For The Cheerios attending cheer camp last week, Saucy and Loopy fashioned cheer gear inspired by vintage rock tees. A quick trip to Superstore netted some kelly green cotton tees at a great markdown price.
Following some simple instructions found online and some tips from Supermom, a stencil was cut using shelf liner. Its adhesive backing makes the job way easy. You can also use butcher paper. Saucy found the megaphone online, downloaded the clipart and enlarged it before printing a master stencil on cardstock. The master stencil was used to cut an adhesive stencil for each shirt. When searching for clipart for this purpose, look for an image that is bold and not too detailed... you don't want to spend hours with your cutting knife.
Place the stencil on your garment. If you are doing one-of-a-kind work, just eyeball the placement. That's the beauty of distressed, vintage looking tees. Nobody expects them to be exactly the same. There's room for some error.
Check out the inside of the shirt. There's a piece of cardboard in there. It protects the back and inside of the garment during the next step.
In a spray bottle, mix household bleach one part to one part water. Cover any part of the garment that you do not want to alter. Using a fine mist, from high up, lightly spray the exposed cloth with the bleach mixture. Avoid soaking... soaking the material will lead to bleeding. If you want a little bleeding for effect then spray generously. Otherwise, a light mist from up above will do the trick.
For these shirts, a light mist from up above was used on the megaphone and then the adhesive was removed quite quickly. To create the distressed effect, a light spray was added all across the front. As a finishing touch, each megaphone was dazzled with a single Swarovski crystal.
The shirt was washed and machine dried before bleaching out the word rah!, that was a completely separate process. You can see here that the bleach was left on longer, achieving almost a completely white effect.
To add to the vintage, worn out look, yellow paint was splattered across the front of each tee lightly with a dry brush/splatter technique. Any fabric paint or acrylic pigment will work. Just like getting paint on your work clothes, the chances of it washing off are almost nil.
For a final embellishment, Loopy added a folded ribbon to the bottom hem of each shirt... just like one of her designer shirts has. She stitched them in place with a simple red x. Red thread is cute and unexpected, don't you think?
The final product. Times eight. This is where Saucy would usually show you a picture of The Cheerios gathered around wearing their tees at camp... but no. Do you want to know why?
In keeping with Saucy's latest theme of dissatisfaction, she pulled The Cheerios out of camp after one day. Why? Randomness + disorganization leads to the potential for injury. Or worse, not having any fun and then getting injured.
Saucy's all about cheerleading being very sporty and all that... if she were being honest with you she'd classify it as an activity with definite leanings towards being a sport but not completely a sport in the same way sports are sports. By this, she means that in a regular sport (she means basketball or football) where the athletes train and condition before they perform and aside from their practice time, cheerleaders need to practice and condition a little differently. And she knows that as a cheer coach she might take a little heat for saying this, but she's been around a while and has been coaching for about twenty years so she's entitled to this opinion.
So what is Saucy saying here? Cheerleaders work pretty hard, it's true. There's a fair bit of endurance involved, especially for the girls who lift, tumble and fly. Everyone dances and jumps so it involves at least as much effort as a strenuous dance class. Dancers out there, help Saucy out: it can be grueling. But running up and down the stairs a bunch of times at the start of the day and again at the end of the day is just going to tire someone out too much if they are facing a six hour day of cheering. And running up the stairs with a partner on their back? That's silly. Saucy is a firm believer in a solid warmup and stretch and then getting down to business so people get a good workout in at practice and they aren't so tired from doing situps and pushups that they could drop their friends on their faces. Because if you're coaching them right, they'll tire out at practice well enough without running laps. If you have a plan and use your time wisely, you'll tire them out while they're doing actual cheerleading things like tumbling and stunting.
Long story short, Saucy ascertained that this particular cheer camp wasn't very well planned and time was being filled conditioning. And guess what? Cheerleaders aren't really the kinds of girls that are hard-core into conditioning, or they'd be playing basketball. There, she said it. They will work as hard as the basketball girls in the long run for a two minute performance rather than a forty minute game but let's face it: it's also about being synchronized and having great expressions on your face and delivering a performance. So it's sporty, but different than a sport.
So after a day of running on the track, running back and forth on the mats and running up and down the stairs, Saucy said "enough" and took The Cheerios home. It was fairly apparent that there wasn't any material to be taught and no dance moves were forthcoming. Their parents paid good money for them to learn some skills, not run around like chickens with their heads cut off. It wasn't an easy decision because she's pretty aware that she could be sending the "QUIT" signal to them and that's not cool. But they can learn when to persevere and when something's not right, right?