Thursday, February 28, 2008

A walking adverisement!

I finally started working on a Krissi-fied-- denim jacket (you may recognize it as the "canvas" onto which I pin my 1" buttons). Nobody would commission one, so I commissioned one for myself (and just in time for the Crafty Chica cruise next week). The photos may or may not show the colors well, but the silk I chose is the same deep, hot pink as my new hair!

Thought some of you might be interested in a few of the tricks-o-the-trade with accompanying photos.


I started by fusing two layers of "Wonder Under" fusible medium (made by Pellon and readily available online or in your local JoAnn's/WalMart/quilting store) onto a piece of hot pink pre-washed silk. After ironing the fusible to the silk and peeling the release paper, I sketched out my anatomical heart on the slick side of the paper

and then ironed it, pencil side down, onto the fused fabric. Voila! The pencil markings stay on the back of the fused fabric! COOL TIP ALERT!!! There are other techniques out there to achieve similar ends, but some will cause you to end up with "flipped" or "mirror" images! Using this technique, everything ends up facing the SAME direction it does on your original sketch!

Using a light box, I shaded the heart -- you can see the pencil marks from the paper right through the fabric. I use Fabrico brand markers which are my personal preference as they do not bleed and set very well with or without heat. On this project I used light red, dark red, grey and black. Once the heart was inked to my satisfaction, I removed the paper backing (again) and THEN cut out the heart. COOL TIP ALERT!!! If you cut the shape before removing the paper backing, you run the risk of fraying the edges of your design -- badly.

Because I plan to run this through the laundry at some point, I used a product to prevent fraying around the edges called Fray Block by June Tailor. I prefer Fray Block to other products like Fray Check by Dritz, which is way too stiff for this particular application. After the Fray Block dried, I just placed the silk heart on my jacket and pressed it into place, following the directions included with the Wonder Under!


The next step always involves swearing and fidgeting with my machines. For this project, I used three threads (two variegated, one solid). I combined each variegated with the solid using a double thread needle (it has 2 holes), then used the solid thread alone for the final touches. I didn't break any needles, but broke lots of thread, rethreaded my bobbin no less than 10 times, adjusted the tension constantly and lost my scissors twice and my glasses once.



So here's the jacket with the heart portion of the design finished (a lot of people ask me about my machine(s). I use a Janome MC4800QC and a Janome Jem Platinum, but if you have a machine that can accomodate a free-motion (darning) foot and you can drop the feed dogs, you can do this too!

Here's a close-up of the stitching:



I'll probably bring my beading kit along with me on the cruise and continue to work on the embellishments while being inspired by some amazing chicas including Sacred Snatch and the Crafty Chica herself, Kathy Cano-Murillo!

================================ MARCH 8, 2008 POST-CRUISE UPDATE! So I'm back from the Crafty Chica Cruise**** (I still feel the ship rocking, though) and the jacket, now with hand-beading, was a huh-youge hit with the chicas de crafting, other guests AND several artesanos in Mexico!! (seriously!)