Monday, October 1, 2012

Remembering the Battle of Yavin


After making my fancy, impractical maxi dress, I had to do something totally different and casual, hence this geeky Star Wars tee. This kind of geeky tee with jeans is the bread and butter of my wardrobe; you know, for the times you don't even feel like cake. My other Star Wars wardrobe item definitely falls into the frosting category, so this tee is for the times I want to just run over to Trader Joe's to grab milk (although I've grabbed milk in the dress, too) while still declaring that I'm a geek at heart.


In my knit stashbusting quest, I rediscovered a brand new size medium men's t-shirt in organic cotton that I had thrifted a while ago. I cut it apart at the seams and used my Not-A-Renfrew pattern to cut out a standard scoop-neck tee, but decided it needed a point of interest. Inspired by this awesome post, I decided to add my own Battle of Yavin remembrance to the shoulder, but with a TeeJuice marker instead of paint. My previous experiments with fabric paint yielded a somewhat stiff, sort of crusty final product, and I wanted to keep the organic cotton feeling buttery soft. The marker also has a very fine point, which meant better control for drawing the spiky things coming out of the X-wing. To draw the actual ships, I employed the most overpriced light box ever:

Yes, that's an iPad on its brightest setting underneath the fabric. I just googled "x wing and tie fighter silhouettes" to find the graphic.

Final design. Also, check out my awesome neck binding!

Isn't it incredible how well it mimics screenprinting?
I didn't actually color the whole thing in on top of the iPad, as I was afraid of the ink bleeding through onto the screen. I just put tiny dots at all the crucial parts of the outline, then replaced the iPad with a piece of cardboard and finished coloring. To add to the feeling of iiinnnn spaaaaace, I made a little meteor field with lots of dots. And on the back piece, I free-handed the Rebel Alliance symbol in red, then cleaned up the edges with a black outline.

After I set the designs with a hot iron, I sewed up the shirt like normal and went to Trader Joe's and got milk. Unfortunately, nobody seemed to notice my awesome BoY graphics. Boooo. Don't you hate it when you make something you think is totally awesome, but nobody else seems to think it's worth commenting on? I know, I know, I just want attention.

Pouty face because no one noticed how awesome I am. Kidding, of course.

Short Summary, since I've already made up this pattern too many times for it to be worth rehashing again: $5 men's tee cut down and resewn, 2 hours of work for a brand new, unique, geek girl tee. Oh man, the possibilities here are endless now that I've discovered how easy it is to 1) make t-shirts, and 2) fake screenprinting. The limiting reagent here is the number of good-quality, larger shirts I can find at the thrift store.

This is what was going on right next to me while my husband snapped pictures. Yup, Walnut's eating a snack.

43 comments:

  1. I love your star wars tee! Shame on those Trader Joe's people for not noticing!

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    1. Thank you for shaming the TJ people for me ;)

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  2. lol i love it! i actually did the same thing--made a quick t-shirt after working on a long project. i'm wearing it now! also looking for some fun things to print on a future shirt... i love cirque du bebe's version, too: http://skirtastop.wordpress.com/2012/05/18/vintage-may-guest-cirque-du-bebe/

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    1. It doesn't get any cooler than a dude with antlers and a bow tie! Thanks for the link! And yes, t-shirts are excellent recovery projects!

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  3. You are my newest hero, I made a tie fighter skirt years ago and no one ever knew what it was :(

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    1. What is wrong with people?! I would've totally loved your skirt!

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  4. That IS awesome neck binding!

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    1. Thank you! It gets really easy after a couple of times practicing, and then suddenly all your tees have awesome binding!

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  5. great way to get around screenprinting for a perfectly discreet-yet-awesome geeky T. I WANT ONE. :-)

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    1. I'm not courageous enough to play around with emulsions just yet :) Also, the marker cost all of $3.

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  6. We notice, and your awesomeness is totally appreciated! :)
    I had a lot of fun drawing on fabric with Sharpies this summer, but I haven't heard of the brand of marker you used. I'm impressed that it didn't bleed at all though - Have you washed it yet?

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    1. Aww, thanks for appreciating! The marker is a Tee-Juice marker, and you can get it at any big craft store, or even at Staples. I haven't washed this tee specifically, but I've used it on other projects and it holds up fine with heat setting.

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  7. I'm loving it and it's reminding me of my favourite tv night atm - thurs because it's 3 ep's back to back of star trek next gen, and also that I really, really need to watch battlestar galactica. Again.
    Seriously though - the graphics look AWESOME! I would totally have commented on it had we both been buying milk at the same time in the same place.

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    1. Oooh, I'm about to start Battlestar Galactica! Everyone keeps telling me I would love it, so I guess I'll see. If only all milk-buyers were like you! Actually, that would be a little intimidating if all milk-buyers sewed their own perfectly tailored jackets ;)

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  8. You are a sewing gun! T-shirt looks great!!

