Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Create What You Wish Existed In The World: Fabric Printing for Little Miss.

Update! This fabric is available in my Etsy store!

Over a year ago  a child at the YMCA told my darling child her free flowing curly locks were weird. Her feelings were hurt, she was saddened and confused. She wondered how someone could be so ill-mannered and cruel. After a conversation, reading her books, "Happy to Be Nappy" and "The Skin We Are In" and she let it go. It wasn't so easy for me to move on and I made a note to step up my "you are awesome" and "fearfully and wonderfully made" game.  

I looked around for fun fabrics with kids like my daughter represented. I found a few, but they included unicorns, princesses and fairies. I have bought them and think they are great, but feature fantasy and myth. I wanted a normal design based on real people; based on us. When I couldn't find what I was looking for I decided to make what I wanted.

                       

Lately, I have been playing around with fabric printing. I have shared the prints I have previously experimented with on my Instagram. They have been small sample size and border prints, but never yardage enough for clothing. The process is imperfect and time-consuming so I was reluctant to print on a larger scale until now.

             
I made this Afro Puff Diva using design software and a die cutting machine. After careful consultation with the model, I hand-stamped the diva with black fabric paint and white flowers between. I love the texture the fabric paint gives. Some stamps are completely saturated and others have a weathered appearance. 

                   
I chose to use New Look 6320 to make this dress and it was a fast and easy make.

                                   Image result for new look 6320
I love the collar on this dress. I wish I could take credit for perfect alignment of the diva on the collar when folded down. It was a happy coincidence that the hair and sunglasses matched up. I couldn't have planned for that had I tried.

                                           

I didn't want to hope on chance on the sleeve placement. I wanted the image centered, so I printed them directly on the cut sleeve piece.

                                    
I modified the dress to have side seam pockets and chose to add a regular zipper instead of the suggested exposed zipper.

                      

I love this and want one for myself! I have made a stencil of this and other designs I am working on. I hope that airbrushing the fabric will be faster enabling me to make more in less time. It will result in a different texture but I think it will be good. 

Can you tell she loves her hair and her dress? The positive messages she receives far outweigh the random carelessness of a poorly raised kid. I love that since that incident she continues to completely embrace her identity, asserts herself when confronted and moves on respectfully. She is so great! I want to be her when I grow up!

Happy (confident) sewing,
Bianca










39 comments:

  1. We've had similar incidents at Dia's school. While we love the school and their way of teaching, its not diverse. We are doing as much positive re-enforcement in her as we can but I hear you on poor parenting in which parents don't teach their children about diversity and how to appreciate and love it. I am glad that we can make a statement through our craft. Good for you and for your daughter and boo on that kid.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Deepika! It is so hard parenting our own kids and correcting the bad parenting of others. I was really surprised by the comment considering we live in a very diverse city. I guess for some the avoidance of the "other" runs deep. I'm glad that I can fill the gap but it said that I need to.

      Delete
  2. You're awesome! Such a class act!

    Tell the best hair girl Magic says hi! 😍

    Ramona
    Aka eyeramona

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Ramona! It took a lot of work not to want to find that kid and throat punch him!

      Hugs to you and Magic!

      Delete
  3. What a lucky kid!!! Love the fabric, love the dress, love the happy smiles. Agree with you that the hand-stamped quality is an enhancement. We are not machines. :-)

    Good job, Mama!



    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Hun! You are always so supportive.

      Delete
  4. OH...I LOVE everything about this dress! I'm pretty sure it has super powers!

    Your daughter is adorable!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Sue! We both feel pretty super about it!

      Delete
  5. Hi Bianca, I think this is my first time here. I've loved so many of the makes that you've posted on IG, especially those made with your fabric prints. But now this one is my absolute favorite! You and your daughter are awesome! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ho Ogalyn! Thanks for stopping by! I too have enjoyed you IG posts. I think this one is my favorite too. She really loves her one of a kind, made like her dress. I love that she pushes me to be a better person and maker.

      Delete
  6. Wonderful! Your daughters looks so happy in this dress, and thank you for role modeling positivity"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much Brenda. The temptation to go the other way is so strong when it comes to my kids. I am glad to have focused it this way.

      Delete
  7. Wow Just Wow Great Mom Great Print Job and what a perfect dress

    ReplyDelete
  8. Adorable dress worn by an even more adorable daughter!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for saying that Eileen! I appreciate it!

