I’m not “into” Valentine’s Day as a rule. This week’s challenge on Sew Weekly is “Red.” (dang it, I missed the deadline again!) I like that- it leaves the field open for those who love Valentine’s Day and those who believe it’s a gross commercial holiday designed to sell cards and make single people feel bad. And for everyone else in between- “red” leaves much room for interpretation.
Stephen and I share an inexplicable love of red t-shirts; I picked up this bamboo-organic cotton-lycra jersey for him some time ago. It’s a brick-ier red than I’d wear, but I like it on him with his warmer coloring. I mentioned the “Red” challenge to him and suggested I make him a stenciled red shirt sometime around Valentine’s Day. He got excited and blurted out “Can you do ‘I Choo-Choo-Choose You?'” Surprised, but ever delighted to bend to his sartorial whims, I agreed.
It’s a Simpsons gag. Lisa, brainy and soft-hearted, noticed the weird kid in class (Ralph) didn’t receive any Valentines so she quickly signed a cheesy card and delivered it to his desk. Let’s say he attached more importance to the card than she did, which results in elementary-school-age tragedy.
Maybe the weird kid part applies, but there was nothing quick about making this Valentine. In fact it took me the better part of a week to decide how to approach the light and dark balance for the image and several hours to cut the final stencil. I rather liked the challenge and the patience involved- a very silly labor of love.
This is the first time I spray-painted a light paint on a “dark” background, and the first time I stenciled on bamboo. I applied several coats of white paint, allowing it to dry for a few hours between layers. The bamboo absorbs the paint differently than plain cotton (of course) and at first I was terrified it would bleed all over the place.
Now, after two washes, it has a sort of worn-in look. I don’t know how long the light paint on bamboo will last- but then again I have found bamboo jerseys don’t stay nice for as long as cotton or hemp anyway. Is it just me, or does bamboo tend to pill badly?
At any rate, he’s terribly pleased with his new shirt, and I chuckle every time I see it.
Lila often takes part in our photo sessions, we get some really great shots with her this way though I don’t often blog those photos. Today she wanted to lie with Daddy in the sun and she stared at me with such complete tranquility I had to share her expression. These are my two loves.
If you like the stencil, you may have the pdf. I chose to create “bridges” to connect the white parts of the stencil because, well, it’s a stencil but you don’t have to leave them in if you’re using freezer paper. Click here to download. Merry Christmas.
I’m giving away one of my patterns and a piece of delicious New Zealand merino. Check it out. Ends Saturday after I have dinner.