I am having so much fun making little jeans for my daughter’s doll, her friends’ dolls, and for my Etsy shop but I wanted to try distressing jeans in a new way– with chemicals.

As a Liberty Jane customer, I have repeatedly seen mentions of a product called Denimolition.  After searching the Joann Fabrics, Hancock Fabrics, Michael’s Crafts, independent craft and fabric stores in my area, Amazon, eBay, and googling for it, I have been unable to find it in stock… but I had been ‘sold’ on this idea and I wasn’t ready to give up!

I started trying to figure out what Denimoliton actually was when I stumbled onto Fiber Etch and the product info on the manufacturer’s site that grabbed my attention (click here to read).

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If my memory is correct, Fiber Etch has been around a while– it was popular when many of us were experimenting with cutwork  — or at least I think this was the chemical we used for silk and rayon velvet cutwork.  It comes in a variety of bottle sizes, but I just wanted to experiment to see if this stuff would work on demin like the cute jeans on the Liberty Jane Jeans pattern.  I found a 4 oz. bottle for around $10 from Dharma Trading (click here), a company from which I used to buy batik supplies.

I tried a sample of stretch denim to see what would happen.  Fiber Etch only removes PLANT FIBERS and fabric blends with at least 50% plant fibers.  (Plant fibers include cotton, rayon, ramie, linen, and paper).  Silk and wool are protein fibers, so they are unaffected.  Fiber Etch also will not affect 100% polyester, acrylic, nylon, or metallic (with a non-rayon core).

For this experiment and tutorial, I used demin from jeans that were 80% cotton, 18% poly, and 2% Spandex.

I started with poly/cotton/spandex blend jeans from a thrift store that I wanted to cut up into skinny jeans.  Spandex (lycra) is a polyurethane plastic so I knew it would be unaffected by the chemical treatment.

I started with a small sample to see what would happen…

I applied the Fiber Etch per the paper instructions that were banded to the bottle and squeezed out the product then “scratched” it in using the applicator tip.

I dried the application with a blow dryer on high heat….

Then, using an iron on the ‘Cotton Setting’, I applied heat to the back of the fabric sample.

At this point, the area of the sample with the Fiber Etch on it has dried to a lighter color — almost whitish.

Next, I ran the fabric under water and lightly rubbed the application area to remove bits of treated fabric that were now brittle!

And voila!!  It worked:  the white Spandex threads remain but all the other fibers in the treated area are gone!

I quick-dried the sample with my iron.  This was the finished sample:

This is the effect on this denim made into skinny jeans.  I also used my rotary tool to scuff up the fabric and have a bit of fading:

Next, I made a pair of 100% cotton demim shorts and combined the Fiber Etch effects with my rotary tool’s brush.  I love the effect.  This demim started off as a very dark Perry Ellis “big fella” pair of jeans.  I loved the results from this demim.

After placing it in a very hot dryer, this was the result:

Quick source links:

Fiber Etch from Dharma Trading Company

Skinny Jeans American Girl Doll Pattern from Liberty Jane

Cut off shorts for American Girl Doll Pattern from Liberty Jane

The local Goodwill store for the best variety of demin –and to help the community at the same time —and you can always drop off a donation while you are there!

Rotary Tool – you can find this at Target, Sears, KMart, Lowe’s…any place with a hand-tool section!  Some folks call this a “dremel” but that is actually a brand of rotary tool.

Thank you for checking out my blog post today.  For more crafty how-tos, check out my craft blog, With Glittering Eyes, where the focus is on papercrafting… along with sewing, jewelry-making, and silk screening!  To see my American Girl doll clothes for sale, check out my Etsy Shop!

My daughter turned 8 last week and I wanted to create something fun that the girls would actually want and use.   Since all of the girls have American Girl dolls, I thought doll t-shirts carrying on our owl theme would be a fun choice!

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I use thrift store knit shirts because I can find so many more options than available to me at the fabric store!  I found Gap shirts, Jones NY Jones Studio, and Ralph Lauren turtlenecks which all worked perfectly even though some were 100% cotton and some were blended with spandex.  I use the shirt body and the band:

The owl design is from Pam’s Clip Art. I copied the image onto a transparency and burned the image into liquid emulsion using my Yudu.

I figured out that if I cut a tissue paper t-shirt pattern opened up, I could use a Sharpie to mark the center of the shirt and line it up with the owl’s eyes in order to perfectly place the knit fabric in the Yudu Cardshop and again later when it was time to cut out the shirt.  It is definitely the desired method to screen the fabric then cut out and make the shirt!

Once the screen was prepared, I used my Yudu Cardshop to pull the ink onto the t-shirt fabric squares.

I used Ryonet’s Enviroline opaque ink in blue.  This ink is just fantastic to pull!  I did find that too much pressure pulling on spandex was a disaster, teaching me to adjust my pressure!  I also find with the fine details (like with the feathers on the owl’s head) that I had to pull this image twice!

Once the ink dried, I heat set the images and made them into t-shirts. The pattern for the doll t-shirt is a free one from Liberty Jane with an added neckband.

I added little tags with tiny brass safety pins tied with bakers twine to clue in the girls that this little t-shirt was for their American Girl dolls, which also made them look finished and special.

Thank you for reading this post!  To see the other owl-themed items created for the party, along with all the crafty how-tos, please check out the sister-post on my craft blog by clicking here.  If you are curious about how to use a Yudu or Yudu Cardshop, check out my Yudu page on my  craft blog by clicking here.

“Owl” hope to see you there!

I love mixing textures… especially when one of them is suede!

I have found some of the most wonderful leather.  I recently picked up a suede with the most beautiful, soft hand!

