My last stencilling project using the Matisse cut-out was very enjoyable, but at the same time I found it quite hard to find something equally as satisfying for my next one. Seems Matisse is a hard act to follow, even by another one of his own shapes. I still want to use his birds and maybe his swimmers too, but they will need to be in blue and white, and I want to use more of my natural coloured linen up first. So in the end I went for something completely different and chose an African look. My choice was a a variation of the P.Kaufman fabric below.

I chose a chunk of this, and changed and enlarged it a bit. I like large prints, — and slimming be damned!

I made my changes in Photoshop, printed it out in sections, then taped it together so I could lay the stencil over the top for tracing. Clear acetate is better for this purpose than the opaque white stencil medium and cutting out was easy with a fine-tipped soldering iron. A hot-knife would probably be even better, but the one I bought from the US via Amazon has a silly polarised plug which needs replacing before it will fit into any of my adapters. It is also 120 Volt, which doesn’t bother me because I have a converter from when we lived in the Middle East. But if you don’t have one and are thinking of buying something similar, be warned!

The printing was easy. I sprayed the back of the stencil with adhesive, let it dry, the pressed it on my fabric, making sure it stuck well around the edges of the printing area. Iron your fabric first if there are any wrinkles, ask me how I know!

I roll the ink on pretty thickly, which is supposed to be a no-no but works for me. I think this is because I use screen printing ink, which doesn’t bleed. The only bit of bleeding I ever had was when the foam roller was too wet. Normally I wet it, then squeeze it out quite thoroughly before rolling it in the ink. I must have only squeezed lightly that time. Fortunately with abstract shapes it is easy to fix this up with a brush and a bit of paint, and nobody will be any the wiser.

Again I used the Tessuti Mandy t-shirt pattern for the top, with the armscyes widened to accommodate a woven fabric and cuffs instead of the sleeves. I also shortened the pattern, although less than last time. I wanted to wear this with long pants, instead of the culottes I intended for my black/grey Matisse top. This top is around 60cm long, the black one was more like 55cm.

Sewing instructions can be found here.

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