Or would that be "Tee Art" (T-art for short)? Tees for art tarts? Art for tarts? Interestingly enough, the whole tee embellishment project relates directly to recent discussion about art vs craft (inmnsho a bogus & misleading dichotomy but anything that gets discussion going is a blog plus). Much embellishment falls squarely into crafts camp, often resembling long ago camp & scout crafts projects your parents pretended to like. Yet embellished anything covers quite a range of skill levels, techniques and creativity. That offers the potential for moving it back into functional/ wearable art camp. Up to maker and in the eye of the beholder. Also, since the project straddles both camps, it is both meeting ground and potential site of cooperation.
Until there are new dispatches from the T-front, here are some tip, links (many w/ images on the other end) and resources for the tee artist & tarter-upper. Judy Mowris, Straw Mountain Studio's altered clothing maven, has already picked up two and dyed one + lace red. What are your tee plans?
Tees, how do we embellish thee? Let me count the ways: dye; tea dye; tie-dye; Batik, Shibori or Serti dye; paint; mark with fabric marker; stamp; block print; stencil; transfer original photos, prints, digital art, fractals, or calligraphy; bead; glue on glitter; go wild with glue gun; iron on crystals; pin on beaded or plain safety, diaper or blanket pins; needlepoint; embroider; quilt; reconstruct; appliqué; sew on ribbons, lace, fur, fabric, feathers, buttons, fringe, ruffles, frogs, braid, shoelaces, fake zippers, sleeves or pockets from another garment or whatever; surgically alter by cutting, snipping, gathering, shirring, ruching, stitching - or apply any combined configuration of the preceding. No rules - anything (within reason) goes. If the embellishments weigh too much more than the tee, it might sag in spots unless reinforced.
Why design your own tees?
- help raise funds for MMAC (arts council) that will support local arts and, presumably, go back into the community
- show off your embellishing skills
- compete in a head to head market challenge (whose fetching tee will fetch the most?)
- basic recycling. April 22 is Earth Day: there is more to tending the environment than fretting about biomass plants.
- expand your wardrobe
- have FUN
- T-Shirt Alert
- Designing T-Shirts
- T-shirt museum
- CUTTING EDGES / Do-it-yourself T-shirt surgery
- More T-shirt surgery (with images & tutorials - don't let page being for cheerleaders turn you off)
- Fabric Painting & Altered T Projects
- Sew happy that it's tee time
- T-shirt Surgery, Live Journal (sort of a blog and altered t-shirt community)
- Piece by Piece
The wonderful thing is that an ugly old T-shirt taking up space in your drawer can become something much, much better with a good-quality pair of scissors and a little ingenuity. You can cut new necks or sleeves and holes in strategic places, do lacing or ties. With two swipes of the sewing machine, a boxy shirt becomes a baby T. You can do shirring or ruching (i.e., making attractive wrinkles or bunches), make ruffles or add lace or ribbons, safety pins or other embellishments. T-shirts can become skirts, shorts or bags.
- 1 plain, light-colored T-shirt, all-cotton or cotton-poly
- 1 digital image
- T-shirt transfer paper
- Iron and ironing board
- Colorfast, washable embellishments such as buttons, beads, fringe
- Needle & thread
1. Print the digital image onto transfer paper. You may need to use computer or printer software to flip the image first to ensure that it appears on the shirt as
intended, especially if there's text. (If using a color copier, look for one that has a "flip image" setting.)
2. Following the transfer-paper manufacturer's instructions, iron the image to the front of the T-shirt. Allow the transfer to set.
Remember that unless you're using a type of transfer paper that's labeled as opaque, the color of the shirt will show through any "white" parts of your image, so choose your shirt accordingly.3. Sew and/or glue on embellishments
So once again, tarry not. Hie thyself hence - scurry to Mixed Media Arts (aka Celeste's studio next to the bank (formerly Bank of Belen & now renamed "My Bank"). Call or e-mail her first though. Get your own blank tee and have fun. Got embellishment ideas to share? Post them here.