How fun to see all the lace making its way on runways and in stores just in time for spring!  I found a sweet stretch lace with sheer and semi-sheer stripes!  I love a lined bodice.  This top features a peek-a-boo hemline on the bottom to accentuate the lace design!

One of my pet-peeves are belts and accessories that are hard to put on dolls!  Tiny buckles only add to the frustration so this outfit features a buckle that stays threaded and a back closure.  This belt looks perfect everytime and even little hands can attach it easily and without help!

The skirt and top are altered Liberty Jane patterns!  If you love to sew, you have to look at their site!  To save you the hassle of making your own and finding the perfect suede, this outfit is newly listed on my Etsy store for sale!  Click here to check it out!

What could be more fun with Perfectly Piper Designer Jeans than a fun graphic t-shirt?

This was so much fun to make because I hand-mixed the color to get this pearlescent pale green for the smiling shamrock!

Of course this set features our favorite Perfectly Piper jeans!

Want to try this look?  Check out Liberty Jane patterns along with Yudu and Yudu Cardshop!  For lots of how-tos and crafty tips, check out the Yudu Page on my craft blog, With Glittering Eyes!  Or… save yourself hours of effort and check out the listing for this ensemble in my Etsy Store!

I have had the MOST FUN working on a new project!  The latest Perfectly Piper outfit on Etsy has a bright and cheery birthday theme!  It is a complete, layered outfit plus a gift bag, birthday card, and gift— all doll-sized.  The gift is a silk-screened tie-dyed t-shirt!  Even the pennant banners are included!
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I loved working on the details on the denim skirt!  This one features a mock coin pocket and mock fly, real working front scoop pockets and back patch pockets, faux rivets, the Perfectly Piper sueded tag, and lots of classic topstitching!

The tie-dye t-shirt was custom screen-printed!

The doll-sized card, pennants, and bag embellishments were made just for this ensemble!  The card has a printed “Happy Birthday” inside.

For info on how to silk-screen doll t-shirts, check the Yudu page on my craft blog, With Glittering Eyes.  These garments were all made using Liberty Jane patterns that I have adjusted, altered, and embellished!

Click here to see this listing on Etsy in the Perfectly Piper Studio!

We have been in love with the Liberty Jane jeans pattern.  After tweaking the front pockets a bit and playing with lots of great denim fabrics…and creating our own designer label…we have a great pair of jeans for American Girl dolls!

The label wowwed my daughter, Piper, who gasped when she saw it.

Why I like these jeans:  they pull right on the less-than-perfect American Girl doll body with their thick middles and skinny legs.  These jeans have great lines that work well with longer tops as well as tucked in Ts.

The latest Perfectly Piper Studio listing on Etsy features our new designer jeans!  Click here to see!

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Ever feel like a gloomy day needs a little sparkle?

I fell in love with the metallic knit I used for this mock turtleneck top — so icy and cool!  I added a piped edge for a smooth finish on the skirt hem.  (The skirt and top were altered from Liberty Jane patterns).

This ensemble features a vest pattern I drafted myself… all those pattern-making classes at Baer Fabrics years ago paid off on this project.  I machine quilted the nylon outer fabric.

Do you love polka dots?  I lined the vest in a cotton polka dot print.  I sewed a little pocket on the inside and tucked a bit of doll-sized cash in there for fun.  That was Piper’s favorite part of this outfit!   She thought that would be a fun surprise for someone to find!  Even dolls need a little mad money, right?

My favorite part was creating a little necklace and a cardstock box for it…

The necklace combines glass beads, crystals, metal beads, and metal spacers on a stretch cord.  This type of construction is so easy to put on and take off of the dolls– even easy enough for excited little girls!

This outfit has been newly listed in the Perfectly Piper Studio shop on Etsy.   This bit of Perfectly Piper Doll Couture includes the skirt, top, vest, and necklace.  Click here to check it out!

My daughter, Piper, the real girl behind Perfectly Piper (and the company stylist) recently completed a photoshoot with her model and 18″ friend, Savannah…

Savannah looked perfect with the spirited Valentine Ensemble that was newly posted in our Etsy Store!

The fun extra that comes with this ensemble is a custom-made banner!  This is perfect to hang in your doll’s special space!

Zebra skirt with ribbon-trimmed netting, sparkly red knit top with back closure, harlequin brocade unlined jacket with lapels and pocket flaps, two-piece stretch cord necklace with angel charm, high-top sneakers with chain, and custom banner give a perfectly festive look to your favorite 18″ friend this Valentine’s Day!

Check out this Valentine Ensemble at the Perfectly Piper Studio on Etsy!

Welcome to Perfectly Piper Doll Couture!  My daughter, Piper, and I are working together to create some really fun things for American Girl dolls to wear!  I am a seamstress and papercrafter.  I love details and prints! Piper is only seven–soon to be eight next month– and an expert on her dolls, their fashions, and accessories.  Piper is my advisor in this company as I try my best to WOW her.

We have a code in the studio:  designs are judged “Perfectly Piper” by my daughter and her little friends (known as The Advisory Board).  This rating, in Piper’s own words, means that the outfit is “cute enough for me to wear” and “I want this for my dolls.”    We only sell pieces that are Perfectly Piper.  (I bet you had that figured out!)

Kid-tested, our Perfectly Piper Doll Couture fashion pieces are easy for girls to put on and take off!  We use velcro for our back closures, elastic for our pants and skirts, and our jewelry uses stretch cord whenever possible.

Although I design and sew with girls in mind, collectors will also appreciate Perfectly Piper designs for their originality, craftsmanship, and style!  Piper is happiest when outfits have accessories and multiple pieces…we bet you are too!

We look forward to showing you some of the fun things we are putting together… and some behind-the-scenes things too!  You can find our new Etsy Store, PerfectlyPiperStudio, by clicking here.