Dracula Shirts Revamped

April 23, 2014

During a cleaning expedition, I unearthed a bunch of fabric paints.

Note the dust on the handle.
A creative aunt gave them to me years ago and I haven't had the chance to use them. This got me thinking.

Bottled fabric paints were a fixture of the 90's. When I was young(er), I decorated every article of clothing I owned, from shirts to caps. “ALEX", they would say, in large shaky letters that floated above a landscape of trees, flowers, dogs, airborne birds (shaped like the letter “m")  and a sun. I'd do this until my fingers were sore from squeezing the bottles. And it wasn't just me. At one point, it seemed like everyone was using fabric paints. Teachers and parents loved to give out their own customized handiwork at family days and birthday parties.

While I pondered the use of the rediscovered paints, I remembered that I still had in my possession some leftover Dracula shirts from college.

Kept in a plastic bag all this time; hence, the creases
I made these shirts out of a doodle that I thought was fabulous. My reasoning went like this:

I want to sell this doodle as a shirt design. I'm going to buy plain shirts, but only in my size because it's difficult, in this world, to find clothes for petites, and I want to support the small people. Okay, I've bought 50 shirts. Now I'll silkscreen the same design on all of them and sell them all.

That year, my brother and I joined a Christmas bazaar where my only prospective buyer was a mother who looked crossly at the shirts, then at the child beside her, asking, "do you want this? well? do you want this?" In the end, I think they moved on because I didn't carry shirts in the child's size. (The moral? One size fits no one.)

Since that fateful day—to be fair, my brother sold nothing, either; it was a crap bazaar in a bad location—I haven't known what to do with these shirts. I think we donated some of them to disaster aid.

Anyway, today was different. Today, I had bottled fabric paint.

I put two and two together, and voila. I present to you Shirt #1:

This shirt has silver detailing that makes it well-suited to evening wear. Prepare for a night of mystery and glamour.

I wonder if this will still fit me.





Next, Shirt #2. I wasn't very satisfied with this. I'd already outlined the face when I realized that silver, while highly visible on the deep blue shirt, tended to blend in with a lighter background. To balance it, I added yellow paint.











Strange, but I've just returned from my room where I left the shirts to dry. This shirt doesn't look quite as bad as I first thought now that it's mostly dried. The colors aren't as harmonious as I'd like, but it owns its garishness. In the first place, the design itself is so weird that I suspect you can do anything with it. The glitter definitely adds allure even when you can't understand the drawing.

Wear it in for an afternoon in the park. You're fun and sparkly and YOLO!

And here's Shirt #3I wasn't going to make the same mistake by using silver on green, so this time, I used yellow and purple. This shirt was specifically requested by our Manang, who will send it to her young granddaughter in the province. I hope the little girl enjoys it as much as I enjoyed my colorful childhood threads.








Not bad for ten-year-old paints!




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