Friday, February 1, 2013

BBC Sweatshirt Refashion: Sherlock

This is the end of our BBC refashion week, though there's a special edition refashion shirt coming your way soon!
Sherlock is John's absolute favorite show on air currently. And it's the best Sherlock I've seen yet... Sorry, Robert Downey Jr! It's brilliantly done, set in current day. The writers wanted it to be authentic, when the original series was written, Sherock Holmes was a super techy guy- way ahead of the curve- so they tried to recreate that with their BBC version. I don't love it quite as much as John, but I agree that it's totally fab and I'm definitely looking forward to the third series, which should air toward the end of 2013 or beginning of 2014.
This refashion took the longest of all three, but it was also the easiest!
I started with a bright green Hanes sweatshirt from Goodwill. I decided the green was just way too vibrant for Sherlock. He would never wear such an obviously happy color. So I wanted to mute it into something more khaki or even brownish. I decided to dye it naturally, using 3 cans of beets + 1 pounds of coffee grounds (used, they don't have to be fresh) and enough water to cover the shirt. FOLLOW THE NATURAL DYE instructions on this page if you're interested in using natural dyes. My big mistake was that the shirt I used was half polyester. I thought it was 100% cotton. Coffee + beet juice won't take to synthetic fabrics, so the color wasn't as dramatic as I was looking for, but it was enough to work.
I literally let the dye steep for 24 hours and then let the shirt soak in it for 2 days, finishing it up Sunday afternoon. That's what took so long, otherwise it was the easiest by far. When using natural dyes, remember that unless you "set" them with a vinegar or salt concoction, they will fade. Read that above link for lots of info about natrual dyes.
Here's the shirt totally dyed and ready for the next step. I wanted it ot be a little off the shoulder, so I cut the collar off. This is an individual process. With a normal crew cut, cutting about 1/2 inch extra along the collar is enough to make it slouchy, but if the neckline is really tight you'll need to take more. 
Next I stamped my lettering on to the shirt using 1 inch blocks. There are multiple methods for this, but there are two I've relied on for years. If you want a weathered/mottled look then put your fabric paint down and spread it evenly out. Then dip your stamp into the paint and then directly on to the fabric. Repeat! For a consistent coverage, paint the fabric paint on to your stamp with a paintbrush. 
Here's the back side stamped. I stamped along a piece of masking tape measured out to be even across the back of the shirt. I also stamped "I am" across the bottom front hem. 
I had left over iron-on patches from a CARDIGAN project I made for John. I thought it would be really fun to patch the elbows with silhouettes of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson. I printed out pictures of the actors online turned sideways, traced them on to the patch using a fabric marker and then cut them out. We really debated about the placement of them. I loved them as elbow patches but John thought they looked odd. So we tried several arrangements, which you can see below. If you aren't a Sherlock fan, you can always cut whatever shape/silhouette out that you like. Also, the patches come in multiple sizes so you can think BIG too :)
Hopefully that gives you some options!
We decided to use one on the front and one on the back, alternating with writing for a symmetrical look. I followed the instructions for applying them to my sweatshirt. Check out my fridge in the background- further proof that I nanny the coolest kids. The pink thing is a pig mask :) and of course, I love the ballerina picture of Swan Lake.
Finished project! I left it much more slouchy than the fitted, glittered Downton Abbey FREE BATES sweatshirt from Monday. I wanted to make each project distinct. Natural dye was interesting, but I have to say that RIT would have been easier or perhaps given me an idea of what color I would end up with. It's kind of a shot in the dark with natural dye, but if you're using a natural fabric that's white it really works well, as you'll see in a future refashion.
Hopefully you saw your favorite BBC show featured (Doctor Who here)! If not, let me know and I'll see what we can do about that. All the best and as always, thanks for reading!

14 comments:

  1. Love how this came out from the iron-on silhouettes to the lettering to the color! I'm posting 2 finished photos of your Sherlock Sweatshirt and a link back to you on truebluemeandyou.

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    1. Thank you!!! The end product was completely different than I imagined, but it works!! You have to let the project speak for itself sometimes and can't control every little part when refashioning.

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  2. I never used natural dyes before except for tea. Tea worked fine for me, but again, RIT would have been much faster!! Love the print blocks... you got me thinking :)

    xox, d.
    www.inspirationrealisation.com

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    1. Thanks! Generally I'm all about the natural path... Can't decide if it's worth it in this instance! <3

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  3. Hi! Found this link on the Craft/Make twitter.

    Do you have the template/picture/image that you used for the faces?

    This looks awesome! I know someone who is going to freak out and/or steal it when she sees this. ^_^ Great job!

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    1. That's fantastic! I actually just googled pictures of them facing the side, printed it and traced. You can also google their Sherlock Watson Silhouette and get images :)
      I sent mine to a good friend in Germany who LOVES Sherlock. I hope your friend likes it, too!

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  4. Wondering what you would do with "are you being served" or "the black adder"

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  5. Hey there!
    Love this idea! :) I've been looking for Sherlock and John silhouettes to use for various crafts, but am having trouble coming up with any in google search. Do you know how exactly you phrased your google search?
    Thanks,
    ~hannah!♥

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    1. I'm glad you like it, Hannah! Google "BBC Sherlock poster", it's the image from their standard promo poster so it should be pretty quick to find if you type that in to an image search :)
      If you have trouble let me know!

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    2. Sorry Hannah- that link was for my Sherlock refashion from today!

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    3. Oh, okay. :) I liked that one too, so I will look that one up as well. :) Maybe I could take a screenshot of them facing sideways... might take a while, but I wouldn't mind watching the episodes again. :D
      Thanks!
      ~hannah!♥

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    4. Here we go: this is a link to the pin I used :) http://pinterest.com/pin/26951297742568539/

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    5. Thank you very much! :D
      ~hannah!♥

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