Monday, October 28, 2013

A Fan of Fan T-Shirt

My boys have changed their interest over the years.  They had loved trains, cars, trucks, dinosaurs and etc.  I think it is programmed in their genes to be drawn to those things since I didn't go out of my way to talk about those things.  They just love it all on their own.  I found it so fascinating how they identify with "boys" things.  Those icons are not really hard to find on clothing since a lot of boys like those type of things too.  Now there are some things that they love, but it's really tough to find on a T-shirt since it is a little bit obscure.  One of my son loves fans.  He is fascinated by them and enjoys looking them up and reading about them.  If it spins, he loves it.  So fans, windmills, watermills, engines and propellers all fall under this category for him.  Anyway, I've never seen a shirt with a fan so I decided that I should enter the brave new world of making a custom T-shirt.  Of course, with the help of my Cameo, it will make things easier.
I used the same fan design I used for his birthday card.  I had bought a plain blue t-shirt from my local craft store, and washed and dry it before adding the design.  I watched a video on using fabric ink and heat transfer vinyl and a video on stencil vinyl and fabric ink that I found very helpful in making this shirt.  I have three elements to the fan that I want in different colors.  Before cutting I had to change the settings for cutting mat to none, the width to 9 inches and the height to 24 inches.  I also move the right roller on the Cameo machine to the left so it can feed the 9 inch vinyl.

I cut the base of the fan in stencil vinyl by feeding the vinyl into the Cameo with the shiny side up and using load media instead of mat on the machine.  I "weed" the part of the vinyl that I did not want before placing the transfer tape on top of the design.  I used an old credit card to remove any air bubbles and to make sure the transfer tape is stuck to the stencil vinyl. Then I made sure there was a cardboard in my t-shirt, just in case, the fabric ink leaked through (which did).  I placed my fan base design on the t-shirt, and used a credit card to rub it so that every part is adhering to the shirt before I remove the transfer tape.  I mixed white and black fabric ink from Silhouette to make a gray that I sponge onto the shirt.  Though it looks really dark once it dried.

I left that to dry before I removed the stencil.  I repeat the same process for the fan blade except I used white fabric ink only.  Make sure you sponge on the ink by dabbing it on instead of smearing it to get a nice thick coat.  It took me several coats because I was smearing the fabric ink a few times.  Also, I used a fan later to help it dry a lot faster.  I know some people use a hair dryer too.  I made the mistake of using my heat gun and that warp the stencil vinyl a little which will not give you a crisp edge if you have to sponge on ink again like me.  In retrospect, I will use white heat transfer material next time, since it took me several coats of white ink to cover the blue.  I know, I was a little impatient and wanted to finish this quickly but the drying must be done.

After everything dried, I removed the stencil and ran an iron on cotton setting over it with a fabric on top  to set the ink.  I cut out the fan grill onto the teal heat transfer material using heat transfer material for the cut setting in Silhouette Studio.  The shiny side of the heat transfer material should be facing down when feeding into the Cameo and using load media and not mat.  I weed out the parts that I did not want before placing the fan grill down onto my shirt.  I placed a fabric over the design and iron it in sections for 45-60 seconds each section.  I also press on the iron hard while holding the iron down in each section.  You can check if the vinyl is ironed down by peeling the transfer backing.  Just iron some more if the vinyl peels up.  I also read somewhere that if the vinyl comes up after a wash to just run an iron over it again.

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