Archive for the ‘naughty monkeys’ Category

Think of it as a work in progress. This is the first time I tried this technique and the result is not perfect, but at least it looks like it’ll work with a few changes.

The idea was to make a partially felted bracelet by combining a beautiful hand-spun wool yarn with an eyelash yarn in similar colors.

The surface of the bracelet would be decorated with “beads” of plain wool on top. I knit a bracelet-size piece, about 8″ long and 2″ wide, and then stitched little mounds of the wool yarn on top and did the felting thing.

The problem is I didn’t make the wool beads big enough, so I added more yarn for the next trip through the washing machine and the new yarn didn’t mesh well with the original beads. The end result isn’t bad — okay, it is pretty awful! — but it’ll be a lot better next time!

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Or Why I Cut a Big Chunk Out of a Brand New Beaded and Embroidered Skirt

Pretty nice little skirt, and NWT, in eBay speak (New with Tags). Check out the beads and detailing:

I’m pretty sure the reason someone got rid of it is because, the way it’s gathered at the top, it would make even a thin person look like a Weeble. I was planning on using some of it on a cami. But then I read the care tag. The only way to clean it was with spot cleaning — no washing or dry cleaning. Personally, I don’t want a camisole that can’t be washed or cleaned somehow. So I put the skirt aside.

And then one day, I was in a flower-making frenzy — picking out this and that and experimenting with turning them into flowers. I even made a flower out of a used dryer sheet and, to tell the truth, it wasn’t bad. So when I spotted this skirt in one of the boxes, I just went at it. Ta da!

The backing is soft black felt without cardboard or stiffener of any kind, so it’s completely floppy, kind of like the clocks in the famous Salvador Dali painting, “The Persistence of Memory.” There’s a standard safety clasp, so it can be put on pretty much anything — jacket, sweater, hat, etc. (Apologies for the crummy images, they’re from the camera I swore I would never use again and now I remember why.) Anyway, as soon as I get some better photographs, it’ll be listed at etsy. Now to find a new camera ….

One thing I love about creating new clothes from older pieces is that you never really know how they’ll turn out until they’re done. At least that’s been my experience. And here we have Exhibit A: a great little denim jacket that I appliqued with vintage denim, adding a flower and two leaves.

Kind of sad looking — not at all what I was hoping for. But that just meant it needed more work, right? The floppiness of the flower petals was fixed by stitching them into place, but it was still missing something. And then this arrived …

Yes, hand-spun art yarn from one of my major etsy faves, FromMyArtToYours. Pictures don’t do this yarn justice — it’s soft as a cloud and such a dreamy color. Originally, it was going to go on a pale blue camisole, but as soon as it arrived, it was obvious that it was destined for that denim jacket. Are these the perfect couple, or what?

Adding yarn vastly improved the little flower, too.

There’s a little more yarn on the front:

Plus, there’s enough left over to make something else. Or not. When yarn is this pretty, I just want to keep it in a bowl by my desk to look at. In this case, “art yarn” is an absolutely accurate description!

Because I found a not-too-bad denim jacket that’s already got the embellishment process underway. Here’s the front:

And the back:

Now to figure out what to do with the rest of it. My first impulse was to add something right below the fabric that’s already there, like a lace ruffle. But I’m afraid that’s going to make the person wearing it look like a linebacker, since that’s already the biggest part of the jacket.

So most likely the front panels, collar and cuffs will be where new stuff ends up. Heading for the red, blue and purple fabric stash boxes right now …

Beautiful, yes? And my camera isn’t even doing justice to the colors. Unfortunately, it was also missing the pin thing on the back.

I checked with my IO (Insignificant Other) to find out if it could be soldered. He suggested throwing it away, because it was not fixable. Of course, he thinks the world would be a better place if all costume jewelry completely vanished, so naturally, I ignored him and started thinking about how to repair it.

Step One: Clean it

Toothpaste,  an old toothbrush and a tiny bit of water are the best. Just scrub gently to avoid loosening any of the stones and pat dry. I wanted to do this first because my fix involved a piece of felt, and I didn’t want that to get wet. After the cleaning, the piece was allowed to completely dry overnight.

Step Two: Make a Backing

Very simple! Just cut a piece of felt the size you’d like on the back of the piece. Done!

Step Three: Hot Glue

This is actually two steps, but let’s not drag it out. First, hot glue or sew a new brooch pin to one side of the felt. Then hot glue the other side of the felt (duh!) to the brooch.

You’re done! Go do something else and let it dry for 24 hours or so. Not so bad, huh? This little brooch is going to go on a new top I’m altering. This is what it looked like before I got my mitts on it.

Those things that look like white blobs are actually sweet little pale pink crocheted flowers.

Other than sticking with the pink/black theme,  the “after” shot is going to be quite a lot different than this “before.” But that’s the whole point of altered couture, right?

I was so excited to find this great dark red corduroy Juicy Couture jacket at an estate sale a while back. It’s such a beautiful color and the corduroy is so soft … yum! Plus, I had a gorgeous piece of embroidered cotton that looked pretty good with it. The fabric was hideously expensive — something like $112 a yard!!! But there was a small section that was being sold as a remnant for a significant discount, so I bit the bullet and brought it home.

Here’s how the embroidered cotton looks on the jacket from the back …

And here’s the front …

Not too bad, huh? But here’s the problem. Hand-stitching the fabric in place like I usually do wasn’t working, because the edges of the cotton were just not looking very good. So now the whole deal is being restitched around the edges with recycled silk sari yarn to cover the edges. In other words, I’m going to have about 300 hours of work (okay, maybe not that much, but a lot!) into this jacket by the time it’s done. And I don’t think anyone is going to pay what it’s really worth, from a labor standpoint.

On the other hand, some projects have turned out to be much easier than I expected, so maybe it all comes out even in the end. Who knows? Anyway, back to work … it’s too nice not to finish, even if it is a labor of love at this point.

Isn’t this sweet? So much interesting detail on the top — even the little spaghetti straps are great. Maybe because it’s already got a lot going on, I don’t have a clue what to do with it.

Then there’s this one:

Love those little posies or pansies or whatever they are. But they’re so one dimensional. They just don’t have that “ZOMG, that’s so great!!!” thing going on. Unlike the blue one above, though, I know exactly what I’m going to do with this one. Stay tuned …

The oversized ruffle removal team (in other words, me and my scissors) came in and performed an emergency ruffle-ectomy on the green camisole (for “Before” shots, see earlier “Today’s Project” post, from May 29). The patient has recovered and is back at etsy. Here are the “After” pics:

It even looks better from the front, or at least I hope it does:

Can’t decide if I should keep going with this one or not. Here’s the front:

And the back, both with the burnout velvet additions basted in place:

The problem is the cami is so small it won’t even fit on my mannequin, so it’s not going to photograph very well. Hmmmm… this one may not make it into the collection.

I couldn’t resist adding a bright blue “love monkey” applique to this green hoodie.

Next, it’s going to get outlined with this gorgeous blue/green yarn.

The yarn, from mymixmix, came already felted, so the hoodie can be washed without any problems. Brilliant!