How will you bling in the New Year? For this week’s How-Tuesday post, Leslie Hall will lead you to the dance floor with a DIY project bound to put a glint in your eye, a strut in your step, and extra sparkle on your sleeve for New Year’s Eve. Find this project and many more in Ed Roth‘s new book, Stencil 101 Style.
Fashion has a tongue-in-cheek, campy, and ironic flip side to its glamorous, sophisticated image. Styles get reinvented, turned upside down, and called retro. Featured guest Leslie Hall has taken former fashion pariahs — shiny spandex and gem sweaters — and made them de rigueur. Leslie is a musical amazement, as well as a fashion revolutionary, who has blessed the world with addictive dance beats, including a song praising her beloved gem sweater.
Gem sweaters conjure up painful and gorgeous images of glam grandmas rockin’ dazzling duds, and Leslie wears hers with style. She even curates the Gem Sweater Museum. We are honored to learn how to make a sparkly gem sweater from the master. - Ed Roth
Colorful sweater or sweatshirt
Stencil, preferably a bold design
Cardboard, shipping box, or shirt box
Fabric glue or puff paint
Gems, studs, rhinestones, or sequins
2. Choose your palette. Select a colorful, fun sweater or sweatshirt to embellish. Next, choose a stencil design to use as a guide for your gems. A detailed stencil design might not appear clearly when you use gems, so go with a pattern or bolder image. Place the stencil where you want the design to appear.
3. Prep your surface. Stretch your sweater over a piece of rectangular cardboard, a shipping box, or a shirt box to prevent glue from seeping through to the back of the garment. This will also provide a flat working surface. To avoid warping your design, don’t stretch the sweater too much. Using fabric chalk, draw the outline of the stencil’s open areas onto your sweater. These shapes will hold the coveted gems!
4. Bedazzle! With fabric glue or puff paint, adhere the gems inside the shapes you drew until all the shapes are filled in completely. Let dry for 24 hours.
5. Strut your stuff. Wear your dazzling gem sweater — it goes with just about everything — and dance!
If you make your own gem sweater, share a photo with us in the Etsy Labs Flickr group. Thank you to Ed Roth and Chronicle Books for sharing this project with us. For more stenciling projects, check out Stencil Style 101, available from Stencil 1, Amazon or an independent bookstore near you.
Can’t get enough Leslie Hall? We can’t either — take a peek at this gem from the Etsy Blog archive: Leslie’s Featured Buyer post from 2007.