Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Rainbow DNA Beaded Earrings

With the recent tragedy in Orlando, it seemed like some new rainbow DNA was in order. They are a small symbol to show my support for the victims, their families, and the LGBQT community.

Rainbow DNA

Coded Rainbow DNA
Blue and Silver DNA
If you would like to learn to make your own beaded DNA earrings, I have a free video tutorial available on my blog. Thanks for looking.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Learning from Alabama Chanin - Red Hearts on Gray Tunic Top

I bought a couple books last summer at the local Barnes & Nobles.  When I sat myself down in the crafts section, as I like to do from time to time, I found two books by Natalie Chanin on hand sewing clothing.  One is titled, "Alabama Studio Sewing + Design: A guide to Hand-Sewing and Alabama Chanin Wardrobe." The newer book is "Alabama Studio Sewing Patterns: A Guide to Customizing a Hand Stitched Alabama Chanin Wardrobe."

This is the back of a tunic top.

Now that I've had the books for a full year, I've gotten a chance to read them thoroughly as well as make a few pieces from them, including the one in this blog post. This fitted tunic top is a slightly altered version of the pattern in the books.  It is upcycled from 3 different t-shirts. The stitching is in black and red with four "random ruffles" running down the front.

 Shoulder close up
Here are some close up shots that show the detailed hand stitching. The seams are all sewn twice for strength and style.  It has inside felled seams where I sewed the light gray to the dark gray. Because I upcycled from other shirts, I had to patch together the fabric to make this top.  So there are more seams inside the dark and light areas. Outside felled seams connect the dark gray to itself, and the light gray is patched together using outside open seams with feather top-stitching. By the time I got the front and back cut out, there wasn't enough fabric left to make the binding, so I cut into a third shirt, the red one.  The red binding is attached with a stretchy stitch, called Cretin stitch, to keep the arm holes and neck line stretchy. Since I had so much red fabric left over, I thought I'd add some applique, and hearts seemed like the obvious choice.
As is characteristic of Chanin's style, the bottom edge is left unstitched. Also, characteristic of her style are the hand appliqued bits attached with running stitch and an unfinished cut edge.

One important tip that is omitted from the books is that you have to ease the binding anywhere you use it.  This means that the binding is a bit shorter than the edges it binds.  If you don't ease, you will find that the arm holes and neckline gape in an unattractive way. (Ask me how I know.) Figuring out how much to ease the binding is a bit of an art, but I find that I use as much ease as I can without creating ripples. Even a tiny bit of ripple is okay.  I found that it's better to slightly over do it than to slightly under do it, especially since these tops tend to be fitted, which leads me to another observation...

I think the pattern sizing in this book is too small.  I've found that anything I make from these books in a large size tends to be a tight on me, and I'm 5'5" and 130 pounds. I am a US Size 8 or maybe 10. In fact, according to the designs I've made from these books, I'm consistently an "extra large," which bothers me a bit since I'm not a particularly large woman.
Other than that, I really love the designs and techniques in these books. If you like hand stitching and making clothing, I totally recommend these books to you. I love the combo of soft jersey and fancy stitching.  The clothing I have produced is both beautiful and comfortable, and I'm offering much of what I make for sale, including the top in this blog post.  I made a couple more tops that I still need to photograph.  So expect more from me soon.
Thanks for looking. 

Saturday, June 4, 2016

New Tutorial Space Ship Earrings and Blast Off Bracelet with Crescent Beads

Crescent Bead Bracelet
This tutorial explains how to bead weave a bracelet and earrings with Toho’s 2-holed Crescent beads and a variety of seed beads. The Blast Off Bracelet is solid and somewhat flexible. The cable is round and measures one centimeter thick. It’s stitched lengthwise, making easy to add units for a perfect fit.

This tutorial includes step-by-step instructions for weaving Space Ship Earrings and the matching Blast Off Bracelet. The designs include loops of seed beads that make for simple and elegant way to attach jump rings and clasps. Use your purchased clasp or stitch a toggle bar with seed beads to finish the bracelet.

Space Ship Earrings and Bracelet
This tutorial is designed for advanced beginning bead weavers. If you know how to use the basic tools of beadweaving (needle, scissors, bead mat), you are ready to follow this very detailed tutorial.

With ear wires the earrings measure about an inch and a half (38 mm) long.
Beaded bracelet measures 1 cm thick.
The tutorial is very detailed, 13 colorful pages, with over 77 full color illustrations and photographs. The tutorial gives highly detailed illustrations, photographs, and written instructions to make the earrings and bracelet.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...