The announcement for the second challenge left me stumped. ‘Embellish or alter some fabric to make it your own’. Aha. Ok. What now?
I think painting could’ve been the quickest, and with some decent skills can be pretty impressing (see here). I stress the ‘I think’ because I’ve never done it so I have no idea. I’d like to try it at some point, but a limited time challenge wasn’t the right moment to start.
My mind was set on boiled wool and I wanted to make a jacket. I thought about applique, reverse applique, discreet or full on Alabama Chanin, yarn stitching and needle felting, cross stitching at the hems or around all edges but I couldn’t imagine any of these ending up like something I’d wear.
I then went through my fall sewing list (mentally, I don’t have it on paper) and remembered (this post helped) I wanted to make a tartan half circle skirt. Still with the boiled wool in mind I decided to give it a try. My initial plan as to use dark green, navy and black, to simulate the black watch tartan. But I didn’t find the right colours in the shop (Saeed in Waltamstow, I knew they had boiled wool) and online shopping wasn’t an option given the time constraints. I looked at all the wools for probably half an hour before I picked dark green, brown and cream.
I cut strips of 1/2, 1 and 2 inches and started weaving them. It was a long and tedious project, trying to keep everything square and in place, so a lot of pinning an basting happened. I finally finished tonight and I now have a cosy little blanket, roughly 145cm X 75cm.
This is going to be quilted tomorrow on a piece of silk, I’m going to topstitch all strips edges, so I expect to go through a lot of bobbins. I’ll load half a dozen before I begin :). I quilted a small sample tonight and it looks like the final fabric might be a little too stiff. I’ll still try a half circle skirt, and if it’s too Judy Jetson, I’ll just chop the flare off and make it a-line. We’ll see!
I’ll have to try and keep the skirt clean for as long as possible. Drying the fabric in one layer took 2 days. I can’t imagine how long it will take now with 2 woven layers and the lining stitched to them.
I’m happy with my idea and how things look so far, but after working on it every night this week my view is meant to be biased. There’s no time to edit though, we just have to go with our gut. I would’ve never tried something like this if it wasn’t for this contest, so there’s a win right there (cliche, I know), I stretched myself to come up with a concept and put it in practice.