Monday, 14 March 2016

Completed: Ampersand Sweatshirt

I have a bit of a thing for ampersands. I think the word "ampersand" is rather lovely - it's my favourite after "haberdashery", and I love the swishy elegance of them.

It seems I am not alone. I have since found Pinterest board after Pinterest board dedicated to them. All of which I am now following, obviously. Anyway, when I came across this cushion in John Lewis last year, inspiration struck.
You might recognise this sweatshirt if you look closely. The front used to be covered in gold foil. Sadly, but as expected, the gold foil has worn away. It is just not possible to own a garment that can't be washed often when you have young children. I am forever covered in goo.

But that's OK. I still have enough of the gold French terry to make another, once I buy some more plain grey marl terry. And while it also hasn't stopped me from wearing this Linden, I do feel like the sweatshirt has lost its edge and is now borderline scruffy. Which is where the ampersand comes in.

Do you ever find yourself with a million plans, but without the confidence to execute them? That's where I was with this. I mean, I had all the necessary tools: freezer paper, fabric paint, a printer, an iron, a sweatshirt, but I was always worrying about the what if. What if it didn't work out? What if it was difficult? What if it was messy? What if? What if? 

Then one evening I just forced myself. I dug out the Freezer paper and the fabric paint, browsed ampersands and fonts on Pinterest, and just got on with it! And what do you know, it worked!
I found the below image on Pinterest - I quicky realised that as lovely as the JL cushion might be, it would take FOREVER to cut out with all those lines. I copied and pasted my image to Powerpoint, where I resized it. I then traced and cut it out with a craft knife, which was very enjoyable and made me feel like a REAL CRAFTER. As there were quite a few middle bits that I needed to not lose, I numbered them, so I could remember where they were to go.

I had intended for the ampersand to be dark grey, but I had some issues with paint application which apparently took up so much of my brain that I forgot to mix some white in. I still think dark grey would have been softer and less "in your face", but I do love it as is. I'm particularly pleased with how clean the lines are - very little bleeding at all. There is one bit that bugs me, but I'm not going to point it out, as there is nothing I can do about it now!

The paint now needs to "cure" for up to 7 days, and after that I will be able to wash the sweatshirt with no fading or removal of the paint. Unlike that pesky gold foil! 



  1. I love this! I'm also with you on those 'what ifs' - those thoughts are so easy to listen to and so paralysing when we do.....I'm inspired by your pushing on through, maybe I'll tackle that bra pattern when I get home....

    1. Thanks, Liz. Ironically by making this, I was procrastinating on a shirt. Baby steps, though, right?!

  2. love it! very cool. where did you buy freezer paper? i tend to think of it as something that is widely available in the US and only available from expensive craft stores in the UK!

  3. I bought it from Remnant Kings. It was £4.99 for the roll - I have no idea how that compares to the States, but I bought it with a gift card I won, so technically it was free. I think I might ask my sis-in-law to bring some over when she visits from NY in the summer. It's also a 50 sq feet roll so should last a good while. X

  4. Cool!! Love this and a win for freshening up a top that had lost its glam. I often linger over fabric paints when I see them but I have less artistry than my three year old so perhaps its wise for me to leave them in the shop! Looking forward to your next project too with all the little crosses on it.

  5. Oooh I love it and am impressed at you trying new things!


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