Printing under the influence

For school this week we are preparing screens for printing on to t-shirts. The theme for the t-shirt design is “An artwork, an artist or an art movement that influences our work”. Hmm. So I am thinking about what and who influences my work and I feel I may have to stretch the boundaries a little and perhaps look at a craft movement maybe or perhaps an illustrator. Yes, that’s an idea. But who and what to choose?! I am leaning towards doing a Mary Blair kind of thing, and as it’s going to be two to three colours that will be quite fun. We also have to research places to buy bulk t-shirts from. My main problem is that I don’t really want to get your standard hanes style tshirt. I would prefer to print on something a bit more girly, and a lot more interesting… this of course is a big ask and would probably require actually getting some made or, even worse, making some myself. I really am a bit lost when it comes to this kind of thing. Regardless. What fun! T-shirts!

Tomorrow I am going out to Box Hill to buy myself a 50cm x 40cm screen to prepare at school and print with at home. I am playing with ideas for small runs of fabric to turn into toy clothes and other small projects. And now, of course, there is the world of Blythe commercial fashion design to delve into! I got an ILYIT for those who may be interested. Woo!

Links I have been enjoying:
Just when I needed it too- How to Apply Double Fold Bias Tape (via Dioramarama).
Usakichi no Chiisanaomise – crocheted toys from Japan (via Christina)
Colobockle (also via Christina) lovely illustration with lots of texture and colour
And some Blythe links, because the sun has just shone through my window, Puchimadam style lab – the queens of customisation and browse through Christina’s files here and here for wonderful outfits, patterns and accessories.

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35 Responses

  1. I use Switcher here in Europe. They have standard and fitted t-shirts. 🙂

  2. i dont like the fit of the standard tshirt too. what i did when a group of us had to wear similar tshirts was to choose the kiddies size. much smaller, and fits better (in a girly sort of way)

  3. says:

    Hey Claire, Give good old Bonds a go, quality shirts and dinky-di Aussie to boot. If they can’t help, the easiest thing to do is look in the yellow pages under “clothing manufacturers and wholesalers”. You certainly seem to support a lot of American businesses already, why not support Aussie companies too?

  4. says:

    I started a small silk screening biz of my own still working onthe site to get it in tip top condition but I found a great resource for apparel and it might be worth it for you even though your in australia you can get a wholesale id pretty easily but they’re fabric is excellent i wouldnt recomend anything else tons of styles they even have apparel for babies and pets

  5. says:

    I was going to recommend American Apparel for good girly (& other) t-shirts to print on … but taking a quick look at their site, it seems that they don’t have an Australian wholesaler. In any case:

  6. Hi there Clare,I can’t think immediately of any Australian wholesale supplier but the first thing that comes to mind is bonds as I have bought a few of their boys t-shirts that have a cute fit. They have a sale warehouse down in South Yarra near the train station and perhaps they have a wholesale section?? Just a thought. If I come up with anything else will let you know. Good to see you at the sheep show the other day and sedning blessings*

  7. I get my shirts from American Apparel and – AS Tees is a little cheaper. You will need a resale tax ID to purchase wholesale though! They have the most stylish selections out there – American Apparel has a 3/4 sleeve boatneck fitted tee.
    Good luck!

  8. says:

    i was going to suggest american apparel as well–they have a baby t by classic girl that is awesome, i have a few i bought from my favorite bands that fit great and hold up well in the wash, and are much more girly than a regular hanes style shirt. what more can you ask? you may be able to find the classic girl shirts somewhere other than american apparel, though…i haven’t really researched it.

  9. I have only done 1 silk screen in high school. I sure would like to do it again. I personally love the illustrations of Virginia Burton, and she did some way cool things with prints in the 40’s. Check her skirts and some print designs at ~ I really like a rose is a rose… Have fun!

  10. i was involved in a priate radiostation benefit and the earthfirsters in my city went to the thriftstore and bought a whole bunch of men’s bluecollar work shirts and did silkscreen prints on the backs. they were super cool and cheap too. i suppose it depends on how many shirts you are wanting/supposed to be doing. but the thriftstore might be a nice place to start, especially if you’re just wanting to experiment a bit.

  11. says:

    I second the american apperal tshirts. They are so cute! Lately I have been looking at them on Ebay, considering trying some silk screening myself, I thought that I might try it first with a lot of slightly damaged american apperal t’s! As always you rock 🙂 Hope your feeling better, myra

  12. says:

    HiI am reeding your weblog and just wanted to say thet I am green of envy – you are so talented and creative.

    Michal (from Israel)

  13. all I know is that I would adore a shirt designed by you! good luck with your project!

