Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Happy Harry Potter: Hogwarts House Crest Tees

It’s July! You know what happens in July? Harry Potter’s birthday! I love Harry Potter and my boys are HUGE fans. So Rae Gun Rambling’s series Happy Harry Potter is one of my favorites. For this year’s festivities I have a tutorial for making your own silk screen stencils so you can make Hogwarts House Crest Tees.

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Show your house pride on anything and everything! The stencils are completely reusable and can be used with all kinds of mediums on all kinds of surfaces. But my favorites I’ve done are watermark tees with bleach.

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These tees have been in my boys’ regular, weekly rotations for a long, long time. We’ve made them for friends as gifts, too. I figured today was as good a day as any to finally share them and how they are made.

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By using a homemade screen print technique, you get a reusable template so you can show your house pride anywhere and everywhere!   Using bleach instead of paint or dyes gives a simple but graphic effect that looks cool and professional. But the templates we’re going to make can be used with paints, as well.

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There are quite a few tutorials on the web for homemade screen printing and bleach-graphics, so I’ll just go over the basics and add some of my favorite tricks and tips.

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For the screen print, you need:
-sheer fabric (cheap-O curtain fabric from Jo-Ann Stores). I buy a yard at a time, and get about a half dozen or so screen print stencils out of it.
-NON-water soluble craft decoupage.  I use Collage Pauge (affiliate link)
-A large embroidery hoop. The bigger, the better
-A bold image. I googled “hogwarts house crests coloring pages” to find the images I used. Coloring pages are easier to use because they use bold lines and less details.

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Trace your image onto the sheer fabric. I leave out all the fine details because they are hard for me to paint later.

Place the traced image into an embroidery hoop, as tightly as you can get it. Use a fine point paint brush to completely paint in the negative space with the craft decoupage. Again, I don’t do all the tiny little details because I’m not so great at painting. But if you rock the brush, detail that baby up!  Make sure to fully get all the negative space. Hold it up to the light every once in a while so you can see where you may have missed a spot. Another tip, place the hoop opposite as what this picture shows. Paint with the hoop ring so that the fabric is slightly lifted off the surface. This way, you don’t risk moving the hoop on accident and smearing ‘pauge where you don’t want it! Also, I like to keep paper or something underneath while I paint to protect my table I’m working on.


Let dry and you have an awesome, completely reusable screen print stencil!  

Because you used a non-water soluble decupauge, you can wash your stencil after using. These stencils can be used over and over and over again. I store my stencils flat (without hoops), with wax paper in between them. True confession: I actually made the stencils with the crests three years ago and just pulled them back out for this! So much better than freezer paper!

So, now you’re ready to transfer that image onto anything and everything! I’ve used fabric paints, acrylic paints, screen printing paints and bleach with my stencils over the years. All work fantastic! Let’s start with the bleached “watermark”.  The pictures for this tutorial are actually from when I made some watermark Cubs shirts for my husband and sons a few years ago, but the process is exactly the same for the Hogwarts crests, or for anything else.

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I wanted a subtle, worn, kind of retro-look to my shirts. To get a watermark effect, look for shirts that are “heathered”.  I usually buy mine at Old Navy. You can do the bleached print on regular colors, though, too. It will just make a bolder image.

I use Fun Foam sheets under my projects when screen printing.  The foam is flexible, reusable, and doesn’t get soggy or let anything get through.

I always use a bleach pen.  You can find them in the laundry section at the store.  The bleach in the pens is suspended in gel, so unlike straight bleach from the jug, it stays in place and doesn’t run as much, or evaporate as quickly.

Place your template in the desired location and use the “scrubbing” side of the pen to really press the bleach through the screen. 

I always have my sink full and ready with warm water

So after you’ve bleached the image, remove the screen and let the bleach sit for a couple of minutes.  It really doesn’t need long at all.  Three minutes seems to be the magic number for me.  Then just submerge your project in the water and watch your graphic appear.


Now just wash and wear as normal. Because the design is bleached, it doesn’t fade with washing. In fact, both of these tees are three years old, and have each gone through two kids and who knows how many washings!

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But don’t limit yourself to tee shirts and bleach! Your stencil can work on anything you can get it flat on. Customize bags, pillows, walls. I like to use mine for custom gift wrap. I’ve made a few watermark tees over the years as gifts, and then I use the cleaned stencil to give a sneak peek of what’s inside on the packaging. 
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Don’t forget to check out all the amazing, inspiring and magical ideas and posts and fun that are Happy Harry Potter


See all the posts HERE
Play along with the Instagram photo challenge HERE
And enter to win an AWESOME Harry Potter package of wonder!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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You may also like my Happy Harry Potter post from last year: Harry Potter Transfer Tees
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Thursday, July 23, 2015

This Way-That Way Skirt

The wonderful ladies of Simple Simon & Co host an amazing charity-sew event every summer, Skirting the Issue. The cause is girls in foster care, the goal is to donate as many skirts as possible to those girls. The skirts are a little to help them feel loved, something they can call their own, something made for them. For my part, I’m offering up a new tutorial and pattern that I call This Way-That Way Skirt.

