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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Cat Love Shirt

Way back in the spring I had hopes of making myself a lavender cat print romper.
I undertook the project and printed out various cat silhouettes onto cardstock, cut the shapes out with an X-Acto knife, laminated the paper, and then cut the laminated cat shapes out to make 4 cat stencils. While searching for some lavender fabric and a good romper pattern, I tested the stencils with different types of fabric paint. I never found the fabric and pattern I had in mind, so the stencils sat on my desk the whole summer acquiring dust.
However, with cat print clothing items popping up in many stores this fall, I became even more determined to accomplish the task. I began my search for a t-shirt to modify. There were so many t-shirts on the clearance racks in stores, but none of them fit the bill. The neckline, material, or color were all somehow wrong for what I had dreamed up. I am rather particular, so my crafting always involves some form of a massive process of elimination. Then, one night as I was falling asleep (that's often when I manage deep and successful creative pondering, and then I am forced to lay there, wide awake with excitement) I remembered the dark grey knit fabric in my closet--a Lands' End turtleneck. Since I am a fabric vulture I had been hanging onto that men's extra large shirt for some future use, and I found one! The fabric itself is some mighty fine combed cotton. Just like a furry feline, it is very soft, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that the knit is flexible but sturdy to sew. Most knit fabric is not that cooperative.
I cut the neckline, shortened the body, took in the sides, and used the top halves of the long sleeves to create shorter ones for my altered shirt. There was a lot of draping, pinning, sewing, and seam ripping involved! Through that complicated trial and error process I created a relaxed shirt with a sweetheart neckline, a scooped back, and fluttery sleeves. Considering I was completely winging it and teaching myself as I went along I can't even describe how amazed and amused I am with the result! Although that was just the base.
Then the cats came back.
I used the stencils and white fabric paint to add a heart crawling with cats spelling out the word "cat"!
Talk about a multidimensional learning experience! I even got to practice my patience skills! It's no lavender cat print romper, but I am just as delighted with this shirt as I was with the romper prospect.
 As a final note, of course I have to wear this shirt with my hand painted cat pendant! My crafty cat love is finally satisfied!

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