Tuesday, June 29, 2010

sukie hoodie

Today’s project: jazz up an old hoodie with iron-ons!

I’ve had this thin green hoodie from Target for awhile; I love it because it’s pliably soft and the perfect light weight for southern California. I tend to fade a lot of clothes from Target because some of the hues are just a little too bright, but swishing them around in a little bit of bleach and water tends to tone them down quite nicely. When I received the Sukie Iron-On Craft Pad from Chronicle Books, I knew that I’d found the perfect thing to use on this hoodie.

Sukie, a British design team made up of husband and wife Darrell Gibbs and Julie Harding, is well-known for its whimsical textiles and paper products. (Does anyone know who sells their fabrics in the U.S., however? I can’t seem to find a source.) They use a lot of quirky woodland animals and buildings in their illustrations, and this craft pad has 20 pages of cute little images in cheery colors that may be applied to your craft projects.

I hadn’t done an iron-on in ages, so I read over the short directions to refresh my memory. The first couple of test ones I did were a little wonky; too little pressure, and the paper doesn’t peel away easily. Too much pressure or too much time under the iron, and the transfer will crack a little bit. Still charming, just not quite perfect. After awhile I got the hang of it by applying light, even pressure in circles for just about two minutes. Every impression after that was exactly right.

I would like to have seen bigger color images of the decals, though, since there is just one sheet in the front with miniaturized versions--so it was little difficult to tell which transfers were which flipping through the book. Still, other than that the book is easy to use and full of potential for cute embellished projects. 
This is a new and improved version of the Sukie iron-on pad from Chronicle, and I experienced no problems with the transfers once I’d practiced a little bit.

Some recommendations for using iron-ons:
--Use light but firm, even pressure. There are two contrasting sets of directions in the instructions, one which says to do this, and one which says to set the ironing board low and to use upper body strength to apply 30 – 50 pounds of pressure. This is too much! Smooth, even circles for about two minutes should be sufficient.
--Set a flat wooden cutting board on top of your ironing board, and put your fabric over it. I folded the edges of the fabric under the board to keep it still while ironing, which worked just fine.

This little craft pad is really great—the designs are adorable, and it will be very fun to apply them directly to countless projects such as aprons, tea towels, and bags, or to use them as appliqués. I can’t wait to find other things to iron. Which is something I would normally never say.

Sukie Iron-On Craft Pad by Darrell Gibbs and Julia Harding
ISBN: 9780811877275
20 pages of iron-on transfers, softcover
Price: $14.95
Skill Level: All
Usability: Excellent
For more information on Sukie, check out their blog, updated regularly with their recent exhibits and products. 

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