Tag Archives: hand sewing

East meets vest; Project 17

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East meets vest; Project 17

This embellished denim vest is a project that I’ve been working on for a couple of months on and off. Both the vest and the fabric came from thrift shops in Austin. The print fabric came from a silk tunic of the type Indian women wear, which had some ripping at the sleeves.

It’s certainly proof that my hand stitching doesn’t get any better with practice, though in my defense the vest is a thick and unwieldy piece to sew. And it’s definitely proof that I need to get over myself and start using the sewing machine. This would have been done in a day if I’d done so, and the stitching would have been better, and I wouldn’t have found myself with a big fold of off-kilter fabric as I neared the end, as it would have been easier to pin properly. I took it back and forth to various places to work on, and hand it folded or rolled much of the time, with just a pair of pins to keep things in place right where I was working. I worked on it at art class, once during lunch break at work and carried it around at Wiscon but never pulled it out once.

Not the ideal way of working, but I still think the result is cute and wearable, and I don’t think the flaws will be that visible unless people are up close looking for them.

But yeah. Next big project like this (and I have one), I’m going to get that sewing machine figured out. The only reason I’m being so chicken about it is that I haven’t touched a sewing machine in decades.

Anyway, the result:

Not bad for someone who doesn’t know what she’s doing. But seriously. This took MONTHS. So using the sewing machine next time.

I am wicked tired and almost went to bed after posting just the one photo, but I’m sure the mistakes are what you come for, yes?

Sometimes freehanding not so awesome.

I wanted the gold trim to line up with the bottom of the vest (as much as a straight piece would line up with a curved vest), so I had to come up with something to get rid of the excess material, so I just folded it into a little dart and hand sewed it. Not the greatest solution, but it worked, and the colors and the print hide a multitude of sins.

Yeah, that little tuck.

Okay, I’m thoroughly knackered, so that’s it for tonight.

Oh, and I also sewed a little piece on the front, too. It may need something more, but I’m considering it done for all intents and purposes.

A little freeform circle on the front pocket. Needs salt.

Scarf by a Thousand Cuts: Project 15

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Scarf by a Thousand Cuts: Project 15

It’s been a bit of a busy weekend. I ran a ton of errands Saturday morning in a string from home to Milwaukee, where I stayed with my friend Saturday and then went to the Bel Canto Chorus performance of Dvorak’s “Stabat Mater.” Which brought up tons of thoughts about creativity, and tied in with other thoughts about creativity I had been having, and I’m hoping to get them all into a post which makes some sense. Which is damn inconveniently timed, considering I also have a ton of things to finish getting ready for my art show booth. But I’ll do my best to do that soon.

So this week’s craft isn’t actually a “finished it at the last minute” piece — it’s been ready for a while but I haven’t had time to sit and write about it. It continues the theme of hacking up tee shirts, only from a perpendicular perspective. It’s another Pinterest-inspired project, which I found here:

http://psimadethis.com/post/117053343

The P.S. I Made This blog is pretty cool, by the way. It takes a lot of designer looks and shows interpretations of them that can be pulled off for much less (or nothing) using recycled items or stuff you already have around.

So I had one of the two print tees I’d bought at the Mart of Wal, one which got made into several necklaces and bracelets last week, after being tossed into a dye bath. This time I didn’t over dye the print, just used it as is. Cut it so it was a tube shape, cut the strips, pulled them (and despite what I’d read somewhere, they do curl up the same whether you cut jersey with or against the grain). And I’d stumbled onto some pretty little shell danglies at Jo-Ann Fabric, so I decided to sew one on every third fringie. I wanted the scarf to stay print-side out, so I folded the intact part of the tube inward and put a couple of stitches at four different places about an equal distance apart.

Simple, cute.

The really daring, I suppose, could wear it as a skirt.

And a close up of my own variation:

A closer look at the shell embellishments I sewed on.

This one will be for sale at the Wiscon art show.

‘kay, it’s been a long day, so no brilliant posts of theorizing or anything. I hope y’all have great plans for the holiday weekend (those of you who will be having a holiday weekend…) Do something creative, yeah?

Let’s try this again…

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Let’s try this again…

Some of the first pins I saved on Pinterest were various things you could do with t-shirts, and I finally got around to a couple of the ones I’ve been wanting to try. This is one of those crafts I’ve done in stages: I dyed two tees turquoise in the same dye bath as my jeans I did a long while back. Neither one was pure white; one was a print tee I got at the Mart of Wal for $3, and the other was a Race for the Cure tee with about a million logos all over it.

