Sharpie Marker Sweatshirt

Regular readers of this blog will know that I have used Sharpie (alcohol) markers in coloring fabric surfaces. (see these links:

dyed sweatshirt cuff

Kraft-Tex, apron one and apron two, experiments one, two, three, four, and five ) (This post is not sponsored.)

I was scheduled to be part of an open house at a local big box craft store. The classes are on special at that time, and teachers can promote their classes. I didn’t have any crochet or sewing projects that I had ready to take with me, so I decided to start on a project that had been waiting around for a while.

I had previously purchased a white sweatshirt on a whim since it was on clearance. I had planned to decorate it, and perhaps sell it in my Etsy store. When doing some tie dye I dyed the cuff edges, since they get the dirtiest. I didn’t like the way that turned out. This new decoration would be done with my markers and stencils.

bird and butterfly stenciled sweatshirt

To prepare for the project I reviewed my stencils. I decided on a flower theme for the decoration. Most of the stencils I would use were ready as is. I had purchased a flower stencil from a big box craft store that was a bit too floppy for my needs. I got out the painters tape and either covered areas I didn’t want to “paint”, or made extra bridges to strengthen the stencil. All in all, I used 3 different flower stencils. I also found a bird stencil that I copied and cut out.

The day of the open house I tossed the plastic tablecloth, sweatshirt, stencils, and markers into a big bag. When I got to the store I obtained some cardboard fabric bolts to protect one side of the sweatshirt from the other. Then I started to mark up the sweatshirt.

flower dyed sweatshirt

There was hardly anyone who came to the open house that day, so I got most of the back of the sweatshirt done. A few days later I continued to “paint” the back, sleeves, and hood. I could have stopped there, I liked the way it looked so much. However, I had decided to apply alcohol.

Another day I pulled out the rubbing alcohol and started brushing it on. I again used cardboard to protect the opposing surfaces (including sleeves and hood). As usual, I found that some colors run more than others. I waited for one side of the object to dry before moving on to the other side.

back of dyed sweatshirt

While I was at the open house, the education coordinator for that store expressed her interest in seeing the finished product. So when the sweatshirt was done, I took it in for her to see. She really liked how it looked, and described it as “impressionistic”. We agreed that I would teach a class about this technique in the end of August. She also thought that some of the “winter visitors” to our area would be interested in taking a class as well. We shall see.

front of dyed sweatshirt

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