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Sunday, August 19, 2012

Anniversary Blog Fest: M.J. Fredrick


What I Did on my Summer Vacation
MJ Fredrick

I went crazy.

Okay, no, not really. But see, I’m addicted to Pinterest. I love all the cool crafts that I find, and I’ve cooked dozens of recipes. But mostly, I wanted to try the crafts.

My first project was T-shirt transformation. Before school was out, I bought a bunch of T-shirts from Wal-mart. My first two projects were to paint designs on them in bleach pen. Those came out really well.

Then I saw a cool idea of using Elmer’s glue to draw a design on a white T-shirt, then dye the shirt. The problem was, I have a front-loader washer and I didn’t know how to dye fabric in it, so I dyed it in the sink. The first step was to paint the design with blue Elmer’s Glue, let it dry completely, then dye the shirt. It came out very pretty, but the bleach pen was probably easier (though it is HARD to make the bleach to come out evenly.)

The next cool shirt project I saw was kind of reversed. I had a colored T-shirt and I applied a design I printed out on freezer paper. (Did you know freezer paper adheres temporarily to fabric when ironed?) I ironed the silhouettes onto 3 different shirts and then took them outside and sprayed a bleach mixture onto the shirts. After a few minutes, you could see the color changing. Once the shirt was dry, I removed the freezer paper (no easy task) and had my design in the original shirt color while the rest was bleached out. The trick is to make sure the paper is ironed down pretty firmly, or the bleach will get under the paper.

You can see a picture of the shirts here:

The next thing I tried was to make a skirt out of two T-shirts. I cut one shirt below the armpits and that was the skirt. I could have made it an elastic waist, but I decided to combine another idea, of making a yoga waist. The way to do that is to cut a length of knit, from 8-12 inches wide, the length of your waist, minus 2 inches. It will stretch. I cut it from the second T-shirt, folded it in half and sewed it on the top of the first. Then I took the scraps of the 2 shirts and cut them in long strips, then sewed them onto the skirt as a flower. Now THAT was a pain. I had to put the skirt over my folded cutting board and hand-sew it on. But it looks really cool and is very comfortable.

You can see a picture of it here:

My next project--modernizing 2 denim skirts. I bleached the top of one and am going to paint patterns on it in black fabric paint. I’m going to cut a triangle out of the second and sew a ruffly fabric in its place. Wish me luck!

Do you enjoy Pinterest? Have you made anything from it? I’d love to hear!

About the Author: MJ Fredrick knows about chasing dreams. Twelve years after she completed her first novel, she signed her first publishing contract. Now she divides her days between teaching elementary music and diving into her own writing—traveling everywhere in her mind, from Belize to Honduras to Africa to the past.

Her website:

Most importantly, Pinterest:


Ingeborg said...

I'm not on Pinterest but I'm hearing a lot about it lately.

Debby said...

I have not tried Pinterest but am curious about it.
debby236 at gmail dot com

MJFredrick said...

All I can say is, ladies, don't risk it! It's a huge time suck, but so much fun. I made jewelry this weekend from scrapbook paper, of all things! So many ideas, so little time!

Anonymous said...

You do incredible things with Pinterest. So far I mostly look, say "oh, wow" and pin. But I'm going to look up some slow cooker recipes before the kids come back. My mind is made up!

MJFredrick said...

Thanks, Leslie! I plan to do more slow-cooker recipes when school starts!

Karen H in NC said...

I'm not into pinterest yet and doubt I will either. But I did enjoy reading about your crafty projects. I'm not a crafty person either but I like to see what others make.

kareninnc at gmail dot com

MJFredrick said...

Thanks, Karen. Believe me when I say I wish I was less crafty, lol!