The next step on my Alabama Chanin journey is the stencil. Mylar stencils are available for purchase, but they are quite expensive, and I did not want to wait for the thing to show up in the mail. Thankfully, PDF versions of the stencils are available for download on the Alabama Chanin website.
My computer/printer had a bit of a fit trying to print the stencil PDFs. I was able to print a single page of the full size image, or the whole design on a single page that was clearly too small. I ended up saving the PDF as an image, opening it in Paint, and printing it at full scale from there.
Natalie Chanin recommends using pennant felt as a stencil medium in her Craftsy class. I did find a supplier, but once again, did not want to wait for the stuff to arrive.
Instead, I purchased some non-fusible heavy weight interfacing (Pellon Peltex Sew-In Ultra Firm for anyone who is interested). It is about 1/16" thick, has a similar feel to pennant felt, and is able to be cut with an x-acto knife. It seems to have worked quite well. I sprayed the Pellon with some spray glue, left it to set for a few minutes, and then applied the printed image. After all of the pieces were removed, it was easy to pull the remaining paper from the interfacing.
I have a bit of fear about x-acto knives (I blame a 6th grade science project accident) but I decided it was going to be the easiest way to get this thing done. My technique is less than stellar because of my paranoia about slicing through a finger, and some of the smaller bits are far from perfect, but I think my hand sewing should be able to work around the stencil imperfections.
And now I have a whole lot of plain cotton jersey to dye!