Showing posts with label embroidery. Show all posts
Showing posts with label embroidery. Show all posts

10 Things to Love About Slow Fashion

10 Things to love about slow fashion: What I learned from mending a sweater

The Slow Fashion movement is gaining popularity around the world. Quite simply, the idea is about choosing more sustainable clothing alternatives such as eco and fair trade fashion, second hand buying, swapping and repairing existing wardrobe items.

As a crafty girl that puts a lot of time and effort into design and making, I can definitely appreciate the fact that quality is better than quantity. So, when my husband's favorite sweater was in need of some TLC, I decided to take the time to repair it instead of just chucking it in the trash.

My husband keeps this sweater in his office and it has likely been worn every work day for the last five years. Unfortuantely it had developed two problems. First, the zipper pull broke off in the laundry. Second, one of the pockets was detached and beginning to unravel.

The good news about the zipper was that my husband never actually uses it. Also, there was already a redundant set of buttons in place, just in case. This meant I was able to simply remove the zipper and restitch the facing. Easy peasy.
The pocket presented a slightly larger problem, but one that I was able to solve thanks to my knitting experience. Since the pocket was unravelling I needed to re-knit the stitches. Fortunately the yarn was not damaged. After that I used a piece of scrap yarn from my stash to graft the pocket back into place.
So, what did I learn from this slow fashion experience?

1. Slow fashion is empowering!


In just a couple hours, I was able to at least double the life expectancy of this garment. That may not seem like a big deal to some people, but I feel like I accomplished something pretty amazing.

2. Slow fashion discourages a throw away culture.


It is so easy to just throw away a cheap item knowing that you can pick up a replacement at the local big box for a few dollars. Is that the type of lifestyle we really want to embrace and model to our children?

3. Slow fashion is a way to practice creative skills.


This little project gave me a chance to flex my creative muscles. I had to figure out how to make a sturdy repair that looked nice and was functional. I was able to incorporate my engineering, knitting and sewing skills. Just look at those neat little handmade stitches!

10 Things to love about slow fashion: What I learned from mending a sweater

4. Slow fashion saves time.


This may seem counter intuitive because fixing this sweater took a couple hours. If I had thrown it away and purchased a replacement we would have driven to the mall to browse a number of different stores or spent time online searching for the perfect replacement sweater. And of course there is the time spent working to earn the money to pay for a new sweater.

5. Slow fashion saves money.


I used a seam ripper, needle, thread, knitting needles and yarn to fix this sweater. I already had all of the tools and materials in my sewing room, but even if you consider the full price for each of theses items, it would add up to less than the cost of a new sweater.

6. Slow fashion is a way to express yourself.


My repair was fairly basic, but I have seen other mends that involve patching or embroidery and they can be a beautiful way to incorporate new color and texture into an old garment.

7. Slow fashion creates less waste.


It's well known that the fashion industry creates a lot of waste in the production process. My repair minimized the need for the waste from producing a new sweater and kept the existing one out of the landfill.

8. Slow fashion shows you care.


I took the time to fix this sweater, in part because I know my husband really likes it. I hope that every time he wears it he feels the love that I put into every stitch.

9. Slow fashion makes you appreciate the importance of a job well done.


Of course I am proud of my own repair work and glad I took the time to do it right. While I was working, I also noticed the well-thought design elements from the original construction. Who ever chose to add a sturdy facing to the sweater opening was a genius. It was more expensive to manufacture the garment with this feature, but if the facing had not been there, removing or replacing the zipper would not have been an easy task.

10. Slow fashion generates quality time.


As I sat at the table making repairs, my husband sat with me and we were able to savor a cup of coffee, chat about current events and just enjoy each other's company. Definitely time well spent!

10 Things to love about slow fashion: What I learned from mending a sweater
How do you incorporate the concept of slow living into your daily routine?



Crafter Thoughts: T-Shirt Refashioning

How to move the print from an old T-Shirt to a new one.When we went to Scandinavia this summer, I picked up a cute burn out t-shirt from Finland. After we got home, I think I wore it twice and then something bad happened. I'd like to say it was my husband's fault, but I am completely to blame.

I did not follow the washing instructions. As a fiber enthusiast, I should have known better. After a trip through the dryer, the burnout shirt was basically see through except for the printed area. Then it hung it my closet, unwearable for months.

Luckily, I have a couple blog friends (Lisa from Cucicucicoo and Agy from Green Issues by Agy) who frequently post about mending and altering textiles. So I thought I would do a little t-shirt refashioning of my own.

I hang my head in shame as I show you my burned out burn out. :( Luckily, I found a plain blue shirt ready to be spruced up with a new look.
I started by cutting out the printed area on the old shirt leaving a couple inches around the printed area.
Next I applied a lightweight, fusible interfacing to the back side of the image. This is a good thing to do any time you are going to cut up a t shirt. It stabilizes the area and keeps it from fraying.
Then, I cut out the image.

I had a bit of Pellon Wonder Web in my sewing stash and decided to use it to fuse the image to my new shirt.

I cut the Wonder Web slightly smaller than the image because the web tends to spread out a little as it melts.
Next, I positioned my image on the new shirt with the Wonder Web between the image and the front of the new shirt.

Pro Tip - When you are placing an image onto a shirt, a good rule of thumb is that the top of the image should be 3-4 finger widths from the bottom of a rounded neck line.
With the help of a press cloth and my iron, the image was fused to the new shirt in seconds.

