I don’t want to make clothes that look like I bought them in a shop. I want my second skin look hand-made and unique. One way of achieving this is printing my own fabric. Wood block printing is probably the easiest and simplest printing method of all.
On the dress above I used a wooden printing block to print the artichoke onto the dress.
All you have to do is dab some fabric paint on the printing block with a sponge and press it firmly onto the fabric surface. The paint is then heat set with an iron.
Wooden printing blocks are available in many designs and sizes and you can re-use them endlessly. Most of them are hand-carved in India and used by artisans there to make beautiful hand printed cloth.
Of course, you can carve your own stamps out of wood, linoleum, foam, or rubber. Wood can be tricky to carve though, I prefer to use rubber blocks for carving designs.
The best block printing paint I could find is at Colouricious, an online shop specializing in block printing supplies. They also sell wooden printing blocks.
A good book on printing is Stamp Stencil Paint: Making Extraordinary Patterned Projects by Hand It offers easy-to-follow-instructions on hand printing techniques like stamping, stencilling and painting. Definitely a very inspiring book with beautiful projects, photographs, layout and drawings.
The dress I made from so-called peace silk, which is my absolute favourite fabric ever. It’s named peace silk because no silkworms are harmed or killed in the production process.
I drafted the pattern myself, you can teach yourself basic pattern drafting with this book Design-It-Yourself Clothes: Patternmaking Simplified. I hand sewed the dress with space-dyed silk thread from Stef Francis.