It’s so much fun to throw a bunch of paint on a piece of canvas, layer more paint on top of it and then when it’s dry, cut and sew that canvas into something practical you can use, as well as something that ends up being uniquely yours. I was perusing the pages of Joel Dewberry’s Sewn Spaces, looking for inspiring things to do with fabric, when I came across an apron that’s in the book. The look of the apron was cute, having been made using the very cute and cool patterned prints that Joel designs, but I wanted to use fabric I painted myself. (I’m just stubborn that way. Ask my boss; she’ll tell you I always want to do my own thing.)
I used the basic pattern that was in the book, but I opted out of using the scalloped edge at the bottom and I also made the neck and tie straps narrower. But I really loved the look of the single button on one side of the neck strap, so that part I kept.
To begin this project, I measured the pattern for the apron body and then cut a piece of canvas large enough to accommodate it (adding a couple inches in each direction because unprimed canvas always shrinks a bit when it gets wet). To apply a base/background, I usually start by wetting the canvas. Next, I brush on the first color, and then I roll it out with a foam roller, which makes spreading the paint around way easier than just using a bristle brush. Here, I started with one of the colors from a palette I planned to use for this project—trees for free by COLOURlover, helen_663. (Aren’t these colors gorgeous together? I love them.)
While the first color was still damp, I brushed/rolled on a second color from the palette and then blended the two colors together. I then set the canvas aside to dry. OK, I actually went to bed and then worked more on it the next day. I used stencils over many areas of the canvas, but I also looked to Surface Treatment Workshop by Darlene Olivia McElroy and Sandra Duran Wilson to spark some other ideas.
One suggestion in this book is to take scissors to a sponge brush, which sounded fun, so I tried that, and then I flipped through and saw the idea of scribing into paint (something I’ve done before, but appreciated the reminder), and then I also tried their suggestion of using a bleach pen. Great idea! So I did that as well.
There are many inspiring ideas in this book and if you like using acrylic paint and combining it with other things, you’ll be inspired by it too. Hey, would you like to win a copy? Let’s give away a copy of Surface Treatment Workshop and what the heck, I’ll even throw in the apron! Just leave a comment here, challenging me to try a project from any book that’s available in ShopMixedMedia (I’ll be your guinea pig). Leave your comment by midnight on Friday the 7th of October and we’ll select one random winner from all the comments and announce the winner on Monday October 10th. Good luck!
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