6.21.2013

Lazy Days Skirt in {Dotted} Chambray

My maternal grandparents had seven children in seven years, all girls, with the last four being two sets of twins!  My grandma told me she liked the idea of sewing matching dresses for her twins.  She'd stay up late at night, pinning and sewing and getting the first dress just right.  Yet, after she finished it, the idea of sewing another dress exactly like the first didn't really appeal to her.

I completely get that!  Maybe it's in my genes, but I don't like making two versions of the same thing, either.  So, I knew my second chambray skirt would need to be a little different than the first.

I was inspired by these polka dotted chambray shorts.  In a moment I felt was quite inspired, I got the idea of using fabric paint to paint the dots onto my chambray.  You know how there's the expression 'there's no such thing as a truly original idea'?  Well, it's true, at least in this case. When I googled polka dotted chambray to get an idea of how to space my dots, a tutorial from Liesl of Oliver + S popped up.  It was on how to paint dots on chambray!

I ended up drawing a grid on my chambray, using my straight edge ruler and spacing the dots 1 1/2 inches apart.  I drew directly on my fabric with a fabric pen.  I found I could only draw about 1/3 of the grid at a time, otherwise the ink disappeared before I could paint the dots onto the fabric.

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My time for this part of the project was limited.  Dan was out with Iris on an errand and I wanted to be done with the painting before he came home.  I didn't need my finance degree to know Iris + fabric paint would definitely = disaster.   I started using Liesl's stencil idea, but some of the paint spread underneath the stencil.  I realized it was safer, given my time constraints, for my dots to be less precise.  I didn't need the coverage to be perfect on each dot.  I like the look of some irregularities, like this.  So I used the eraser on the back of a pencil instead and this worked fabulously.

the best company
I had some of the best company while I worked. ;)

Initially I was going to use white fabric paint, but it dried with an extra-matte finish and it reminded me of Wite-Out.  So I used a copper color that has an ever-so-tiny bit of sparkle to it.

trial dots

My paint directions said it dries after 4 hours but to wait to wash for 72 hours.  I ironed the fabric the next day and some of the paint transfered onto my iron.  I used a pressing cloth (um, dishtowel) between the iron and the fabric so the paint wouldn't transfer.  It worked.  It made ironing my hems trickier than usual, but was still doable.

Overall this was a fun and satisfying project.  Here's Iris in her new skirt.

lazy days - dotted chambray
lazy days - dotted chambray

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8 comments:

  1. my maternal grandmother had 7 girls too- and one boy at the top! and her last 2 were identical twins... i'm pretty sure that in every picture i've seen of them, they are wearing matching outfits. :) Anyway, such a cute skirt- i love that copper color paint!

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    1. wow Erin, what a coincidence! yes, always matching outfits in every picture for mine, too! can you imagine life with twins?! i thought about that often after Iris was born. she was such a high needs baby that i cannot imagine doing that x2! i give our grandmothers a lot of credit! :)

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  2. Iris is so stinkin' cute! Look at her in her cute little self in that cute little skirt!

    I am totally with you on making matching anything. It seems like a great idea, then I make the first one, and the second never really happens, because I get bored of the fabric and the idea. What a cute way to mix it up a bit!

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  3. What a gorgeous skirt! It turned out so beautifully. I'm not so much for making the same thing over and over either :) I really enjoy reading your blog!

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  4. What a creative solution! Very, very cute.

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  5. super cute! love this polka dot version:) really can't go wrong with polka dots, as shown by the classic CrewCuts shorts. I've done something similar with the end of a cork to add polka dots to a jersey knit for a tshirt. However, I wasn't nearly as precise as you as just winged it - for better or worse:) love using the grid idea.

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    1. a cork is a great idea! i was going to wing it, too, until i read Liesl's tutorial. then i didn't trust myself enough. :) seeing how amazing your applique skills are, i'm sure you rocked it!

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  6. Iris is getting so big! She doesn't look like a baby anymore. She's moving into little personhood. And looking gorgeous!

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