Just browse the offerings in your favorite clothing catalog or trendy boutique, and you’ll see that embellished t-shirts are all the rage. But they sure can be expensive, right? Well, why not embellish your own when an ordinary t-shirt and supplies can cost as little as a few bucks? 101 Tees is a fun, idea-packed book, authored by crafting dynamo Cathie Filian, that offers up clever ways to easily and inexpensively transformed the common tee into stylish apparel.
With 10 different technique-themed chapters, each with approximately 10 projects and their own mini basics section, there’s truly something for everyone. Experiment with creative cutting and stitching, embroidery, painting, dyeing, image transfer, and adding rhinestones, ribbons, and trim. The projects include a variety of t-shirt style bases, from the ordinary crew neck to long-sleeved, cap-sleeved, and sleeveless versions. And, yes, there’s even a full chapter of offerings for guys!
Such a great crafting resource for yourself or a crafty fashionista friend.
In the interest of giving you all a little behind-the-scenes details on the book, I asked Cathie a few questions about her experience working on the project. Be sure to come back here later in the month, as we’ll be hosting a truly fabulous 101 Tees giveaway in a couple weeks.
Q: Why do you think the common t-shirt serves as such a great creative canvas?
A: The material! Cotton….you can dye it, stretch it, paint it, heat it, pierce it, tear it, stitch it and you don’t have to hem it, if you don’t want to. I also love the form a tee takes on the body. The shoulders, hemlines, sleeves, yokes and centers are just begging to be embellished.
KEEP READING FOR MORE Q&A!
Q: Do you have a personal favorite technique or material for embellishing tees?
A: I love reverse appliqué and making flowers. The reverse appliqué technique has a slightly distressed look without being tattered, and that really appeals to me. It is also a favorite because the technique frames the design and it is easy enough for beginners. The flowers are just plain flirty and fun – they add a soft accent to a tee. They are simple to make and each one looks different and unique.
Q: Did you write this book with a particular audience in mind?
A: Most of the projects that I design for instruction, I design for the beginner in mind. It was a teaching style that began with my TV show, Creative Juice. I have been told many times that my projects are “gateway crafts and that they get you hooked on crafting” - to me, that is the biggest compliment. My creative goal is teach people the 101 and give them inspiration to dive deeper. If you can learn how to whip up a batch of fabric dye – then you can dye almost anything.
Q: Did you have a favorite part of working on this particular book?
A: Honest? My favorite part was when I got my first peek at the finished pages. After the art direction, photos of the designs and the written words were formed into a book. It is a feeling that I can’t explain.