Monday, August 8, 2011

Monday Project - Girlie Tee

Last spring, I ordered some soft touch ink jet transfer paper from Michigan Specialty Paper and experimented with putting images on T-shirt material (past blog post here).  I love the soft feel of the transfers with this paper, but using an iron to do the transfers worked okay - just okay.  So I decided to order a small transfer press machine - I had so many ideas I wanted to try with it!  The machine arrived a few days after I broke my foot/toe and sat in my living room, still in the box, for the next three months.

I finally got it all set up and can announce that I love it!  It transfers the designs quickly and easily and the transfers still have that soft feel that I really like.  It took a little bit of testing to get the timing and temperature down, though, so I highly suggest playing around with it before transferring to fabric you can't replace! This lacy tee I made for little c would make a good first project.

*ink jet transfer paper
*an image to print onto the transfer paper
*lace - measure around the bottom of the shirt and double to find how much lace you need for each round
*fabric dye if you want to change the color of your lace.  I dyed mine to look like a tea stain color (see past post here)

Here's the Geo Knight Jet Press I bought.  It is amazingly heavy for its small size!

Luckily I decided to experiment with an extra onesie I had laying around from when little c was a baby.  I'll walk you through the steps and then you'll see the onesie magically turn into a t-shirt!  I had a little trouble getting the timing and temperature right and totally singed two onesis.  I've got it down now, though!

1.  The temperature that worked best for me was between the 375 and 400 degree marks.  When it's all heated up, you swing the top out and lay the clothing on the press pad.  Set the timer for 25 seconds.  If you have sharp eyes, you'll see the timer says 30 seconds - yeah, part of the reason for the singeing.

2.  Find an image you want and print it onto the transfer paper.  The printer I have has a t-shirt transfer setting.  I used that and the setting labeled "best."  I printed a lot of images on one sheet of transfer paper and then cut them out.  Lay the transfer paper on the clothing with the backing up.

3.  Swing the top back, clamp it down, and start the timer.

4.  And this is how the t-shirt turned out.  I used an old Japanese woodblock print reproduction.

5.  To make it a bit more girlie, I added lace on the bottom.  I pinned and then sewed on the first round at the bottom, ...

... pinned and sewed on the second round just above the first, ...

... pinned on the third round just above the second, ...

... and then held the last round (the flowers) over the pinned third round as I sewed them on.

Here's little c (with a very "I'm getting close to the two's" look) modeling!

If you like to create your own artwork, like me, you can have original t-shirts.  I drew and then watercolored this bunny pirate picture, took a photo of it (a photo turned out brighter than the scan I tried), printed the image onto transfer paper, and put it on a shirt.

Happy Creating!  Deborah


  1. Greetings from Tunisia! Just happened upon your very interesting blog while surfing the net and trying to beat the heat. You have so many great ideas and show some smashing artwork, too. I've enjoyed reading your blog immensely.
    best, nadia

  2. Thank you - glad you enjoy my blog! I'm in 108 degrees in Phoenix, so know what you mean about trying to beat the heat. We get up to the 120's though, so I'm not complaining!