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    1. Go for it Neeno -- make your own t-shirts!

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  9. Brilliant! Love your work, as always. :-)

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  10. LOVE it! I especially love the stars around the ships - that detail really completes it. It's geeky awesome and you know all of us hanging out on your blog will appreciate it! =) I've used my computer screen as a lightbox occasionally.

    It's always interesting to see who will notice something (it's usually everyone or no one) - sometimes it is the most random person you wouldn't expect. And it's amazing how oblivious people can be to their surroundings.

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    1. I figured it would be best appreciated on the blog :) Normally I go out wearing geeky things and expect not to get comments, but then I'm surprised when I do...and that happened so many times, that I kind of expected that somebody would say something about the shirt!

      Good to know that I'm not the only one who uses screens that way!

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  11. OK, you are officially my husband's new favourite person. Amazing.

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    1. Hahaha umm I guess that's a compliment! Now you just need to make one too and you can be your husband's favorite person!

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  12. Holy Moley, are you always this productive? Those people in TJ's have no idea! Did you have the iPad wrapped in plastic wrap or were you really risking painting your iPad?! Either way I love the idea of the iPad as a light box, and I love the silhouette design you've painted.

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    1. I actually just put tiny faint dots on the shirt, then took the iPad out to do the "serious" coloring. My husband would kill me if I messed up the screen! And even I will say that I'm not usually this productive -- I've just been on a weird roll!

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  13. Too awesome! Also, that last picture really shows how broad your shoulders are compared to your build. I have it too, one of the things that drove me to sewing. In any case, major geek points on this shirt! Love it.

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    1. Ah yes, my linebacker shoulders that my grandma always comments on. I used to always have the hardest time finding shirts that would fit because if it worked for my shoulders, it was too wide in the torso. So we can be broad-shouldered sewing buddies :) And thank you for the geek points!

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  14. Super. Freakin. Cute. And great job on taming those knit hems.

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    1. Thanks, Mari! Confession time: the bottom is unhemmed, and the sleeves are the original hems. But I did try a hem on a similar weight knit and it worked fine...

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  15. You give the best inspiration! I have a beloved 10 year old grandson who is a Star Wars and Lego mastermind. (Plans on working for Lego in the future.) This will translate perfectly on to a sweatshirt for Christmas! Thank you so much! (I don't think you are geeky--just cute as a button.) Regena in TN.

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    1. Oh, I do hope your grandson gets to work at Lego! That was my dream job when I was that age, but it didn't exactly happen...

      I hope the sweatshirt works out for you, and if you can't get the lightbox thing to work on that thickness of material, try freezer paper stenciling. And I don't object to the geek label at all -- I use it for myself because that's what I am :)

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  16. Well I think your geek tee is rad! I used to fabric paint all my clothes when i was younger, and this brought back happy memories. Where did you get the awesome fabric pens? The effects look great!!!

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    1. I wish my parents had let me fabric paint my clothes when I was young! I hope you bring it back into your adult life. The pen is a TeeJuice marker that I got at Staples for $3. You can also find them in different colors and at craft stores like Joann's.

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    2. To be fair, it was clothes I bought myself so I guess they figured if I wanted to look like a crazy person, it was my problem lol ^_^

      We don't have Joann's here in Canada but I'll keep my eyes open for them at Staples - thanks! ^_^

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  17. This is awesome. Maybe the TJ's people were too in awe to actually verbalize anything?
    The iPad lightbox idea is brilliant - it gives me hope for making designs on t-shirts - I'm hopelessly bad at freehand drawing anything. But tracing, I can do. Where did you get the markers?

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    1. Hah! They were stunned into silence!

      If you do try the iPad/lightbox thing, you might want to saran-wrap your screen so that you don't damage it, like another commenter mentioned. Or just do like I did with the faint dots first, and then taking it out to do the coloring. The markers are TeeJuice markers from Staples (you can also find them at craft stores).

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  18. So much fun! Apparently my subconscious r-e-a-l-l-y liked the idea because last night, I dreamed that I drew Ewoks on ALL of my t-shirts :)

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    1. Wow, I've never made it into somebody's dream before! That's awesome -- you should totally put Ewoks on everything.

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  19. Beautiful craftsmanship, and great nerdy tee. I'll have to look into those pens...

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  20. Awesome! It's so neatly done! I love the meteors detail. I know that feeling, you're walking around beaming just hoping someone will comment on something you've made so you can scream THANKYOUIMADEIT!!! But instead people will ask you I've you've made something when you're only wearing RTW. Argh! Fortunately, there's blogs :D

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  21. Oh, that is so fantastic! I would totally notice! And I am so, so impressed by your T-shirt making skills. I really need to learn to work with knits.

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  22. Oh yay! This is so fun! I do NOT want my hubs to see this post or I won't be doing anything but making tees for him until the end of time!

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