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Based on one of my very, very first tutorials I ever did, the Domesticated Skirt for women, but with some modifications that make it better than ever and perfect for girls.

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This Way-That Way is made with knits so it’s comfortable and easy to wear, especially great for girls with sensory issues. There is elastic in the waist to help with fit, so even if it comes untied, it’s not going anywhere. It’s super easy to cut out and to sew. Two rectangle pattern pieces and a few straight lines, but with the wrap/tie-front and contrast fabric it’s interesting and unique.

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And best of all? She can wear it this way

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Or flip it around that way and tie the other fabric on top for a whole new look!

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Use two coordinating or contrasting fabrics so it looks like this one way.

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Then open it up, twist it around front-to-back

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Retie to get a whole other skirt! Two looks in one!

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And because it uses rectangular cuts of fabric, you can get quite a few skirts out of very little yardage. In fact, if you use at least a 54” width fabric, you will be able to get two (or more, depending on sizes you make) skirts from your fabric. One to keep and one to donate! And the skirts sew up so fast with no difficult or tricky techniques. Easy to dress, fun to wear, simple to sew, and great to give!

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Let’s make some This Way-That Way Skirts!

I have included the full tutorial in this post, using a cutting guide for the pattern pieces. If you would prefer to use a PDF pattern, with printed pattern pieces, I have that available also. It is $3 for the download and includes the full instructions in the PDF. You can access that HERE (affiliate link), or use the cutting guide in this post for free.

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Recommended Fabric: medium- to heavy-weight knits
Sizes 18m-8: TWO 1/2 yards of coordinating or contrasting knits (1 yard total fabric needed)
Sizes 10-16: TWO 3/4 yards of coordinating or contrasting knits (1.5 yards total fabric needed)
1 yard 3/4” elastic
1 yard ribbon or twill tape
Fray Check

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Cut out skirt panels, one each from each of your two knit fabrics. Cut out two strips of elastic, following Elastic Cutting Guide, cut two 11 inch lengths or ribbon or twill tape.

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Fold skirt panel in half with short ends matching (fold along the width). Mark center top.
You can use a marking pen, tailors’ chalk, or even a very small snip with scissors to make the mark.
Repeat for other skirt panel.

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Open skirt panel. Using marked center as guide, fold the panel short ends to the center. Mark the fold at the top. 
You should now have three markings on the top of your panel: 1/4 of the width, center,  3/4 width.
Repeat for other panel.

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On one of your panels AT THE TOP (where the markings are), place the ribbon/twill tape at the side apx 1.5 inches from the top of the panel, one ribbon on each side AT THE TOP.
The raw edge of the ribbon/twill tape will match up with the raw edge of the fabric, with the length of the ribbon/twill tape pointing into the center of the panel.
Baste in place
Use Fray Check to seal the unsewn edges of the ribbon/twill tape (not pictured)

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Using your top markings as a guide, stitch the elastic to the TOP of the panels using a zig-zag stitch, 1/2 inch from the top.
You want the elastic to start at the 1/4 mark (far left marking) to the 3/4 mark (far right marking), stretching the elastic slightly as you sew to make it extend the length needed.

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Right sides together, line up your skirt panels. Match short raw edges
Sew side seams, catching basted edges of ribbon/twill tape inside the seam.
Make sure to keep length (non-basted part) ribbon/twill tape out of the way! You can pin the ribbon/twill tape to the body of one of the panels to make sure it doesn’t get caught in the side seams except for the basted edges
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Fold the top of the skirt down over the elastic apx 1.5 inches, and all along the circumference of the skirt top.
The ribbon/twill tape should now be at the very top of the skirt waist, on the outside.
Sew the waist, stretching when you do the lengths where the elastic is sewn.
You don’t want any puckers as you sew, but when you release the elastic area from the stretch, the middle of both panels will gather slightly. You want this so that there is stretch in the waist for easy dressing and comfortable wear.

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Use a ruler to mark apx 6 inches down from the edge of elastic on both sides of one panel.
Make sure your panels are lined up as perfectly as you can, with the elastics in the same spot on both panels. Pin panels to each other, if needed, to keep them matched.

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Sew through BOTH panels at the same time, straight down from about 1/4” in on the elastic, following your 6 inch marking from above step.
Make sure you do both the right and left sides of the elastic.

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You’ll have the stitch lines on both sides at the end-elastic areas. This will be the actual waist of the skirt and keep the skirt in place when worn.

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Fold and press the bottom of the skirt up apx 1.5 inches and sew the hem of the skirt.

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And now you have a cute little skirt!

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Tie it to be worn this way

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Or flip it over and tie it to be worn that way!

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This Way-That Way, wear it any which way!

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Read more about Skirting the Issue HERE and get information on where you can donate HERE

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Special thanks to my dear friends Camilla and Christie (Lemon Squeezy Home) for lending me their beautiful daughters to model with Ivy!

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You can also get the skirt pattern I made for a previous Skirting the Issue, the Playground Skirt HEREtwo

And the instructions for the original Domesticated Skirt HERE.

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