When I have the January doledrums and despise everything in my closet, time to break out the bleach pen!There are tons of recipes out there for making your own bleach pen, but I would rather just pay 3.99$ for the relative control this pen gives me. The biggest problem with drawing on cloth with bleach pen is that it is difficult not to look like a hippy/high schooler/poor when you draw all over your clothes. I really try to consider how to design around the constaints of the medium. The second biggest problem is keeping a crisp line; the bleach will definitely bleed. I will address that below.
I absolutely needed to have a unicorn tshirt, so I yanked one of the 5,000 black tshirts that live in my wardrobe and fantasied it up. In order to keep the bleach from leaking onto the back, I slid a few paper bags inside and free styled a unicorn and magic stars.
I let it sit for an hour, put on dish washing gloves and very careful rinsed off all the bleach with cold water. It will be slightly crusted and should really just flake off, if you use warm water the crust may melt and leave some bleach spots on the garment. I then hand wash and either air dry or toss in the dryer. If you start with a dark garment the color will not be vivid, more of a mottled salmon. I like a much lighter color, but leaving it on longer than a few hours will cause a lot of fuzzy edges and weaken the cloth, so I prefer to do many layers. When the shirt is dry, I go over the image again, avoiding the edge line, and paying close attention to where the fading is irregular. For this shirt I did three rounds with the bleach before throwing in the washer, dryer, then finishing with some acrylic paint. I don’t use a ton, just enough to sharpen up the edges and add some glitter.
I also did the back, a quote from “The Last Unicorn” by Peter Beagle:
“Real magic can never be made by offering someone else’s liver. You must tear out your own, and not expect to get it back.”
I wear this to yoga so the bitches behind me know I’M NOT PLAYING.
My favorite piece is this green knit dress that needed a second life: