Thursday, September 8, 2011

RWC supporters dresses for girls tutorial

You may have noticed... New Zealand has gone a little RWC mad. There are seas of plastic flags covering every available surface in Auckland and the souvenirs are flying out of shops as everyone gears up for the first game tomorrow. Our girls had a RWC mufti day at school today. The idea was that you came dressed in your team's colours. M chose England and E chose the All Blacks.
In the interests of trying something that I've been meaning to try for a long time (and in saving myself a lot of money), I decided to make them little dresses to wear. These are super simple to make but you will need a little patience when making the freezer paper stencils but trust me, it's all worth it.

What you will need is:

Fabric in your team's colour (get the amount you need from the pattern. I just used calico because I had some at home)
Contrasting bias binding
matching thread, scissors, pins etc
Freezer Paper (you can buy this from most quilting shops and you only need enough to make your design)
Exacto (craft) knife and board or small sharp scissors
Fabric paint (If your team logo has lots of colours, I'd recommend getting a bottle of acrylic fabric painting medium. It will turn your acrylic paints into fabric paint and makes things a lot cheaper.)
Paint brush (ideally a stippling brush but you can use a make up sponge or other kind of brush. Whatever you have)
An iron
A sewing machine

England and New Zealand battle it out on the pitch

First things first. Cut your two pieces of fabric out from the pattern to the size you want. Grab one of the pieces and pop it on your ironing board. Find an image online that will represent your team and print it out so that it fills a page of A4 paper. Cut roughly around the edges and tape the image on the non waxy side of the freezer paper. Using an exacto knife (or small sharp scissors) cut out your stencil. Don't panic if you cut through small lines. The freezer paper is going to be ironed on to your fabric and you won't notice the break in the join if you iron it on carefully. Keep it simple. Don't try to do too much fiddly stuff if your image is complicated. As long as you get the rough outline, little jaggedy bits on leaves etc aren't going to be missed and you'll save yourself a lot of trouble.

Once it's all cut out, remove the printed piece of paper and put the freezer paper stencil on your fabric where you want the design (make sure the waxy side is next to the fabric). Iron it in place making sure that you iron it all on firmly and there are no gaps between the freezer paper and fabric. Turn your iron off and take the fabric and stencil over to a table. Pop the fabric on top of several sheets of newspaper and paint over your stencil in your chosen colours. A large stippling brush works best but you could use any brush or even a make up sponge if you haven't got a stippling brush.  If you are painting white onto black fabric, you are going to need 3 or 4 coats of paint and you can use a hairdryer to hurry things along a bit if you need it to dry quickly in between coats.

Now this is the important thing, put it somewhere inside to dry and leave it there until it's completely dry. Don't do what I did and put it outside to dry. The wind will inevitably kick up the edges of your dress and splatter paint everywhere. You should also avoid lifting the edges of the freezer paper before the paint is dry, because you are so impatient to see how it's going to turn out and then realise that you should add another coat of paint but the bit you lifted up isn't very sticky anymore and the paint seeps under it and ruins your design (ask me how I know that?).

Once it's all dry, peel off the freezer paper and use Retro Mummy's instructions to make up the dress. You can of course use the freezer paper method on any clothing. You could go and buy a t-shirt or simple dress and then there's no sewing at all. Just lots of messy painting fun!

Oh and if you really don't like rugby, you could use this method to put any stencil design on your daughter's dress or your son's t-shirt. There are lots of other tutes out there for freezer paper stencilling. Just google them and you'll get loads of ideas. Have fun!

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