Archive for March 19, 2013

Awesome T-Shirts

“Wow, that is an absolutely awesome T-shirt!” the high school cashier at Winn-Dixie told me. “I love it!”

Startled, I thanked her. As a grandmother, I am not actually used to hearing my clothing described as awesome by a teenager. Actually, I NEVER hear my clothing described as awesome by anybody unless it is something that I make myself. Clothing worn for work usually has to be pretty boring unless you are the owner of the business and, even then, you need to dress like you want the employees to dress. And you want them to dress boring unless your business is in the fashion or sex trade.

“Did you make it or buy it?” she demanded.

“I made it”, I confessed.

“That is sooooooo cool! I wish I could make things like that!”

“But you CAN!” I assured her. “This one was really easy. I just made random squiggles and dots on a black T-shirt with a bleach pen!” Zoe likes it. She calls it my eyeballs, snakes, and cookies shirt.

The incentive for that particular T-shirt was that I’d had to wear black for a 40th birthday over-the-hill party in symbolic mourning for departed youth. I was going through my T-shirt drawer discarding things that were too raggedy to wear (which were all my favorites) and things that I never wore (such as the worn-once black T-shirt). I decided that, since I was going to get rid of it anyway, might as well do a little experimenting with bleach discharge “dyeing”.

When fabric is dyed, it is usually dyed a lighter shade first, then darker shades until the desired black color is obtained. When you draw or stamp on it with bleach, you really do not know what color you will reveal (Note: Said shirt needs to be 100% cotton). In the black shirt’s case, a nice warm golden brown/tan color was revealed that I liked MUCH better. I have had dark shirts reveal hot pink or purple underneath which is very nice, too.

I started a T-shirt yesterday. It was mustard colored, a men’s large Hanes comfort-soft Tee, a nice comfy inexpensive sort of T-shirt that will be big and baggy and roomy for summertime farm chores. Usually I get my experimentation shirts from a thrift store but these were on sale for less than thrift store prices. I dropped a series of bleach drops in straightish lines in a chevron shape (pointy side down) on the front and back. As you may know, it’s a little difficult to get freehand bleach drops EXACTLY the same size and distance apart since they have a tendency to spread but, all in all, I have to say that I have a *fairly* steady hand. It looks pretty good as is (the color discharged to white with a thin orange ring on the border where the white turns back to mustard yellow). It’s a nice, summery-looking T-shirt that’s more feminine now for my farm chores of putting up fence or wrestling livestock.

But, of course, I can’t leave well enough alone. I must do something about the white. I’m going to use Sharpies with an alcohol dispersal for some contrasting color in the dots. I haven’t actually decided what colors I’m going to use yet.

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