At the beginning of the summer S requested a shirt with flamingoes on it. I did have some flamingo fabric at the back of the cupboard that I’d never used as I ordered it online and when it arrived it turned out to be a lot louder in the flesh that it had appeared onscreen. On digging it out again I definitely felt the print was too large and busy for a little shirt, but maybe just loud enough for a man who likes loud shirts, so I made another hacked version of McCall’s 6044. O was a little taken aback, I think it may even be too garish for his taste, but I have a feeling that a bit of sun-bleaching and washing may well tone it down.
Undeterred I went back to S’s original request and without any suitable fabric to hand I decided to make some. I have experimented a lot in the past with opaque fabric paint and stencils but wanted to try using some translucent paints and a freer style of application. I used Setacolour transparent paints (with added water) and a brush to apply the paint and played around with shapes that might work. The advantage of the transparent paints is that they absorb into the fabric rather than sitting on top of it which means they don’t cause any crispiness in the fabric. Of course it also means they only work on lighter coloured fabrics so I choose a fine white cotton. The downside of the paint absorbing is that it also spreads which works better for looser strokes that detailed work so my flamingoes ended up being a lot less delicate than I had envisaged. They were also slightly larger in scale than I’d have liked. While the paint was out I also let the girls experiment with making some fabric, and whilst it didn’t turn out quite like the amazing watercolour dress Cherie at You and Mie made with her daughter I did make something wearable* with it.
S made the big bold strokes, and H decided on covering the whole fabric with smaller patterns, which after she started to get bored with I helped her to finish.
*not everyone may agree.
Once the flamingo fabric was painted and pressed I used a blouse pattern from ‘Everyday Sewing for Girls’ that I have blogged about previously here. For me, it is pretty much a perfect pattern for a child this age and I love the proportions and details.