I am not usually into messages on my tops, but I wanted to try stencilling some writing and this popped into my head. I wanted to try writing as I now have access to a stencil cutter at work (yay!), which has made things possible I could not have done cutting a freezer paper stencil manually with a craft knife.

Not bad for a first try, and I learnt a few lessons. Freezer paper with such intricate cut-outs is not easily reusable, it tends to tear unless you have an extra pair of hands to help when you pull it off the first print. I reused it anyway, with the predictable result of small blobs where bits of paper stencil were missing. Fortunately it’s not all that noticeable when you see the top as a whole.

Also any running writing has floating bits, such as the inside of the a and e etc. These teensy weensy bits are not attached to the freezer paper stencil and would have to be prised lose from the stencil mats sticky grip with tweezers and placed individually on the fabric where they belong. Cripes, what a job! I solved the problem by leaving them off, which looks ok, but needs to be at least considered when designing something with writing.

A successful project tends to fire me with zeal, and as I have one foot in a moon boot right now I can’t do too much running around. Time in the sewing room fends off boredom and stops me from get5ing morose. Making stencilled skivvies is fun and useful in the cold weather we are having right now.

I came across this poster with a stylised face on Pinterest and thought it would work well for a top.

I hope W Art Design in Milano doesn’t mind me using it and here is the finished garment.

I think I should have put the motifs on the left and right closer towards the middle, but it’s too late now. They look ok in the flat, but once they are on a round body they look too far to the sides on a wide boxy top.

For the next skivvy I drew the outline in pencil on freezer paper, then cut out with a craft knife, as it was too wide for the cutting machine. I could have divided it up, but there wasn’t that much cutting to do and it wasn’t intricate enough to bother with the machine.

You may wonder why I drew on a stencil when I could just as well paint freehand straight onto the top. First of all you can alter pencil lines on paper but once you have dye on fabric it is too late for second thoughts. Also a freezer paper stencil makes it so much easier and quicker to achieve clean outlines on my motifs. Because of the roughness of fabric the edges of a brush stroke tend to be uneven, but a stencil fixes that and also prevents dye from continuing to seep into the capillaries of the fabric.

I quite like the colour combo, maybe more than the shapes.

And last as well as least is a top I don’t like all that much. I was pretty disappointed when I first did it, because it didn’t at all look like the idea i had in my head. But it is growing on me and in any case it is quite useful to wear when I am doing messy stuff, because I don’t have to worry about ruining it.

All patterns are the Tessuti Mandy again, with a cowl/funnel/turtle neck as it is the middle of winter here and I like having something to come up a little higher on my neck.