I gotta tell ya I'm totally smitten with everything this woman- Natalie Chanin, has ever done! I love the recycle element. I like how feminine yet earthy they are. Her patterns are simple and she is so generous to share them in her books. The only draw backs - time consuming and it's been hard for me to resource the fabric and thread.
Pictured here is only one of her books, but I bought all 3 from Amazon. So far have only made the tank top. I am working on a 4 panel skirt with my own adaptation of surface design. Lots of beading and samplings of her embroidery styles. Stay tuned - I will proudly post pictures when I finish it.
I used 2 large men's t- shirts from the thrift store. I didn't have enough to do the reverse appliqué the way she does it so I modified by cutting them out seperately and stitching them on individually . I think it works. My dress form is a bit big for me so it looks really tight, however in reality the top is a bit big on me. Natalie recommends to make the garments one size smaller then you usually wear because the cotton does not have a memory so it stretches out as you wear it. I shoulda listened!!
I traced out the motif onto timtex, a type of very heavy interfacing for hat brims and such. Then I painstakingly cut it out with small sharp scissors. For fabric paint I mixed up textile medium, inexpensive acrylic paint and water, then sponged it using a light touch. Next time I will use a proper fabric paint in order to preserve the hand of the fabric. This alone was a lot of work-never mind the stitching . But I will do it again, I like the hand work.
My husband better watch out - every time I do the laundry I covet his t- shirts!