Monday, April 29, 2013

Embroidered Sound Waves (and Upcycled Shirt #13)

Sound wave of me singing out of tune: " are jumpin' and the cotton is high."

The idea of embroidering sound waves has been on the back burner ever since I participated in a symposium on listening at the Exploratorium a number of years ago. This is the first experiment. To get a graphic of a sound wave I used Garage Band software, recorded myself singing, and then took a screen shot (Command, Shift, 4) of a section of the sound wave. This is going onto a vest fashioned for a hot climate, so I sang "Summertime" and selected the section, "fish are jumpin' and the cotton is high" because it had the most interesting graphic appearance.

Transferring sound wave image to cloth

Enlarge the sound wave image to the size you want and print it out. Use carbon paper to transfer the image to cloth. As you can see in the above illustration, the outside borders of the sound wave are what you want to focus on when transferring the image. You'll be stitching solid fill inside those borders, but there's no need to tediously fill it all in when doing the carbon transfer.

Embroidering the sound wave

Completed sound wave panel, sewn onto garment

Where did this sound wave panel end up? It serves as a back panel embellishment on an upcycled garment designed for the tropics. The original article of clothing was a light green linen jacket from a thrift store. It was altered as shown below into a tropical vest.

Click to enlarge

Finished vest

Back of vest with embroidered sound wave panel

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