Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Screen Printed T-Shrits

I'd been getting a decent amount of requests from people for American Apparel screen printed t-shirts or sweatshirts. I really like American Apparel shirts and they are great for screen printing, the only problem is that they are ridiculously expensive retail. At one time I had attempted to get a wholesale account from them which reduces the price of women's t-shirts from $16 to about $6. But I guess since I live in California and they are also in California I would need a California resale licence which costs like $500 a year or something. Since that wasn't really an option I had been going out to the local stores each time to find very specific things that people requested and having to charge people a ton just so I could make a tiny bit of profit.

The other way to get American Apparel stuff cheep is to drive up to the Camarillo outlet mall which is almost all the way to Oxnard. I used to go up there regularly when I had a different job that sent me to Pt. Huneme about once every couple of weeks. It was just a few miles from the outlet mall and I would just take my lunch there. The Amreican Apparel outlet has tons of shirts and sweatshirts, most for just a little bit above wholesale prices. It's kind of hit or miss though. It's hard to go there looking for a specific thing. They do usually have a bunch of basic women's t-shirts in a variety of colors and sizes. I drove up there on my day off last Friday and bought 10 women's shirts for about $75. Pretty good.

Here are a couple that I screen printed already and posted on

They both look about the same color in the pictures but the whales are really printed in dark blue on a really light blue shirt and the moa is printed in dark grey on a really light grey shirt. I have a bunch of cool brightly colored shirts too but I kind of want to see what designs might be popular before I print a bunch of stuff.

Oh yeah the moa is an extinct flightless bird that got up to 12 feet tall from New Zealand. I'm making a series of extinct flightless birds. I made a dodo screen print earlier and then this one and next I think I'll make a great auk.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Wristlet from the cutest elephant fabric ever (and other bags I've made recently)

So again I have been slacking at posting pictures of what I have been making on here. This first bag is made from ridiculously cute fabric from I really can't resist their fabrics. Even though they are more expensive than I would like they are always just so cute. They also have a lot of kind of medium weight prints that are really good for making bags.

This is the same clutch I've been making a bunch of. It's addapted from a tutorial by stacysaurus on Of course I never really read tutorials I just kind of look at bags and try to figure out how they are constructed. So my version isn't quite as nice and formal looking as her's but I like it anyway. You can actually carry a lot in these bags. I was carrying the hedgehog one all this weekend and managed to fit my overstuffed wallet, phone, sunglasses and tons of keys in it just fine.

This is the button/snap closure. This button was the extra button from a sweater I got at Anthropology. I think the fact that the sweater came with an extra one of these buttons really influenced me a little more than it should have to buy it. It's ok, it was on sale. The button kind of matches the lining fabric too which is yellow.

Here is a close up of the fabric. Don't they just look so happy.

Finally the actual purse. I always forget that the pictures on blogger load backwards so these are kind of out of order.

I bought the fabric at this purse at the Cotton Shop in Redondo Beach for I think only two or three dollars a yard. It was on sale because their stuff normally is pretty expensive. Anyway, I was going to make a circle skirt out of it. The last time I made a circle skirt I used some random tutorial I found on the web because craftster was down but this time used the circle skirt tutorial on Either that tutorial is written wrong or I am very bad a reading directions (it's probably the later) because I ended up making the waist twice as big as it should be. When you make a circle skirt you cut a hole in the center of the fabric that should have the radius of your waist. Instead I cut a hole that had the radius of twice my waist. I think I forgot to divide by two somewhere.
So I kind of fixed the skirt with a ton of pleats but I was left with this giant circle of scrap fabric. I decided to cut the circle in half and pleat it and it ended up looking kind of like a hobo bag.

Here is a close up of the fabrics. Little plum blossoms.

And the button sewn over the snap closure. This one was really cool. A giant oversized shell button from my grandma's button box.

Ever since I bought my sewing machine I've been afraid of zippers. I guess it's because one of my good friends who is a really great sewer and has been sewing forever hates putting in zippers and the fact that the sewing machine comes with a separate "zipper foot." It just sounds intimidating. I had bought all these really cheep crazy colored zippers at the Marukai 98cent store though and wanted to use them. I decided to try it with some random scrap fabric and it really wasn't so bad. I didn't even use the zipper foot. I can see how it might be helpful though because the sewing machine foot didn't want to get a close to the zipper as I would have liked.

This is what I made with random bits of scrap fabric (polka dots, owls and kittys). It makes a good pencil case. The zipper is a little bit wonky but it was my first zipper.

Here are the kittys on the inside.

The other thing I had been meaning to try was machine applique. I used to hand sew a lot of little pouches out of felt with felt animals sewn on. It was easy since felt doesn't unravel I didn't need to quilt it or anything. I could just hand sew them on. My mom had suggested machine applique to me because she had done a ton of it when I was little to make me this fabric baby book that taught you how to button and zip and lace things. For this whale I ironed fusible interfacing onto the blue fabric and cut out the shape of the whale. Then I pinned it down and zigzaged around the outside. I probably should have chosen an easier shape like say a circle for my first machine applique but it turned out pretty well. Then I hand embroidered the mouth, eye and little spout that you can't really see.

I thought the japanese fabric looked kind of like waves.

This zipper turned out better than the first one. I'm kind of getting the hang of it.

Here is the whole pouch. It's kind of an odd shape but it turned out pretty cute.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Moth and Stars Bag

I haven't posted anything that I've made in a while but I've still been making stuff constantly. I made this bag last night. It's the first time that I made a bag pleated that wasn't a wristlet. I think it turned out pretty good.

I decided that by making my screen prints into pockets in contrasting colors I could use patterned fabric for the outside of the bag not just the inside. It makes it more interesting looking I think than just having a solid fabric with one screen print in the corner for the whole outside of the bag.

I don't know what else to say about it. I really love this traditional Japanese star patterned fabric. I was walking around my apartment last night holding it up in the mirror trying to think of something to do with it. I think I might make some sort of clothing item for myself with the rest of it. It's just such a pretty indigo color.