they're still great, but a bit worn out. .. So, I thought of painting them for a fresher look plus it was a fun afternoon project we did together.

First I cleaned them, took the laces out and then covered with tape the parts I wanted to remain blank.


Then I used half of a kitchen sponge and plain acrylic paint (the inexpensive type, school supplies department) - dipped the sponge in paint and patted all over, blending the colours and creating gradients. We used blue, red and white, and mixed them while being in the flow of creating. Feel yourself free and experiment.


After the first layer dried up I splattered some white acrylic and painted tiny starlights. The next day, that's today :) we just removed the masking tape and put the laces back on and ta-da...


... new shoes, right?! The thing is, it's easy to throw away, but buying new when not always necessary may have a higher cost environmentally, so why not reinvent and feel absolutely awesome in the process... Not to mention wearing something you made feels so magical, always.

On a side note, I first thought of using fabric paint, but then I realised it usually needs to be set by heat so there was no way I could have used an iron or hot press on sneakers, so yeah, luckily the acrylics worked perfectly - they set on their own once the water content evaporated.

Supplies:

Sneakers
Masking (paper) tape
Acrylic paint
Kitchen sponge
Paintbrush
Piece of fabric, paper or oilcloth to protect the surface you're working on

All materials are washable, can be stored and reused for other projects.

Hope this inspires you to reuse and repurpose old trainers and to exercise the creative muscle :) Sending 💜

100 days of printing on fabric update


Hi! I've been printing, I've been printing... :) The 100 day project is reaching an end but that's just theoretically speaking cause I'm happy to improve it every day, beyond this fixed term. The project turned out to be an open door for me and how lovely it opened a heart too.

I got to paint, stencil, screen print, stamp spray, made T-shirts, taught my first screen print class and of course plan and dream a lot.





These are a few of the swatches of jersey and linen fabric I played with. I tried to print using household accessible affordable items, I followed random ideas I got at the time, without thinking too much or following a certain direction.

There were mistakes too, but that's how we learn, right. Doing this work at home or in a studio may actually look like actually printing 10% of the time and 90% cleaning the stuff and space you use!






I love the raw unique look of a hand printed item, the infinite possibilities you're harnessing, the feeling of wearing or gifting something YOU've made.
Be right back with a tutorial on how to stamp print with cardboard, string and ink!

The 100 day project


Hi! I've started this blog feeling both excited and worried. Would I be able to write again? Do I still have something interesting to say? Have we really been on the moon? :) ... and so on. But I soon rediscovered how much I loved writing and sharing my work and the initial doubts faded away. Now I can certainly say I have no idea what I'm doing, but I really really enjoy doing it!

Today I'm happy to say I have started a 100 day project: I will play with fabric printing, painting and mark making every day for the next three months. I love the unpredictability and multitude of resources for this craft, but it can sometimes be so overwhelming that too many options can turn to none. So my 'condition' will be to experiment with various mediums, but keep it DIY and homemade accessible. I'm hoping to inspire you to try some of the techniques in order to express your beautiful ideas. 


For this first print I used a piece of jersey fabric I had in my stash, acrylic paint and a sponge stick available at art/crafts supply stores. After dabbing the sponge + paint I let it dry and thought of transforming it into a T-shirt the next day, because why not. It's always fun to go with the creative flow, just like a child.

The printed fabric is totally washable. I recommend a cold wash/short cycle (mostly because cotton tends to shrink in warmer temperatures) and so it will have a longer life.

That's my first step on the 100 day journey of printing on fabric, I'm off to print something new!

Painting flowers in March


March was for painting flowers! And seeing flowers, and feeling their amazing scent everywhere... Before last month I haven't really attempted to draw flowers, perhaps I was afraid I couldn't capture their beauty. I thought that was Nature's job and she was doing it perfectly. So how can I reveal more beauty than what already IS?!

But I remember: the day before the first of March was warm and the grass inviting, so I stayed in the sun right next to a patch of crocuses... Purple, orange, yellow, white, so magical. I just sat and smiled continuously, not sure what to do. If to do something at all... After a while, the only thing that made sense was to pull out my sketchbook, paint and brush. My hand was fearful, but my heart was full and she wanted to let all the flowers in.



Such an uncharted territory... these beautiful creatures. So mysterious, so pretty, but so brave - standing tall and strong in the face of impermanence. 'I am here right now! This is my time and this is the best of me!' this is the song I've heard flowers sing.

Days went by and as I was willing to surrender to their message I noticed flowers appearing everywhere, small or big, colourful, in the shape of the clouds or even when I was looking at my hands.
I was a flower too!



It was a whole month of drawing flowers, every day. Thinking about flowers, letting them lead the journey. I sketched in watercolors and pen, but I'm dreaming of dipping my petals fingers in acrylics, inks and even print on fabric. What do you use for drawing flowers, or what would you like?

I hope you feel inspired to get closer to these amazing miracles and even start a drawing/painting practice. It's so interesting to feel a connection growing. I can assure you of one thing: whether you start by being experienced or not, something will happen once you get past the voice of fear, creativity will shine through.

Thank you for reading and being here! 🌿


How to write on a T-shirt using a simple stencil


The idea stopped by one night after making this illustration. I had just painted on a cardboard sheet, cut the letters out and glued them next to the drawing and as I was looking at the new piece I wondered what could I do with what was left - the stencil that remained from taking the letters out... So I knew: let's use it to write and wear this beautiful message.


I prepared the fabric panels (but you can use a ready made T-shirt one you have around) and I thought a few strokes of paint would look interesting, so I applied acrylic with a small roller (supplies from the children's art & crafts department).
After it dried I secured the stencil with tape and began to dab paint over it using a sponge (it came with the same supplies set), but I believe a regular piece of household sponge works just fine.


I let it dry and ironed on the wrong side on the print for two-three minutes to set the paint, then sewed the panels and sleeves together, neckband, hems and that's it. I love the effect of the raw letters and how the design looks arty and unique. It is such a good feeling to be able to take a few materials and turn them into art you can wear, that didn't cost more than it should - to us and to our world.

Supplies:
  • Fabric or fabric panel or T-shirt
  • Acrylic paint or screen printing ink
  • Cardboard (stencil)
  • Craft knife/cutting tool (stencil)
  • Tape
  • Sponge, roller/brush (optional)
  • Iron (no steam function)
I hope this inspires you to create your unique mark making and wear it with joy! Like my son always says when he begins a project: 'the sky is NOT a limit!' :)