Theoretically, I could have stopped there. The Wonder Web should hold the image and shirt together.
But I wanted to add my own little personal touch, so I grabbed a needle and some embroidery floss and did a blanket stitch around the outer edge of the image and a simple backstitch on one of the inner borders.
I am so happy I was able to save my vacation souvenir and refashion it into a wearable shirt.

How to move the logo or image from a worn tee shirt onto a new shirt or bag.




Tutorial: Cork Herringbone Stitch Bracelet

DIY a simply elegant summer bracelet using cork cord, metallic embroidery floss and a herringbone stitch.Today I have a bracelet tutorial that is similar to my Whip Stitched Cork Wrap Bracelet. This one is a single wrap bracelet that uses a slightly more intricate embroidery stitch known as the herringbone stitch.

Again, I used a shiny, metallic embroidery floss to highlight the silver flecks in the cork cord, but you could use regular floss if you prefer.

Many thanks to Endless Leather for providing the cork cord for this tutorial.

Materials




Tools




Directions


My bracelet is going to be 8 inches around so I cut my cork cord 7 1/2 inches long and the clasp adds 1/2 inch to the finished length.

If you have very narrow or very wide wrists you may need to adjust the length of the cork cord. Just make sure the cord is cut to a 1/4 inch increment. You can slide the clasps onto the end of the cord and try on the bracelet before you go any further.

First, you are going to use a pen to draw to rows of marks that are 1/4 inch apart on the back side of the cork cord.
See how the marks make a sort of grid pattern.



Next use an awl or a large, sharp needle to poke through the cork cord at each mark.

I recommend protecting your work surface with a small mat.
It takes a little muscle to poke through the cork. (Oops... you may notice that I bent my needle.)

Be careful not to poke your hand while you are poking holes. Ouch!
Embroidery Stitch Chart: Herringbone Stitch Next, thread a length of embroidery floss (all of the strands) onto a needle.

It's easier to show you the stitch with a diagram than a photo, so here it goes.

The solid lines show what the stitching on the front of your bracelet will look like.

The dotted lines show what the stitching on the back of your bracelet will look like.

Starting at one end of the cork cord, bring your floss up (from back to front) through hole A leaving about a 3 inch tail.

Continue along going down through hole B, up through C, down through D, up through E and so on.
As I said, the front of the bracelet has the herringbone stitch.

The back looks like two dashed lines.

Trim the end of your floss to about a 3 inch length.
When your stitching is complete, apply a bit of G-S- Hypo Cement into each clasp.

When you slide the cork into the clasps, make sure one of the magnets is face up and the other is face down or the magnets will not close properly when you are wearing your bracelet.
Tightly fold the embroidery floss over the end of the cord and slide the cord into the clasp. Repeat on the other end of the bracelet.
Now the hard part.

LET THE GLUE DRY COMPLETELY FOR 24 HOURS.

After the glue is dry and the clasps are completely secured to the cork cord, use a sharp pair of scissors to trim the ends of the floss being careful not to cut through your stitching.

Your bracelet is ready to wear for some casual summer fun!

DIY a simply elegant summer bracelet using cork cord, metallic embroidery floss and a herringbone stitch.





Tutorial: Whip Stitch Cork Wrap Bracelet

Jewelry Making DIY Tutorial: Learn how to craft a casual wrap bracelet with cork cord and metallic embroidery floss.If you enjoyed my Laced Hearts Cork Bracelet you are going to love this tutorial! I'm using the same cork cord, but this time I'm pairing it with metallic embroidery floss to create a lightweigt wrap bracelet that will brighten up your casual wear.

Many thanks to Endless Leather for providing the cork cord and jewelry findings for this tutorial.

Materials




Tools




Directions


Cut a 24 inch (for narrow wrists) to 30 inch (for larger wrists) length of the cork cord. You would rather have the cord too long at this point.

Before we go any further, let's make sure that this is the right length for your wrist.
Slide the toggles onto either end of the cord and wrap the bracelet three times around your wrist. If the bracelet is too long, you can trim the cork cord shorter. Just make sure that the final cork length is a multiple of 1/4 inch.

Remove the toggles and set aside.
Use a pen to mark every 1/4 inch down the center of the back of the cork.
This next part takes a little patience and muscle.

Punch a 1/16th inch hole on each mark.
Thread your embroidery floss onto a needle. Pull the floss through the first hole from back to front leaving a tail of about 3-4 inches.
Now it's time to whip stitch. Pull the floss up, from back to front, through the next hole and then the next and then the next, pulling the floss snugly between each stitch.
Continue down the length of the cord.

Trim the floss to 3-4 inches after the last stitch.
Now you'll whip stitch up the other side of the cork with a second piece of floss.

Pull the floss up through the same hole you began with before.
Pull the floss up, from back to front, through the next hole and then the next and then the next, pulling the floss snugly between each stitch, as before. After the last stitch, trim the floss to 3-4 inches.
Next, apply a generous amount of G-S Hypo Cement inside each of the toggles.
Fold the tails of the floss over the end of the cork cord and slide the toggle into place.

Secure the other toggle in the same way.

LET THE GLUE DRY COMPLETELY FOR 24 HOURS.
Use a sharp pair of scissors to trim the excess floss being careful not to cut through any stitches.
Jewelry Making DIY Tutorial: Learn how to craft a casual wrap bracelet with cork cord and metallic embroidery floss. That's a wrap!
Enjoy wearing your new wrap bracelet with jeans, shorts, or just about anything.

Jewelry Making DIY Tutorial: Learn how to craft a casual wrap bracelet with cork cord and metallic embroidery floss.