Item of the Week: Valentine in Blue

blue valentine one of a kind vintage printed blouse

When thinking about what I should feature this week the choice was easy: my hand-stenciled Polish-folk blouse.

Created using a vintage women’s top, the style of the design is reminiscent of the Polish tradition of “wycinanki” which literally translates to “cut-outs”. Looking to bring the unique aesthetic to a Pierogi Picnic design, I hand carved a stencil with which to create the print. Including the silhouettes of hearts and leaves, I made a whimsical scene that I could then transfer with fabric paint onto the front of the blouse.

The captivating back-story to this particular piece is that my first print also became my last, as my plastic template morphed beyond recognition after the first stenciling. I even wrote an article on how we as indie biz owners can accept defeats gracefully – and guess what inspired the post? This design!

So in ode to Valentine’s Day I bring you a bittersweet design that’s truly one-of-a-kind.

Inspiration: Wycinanki

I am heading to Poland this August to spend time with family, and it’s got me thinking about my roots. And with these musings comes the question – how do I translate my heritage into my designs? How can I integrate my background into the clothing I make?

These questions led me to the idea for a new set of designs inspired by Polish “Wycinanki.” What literally translates as “cut-outs,” this ┬átradition unites a pair of scissors and sheet of paper to create stunning high contrast designs. Symmetrical, whimsical and super folksy, wycinanki are made for seasonal decor by children and adults alike. Artists also use the technique for intricate detail work that has a characteristic finish that invokes Eastern European stylistics.

I’ll be debuting my new pieces which include home-made wycinanki stencil work later this month. So check back to see where this inspiration has led me.