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Sweatshirt shenanigans.

Sweatshirt shenanigans

"Wear what you like' has double significancewhen what you're wearing is a custom-designed sweatshirt--decorated with an image taken from a treasured snapshot or bit of artwork.

To create a sweatshirt for yourself, a familymember, or a friend, first select an appropriate image. Enlarge the image, if necessary. Then transfer it onto the fabric (by tracing it over carbon paper) and color it in. Chain stitching in embroidery cotton makes outlines and writing.

Our examples show a variety of art techniques,from undemanding to rather tricky. To create something like the casually sketched terrier pup, you might enlist the help of an artist acquaintance.

For each sweatshirt, you'll need:

Solid-color cotton-polyester sweatshirt(about $13 to $17 adult size, $6 to $12 child size)

Corrugated cardboard: 18 by 25 inchesfor an adult-size sweatshirt, slightly smaller for child-size one

Carbon paper (about four sheets)

Colored permanent fabric markers (about$2 each), fabric paints (about $5 per 2-ounce bottle), acrylic paints ($3 to $7 per 2-ounce tube), or fabric pastels (about $2.50 per box of 15), available at art supply stores

Pearl embroidery cotton (about 90 centsper skein)

Crewel needle (long eye, pointed end)

You'll also need tracing paper, an iron,transparent tape (all optional), a ball-point pen, and plenty of pushpins.

Preparing the image

Choose an image to transfer onto thesweatshirt: a child's drawing, for example, or a black-and-white or color photograph.

If working from a photograph, avoid imageswith heavy shadows. In the photocopy enlargements, dark or shadowy areas can appear as gray blotches with little detailing.

To enlarge the photograph, use a copyingmachine capable of making enlargements (about 10 cents a sheet); a photocopying store should have one. If you wish to fill a space larger than 11 by 14 inches (maximum paper size for most copiers), enlarge sections of the image, then tape the pieces of paper together.

If working from artwork, enlarge the image,following instructions above; or, if the image is the right size, work directly from the original. To preserve the drawing, copy outlines and important details onto tracing paper (you may need to tape several sheets together).

Transferring the image

Preshrink the sweatshirt by putting itthrough a wash and dry cycle. Then slip it over the cardboard rectangle, pull it taut, and knot sleeves in back. If needed, use pushpins to secure the sweatshirt further.

Next, place carbon paper over the shirt'sfront (taping multiple sheets together). Put photocopy, artwork, or tracing on top. Pin perimeter of paper to shirt.

To transfer image to fabric, use a ball-pointpen to push a line of dots from paper to carbon to shirt, as in the top left photograph; making an unbroken line could cause the paper to tear. Outline the image, then outline significant details such as facial features or, for shading, dark and light areas. Also mark any lettering.

Filling in the color

Some of our testers felt fabric markers orpastels were easier to handle than paints and allowed more control for shading. Others liked the greater opacity and more vivid color of paints. You might try both before you decide which you prefer.

To set color, follow package directions;most paints and markers require ironing.

Outline or pick up detail on the imagewith matching or contrasting colors of pearl cotton, using a basic chain stitch. To keep the sweatshirt taut as you embroider, secure the fabric to the cardboard with additional pushpins as needed.

To wash, use cold or warm wash and drycycles; colors may fade a bit over time.

Photo: To make dotted outline, press down firmlyon the photocopy and carbon layers with a ball-point pen. Smaller original design is at her right. Enlargement of image is on taped-together 11- by 14-inch sheets

Photo: Color inside outline with fabricmarkers, paint, or pastels; let dry, then set color. Using a crewel needle, embroider outlines and lettering in a basic chain stitch

Photo: For chain stitch, bring needle and thick pearlcotton up through fabric at A on dotted line, form a loop, and flatten with your thumb. Push needle down through A and come out at B. Loop thread under needle and pull

Photo: Mom's shirt is an enlargementof a drawing by daughter Chalida. Figure was shaded in with bright fabric pastels, set with a hot iron, then outlined with chain stitching in coordinating pearl cotton colors

Photo: Totem pole of sweats:son's has self-portrait; plane design on Dad's celebrates his hard-won pilot's license (chain-stitch curves show propeller action). Both images were transferred directly from original artwork, then colored in acrylic and iridescent fabric paints. Let one paint color dry before adding another

Photo: The model topslarger-than-life copy on owner's front. Winsome Chihuahua-terrier pup was realistically drawn and shaded with fabric markers. Image was transferred from photocopy enlargement of a photograph. Collar, grass, and name were stitched on
COPYRIGHT 1987 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1987 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:fabric paint and embroidery
Date:Jun 1, 1987
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