Friday, May 18, 2018

Joker Tee & Harley Quinn Tops


I decided to design a line of Casual Cosplay T-Shirts. And naturally, The Joker & Harley Quinn seemed a natural pairing.

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The Joker Casual Cosplay T-Shirt
Available in my Etsy
I think The Joker would be the type of guy to appreciate a good tuxedo shirt. I think I may play with the design a little more to get something more in 'realistic' proportions. Except if I do, the fantastic overly pointed lapels will be lost. Another suggestion was to add the stripes from the pants... Opinions?


I couldn't decide which style top to Frankenstein (aka cut up and resew) into a Harley Quinn top, so I did both a cute tanktop from Next Level and a Vintage (heathered fabrics) Dolman sleeve top from Next Level. Because a red and a black top were required to cut up and sew together, I ended up with two mirror versions of each.

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Harley Quinn Casual Cosplay Tops
Available in my Etsy
Tank Tops Back
Tank Tops
I decided to do a simple, solid color diamond shape heat transfer vinyl to decorate the tanks after I cut them up and resewed the. I liked the aesthetic of keeping the diamonds on the same side but had to reverse the color to adapt to the mirror product.

Traditional Harley Quinn is red on (her) lower right and upper left.

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Dolman Sleeve Tops
Available in my Etsy
I decided to do a more complicated diamond heat vinyl transfer with a deteriorated 'vintage' look to match the vintage style fabric (the nature of which doesn't translate well in these photos but looks really smart in real life). Picking out all the little bits has been the most complicated 'weeding' I've had to do so far.

The backs of the Dolman Sleeve Tops has the red, which is a little too bright to really match the 'vintage red' of the tops, but there really would be no HTV (Heat Transfer Vinyl) to match.

Back of Dolman Sleeve Tops

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I was looking for a more comfy style of top for Casual Cosplay 
(for people who don't want to put on the spandex).

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Supernatural Jeggings. Because... Reasons.

Yup. Totally made these to test out some stretch heat transfer vinyl. It was a completely necessary experiment. (That's my story and I'm sticking to it).


But why did you get a plaid tunic to wear with them?

(Shut up.)



Sunday, March 18, 2018

Star Trek Insignia Sweatshirt

Basically... Because I'm a giant nerd. 



This took quite a bit of arranging and a number of applications with the heat press. A fun experiment in doing an allover print with a bunch of little vinyl transfers.

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Bonus: Can you identify what I did wrong?

Hint: Look at the Command/Yellow Insignia

Answer: I forgot to reverse the image before I set it to cut. Because of the way vinyl transfers are cut and applied to the fabric, images must be reversed. Thankfully, it's a minor error for this design motif. Not like ending up with mirrored lettering :-p

Friday, March 9, 2018

North Country Humor: Potsdam Toilet Garden T-Shirt

Potsdam Toilet Garden T-Shirt

I had done up this design when I first started my local t-shirt scheme, but had been discouraged by several people not to pursue its production for fear that people don't have a good sense of humor about the 'sensitive' subject.

It's a long story and an inside joke for locals, but this article sort of covers the basis (and the fact that this shirt got so much attention speaks to its relevancy to regional/local issues).

Anyway, the design was perfect to try out with my new Cricut, and test its detail abilities. It is rather difficult to weed this design, in particular the small lettering. But the result is worth it. I snapped a photo of the test shirt I'd done, posted it to facebook as I often like to show the projects I've made. It was shared by a fellow local artist and went 'North Country' viral. Many people were asking if/where they could get one, so I threw up a listing on etsy.

I've sold just over a couple dozen, which for me is enough of having to produce the same thing over and over. I'm glad it was overall well-received and that there are people who have a sense of humor about the zoning dispute that has turned into quite a hot-button issue for the small town.

More than anything, I like the idea (and so do others) that we can recognize, honor and even celebrate our local issues, whether we support one side of them or another.

The Technical Stuff

This is made from Thermoflex Heat Transfer Vinyl. I was skeptical of vinyl transfers before I started using the products. They actually are very soft and not at all as thick as I thought they'd be.

This design is three different requires and therefore requires three different transfer applications with the heat press. It's cold peel, so you have to let the transfer and shirt cool down between applying the different colors. I did have a bit of a bleeding problem with the pink onto the white with the original test one. But the Thermoflex brand had no bleeding issues. And by bleeding, it just looks like some of the pink edges are smudged where they touch the white if you look very closely at the design.

