The “Little Green Man” Shirt

The Facts- The “Little Green Man” Shirt

⁃ Fabric:  Organic Cotton Jersey

⁃ Pattern:  KS 3299

⁃ Year:  Contemporary

⁃ Notions:  Strips of interfacing for the shoulder seams, spraypaint

⁃ Time to complete:  Two-three weeks- maybe 15 hours including the stencil

⁃ First worn:  March 11, 2012

⁃ Wear again?  Yes, absolutely!

⁃ Total price:   $28

We’re huge fans of the Lorax book in our house (that movie better be good!).  I spent some time looking for the *perfect* Lorax stencil to cut and paint and add to my husband’s collection of street-art style t-shirts.  This is by far the most challenging stencil I ever cut- lots of long, delicate lines and tiny details.

Organic cotton is a dream to work with, and even better to wear.  As it ages the fabric becomes soft, almost plushy and even my husband notices the difference.  Cotton in general also takes the spraypaint the best of any other fiber I’ve tried.  I use ordinary spraypaint I picked up from the hardware store.

Unfortunately, it’s not my best final design- some areas “bled” around the stencil.  Last time, I made a light colored design on a dark background and discovered I needed many many more layers of paint than when I make a dark design on a light background.  I got carried away painting Mr. Lorax.  The lesson?  Make sure to apply THIN layers of paint and let it dry thoroughly between applications.  the good news is that underneath, the design is quite clear and crisp.  Some of the bleeding came off in the wash, and perhaps in time the design will be clearer.

My husband is happy with the final result and that’s what matters to me.   He and I have been working together on a series of these type of t-shirts, I only have one more to go.  We like collaborating on the artwork, so in the future we’ll probably buy blank t-shirts and stencil them, rather than making the shirt from scratch.. Though after a dozen or so hours cutting a stencil, an hour spent making a t-shirt seems like no sweat!

If you’d like to see how I do my stenciling and maybe try your hand at it, check out the two-part tutorial on my blog:

How To Make Street Art Style T-Shirts Part 1

How To Make Street Art Style T-shirts Part 2

Author

StephC

Stephanie mothers, writes, and teaches sewing in Brisbane, Australia. She blogs about sewing, drafting, vintage style and sustainability at 3 Hours Past the Edge of the World.

14 Comments

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  1. Yay! It’s done! It’s amazing! I would never have noticed the bleeding if you hadn’t mentioned it. The colours, the design, the shirt itself – the whole thing is just fabulous.

  2. This WINS the internet! I would totally buy one of these (or 4) if you were to sell them ~~hint, hint. :^) Love the Lorax and am very partial to the original movie so, Yes, the new one better be good. Great Job!

    • Well, the process to make one like this takes about a dozen hours. And I’m not terribly interested in screen printing. But you can always make one yourself. :)

  3. Hey Stephan, looks fantastic, I’d buy one two, when we were little my Mom and Dad would read us Dr Seus books. Ill have to try the organic cotton. Do you have a source to recommend?

    • Thanks! Stephen is my husband, I’m Stephanie… Our names put me off dating him for some time.. ;)

      I don’t have a source online, I buy from The Fabric Store locally. Sorry!

  4. My family thought the movie was great. Very fun. And the message remains true to the book.

  5. Wow, patient aren’t you – very admirable! My boys are looking forward to the movie – so much hype about it this week here.

  6. Wow, that’s so cool, go you! I’m looking forward to seeing this film too.

  7. Great tutorial on how you stencil. I found it very interesting, but most likely I won’t be trying it. Kudo’s to your wearable art though. You husband’s tee looks great. I’d like to know what pattern you used, and how you did the neck and hems. Do you have a tutorial for that? Just hoping.

    • I used Kwik Sew 3299, and my neck binding technique is outlined here. It use it on 90% of my knits… I leave his shirts unhemmed because I don’t have a coverhem machine and he requested I just leave it unhemmed…

  8. Thanks for the stenciling tutorial links. Great shirt!