Wednesday, 20 April 2016

A Plain White Tee Transformed: Blugirl Poppy Tee Makeover

I've been spending time on Pinterest, again, and I've come across some truly amazing pieces that have really captivated my interest, like this stunning top by Blugirl. The simple structure of the boxy top is transformed by the vibrant floral embellishment. I clicked my way over to their site, and they have some truly gorgeous pieces, but they're a bit out of my wallet's reach. Regardless, inspiration had struck, and I decided I'd make my own version. Read on if you're interested in making one of your own ;)

Source: the web

  • White tee shirt
  • Organza fabric in red color
  • Satin fabric in black color
  • Kraft paper
  • Fabric paint in black color
  • Textile medium
  • Paint brush
  • Flower and stem stencils 
  • Candle
  • Lighter
  • Container

While perusing the aisles at Michael's I found this white tee (it's got the boxy look, and you can't go wrong for $2.99!); I had some leftover red organza to make the flowers and some leftover satin in black to make the receptacles (bases) of the flowers. I used kraft paper to make the stencil of the flower's stems. Make sure to wash and dry the tee shirt before starting the project; most of the time they're not pre-shrunk and that can throw off your work after the first wash.

The flower stencil on the left is the one I used to make the "base" of the flower. As you can see there are three size of flowers; I just wanted to have one small, one medium and one large, but feel free to experiment. The single petals and receptacles were made out of cardboard and were used to make the "top" of the flower.

I cut three full flowers (small, medium, large) and burned the edges of each flower with a lighted candle to prevent fraying. It's just a small burn around the edges.

These are the individual petals and the receptacles after I burned them with the lighted candle. Now that I had all the pieces needed to make the flowers, I was ready to assemble them onto the shirt. 

Since I was trying to give a three dimensional look to my flowers, I took the whole flowers and folded them in half. I used a pin to keep it from opening; organza is somewhat stiff and it can be tricky to manage it sometimes but I think it's the most suitable fabric to make this kind of flower.

Next, you fold the flower in half once more and pin it in place to keep the flower from opening.

I placed my first flower right at the top of the shirt, close to the shoulder. The others were arranged going down the shirt on the same side.

When all my whole flowers were pinned to the top of the shirt, I sewed a few stitches on each of them to secure them. I used my sewing machine but you can also stitch by hand, if you prefer.

The next step was to place the single petals on top of the attached whole flowers. I used four petals for each flower: I placed one on either side of the whole flower and two in the middle (over the whole flower) and pinned them to keep them in place. Then, I gave them a few stitches to secure them onto the tee shirt.

Next came the receptacles at the base of the flowers, as shown in the picture above. Pinned, then sewn in place.

Once the flower portion was done, I placed and ironed the stencil of the stems on top of the shirt making sure that each stem met the base of each flower. The 
Kraft paper sticks to the tee shirt after you iron it. Time to do some painting!

I added textile medium to my black paint. This gives the acrylic paint the same properties as fabric paint; it goes smoothly onto the fabric and you don't get any stiffening of the fabric. I usually add two parts paint to one part textile medium. 

I applied the paint very carefully with a small paint brush; the Kraft paper should form a good seal, but I wanted to avoid any possible "bleeding". I allowed it to dry for 24 hours, then threw it in the dryer for 15 minutes because it was only an small area that I needed to heat set, wait about a week before you wash the shirt again.

And now for the big reveal: A plain white tee transformed! I love the look of the vibrant red poppies on the clean white background, and the technique used to make the flowers gives the top a whole new "dimension" (hehe ;))
It seriously is a wonderfully versatile top; you can pair it with a cute swing skirt and flats, or dress it up with a sleek black blazer, dark wash jeans and strappy heels. And the choice is yours when it comes to the colour of the flowers. What colours would you use?

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