I also was uncertain as to whether the cotton shirts would shrink upon washing and wrinkle around the vinyl. So I prewashed the shirts to prevent any such issue. I however did not think to prewash my original t-shirts, but they went through wash and dry without any puckering or wrinking, showing that the vinyl is not just durable but adaptable, having some give. 

Friday, March 2, 2018

Hawkeye Shirts

Hawkeye is my favorite Marvel superhero... Both Clint Barton & Kate Bishop. So naturally the first vinyl transfers I had to experiment with were inspired by (David Aja's) Hawkeye comic art.

Kate Bishop aka "The Other Hawkeye" T-Shirt

I got a sample of every purple heat transfer vinyl I could find, but of course none were exactly the right shade to match the comic art. (It is more purple in real life than in the photo, but still... only as close as I could get to matching Clint Barton's Purple Target Shirt.

Clint Barton aka "Hawkguy" T-Shirt

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

New Crafting Endeavors: Heat Press & Cricut


Over the summer, I decided to get a small heat press to do t-shirt transfers and the like. I wanted to see if might be a viable vending endeavor to sell t-shirts with designs by local artists at various events/fairs.  So I searched out a 'craft size' heat press from a brand I was familiar with using and I found to be a good quality. Of course, the internet mostly just provided scam webstores as sources for the little heat press I wanted. But the fact that photos of this product existed meant that it was a product made at one time. I did find a legit store through ebay located in the midwest, who were very friendly. But I had also sought out the manufacturer (straight to the source is sometimes best) and they put me in contact with their local rep (which was several hours away but I believe in going local in whatever ways you can). It turned out well, since they were holding a sort of business fair showing off different products, from screen printing to vinyl cutting to sublimation printing. And they gave me a discount for driving down and attending and purchasing my press there. (Bonus, I also got to meet my friend who lives downstate for some Indian buffet.)



I love my heat press!

I started off this new 'business' by purchasing transfers through Versatrans. You upload your original artwork and they print off the transfers (there are several medium choices they use) that can be applied to clothing with a heat press.

Adirondack Travel Poster Design T-Shirt

I worked out a deal with a local graphic artist, Catherine  LaPointe (facebook) who does wonderful Northern New York themed travel posters to sell t-shirts with her Adirondack design.

Beanstock Seven Shirts
I also did up t-shirts for Beanstock, which is an event my awesome aunt, uncle, cousins put on every fall with the help of friends and family. They've been doing up stickers for years. But the t-shirts were fun to be able to provide.

Adirondack Design I Made

However, the investment required to order the transfers isn't worth the reward:risk assessment. They are a bulk supplier in essence. And while you can order a minimum of 2 sheets, the cost of small orders is prohibitive to making any money off a shirt without charging $50. Therefore, bulk orders of designs have to be made.

Come to the end of the year, and I had been seriously looking into getting a Cricut (a brand of computerized cutting machine). Surprise! My parents got me a Cricut Explorer Air 2 for Christmas. And I began to CUT ALL THE THINGS!



I did a few paper projects to begin with, but immediately ordered a Heat Transfer Vinyl sampler pack and the tools needed for making vinyl transfers (little picks and tweezers to 'weed' or remove the negative space on the vinyl transfers after they come off the Cricut).



I love it! And while it obviously takes more time/work on my end than ordering the plastisol or versatranz transfers, it is more cost-effective and makes me happier not to have a bunch of inventory lying around. Which was also the point of having a travel-size heat press, to make shirts to order right on the spot at events.

Stay tuned to see some of the projects this new craft obsession has born out... ;-)





Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Burn all the things!



It was my friends' 5th Wedding Anniversary a few days ago. And since the interwebs informed me that "wood" is the traditional gift, I decided to do a woodburning of their favorite Doctor Who companions (who were featured in their wedding cake topper and at their "head table")

I had wanted to put the image on the top of a wooden keepsake box for usefullness, but couldn't find a single one locally. I am informed that the plaque is better because it's easier to hang on the wall. :)

This is my first real woodburning project. I think I might have done something on a camp or girl scout arts and crafts moment back in the day. The tool does take a little getting used to, with the different nibs behaving in different ways and none giving you a clean, fine line for text. (grr)

But I was happy with the way it turned out. And more importantly, so were my friends!

Wishing them many more years together (even though I probably won't be up to the task of glass etching or metalwork/smithing when the next milestone comes around)!

#woodburning #burnallthethings #doctorwho #amypond #rorywilliams #crafts