Monday, September 29, 2014

StencilGirl Guest Designer Mandi Ballard

Hi! My name is Mandi Ballard and I’m a textile artist. Maria invited me to create a garment project to share with you using some awesome StencilGirl stencils. The stencils I chose to work with were Corrugated Lines, Fractured Glass and Rafters.

Fall is finally coming to Texas and I knew I’d really enjoy making a long sleeved top. I chose to make the Bo-Ho Deluxe Woodstock Tunic from an independent pattern company, Hot Patterns 

As a dyer, I have tons of undyed white and natural fabrics on hand and when I reached into my cabinet I came out with some really nice linen. I wanted to used one of the stencils to create a pattern using thickened dyes and a product that I purchased last year called Color Magnet by Jacquard. I needed to thicken the Color Magnet a bit to use it with my stencil, Rafters. Once I was set up with the fabric on the table it took a bit of time with a foam brush to carefully brush on the Color Magnet. This was a very open stencil, and the Color Magnet was a bit goopy, but I was able to get some good images scattered here and there across the fabric.

Once dry, the yardage was put into the dye bath, a light gray. Color Magnet works by attracting more dye to the area where it is applied. The result I got was very interesting...textured. Part of that I think  is because I applied the Color Magnet rather thickly.

The next step was to cut out the garment and get to stenciling! This tunic has a separate facing that is meant to be beaded or stitched before applying to the garment. I thought this would be a great place to use my other stencils. I also created a separate facing for the sleeve hem to match. Using the Fractured Glass stencil and some Setacolor textile paint (blue and black mixed together), I covered the front and back facings as well as the sleeve hem facings.

Once that was dry I used some Lumiere paints (old brass) and the Corrugated lines stencil to create a funky little edging. I love how this effect turned’s very striking!

After all the paint was dry I assembled the garment, and stitched down the facings using a decorative stitch on my machine. A zig zag or even hand stitch would’ve been just as nice.

You might be wondering why it suddenly looks blue. Well, I changed my hair color by the time this was finished and I decided that under bright lights

You might be wondering why it suddenly looks blue. Well, I changed my hair color by the time this was finished and I decided that under bright lights the gray just wasn’t working for me now. So the entire garment was dipped into my indigo vat. I did a little test before hand to see if the stenciled print
(from the Color Magnet) would still show up and it did, as you can see from the two detail shots. The first is the neck facing area and the second is the sleeve facing.

Before I go I thought I'd show you a skirt that I made recently with the July StencilClub stencils from

This was a fun project and I really enjoyed using my StencilGirl stencils. I have lots of ideas for future garments, but I’ve also used my stencils on simple t-shirts and casual skirts just to add a little something.


  1. WOW! That is just fabulous. Thanks so much for the inspiration.

  2. Wow, Mandi!! This is fantastic. Thank you so much for using our stencils. :)

  3. Thanks for sharing your awesome work! Nicely done - okay, now I have ideas.......

  4. Lovely work! I like the stenciling. And I admire your sudden switch in colours to go with your new hair colour. I would not have thought of that. Enjoy your new top. :)

  5. This is so cool! I've never had the nerve to attempt any kind of dying project, but if I ever do, I'm going to try bringing stencils into it! Two very beautiful pieces of clothing! Thanks so much for sharing your process!


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