Saturday, November 2, 2019

Painting the Mashup Overalls

The picture above shows one of the samples I did to work out the topstitching and the painting for what I am calling the Mashup Overalls. For the topstitching I will definitely be doing the bright neon pink thread as well as using the triple stitch. Oh, this stitch is controversial. Most sewists call it the "knit stitch". It consists of the needle going back and forth on itself three times and then having an ability to stretch with the fabric at the seam line. And why is it controversial? It sucks as a knit stitch, people, bad, I tell ya. First, it unnecessarily uses too much thread. Next, if you have ever had to rip it out and I have more than once, it is the sewing task from hell. You will swear, curse, drink wine, or whatever it is you do to express frustration but that won't make it any easier to rip out. Finally, there are many other ways and stitches one can use to stitch a seam and get it to stretch, lots. So don't use this stitch for knits. BUT,,,,, it does wonderful topstitching. What you see here are tension tryouts, stitch length possibilities, etc. It gives a really thick looking topstitch without special topstitching thread or needles. It is a slow going stitch but worth it in my opinion. So save the "triple stitch" or "knit stitch" for some great topstitching. More on this when the garment is complete.   No judgies as what is above is all experiment. 

Here is another sample. In the first photo I auditioned several paint options. 

  • Inktense Pencils. The lone red flower, bottom right is Inktense. It came out blobby, was hard to control and I could not get a solid enough color. I guess this is to be expected as it is meant for water coloring but I have had some good luck with these. It's just not for this project. 
  • Dyna Flow Paints.  I had high hopes for these paints. Sigh,,,,,,, you can't even see them on my sample. There are two flowers painted to the right of the red one just discussed. Even with textile medium, the Dyna Flow sunk right into the denim. The more I put on the more it sunk. No go. 
  • Shiva Paint Sticks.  These are the flowers above the topstitching. Not too bad but IRL, without a flash on the camera, they are rather low key. I like their glow, but they just weren't solid enough and were really hard to control. I'v painted and stenciled with oils many times. It just didn't work on this dark denim and went very slowly as well. 
  • Acrylic craft paints.  The winner! Tried and true, inexpensive, tons of colors, easy and relatively quick to use. I've had great luck over the years with these and they will work great here as well.  In the photo above all the flowers are acrylic paint. You can see they are crisper on their edges. The colors are more solid and they went on very easily. I didn't fuss with my samples but will hopefully finesse them a bit more when I paint tomorrow. 
The plan is paint a base scattering of flowers, large and small and let that dry overnight. Then I'll come back and fill in with more flowers on top.

Another issue will be the center front seam line. I am going to use a traditional leg inside of leg pant construction on this garment. But that won't work with my flowers crossing the center front seam.  My plan is to baste stitch the center front seam only and press it open. Then I will insert oaktag under the seams so my painting won't hit ridges. I will paint the front and once completed will take out the basting and proceed with a regular pants construction method. Stay tuned for more! Tomorrow is a rainy day so hopefully I will get a lot done!....Bunny


  1. These are going to be fabulous (even better than your inspiration photo) and your students will love them. Thanks for the stencilling info maybe one day I'll get brave enough to put paint to clothing.

    1. It's really not hard. Doing samples helps determine the best techniques and supplies. Then you plan and jump in!

  2. Wow! I'm always in awe of such complex embellishment. Wonderful!

    1. Hopefully the finished garment meets the expectations, yours and mine! It's always a bit of a crap shoot, isn't it?


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