adventures in printmaking

This summer, one of the workshops I will be teaching is Printmaking so I've been researching different methods of basic printing since we won't have access to an acid room or litho stones or anything like that.

One of the methods of printmaking I never got into at school was Serigraphy, or screen printing. I was a litho and intaglio addict but I never ventured into printmaking. After seeing this DIY on screenprinting at home with basic items, I had to give it a go! Plus, I've been wanting a couple new tanks for summer but due to lack of funds decided the handmade route was better.

First off was shirts! I got a couple yards of heather grey and peachy coraly jersey fabric and traced the outline of my favorite racerback tank, cut it out then stitched them up. This was my first real attempt at sewing jersey...which it turns out is kind of evil to sew!

I used a zig-zag stitch on both tanks but switched to a narrower zig-zag on the second coral tank which worked a lot better! The wider zig warped the seams a lot more...it may just be my machine or lack of experience sewing this stuff but either way, tank tops were made and they turned out alright. This peachy one is my favorite of the two, with the little grey going up the sides

So! On to screenprinting! I also picked up some tulle with really tiny holes and cut out a small enough square to fit a crocheting hoop. I drew up some quick feathers then traced them onto the netting.

Next I painted everywhere outside of the feathers with modge podge. This took a while since I put multiple layers of modge podge on but it worked out well that way.

I mixed the acrylic paint with some textile medium so theoretically it won't come off when I wash the tank top. With the design laying flat on the fabric, I put a little bit of the paint on the design and used an old credit card to scrape the paint across the open area of the design. Then carefully peeled up the screen, and voila! Screenprint!!!!

I put some feathers on the sides of the grey tank...this one may end being a designated gym tank but I'm still rather pleased with the results of this sick day experiment! I will definitely try this again, since it's so easy to make the screen and use.


  1. Chelsea they sell special needles for use with jersey knit fabric; they're called ballpoint needles, and they have a rounder tip which makes it easier for them to slide between the weaving of the knit. They make sewing knit a lot easier, I'd definitely recommend them! Also, you might have a stitch on your machine that looks like a regular stitch, but doubled up three times horizontally? That's also a stretch stitch, and is easier to use and more secure than a zig zag (though a pain if you have to unpick it). Jersey knit is hard because you have to sort of feed it through without pulling at it, because if you pull you get rusching, but luckily it's also a very forgiving fabric!

  2. Hey Ali-chay! I've heard of those needles, but being the lazy person I am I havn't gotten around to tracking down a pack of them. I will need to tho if I continue to sew up my own shirts! I've tested out a couple of the stitches on my machine but I havn't tried those ones yet, I will give it a go next shirt. Jersey is awesome. It is a very forgiving fabric, I just wish it would forgive me before I even attempt to sew it too! Thanks for the tips :)


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