Monday, September 28, 2020

Become a Walking Billboard


In honor of RGB

Desperate times call for desperate measures. Here is a quickie upcycle project that took less than a day.

1. Start by finding a shirt with a suitable simple neck opening. Rummage through your closet and find something you last wore so long ago you’ve forgotten about it entirely. Cannibalize it!

I have no idea why this picture is sideways, but it’s the pandemic and I can’t deal with it. Tilt your head.

2. Figure out how wide you want your collar to be. Make a little paper measuring tool as a guide, and mark the shirt all the way around using pencil. My width was constrained by the original garment, and was 2.25 inches.

Measure and mark

3. Cut out the collar along your markings.

4. Find some lace. This is one of those my-stash-is-better-than-yours scenarios. I have a whole bag of cards of lace that I got for a song at a recycle place in Oakland called the Depot for Creative Reuse. In your case, consider cannibalizing something else from your wardrobe.

Find some lace

5. Stitch the lace to the collar and if you like, add some embroidery. I always pre-draw or letter onto a piece of paper first until I like it, and then transfer to cloth using carbon paper.

6. Find something to wear that is simple and black. Don your collar, and hit the streets. 

Voila! You are a walking billboard.

Get out the vote.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Souvenir Handkerchief No. 2 Coronavirus Series


A lovely little pandemic souvenir

 Here is the second in a series of souvenir handkerchiefs. My fingers went their own way on this one as my mind drifted in pandemic fashion, I have no idea what that thing in the middle is, but it looks sort of like a Petri dish so let’s say it’s all about vaccine research.

Click on image to enlarge

The quote - “Please scream inside your head” - is actually a misprint. A long, slow, stitched mistake. The original quote - “Please scream inside your heart” - is something I have been using a lot and originates with a sign on a Japanese rollercoaster early in the pandemic, encouraging people to keep their mouths closed and not spray the virus everywhere. But who can keep track of where we are screaming inside of ourselves these days? Scream wherever inside yourself you want, just don’t spread it around.

If you have time on your hands and would like to delve into the history of souvenir handkerchiefs and handkerchiefs in general, try this link - Handkerchief Heroes.

And for fellow stitchers, a view from the back of the behind-the-scenes view.

Flip side stitching detail

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Coronavirus 2020 Souvenir Handkerchief


A lovely souvenir

Souvenir handkerchiefs have a long, colorful, cornball history, with the fad hitting its peak when automobiles hit the road and tourists returned from their adventures in places like Pocatello, Idaho with delicate little squares of cloth embroidered with potatoes.

Certainly our current adventures in the surrealistic realm of 2029 warrants its own commemorative hankie. I have actually been working on three. Whiling away the time stitching tiny dots onto sheer cotton makes me less nervous about the wildfires raging in my state, the toxic smoke outside, and the virus floating in the air. Happily, amongst by bags of fabrics and finding I have an assortment of vintage handkerchiefs that have found a new purpose in this project.

Here is the first in the series, completed circa month three of the ongoing sheltering in place. Back when toilet paper was an issue. Expand the image to appreciate the obsessive detail.


Back, revealing stitching

Stay tuned for more in this souvenir series in coming weeks.

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