I started to learn to do proper textile stuff last year. And only now I’m finally starting to grasp – in tiniest baby steps – the basics of garment construction and textile properties. So this is a section of ‘look what I did to make this garment work better for me’ or ‘…to prolong its lifespan’. This post is a double feature of a garment that was technically perfectly fine but didn’t feel right and a basic 3-minute fix of a jersey fail that happens all the time.
Liisa bag + Ezra W. Smith embroidery
In the beginning of 2018 Liisa made a gift for me: this little cross-body bag! Nice size, careful design, sturdy construction… and a print of a minion and Pusheen. Which showed her intimate knowledge of my Facebook sticker favorites and overestimation of my desire to express those in public. But I wanted to wear it! Reason 1: my dear friend made it! Reason 2: my only small bag here in Barcelona has chain strap that stains light garments, so a bag that would not entail sink washing my tops after every wear could be nice.
Also, the very technique of printing gave an impression of not lasting. Marina wore it for the week she was in Barcelona in July and the subsequent wash left it looking like this. I also have to admit that I didn’t care if this applique would be destroyed… because I had a plan.
Being an active insta-stalker of Ezra W. Smith I saw an opportunity to spend my hard-earned euros on embroidery by her. Also, I could explain my wish to spend 100€ on an 13 x 15 cm patch with #girlssupportinggirls. Best cure for buyer’s guilt is to wrap it in feminism! We talked back and forth about the content of the embroidery (carps, foxes and great tits were among the options) and settled on an owl. This was the photo she worked from, and this is the result:
As we had agreed that the most reasonable way to do this was for her to make a patch and to me to sew it on, I got some practice at invisible stitches. My initial plan was to create a definite border with bias ribbon or something (like this), but my sewing guru, Carmen from Opció Taller, convinced me that such artwork needed the least intervention possible. She was right, and here it is, complete with an ironic Tate Modern pin that says ‘oil painting’, as it should be!
The only weird thing about this endeavor has been that just around when I was carrying out this transaction, Liisa launched hEdgy Crafts doing, among other, embroidery, even of owls. I have already asked for forgiveness for having intervened her artwork… but the uneasiness stays. But at least now I have an easy-wear cross-body bag. While I’m not planning to put it in the washing machine ever again, the embroidery is keeping up very well so far, especially taking into account my usual carelessness with things.
So here you have before and after:
And here is the little basic jersey hole, as promised. My February swap t-shirt got a hole and I did my best to gather the sides and contain it. The internet is full of how-tos, here’s just two of them: How to Repair a Hole in a T-Shirt and Fix It Friday – Holes in Jersey Material.
Have you done any life-giving fixes recently? Made any garments? Or is there something you would like to fix and don’t know how?