Thursday, January 31, 2013

[Make] J.Crew-esque Heart Top

I usual shy away from DIY-ing my clothes, but I've been wanting a top with a big wonky heart on it for a while. Something between J Crew's Heart Me Sweater and the more casual heart tops by Wildfox Couture.

I knew that I wouldn't get that much use out if it (I'll probably be hearted-out by Feb 15th), so instead of making a purchase, I decided to DIY it.

In true DIY/Upcycle fashion, I used a top that I already had. Call it my guinea pig top-- comfy, but almost ready for the donate pile since I hardly wear it. The blah color and the baggy, not-so-figure-flattering fit are detractors. So basically I chose something that I wouldn't be too upset about if I messed up.  :)

In hindsight, the heart should have been a bit higher... or bigger.
 And look at me trying to pose. Har-har!

BTW, if you can't find Freezer Paper, I found a good alternative.

Click "Read more" for the how-to

DIY J. Crew Heart Top

materials needed:
simple sweater or top (mine is french terry and it worked well with the fabric paint)
a heart template. here's the one that i made (very rudimentary, but it works)-- left heart - right heart
press n' seal freezer wrap** or freezer paper
craft knife
self-healing mat
soft fabric paint
foam pouncers
cardboard for inside the top (i cut a shirt box to fit)

Cut out your heart template (tape it together if you're using the template that I provided) and place it on the press n'seal wrap**

Tape down the template to the press n'seal wrap. Also tape down the wrap to the self-healing mat to ensure that it doesn't slip around. You can also use thick cardboard if you don't have a self-healing mat.

Using your craft knife, cut out the heart shape.

Remove the heart and your template is ready to go.

Get out your soon to be hearted top.

Place the heart template on the shirt. The "stick" on the press n'seal is pretty forgiving and I moved my heart around a few of times. Smooth down the edges of the heart to ensure that you get sharp lines. Before painting, insert a piece of cardboard inside the shirt. This will catch any paint that seeps through the material.

The fabric paint and the foam pouncer.

Start pouncing on the paint. I started at the edges and worked my way in. Try to make it as opaque as possible before moving on to the next area. 
The just painted heart...

Carefully remove the template. Resist the urge to touch-up once it's dry. It'll end up looking blotchy. I know this from experience... I had to paint on another coat because it look so mottled when I touched up a few spots.  Let dry for at least 4 hours (I waited 24 hours) and wash inside-out after 72 hours.

** Note:  Press n'Seal is an alternative to the freezer paper method of making templates on fabric. It sticks to material without the use of heat. I accidentally discovered it's "magical" properties when I made this pillow. I haven't been able to find freezer paper, and hence have no experience with it, but I know that it involves ironing the freezer paper template onto the material (step 6). 

The DIY Hearted top... I'm thinking the wonky heart would look pretty cute on a pillow too.

How is it Thursday already??  Not to mention the last day of January?? Have a great day!