Soon after deciding to attend Fandom Fest (Lousville Comic Con) I started to ponder what I might wear to such an event. The "geekiest" shirt I own is my TauDay T-shirt which I considered, but did not much relish getting drawn into a lengthy debate with some mathematician eager to instruct me on the error of my ways. (This of course assumes that a Comic Con would attract those of superior mathematical prowess.) My son suggested that I dress up as Green Lantern and while the very thought may seem apealing at first, the reality is that I would not subject the general public to such a creation.
After announcing on BlogDogIt that I would be making a "personal appearance", I got it into my head that I should use the event as a vehicle to promote my blog. I had enough badge making supplies to produce a handful of BlogDogIt "tags" to use as some sort of geeky bartering currency - this was a good start. I decided however, that I must have a BlogDogIt shirt to wear and set about plotting how to bring this idea to fruition.
By some stroke of dumb luck I located my original PhotoShop file for the design of the BlogDogIt logo so I was able to enlarge and incorporate this into my design. I saved the graphic as a 150dpi TIFF (to size) and found myself at a crossroads; how do I get from "camera ready" to the runway (so to fashion-speak?)
I had thought about taking this to a custom shirt printer (I imagine they must exist) but to produce a one-off product would surely be outside of my (virtually non existent) budget for this project. I have connections to a vinyl cutter and considered reproducing the graphic as a cut vinyl stick-on but thought it would end up just looking goofy and desperate. I know there are iron-on solutions that use the vinyl cutter but I did not have ready access to the appropriate media. It was a short hop to start thinking of the cut vinyl in terms of a stencil and my internet-based research took a turn down fabric paint alley.
There was a lot of discussion about fabric spray paints and in fact we have several colors available in our crafts arsenal already but I wanted to do white lettering on black fabric so I needed to pick up some "white something" to do the job. I looked into Stencil Fabric Spray Paint which looked promising. It goes on thick and opaque but seemed a bit too "clunky" to apply (based on the few videos I spied.) I did not want to risk messing this up; since it was down to the wire I had to get it right on the first try. I settled therefor on hand-painting the stenciled fabric with Liquitex Titanium White Opaque Acrylic. My neighborhood JoAnns did not have the Jacquard brand paint - which seemed to be a favorite among many stencil painters - so I went with the closest competing product from their shelf stock rather than turn this into a wild goose chase for the sake of a particular brand name.
My Wife and Daughter volunteered for the hazardous duty of buying the shirt for me - they actually enjoy shopping... me? not so much. They brought back a really cool black-on-black Hawaiian print, silk, button-down that fit all the supplied criteria. Being unsure how it was going to turn out, I was anxious to get this show on the road and wasted little time setting the stage.