Monday, January 16, 2012

T-Shirt for Me

It started out as a project to clean up my craft room. In the process, I kept finding old projects I had meant to create - which distracted me from my original goal, to clean up my craft room. This is one of those projects.

Over a year ago, I picked up a couple of t-shirts from Target on clearance and an iron-on design from Jo-Ann's, also on clearance. (I have a bad habit of seeking those clearance sections out.) And I had an unopened Silhouette rhinestone kit that I'd been itching to play with. Since my iron was already out (something I never use) for another project (and another blog post), I decided I would try my hand at making myself a t-shirt. Voila...

I ironed the design on the right shoulder and the bottom left. You can't really see the design on the bottom but it's there - a very faint shadow that adds a little extra design element. The iron-on was for light-color fabrics, so it was more like a dye than an applique design (like the iron-on material for Silhouette, for instance). It got darker the longer you left the iron on it.

Next up was to get the rhinestone design cut from my Silhouette. I found the heart (from the rhinestone starter kit CD) and the swirl (flourish_3_2362) design and cut them out in the correct rhinestone size (I wish that was an easier process - how are you supposed to keep track of what size rhinestones you need for the project?).

Then the trouble started. I don't know if my blade was dull or if I just didn't cut deep enough (I used the default settings for cutting the rhinestone material) but the little circles didn't cut all the way through. Ugh. So I had to painstakingly push out and remove each of the bajillion circles from the design. Huge pain.

Okay, moving on. It was time to place the rhinestones in the template. Fun! Only not. At all. The kit comes with a paint brush thingie and tells you to gently brush the rhinestones into the template until they are all facing up. Only that doesn't work at all. The brush just pushes the rhinestones away, especially any that you actually get into the template (by accident). So I broke out my tweezers to place each rhinestone into the template. Deep breath.

I was able to pick up the rhinestone design perfectly with the transfer tape and place it on my t-shirt. Whew. I placed a pressing cloth over top of the rhinestones and set my iron on top. After 60 seconds, I checked my progress. Only my iron wasn't plugged in. Sigh. Plug in the iron. Try again. 60 seconds later, it was looking good. I gave it a bit longer, and then removed the transfer tape. Beautiful rhinestones left behind. So pretty.

Uh-oh. Then I noticed that my pressing cloth had sucked out all of the dye from my original iron-on design. Sonuva.... Luckily, it was faint enough that I decided to just try to iron the design on again, over top of the rhinestones. There was just enough dye left in the transfer paper to make the design show up again. And if it's a little offset from the original, it just gives it a little extra shadowing. (Or so I told myself.)

So in the end, I did end up with a new t-shirt, even if I did have a few (several) moments of wanting to throw the whole thing outside. It ended up looking very pretty.

I may not be making more t-shirts very soon, but I do like wearing this one. It reminds me that seeing things through can be rewarding. Occasionally.

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  1. That is one beautiful t-shirt!! Feel free to make me one any time :)


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