Monday, January 28, 2008

my first apron

I made my first apron!

This was a really quick and easy sort of endeavor. Mostly. You see, there's a recurring apron challenge that I've wanted to participate in for a while now. It's called Tie One On and every other month or so, the gal who runs the site picks a theme and you can make an apron according to that theme. This month's theme was polka dots. I love polka dots. I've secretly loved them for years, but felt like it just wasn't cool to admit that. Same with Martha Stewart Living magazine. I felt like I wasn't an edgy graphic designer if I liked that mag. I finally gave up and got a subscription and buy myself polka dotted things all the time. Judge me. I don't care anymore.

So this one was fun because it was kind of a multi-media apron. I didn't want to buy new fabric to make it, but didn't have any in my stash with dots quite so large. So I painted the dots on by hand with some acrylic paint mixed with fabric medium. That was so fun and relaxing. I love painting. I should do it more often.

Then as the paint was drying, I doodled up a tea kettle that I wanted on the pocket. I would love to claim to some sort of free-style doodling straight on the fabric, but I am a little too anal for that. So I sketched it out in Illustrator first (I love Illustrator. I do everything in Illustrator.) and also knocked up a sketch of the apron so I could see how big I wanted the tea kettle drawing to be on the apron. I love using illustrator this way to mock up things that I make. It saves me so much time, it's awesome! Then I printed up the doodle from Illustrator and taped it to my lightbox (what you don't have one?) and taped the fabric for the pocket over it. Turn on the lightbox, trace with a sharpie and then you are done.

Once the paint for the polka dots was completely dried, I ironed it and the sharpie drawing too. I was hoping that the heat would set the ink and paint. I haven't washed any of this yet so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that everything set. I've used this fabric medium before on shirts and it worked out fine and I tested the sharpie on a bit of scrap canvas fabric so I think it will be okay. I'm feeling pretty nonchalant about it actually.

I really like creating things in this kind of setting. It reminds me of my favorite graphic design class taught by my favorite graphic design instructor Carl Heinz. Every week, Carl would give us an assignment and we had to come back the following week with our interpretation of the assignment. He would show us slides of some examples of work that illustrated his point, but mostly those were for inspirations. We were given free reign to come up with whatever we wanted. Most of the students were graphic designers or design students so they mostly turned in a website design or a brochure or a bookcover design based on the weekly theme. Sometimes you'd get a fine arts student or a fashion designer and once even a baker who'd take the theme and interpret it in the medium they knew best. The baker brought in a loaf of bread with a logo "stamped" on the top. She'd designed the logo in an art decoratif style. Brilliant.

In fact, I'll try and dig up some of my projects. A fun little blast from the past and post some of the images here.


Allyson Hill said...

I saw this on the flikr gallery and had to pop over to tell you that I really, really, really love this apron! Good job!

C.D. said...

I really love this apron too! Would you be willing to make me one? (Pretty please?)

Del4yo said...

Tis just plain good. I love the way you handled this project! Love it love it, from the cute result to the clever way to do it.

What kind of fabric medium did you use? I'd love to paint my own designs on fabric!

jean said...

Thank you for your kind comments! It was a lot of fun to make this apron and I really enjoyed participating in Tie-One-On.

The fabric medium I used was from a brand called DecoArt and the label just says Fabric Painting Medium. I bought a small bottle from Michael's and it's really easy to use. One part medium for two parts paint that you mix together. There was a "leetle" fade in the ink after I washed it (the photo is of the apron pre-washing) but I like it that way so I don't mind.

C.D.: I would love to make you an apron and I'm flattered you asked! Please email me cpotion {at} gmail {dot} com and we'll talk!

Del4yo said...

thanks for the tip!

Hurrayic said...

I commented on the Tie One On site, but I had to come here and tell you again, how much I liked this. I love how large the polka dots are and the fact that you painted them on yourself. Wonderful. Necessity is the mother of invention and more so, in this case.

jean said...

Thank you, hurrayic! It's so nice of you to stop by!

Donovan Santiago said...

Cool, I also regard Mr. Carl Heinz as one of my favorite and most influential teachers. If you know how to contact him please email me.

jean said...

Hi Donovan,
I've lost touch with Carl... it's been awhile since I've sat during one of his fascinating slide show lectures. Isn't he the best? I guess if I wanted to reach out to him, I'd try leaving a message with the school where you took his classes. It's not the most immediate approach, but I'm sure word would get to him eventually.

Good luck!