Making Race Shirts

Long, long ago I posted about making race shirts for a friend and myself.  I still have that shirt and you can see it every year when I run the marathon.  It has an outline of the state of Minnesota on the back (since I do run other places) and my name on the front so people can cheer me on.

At Team:Work we make 'race bibs' and by that we mean 'shirts that we cut into a bib so we can pin it onto the parka we're wearing to race'.  We had some really good luck this year with the paints and I learned a couple new techniques. My favorites were splatter, shading, and stripes.

Here's the basic situation:
  • Draw, Print, or otherwise create the pattern.
  • Trace the pattern onto freezer paper, shiny side down.
  • Use an exacto knife to cut out a negative of the pattern. 
  • Iron the freezer paper (now also a stencil) onto the fabric.
  • Paint.
  • Let dry.
  • Tear freezer paper off. 
  • Enjoy.

Things that make it harder are lots of curves, very thin lines to cut, or the hole in As and Os.
Things that make it easier are an awesome exacto knife and putting cardboard in the middle of your shirt so the paint doesn't bleed through to the back. 

I did this one other time, besides Team:Work.  That was Team Jayhops for the Brew to Brew relays.  Those were the coolest shirts ever but I am never doing that again because it was way too much work.  See the leaves on the tree above?  Those took forever.  Now imagine cutting out that stupid bird.  And I had to do six of them.

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