Sunday, April 6, 2014

Adventures in iron-on vinyl

A crazy wallpaper-removal project and a super nasty stomach virus have SERIOUSLY cut into my sewing time lately.  It's not cool at all.  I do have a couple of things done and in development, but since they are surprises/gifts for people I can't share them just yet.  In the meantime, I got my hands on some iron-on vinyl and decided to try my hand at decorating some store-bought t-shirts for the kids.

First, I had to do something to pay homage to Peter's recently developed obsession with Transformers.  It is seriously a legitimate obsession.  Fueling the fire is the fact that my sweet husband still has all of the Transformers toys from his childhood, and the two of them play with them together every chance they get.  I love the simple graphic of the Transformers logo (the Autobots one, of course), so I dug out my neglected Silhouette and used it to cut out a turquoise version of the logo.

Peter had so much fun posing for the pictures that I just couldn't stop taking them.  Here he is, starting to "transform".

I'm so scared to wash the shirt, and I'm hoping I remember to turn it inside out.  I'm not sure what he was transforming into, but he sure took it seriously.

I probably broke every rule getting this stuff cut out properly.  I am not very confident with my Silhouette (and probably need a new blade for it, actually) and had to set the blade on the deepest depth to get it to actually cut all the way through the stupid vinyl even though the auto settings for the material indicated a much shallower cut.  Who knows what I'm doing wrong.  I just bought a roll of Cricut-brand iron-on vinyl at Jo-Ann's instead of ordering the Silhouette brand, so that could have been part of the problem.  Regardless, I finally got it to work and was thrilled with the result.

I think it's safe to say Petey Pie was thrilled as well.

I bought neon pink vinyl with the idea to make Charlotte her own Transformers shirt as well (she watches the show as much as Peter does!), but she wasn't interested.  After I got over my disappointment, I decided to find out what she wanted instead.  She asked for a big flower, so I just traced and hand-cut a flower on her vinyl.  We stuck a hand-cut turquoise center for the flower to give it a little more interest.  Here is Charlotte, modeling her "crazy smile" that drives me bonkers.  Her crazy hair in the photo makes her look even more insane, unfortunately.

The neon pink vinyl was the type that came as a single sheet (Tulip brand) that I picked up in a different aisle from the Cricut vinyl.  It does not seem to be as good of a quality, and if you look closely at it you can sort of see the black shirt behind.  I'm curious to see how it washes as compared to the turquoise.  Also, the mylar protective layer was difficult to pull off and left strange lines behind on the vinyl.  We'll see if those go away after a wash as well.  All in all, I was not impressed with the Tulip-brand iron-on vinyl and would splurge on the Cricut vinyl if I ever did this again.  When my niece and nephew see the Transformers shirt in a few weeks at Easter, I might have a couple of more orders on my hands, though!

Considering the expense of the vinyl (and the fact that Jo-Ann's coupons don't work on Cricut supplies), I will probably just stick to appliqué in the future.  I would like to try some freezer paper stenciling with fabric paint at some point, but I need to work my way through a long to-do list of sewing projects first!


Update!  After washing (inside out, on gentle cycle) and drying (on gentle as well), the shirts look okay, but not amazing.  I think I might just stick to appliqué.

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