Saturday, February 15, 2014

Olympic Costumes

Last weekend I went to Toronto for a social ice dancing weekend.  The event was Olympic themed since it took place during the first few days of the Olympics.  I traveled with two of my skating friends from the Ohio/Pennsylvania area and we decided to put together a group costume!  My skating partner had the idea to have the Olympic rings spread across three white sweatshirts.  Since I'm the crafty one, I took his idea and ran with it.

I started out by getting three plain white sweatshirts (which turned out to be the hardest part of the whole process...) and figured out how much space I had on each shirt for decoration.  Then I cut a piece of freezer paper big enough to go over all three shirts.  (If you are unfamiliar with freezer paper stenciling, check out my other blog post about this technique.)  With a little bit of simple math I was able to figure out how big the rings needed to be.  So I set my drawing compass to make the correct size circles (in this case I think about 9 inches across, so 4.5 inches for the compass.)
I started by drawing the circle in the middle top row of the logo.  The other two circles in the top row are about an inch away from each other.  Each circle for the bottom row has the center halfway between two of the upper rings, and the top edge lines up with the center of the upper rings.  Once all the large circle were drawn, I set the compass slightly smaller (about half to 3/4 of an inch smaller.)  Then I put the point of the compass back in the same place for each circle to make sure the smaller circles were centered.  From there I erased a few lines and added a few lines to separate the different colored rings where they overlap.
The next step is cutting on the lines and getting rid of the "rings" (the part that will be filled with paint.)  I always cut my stencils with an x-acto knife because I'm a cutting ninja.  But you can also do the cutting with scissors if the shape is big enough. Then I cut the large piece into 3 sections, one for each shirt.  Freezer paper is great for stenciling because it can be ironed onto fabric and will peel off easily when you are done.  Sometimes ironing the stencil can be a little fiddly, especially when the stencil has small strips that can bend and get misaligned.  Then it is just a matter of painting the open spaces with fabric paint.  (Unfortunately, the photos are not very dramatic for this project since it is a white stencil on white fabric.)

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