Sunday, 24 June 2012

Great expectations...

At the beginning of June I decided I was going to be very strict with myself about finishing craft projects once I’d started them. I discovered when I was making a little pair of shoes for a friend’s new baby that there was more satisfaction in starting, working on, and finishing a project in a couple of weeks, rather than my usual project timeframe of months! 

1 t-shirt with mark and some fabric scraps
My plan was to start with another small project, which would take maybe a week. I’d recently purchased some second-hand clothes for Izzy on ebay, and one of the t-shirts had a slight mark on it. “What better small project to start with than a bit of appliqué?”, I asked myself. So, having decided on a Cath Kidston flower motif, I sat down one Monday evening with my fabric stash, some bondaweb and a steam iron, and proceeded to cut out and arrange my flower. Except, once I’d started, I got a bit carried away. A single flower became a layered, decoupage affair using a mix of two fabrics (a cotton and a felt). The single flower became a more pleasing arrangement of three blooms, each layered, and to be finished off with a decorative button from my button pot.

Use an iron to activate the glue
Hmm. The first stage was misleading in its simplicity. Trace motif onto bondaweb, iron bondaweb on to fabric, place motif on t-shirt, iron again. But then I came to the embroidery part. Satin stitch is a pretty time-consuming stitch, if you haven’t ever dabbled in the fine art of hand embroidery, involving creating lots of little stitches, placed very closely together to cover an edge. In this case, I had 7 edges to apply the stitch too, at some points working through four layers of fabric: the thick organic cotton t-shirt, two layers of cotton fabric and one layer of felt.

The three flowers ready for the embroidery
Needless to say, this one week project became two. Then three. Then four. As I haven’t done any embroidery for quite some time, my first flower looked a little shoddy, and so when I’d finished I had to go back to cover up the gaps and bits of the first layer where I’d sewed too close to the edge of my patterned cotton fabric and it had started to fray a little. I got a blister on my finger from forcing the needle through the work and strained the muscles in the back of my hand. 

But the most important thing? Even when I really, really wanted to just put the project aside and move on to a new one for a bit of light relief (I’ve got a lovely little knitting project lined-up), I didn’t. I persevered and although it may be a small thing, I’m still quite proud of myself. 

Finished, at last!

No comments:

Post a Comment