  14. says:

    I just finished Christina’s kitty hoodie (in red felt) and pinny dress w/ ruffle (in green with red polka dots) I’ll be posting pictures tomorrow on the board 🙂

  15. says:

    you could try dharma trading company for t-shirts (…. it’s another american company. i don’t know about their international stuff, though. i order from them all the time here in Minnesota. cute girly t’s and lots of fun silks and rayons.

  16. says:

    i love it when some of my favourite things and interests intersect, like seeing c&z on your webpage and my paper crane, and getting here by following a link from dooce’s great, great post about having her baby – i wonder if there’s a term that’s been invented for the phenomenon (probably has, and i’m not enough of a hipster to know it…)


  17. Thank goodness you’re trying for the girly fitted t-shirts. I have so many straight up and down t-shirts that doesn’t go with anything because my waist, not my bum needs accentuating.

  18. I wanted to thank you for referencing Mary Blair. All my life I have loved the look of her work in Alice and Wonderland and Cinderella and Johnny Appleseed. Yet I never ever imagined that it was a woman who created the scenes I loved. Thanks for giving her a name, I can’t wait to read the book I found on Amazon about her.

  19. Claire, it’s also quite easy to customize t-shirts to give them an individual look or make them fit better – by ripping off sleeves, unpicking hems etc. But I guess this won’t work if you are making a bulk amount of them. Good luck in this latest endeavour – I wish I was half as clever and creative as you.:)

  20. says:

    are you going to customise your blythe? did you get in here in oz, or online?
    i’m totally obsessed with them… i finally bid on one in ebay but god help me when my other half finds out!!

  21. says:

    I agree with Kelli Ann, it’s so long ago I can’t remember when or how I came across loobylu (before little Amelia came along – but I was shy then and didn’t post much), but I agree it is great how like minded people meet like minded people though blogs and such on the web. I really have to sort out my website and put new stuff on it. Claire you are such an great inspiration!

  22. says:

    Also have to recommend American Apparel. Good fabric, good philosophy, and still cheap. I am an ex-Melbournite now living in Vancouver and the thriving local designers here all seem to use them as their base fabric. I think I have about 20 AA tops now…

  23. I’ve recently started silk screening too – just did a silk screening wrokshop a little while ago and my homemade screen is looking at me over there on my table, calling out to me….
    Alas, other obligations.

    Nevertheless, exuse me but, jennifer? How does one get a resale tax ID?

  24. Don’t know how much it would be for shipping to Australia, or if they even do it, but’s Bella women’s line is nice fitting stuff for ladies.

  25. says:

    Hey, I was born in Boxhill!

  26. My sister used to work for a place called Qualitops in Smith St (opposite Officeworks, near the highway). It is a while since she worked there but they do wholesale and bulk orders and they used to have the more girly fitted t-shirts.
    It could be worth checking out.

  27. Hi, You could try Living Doll, (fashion wholesalers), they have an office in Sydney and disribute throughout Australia. They have lots of fashion ‘blank’ T’s and you can buy very small quantities from them. They had a really nice slightly puffed/gathered T a while back. Also t-shirt fabric doesnt fray if you want to get creative and start cutting off necks or shortening sleeves. Also K-mart boys T-shirts are excellent (NOW brand) as you can wear a bra under them and they are more flattering than the similar Bonds chesty and cheaper too. Bonds girls singlets are amazingly stretchy and have a sweet bow in the front if you want to be very girly. They also come in a nice bluey green and pale pink as well as white.

  28. says:

    Hi Claire,I see you’re into Miyazaki this month. Letting you know there will be a special 5 film showcase of his work (not Spirited Away or Princess Monoke) on at the Nova from August 12. Look out for it!

  29. says:

    Hi there, newbie here. I love yr illustrations!
    I will be setting up a photoblog soon. 🙂

  30. says:

    Hi there, this is all new to me! OMG i can see i will get totally addicted. The thoughts and actions of complete strangers! Fantastic

  31. Awww thank you so much for saying such sweet things about puchimadam! I can’t wait to see what you do with Bs! 🙂

  32. hi claire!
    first off, thanks for the kind words… i’m shocked! (sandy and i recently found your blog thru our pal Linda)

    second, do you have Old Navy stores in AU? I wanted to recommend that for cheap, solid colored girly cut tops, you could check out old navy’s “perfect fit” t-s… they’re softer than hanes too.

    thanks again. I’m a new admirer of your illustrative style and I’m so glad you found Blythe!

  33. Blythe link alert!A gorgeous pattern book on e-bay, I think you’ll like it Claire:

  34. So true k-lo — I have just sourced a possible supplier today from a friend who are all Australian, non-sweatshop. Also, the oft suggested Qualitops are going to be another major possibility.