      Delete
  9. What a perfect dress to match your sweet daughter's beautiful hair! I'm so sorry she had that experience. I've been on the receiving end of bullying, and I know it's not a small thing to get over. I hope it's something my daughter (especially) and my sons never have to face. Good for her for just being herself.

    So about your process--did you use the die cut machine to cut a stencil, or is this blockprinting? I'm always looking for different options. I love carving stamps, but it's nice to get more defined detail. I'd love to delve into screenprinting, but all of the nitty gritty is a bit intimidating, and then it seems a waste if it's too hard to print yardage.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Elizabeth! This was done on my die cutting machine to make a stamp. It's a different process for making a stencil. Though I will use the same machine. I've heard you can use die cutting machines to carve stamps, but I haven't tried it yet. I've had to go through various apples to get to this point. If you really wanted to design it'll be worth the time and effort.

      Delete
  10. You are the best Mom ever! Representation matters for our girls. It is so beautiful that you are able to create this for her.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Kahjuana! It is important and I will be working on an option for my son as well.

      Delete
  11. I love this, Bianca! Great design and great parenting on your part. I think the path you chose to deal with this will have positive ripples throughout her life.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Lisa, I have seen the benefits at age 8 so I am hopeful for her future. 😀

      Delete
  12. The dress is awesome! Love your printing technique. Great job Mom!!! When I was in 5th grade, a classmate told me I have "Albert Einstein hair" and I have never forgotten it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Kyle! I think is so hard to leave those feelings behind. I'm trying to find the right way to explain to my kids that other kids can be jerks who say ignorant and insensitive things. I don't want them to treat these kids poorly, but I also don't want them to take what these kids say to heart.

      Delete
  13. Biana, that is such an adorable outfit! I so love it and your fabric printing is the bomb!
    Sue

    ReplyDelete
  14. Your daughter is beautiful as are you! The fabric is fantastic, a wonderful happy way to showcase her beautiful style

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for saying so. She says it's her thing now.

      Delete
  15. I love that gorgeous print! You keep inspiring me to think beyond the seam....to experiment with paint and texture. Your daughter looks so happy in her new dress and I can see why! She has a fabulous Mom....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much Elle! I am so flattered to inspire you with your mad skills!

      Delete
  16. Its awesome, very creative, Great design. Keep up the good work, thanks for sharing.

    Bruce, https://www.printavo.com

    ReplyDelete
  17. I think it's a fabulous dress and that design of yours is smashing!!! I think there are loads of people who would buy it. You might consider uploading your design to Spoonflower (hint, hint)....

    I'd like to add that the comments made to your daughter may **possibly** not be the result of bad parenting. I noticed in each one of my children when they were about 5, they said something more or less overtly racist. These were absolutely not things they picked up at home. We are white but I have been committed to raising my children to be bi-cultural almost since my first was born 28 years ago. Even with my strongest efforts, there's so much systemic racism in the dominant culture and in our institutions that I was unable to protect my children from developing racist ideas on their own. I have continue to wage war against racism in my children (and in myself and my husband, in my faith community, in my friends and family) and I won't ever stop, because its corrosive effects are everywhere and more evident everyday to those of us who, because of our whiteness, have been blind to it. Ok I got up on my soapbox, sorry. But I was completely shocked to my soul with my 1st child when he said something racist just before his 5th birthday. That was when the rest of the scales fell from my eyes, that racism in North America is so ubiquitous that it's like dust in your house: you need to do nothing, no action is needed for it to accumulate on every surface. What is required is its constant removal.

    Love the dress. WishI had some of that fabric. You know I'm a fan!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for always being so supportive Helen.

      I really do appreciate your insight and reflection regarding the influence of society as well as parental influences on a child. I know from experience that my children often exhibit a greater level of empathy, compassion, kindness and generosity than we have modeled for them in the home. 😁 They are remarkable children and I know I can't take complete credit. That being said I will give grace to parents not necessarily directly feeding negativity to their children.

      I am currently producing more of this and other fabrics for my Etsy store. When I have inventory, I will go live. I am looking for that to happen in the next two weeks. I looked into Spoonflower and though they are a fast way to get the fabric out, 11% of the sales go to the designers. That feels like a lot for my creativity. 😬 I plan to see what I make on my own. I am also looking into another option that I share when I have more information.

      Stay tuned!

      Delete
    2. I should say they take a lot for my creativity.

      Delete