Tag Archives: style

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.

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Number Nine…Number Nine…Project #9

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Number Nine…Number Nine…Project #9

Perfectly awesome, y/y?

As promised, no felt on this week’s project. This one was decided on impulse, when I started thinking about shoes for travel. I’ve seen a couple of interesting things on Pinterest lately: painted shoes and collaged shoes. I thought of the perfect pair for this project: I have this wonderful pair of clogs — cushy, comfortable and cool. The problem is I’ve pretty much worn them to death. They’re black fake leather with red fake reptile wingtips, and even once they were completely shabby I invariably got comments about how awesome they are. But the black has pretty much worn away, though if I remember right, the wingtips are still in good shape. So I had this bright idea to paint them. I was thinking sky blue with painted clouds on the black parts, and maybe liquid gold leaf on the wingtips.

So of course I couldn’t find them. I do believe they’re somewhere — they’re too beloved to toss out without them looking WAY worse. But I found another pair of shoes, a cushy pair of clogs with a neoprene collar type thing that makes a strap across the heel. Comfortable, but pretty clodhopper-looking, so they look many years younger than their actual age. I didn’t think to photograph them before I started to pain them, so you’ll have to imagine a very dark brown, pebbly leather.

I took them and a bottle of neon blue acrylic paint to my art group, where I promptly appalled one of the women there. “You’re not going to paint them!” she said a time or two. “But they’re perfectly good shoes!” (We wear the same size, too, which probably made watching this desecration a little more painful.

But now they are perfectly awesome shoes.

Perfectly awesome, y/y?

Once I find the other pair of shoes, I have learned a few things of use. I will definitely need primer of some sort to get a pure color. I happen to like the teal that came from the combo of neon blue and dark brown, so I’m completely happy. But I dropped the whole sky idea and decided to decoupage something onto the shoes instead. Thought about something along the lines of a vintage picture from an old dictionary or encyclopedia, but nothing specific called my name and it seemed they’d be likely to be too small. So I leated through an art book I have that’s a small trim size but fairly fat, with a painting on every page. I found a bunch of them at a bookstore for $1 each because their spines were broken, so I bought several to hack up for art projects.

Found this one by Carel Fabritus:

The Goldfinch by Carel Fabritus

Because, you know: birds.

The other thing I learned, paper doesn’t really like to curve around shoes, and once curved, may not want to stay that way. As my foot beds the shoe, little cracks are appearing, but I actually like them. I will put a few more layers of varnish over them to preserve them, wrinkles and cracks and all.

Transformed from hardly-ever-wear to so-damn-cool-I-want-to-wear-them-all-the-time.

“MY GOD, IT’S FULL OF STARS”

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“MY GOD, IT’S FULL OF STARS”

By the time this year is more than halfway through, I suspect the most-used tag will be Fixes for t-shirts I wrecked by dropping food on my rack.

This is the first. Though it was originally kinda ruined when I got bleach spots on the hip. How that occurred I can’t even tell you, since I don’t use bleach in my laundry. It’s a mystery. I was wearing it anyway under a cardigan, but then I dropped something on my rack (it’s always salad dressing or something that won’t quietly disappear in the wash — someone needs to write a scientific paper on the attraction of oily foods to the sizable rack).

So I found a tutorial through Pinterest where that begins with you spritzing bleach all over a black cotton tee, so it seemed like a natural. Plus, it looks really amazing.

You can find the tutorial here:

http://treasuresandtravels.squarespace.com/blog/2012/2/21/diy-galaxy-tee.html

So here’s the shirt I started out with — a nice basic tee that I wasn’t nearly ready to part with yet. Except — crap! Grease stain!

Out, damned spot!

I sprayed the shirt with bleach, and then promptly tossed it in the washer. But here it is, post-spritz.

I love the fine spray of reddish color here.

I dotted around several colors: smudges of matte gray and some iridescent blue and red, using my Shiva oil paint sticks.

Point down, and a little twist of the wrist

Then I smeared around some white glitter paint throughout. The original tutorial used white paint and glitter separately, but I went with what I could find at the megalomart on the way home from work, which has a good fabric section and a crappier crafts section. I wore this once, then decided it needed more glitter. Though I wore it again, I suspect I’ll add some spots of paint by thumb-flicking paint-loaded bristles, rather than flicking the whole brush a la Pollock.

But here is its current form:

Pretty slick, huh?

Though I’m very nervous about it, I’m wanting to try this on a canvas tote, with some handwritten text in a resist medium before I bleach. I think it would make a very cool item for the Wiscon art show — which, HEY, I GOT ACCEPTED!!!