Monday, February 8, 2010


Today t-shirts are not just a piece of clothing. They are a fashion statement. They are a personal statement.

Everyone has a favorite t-shirt or a bunch of favorite t-shirts. They can be rock concert tees, crazy or unique tees, branded tees, tees with artwork, typetees with funny slogans and name it, it's out there and people are wearing it to define themselves in a certain way.

Personally, I love graphic tees or typetees. I was browsing the stores for a new addition to my favorite bunch of tees, but since I was being picky and wanted something that would scream "this tee is soo 'Kossi'," you can imagine that I didn't have much luck finding anything. That's when I decided that if I can't find anything I like, I might as well try and make something myself.

I decided to start with something easy, such as making a t-shirt with some kind of slogan, and move to something more complicated (like a drawing of some sort) later on, when I know what I'm doing. After some thinking about what I wanted the t-shirt to say, I chose "curly crazy bookworm." It is very "me" (which is totally what I wanted) and it had a nice symmetry, which I could use in making the design.

I got lucky finding cheap basic t-shirts with a nice fit because of all the sales that have been going on for the past few weeks. I also got Marabu paints for textiles, which you can buy in various art stores (for example, Импресия and Слънчоглед in Sofia).

I played around with the text in Word in order to find the right font with a clean but not too boring look. I printed the final design and cut out the letters with a crafts knife to make a stencil, like the one you can see below:


Next, I painted the "curly crazy" part of the design in pink, attaching the stencil to the t-shirt with some tape and placing another sheet of paper under the fabric to keep me from staining the back of the t-shirt. I wasn't overly careful with applying an even layer of paint, though, because I wanted the t-shirt to have a kind of untamed, very slightly grungy look to it.

Photobucket Photobucket

I let it dry and then ironed the design with a hot iron to fix the paint, following the instructions on the Marabu textile paint bottles. I repeated the same process for the "bookworm" part of the design, and voila - I had my t-shirt!

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Anyway, some of my other favorite t-shirts include:
- my geeky Harry Potter inspired t-shirt that says "I solemnly swear that I'm up to no good" at the front and "Mischief managed!" at the back. I made three such t-shirts (using fabric markers) for me and two of my best friends, who also happen to love the Harry Potter books :)
- my Happy Bunny tees. Man, I love those. Especially the holiday tee that says "So I've been naughty, so what?" under an image of the bunny wearing a Santa hat. That one cracks me up every time. Check out Jim Benton's Happy Bunny website
- a bunch of Billabong, O'Neil and Roxy graphic tees that don't have any cheeky sayings on them, but feature some awesome designs.

Finally, some useful links for great graphic tees:
- Threadless:
- IndieShirts:
- BustedTees:

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