Creativity needs energy, and all my energy has been syphoned off by endless hours of work lately, so I haven’t done much printing or fabric painting for yonks. But a few days off over Christmas have revitalised me somewhat, so I have got stuck into block printing. It didn’t hurt that my first project has turned out really well, so then I wanted to do more. Here is a lizard print, grey on light blue cotton.

The Tessuti Mandy, sleeveless and in a cotton woven, is the ideal backdrop. Super simple shape, although you need to enlarge the armscyes etc to make the pattern woven friendly (instructions here). The fabric is the other side of the doona cover I already used for the Sydney dress. I also made a shirt out of the same side as this top, so I really had to eke out the top from what was left. A shirt, a top and a dress isn’t bad for the $11 the ‘as is’ Ikea doona cover cost me! Who says you can’t save money sewing?

However, I have been a little dissatisfied with the quality of block printing. It doesn’t deposit a nice thick layer of paint on the fabric like stencilling or screen printing. Here is a close-up of what I mean.

Not the end of the world that the prints are patchy, but I am going to try some stencilling to see if this will make me happier with the quality. Because I print whole garments with repeating motifs, block printing has been convenient. Put the block on the fabric, apply pressure, take it off, ink it again and put it in the next spot to build up a pattern. With stencilling I could create a stencil with several motifs at once, tesselating, but getting it all to fit together nicely is a bit more effort. So I think I will attempt the same MO with one motif on the stencil. For that to work the important thing is to use a transparent stencil, so I can see where the motifs have to go.