Thursday, October 15, 2009

A Bit of Hand Sewing...


I don't sew as often as I like, but one of the wonderfully relaxing projects I have been working on is hand sewing a skirt for faire. (Renaissance Faire, that is.) Hand sewing it makes the costume more authentic, and honestly, I prefer hand sewing because I find tedium soothing. Yes, you heard that right - I enjoy tedium, nit-picky details... Anyway - on to the project! You can see my cat above on the skirt. I'm not sure what it is about cats (or maybe it's just my cat?) but she must ALWAYS walk all over the fabric (and sit and lay down and... you get the idea). She had been somewhat broken of the habit by a former housemate of mine who would just give Pooka a sideways glance and she'd skitter off, but I guess her memory has waned from those days.

I did a general backstitch on four panels of fabric to make the skirt.

Now, I had already decided to make this a guinea pig skirt - as I wanted to try to find some way to sew up the ends so that after a zillion washings they don't fray all over. So I folded each end inward, and pinned the fabric.

I then hand sewed another back-stitch along the seam. This will all be on the inside of the skirt. I rather like how it's turned out, and I'm sure my washing machine will thank me as well. I haven't yet decided the best approach to doing the hem line on the bottom of the skirt and the top part of the skirt. It will be a bit tricker to figure out because I don't want the overlapping part of the seam to show... Regardless, this is what the finished inside seam looked like.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

It's a Crewel, Crewel World

Back in June, I stopped by Crafty Planet in Minneapolis, MN and found a crewel embroidery kit made by Wool & Hoop.  It was called "Love Loops" and the kit featured a way to make a greeting card, which I thought was really nifty.  But I had no embroidery skills under my belt.  I have lots of projects in mind and I've purchased a few of those Sublime Stitching packets, but have never really been motivated to actually sit down and embroider something.   However, when I turned the Wool & Hoop kit over, I discovered that the company is based out of Marfa, TX.  Marfa!  I was there for a wedding about a year ago this month.  Hmmmm... first year anniversary... paper... card...  Sounds like a good idea to commemorate the wedding with a kit from the actual wedding site!   So I picked up the kit and it sat on the shelf since June, until this past Sunday, when I realized that the actual anniversary was coming up over the Columbus Day weekend.  Uh oh!  So I got started and you can see the results of my hand stitching above.  I forgot to take a picture of the finished card, because I was so excited to have it done and ready to send off.  Instead, you can check out the examples at the Wool & Hoop site to get an idea of what it looked like.

I had a lot of fun doing this little bit of embroidery.  The kit only called for two stitches:  the satin stitch and the split stitch, but I know there are a lot of different little techniques out there.  And as it turns out, just looking at the satin stitch directions (yes, now, after completing the project!), I have noticed that I did it completely wrong!  Oh well, we all know my problem with following sewing pattern directions, so why should this surprise us?  Anyway, this is why I have signed up to take a three-part embroidery class.  They'll teach me all the stitches and I'll be more inspired to finish all these hand sewage projects I have waiting in the wings.