Monday, September 17, 2018

Screen Printed Tee's and Fall Cleaning

So this weekend the sun was shining and it wasn't ridiculously hot and humid which put me in a pretty good mood to get things done.  Even with an annoying head cold that keeps hanging around I was still feeling like tackling some projects.  I never got the cleaning/redoing bug that spring usually brings me.  I guess it was waiting for fall this year.  I painted the door and trim in my bathroom.  After 11 years of us living here I finally had enough of the primer coat.  I would love to paint the whole bathroom but it's not in terrible shape and the new coat of paint on just the trim freshened things up a bit.  Plus I feel like I can't tackle bigger painting projects until I get an apartment painted that I have been procrastinating all summer.  I also cleaned all of the outsides of my kitchen cabinets with TSP.  I even brought out the sharp end of a knife to get all the gunk in tiny corners.  Then I brought a cabinet door to Home Depot and had them do a color matched quart so I could touch up dings, scratches and worn off paint.  It looks so much cleaner.  Of course that is probably only noticeable to me but it makes me feel good so it was totally worth it.

My husband needed some new work shirts because his old ones were finally getting stained and ripped enough that it was embarrassing to be seen in them.  We've always ordered them from a local company and they are not all that expensive but there are minimums and taking the time to go there and pick out shirts and so on.

I was given a screen printing frame a few years back by a friend of my mother's who thought I might like it.  Last year I sat down to loads of YouTube videos to find out just how to use it because I wanted to make some tee's for my daughter's slime business.  I did get a finished product (even though I struggled with making the screens) and printed a shirt for myself and both my girls to wear when we were selling at craft fairs but it took me a couple tries and the finished product was just ok.  So back to my husband's work shirts... I thought I was ready to give it another try.  I told him "Hey! I can make you some!"  My enthusiasm when I say "I can make that!" is not always matched or loved by those in my family but I was going to show them that I really can do it.

I had to make the screen 2 times only because the photo emulsion left over from last time went bad.  I should have known as soon as I applied it to the screen because it wasn't the florescent green that it should have been.  Luckily I had thought ahead and ordered another container of it last year.  I used Jacouard Photo Emulsion and Diazo Sensitizer from Dharma.  Last year I applied the photo emulsion too thick on the screen and it dripped as it dried creating bumps (and a mess under the screen).  I also over exposed it the first time because I thought it had to take more than 2-3 minutes in the sun.  So this time I made 2 copies of the design on the clear sheets and taped them together so it was super dark plus only exposed it for 2 1/2 mins.  I let my shower sprayer do the work of getting the design washed away.  It worked perfectly!  The best screen I've made.

My husband wanted some light weight darker colored shirts with printing in grey.  I found a pack of undershirts at Walmart to use.  It contained several different colors but I thought that was a better option anyways because then he won't have to wear the same color shirt everyday.

Although a couple shirts were light so the grey wouldn't show up.  For those I used black screen printing ink.  For ink I used Speedball brand.  So far the shirts I've washed with this ink still holds onto it's color very well.  The slime tees I made last year I used Versatex brand and I've washed our shirts many times and they still look as good as the day I made them.

It took a couple times to get a nice solid print.  I found the trick was to just keep squeegeeing over it really well in all directions.  My daughter found a shirt she wanted printed and her's printed with the best quality.

I loved how they all came out and my husband was happy with them too.  Five new work shirts and and the screen to print more whenever they are needed next.  This project was a good one and I enjoyed the process once I worked out the kinks.  I can't wait to try some printing on bags soon.    

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

More Teacher Appreciation Bags

I wanted to share my teacher appreciation bags back in June when we gifted them but summer happened and you know how that is.  So I thought with school starting next week it was as good a time as ever.  In my last post I shared one of my all time favorite teacher appreciation bags, the Tom Brady bag.  This time I'll share the rest of the bags I made.  I really enjoyed making bags this year because my girls told me what they wanted for their teachers.  I've always sort of guessed what they might like from the few times I see them at conferences and during pickups.

This bag my youngest daughter was super excited about since she loves sloths.  It's all about sloths and llama's these days with her.  I think it may have something to do with the fact that this teacher also loves them.  I typically give the helper teachers shopping bags.  They are lightweight and can be folded up to fit in a purse.  I have these everywhere, in my purse, at home by the door, in the car, you name it!  I love that I can throw these in the wash and that they can use any fabric that I love but don't necessarily want a whole quilt of it or a piece of clothing made out of it.  I sell these in my shop.

For another teacher...she got this shopping tote.  I make my own labels with my inkjet printer and sew-in fabric sheets and stitch on.  I talked about the paper that I use in my last post.  I have bags that I've washed over and over.  The edges of the labels are unfinished and I find that they fray just enough to make it look like it's supposed to be that way...which it kind of is.

Their main primary teacher usually gets a pretty big and rugged bag.  All of my bags are meant to be used and washed a lot.  This bag was made with some heavyweight cotton fabric from Joanns.  It's stabilized with Pellon Thermolam.  I prefer Thermolam to fusible fleece because it's much heavier/thicker and gives good stability to the bag.

I added a zipped pocket on the outside of the bag.  I try to put these on most of the bags I make.  I just love to have my keys and phone right where I can grab them easily on the outside.

I also add a rectangle of Pellon 70 to the base of the bag.  It's a super heavyweight sew-in interfacing.  I cut it just big enough to fit on the bottom.  It gets sewn into the base of the bag over the thermolam when I am making the outside before adding the lining to the bag.  This adds a lot of stability to the bottom.  It makes a huge difference because even with a lot of weight it stays pretty flat.  This interfacing is totally fine to wash too.

I do one side full of pockets.  Three to be exact.  It's actually just one long pocket sewn right into the lining and then divided into three sections.  I have found that I really like having pockets along one side of the bag and keep the other side open for bigger things.  The other side has the zipped pocket on the outside.  That way both sides of the bag have pockets just one is inside and the one is outside.

And that wraps up all the bags I made for teachers this past end of school year!  Now it's time to start thinking about this years bags.