I’d tested cutting a few strips off each to see if they would curl — some tees, like the thick cotton ones Lands’ End has (or had at the time I bought mine, about 7 years ago) don’t curl. But both these did well. I finally got around to cutting all the strips — still attached at the sides, so essentially a big circle of fabric about 1″ wide — on Wednesday at the art gathering I attend most weeks.

Sunday I finished them, trying out several different kinds of ways to bind the strips together. Just to be sure, I sewed them together, then covered those bits (and the parts that wouldn’t curl because there was a seam) with other fabric.

I braided 3 different colored strips of yarn made of sari silk and wound them around one set of tee strips. Bright and colorful, but the strips of silk are very ravelly, so there’s a kind of hairiness that obscures the fact that it’s braided to some degree. (The tee strips don’t ravel, by the way, since they’re knitted, not woven.

“Opera length” schmatta necklace.

I have discovered that sari silk yarn will shed like a bastard, so be advised. You will wear this long after you wear it.

The print shirt had side seams, which made it a little tougher to get a smooth look. I made one long necklace with strands from the seamless tee and the one with seams, letting those land wherever they would, and I wound a tee strip around the loops.

The color is actually a lot more vivid than in this picture; it’s just like the rest of the items in this post.

The next item I made from the print tee, I doubled the loops so all the seams were together, then put a stitch in to keep it in place. I hid that behind a big button, and now I have either a shorter necklace or a bracelet that wraps around my wrist 2 or 3 times. (I go for 3.)

I like big buttons, and I cannot lie

In fact, the “opera length” necklaces can be doubled too, like such:

The wrap holding the loops on this one is a 5.5 mm yarn with a honeycomb pattern between the edges.

And to wind this up, two more bracelets I made from the sleeves of the bigger tee — the print had cap sleeves that didn’t allow cutting across the knit. (And this was something I added on my own; none of the tutorials I saw used sleeves — now if I could just figure out a way to use the part from armpits to neckline…)

The closure here is the border from an Indian silk tunic I’m working into another project. I wish it were rounder, but I’ll get that figured out at some point.

…Aaaannnnddd, that’s a wrap.

Dammit! Lost post!!!

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I am too tired to rewrite this.

Tutorials here: http://www.wholeliving.com/133536/recycled-craft-t-shirt-necklace

Results here:

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Bracelet version (my own variation):

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I did a number of versions of these, and can post more pics and more about what I did when I am not so damn tired and crabby.

Doctor, Doctor give me the news

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Doctor, Doctor give me the news

Finished!! In all its hasty, half-assed glory!

With a break for a run for meds and groceries and another for a phone call with my brother, I got the thing done in about 13 hours.

There is an embroidery needle at large somewhere on the sofa, so that adds this week’s danger quotient.

So here are some process pictures and the finished project.

It's sloppier on the inside.

While I like playing around with six strands of embroidery thread, it can get hopelessly knotty on occasion. As it did way early in the embellishment stage. But y’know, this project was meant to have a screen-friendly microfiber partial lining, so I said to heck with teasing the whole thing out. It wasn’t going to budge.

My eye doc recently gave me one of those nice glasses cleaning cloths, which I figured would make a good liner to keep the scratches on the screen to a minimum. Unfortunately, not big enough to line the whole cozy. But microfiber is a bear to push a needle through, so it’s just as well.

Then I had some additional embellishments and the closure to add, and here’s the result. With trademark imperfection, but I rather like it.

Unfortunately the call box sign is a wee bit off kilter, but I am not going to mess with it further. Its imperfection is charming. Isn't it? ISN'T IT??

And here’s a closer view of the closure. The loop is made of elastic, which I had to run out and buy, since the package of elastic I remembered and dug up in my sewing kit had the Woolworth’s label on it. (!) Got some nice multiple-purpose 3/8″ white elastic. I had a brainstorm as I was contemplating how I wanted to attach the elastic loop. I took a set of Sharpies I’d bought some time ago and drew stripes along the elastic.

Remind you of anyone?

Like last week’s project, this was all repurposed stuff, or something from the stash except for the elastic, and I did actually have elastic, but it was a good 12 plus years old — well, five years older than that, because Woolworth’s closed in 1997.

So…very…tired… Am nodding off at the keyboard now, and I have work in the morning, so it’s nighty night for now.

And a moratorium on felt. Next week I’ll see what other types of trouble I can get into.

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