This month has gone by in a blur. And I'm glad to see it nearly over because April is such a wonderful time in Baltimore. Every day something new is blooming. While I was in Chicago over the weekend (where it had the audacity to snow) my daffodils began blooming. I can see blooms on the new hydrangea bush I bought last year, day lilies are poking up, and buds are swelling on all the trees. Another winter has bit the dust. Hooray!
I've been doing something I haven't done in a very long time - sewing clothes. I want to wear something arty to the Quilt National opening so I thought that a shirt made out of some hand painted fabrics would be perfect. But since I haven't sewn for myself in so long, it would be a good idea to test out the pattern (and my garment sewing skills) on some not-so-precious fabric first. In my stash was some batik fish fabric that I bought years ago and would be perfect and with only a little bit of searching I found it. There was more than enough to make a shirt so I pinned, cut, and sewed and finished it in only a few hours. Originally it was not going to have buttons because I've never been very good at doing buttonholes, but at my retreat in mid-March I learned how to use the automatic buttonhole maker on my Janome. OMG it's so easy, why didn't I try it out before? So the shirt has buttonholes. And cute little fish buttons that you can't see in this picture.
The pattern has a collar but that got left out. So now I'm ready to paint fabric and make the shirt again. I have an end cut of fabric that I got from a shirt factory and decided this would be perfect for making a shirt. Painted several yards with yellow/peach/orange paint over some soy wax batik designs. Then screened a spiral shape with gold metallic paint. I was so impatient that I couldn't wait long enough for the paint to cure and washed it. Well, bad move, most of the metallic paint rubbed off. I had heat set it but really didn't give it enough time to cure. And I think the shirt fabric might have some kind of finish on it. Pulled out more fabric and paint and did it again, along with the metallic gold. Except I went ahead and made the shirt without washing the fabric and I've let it cure for 10 days now. This is the shirt before it's been washed. I'm going to wash it by hand and hope that the gold metallic paint stays put.
There is a carrier for a belt and I have a twisted fabric belt that Elizabeth helped me make while on our retreat. Not sure what I'm going to do if all the gold washes off again. Maybe I'll go with the antique look.