Project: Shirt Resuscitation

[Side note: I’m supposed to be working right now, because I have a deadline tomorrow. Therefore, I am blogging. But, of course.]

I bought a bunch of tees at a large discount store a while back, and regretted it instantly because they are partially synthetic. I generally avoid the store because my previous experience with their clothes has been awful, to say the least.

Anyway, I am easily beguiled by colours, and I fell in love with this gorgeous shocking pink one. Pink has easily been my favourite colour since I was little, even though I went through this phase of ‘don’t-gender-stereotype-me-!’ in between, where I chose predominantly black and blue. Spoiler alert: it didn’t last long. With my complexion, medium to dark pinks work fairly well.

The tee in question, being made of questionable fabric, ripped rather easily after a few washes. I thought it would be a good opportunity to give it a bit of a lift, so mum and I bought some lace that matched it perfectly.

We gave it to a tailor, but because he used a sewing machine to attach said lace, the fabric underneath ripped rather dramatically. I took it back, and unpicked the lace from the top. The lace was mostly salvaged, and I can use it in the future for something or the other. Darned the rips in the fabric, so now I have a Frankenstein’s monster pink tee. [And a close up of the darned bits.]

Now, as you can see, the rips are all around the neck area, and they are rather inconveniently in different spots on both sides.

At this point, my mum suggested I chuck the thing in the bin and call it a day. But. BUT. I love surface embroidery, and I do not have the guts to actually try any of it out on good clothes or fabric. So this becomes the ideal training ground!

First, I drew a pattern that would cover the rips. Badly, I know, I’m not an artist. I had the outlines of the tee, and made sure that the A4 sheets covered the rips.

Ha. First thing I realised is: “Ambitious much, dipshit?” Those flowers are colossal. I cannot satin stitch those large areas, without the thread eventually sagging. So I now have to learn some other filling stitches.

Then, it occurred to me that I would need fusible interfacing. Otherwise, I could reasonably expect a repeat performance of the lace fiasco. So I bought that.

Finally, I don’t have embroidery thread. So what does smart-aleck Sundaram do? She orders it online, comparing the original photographs of the flowers on one tab, with the skeins on another tab. [And then I wonder why projects terrify me? Because I set myself up for failure every time with this go-big-or-go-home attitude.]

Anyway. This arrived in the mail a few days later:

I think I got enough, don’t you?

Now what remains is the actual project. Considering it has taken me almost 8 months to draw up a design, buy interfacing and thread, and buy yellow carbon paper for the design transfer, I wouldn’t hold my breath for any finishes any time soon.

But, since I am quite excited to do this, I will create a project index when I do start. [Standard disclaimer: Subject to memory not failing dismally at concerned time.]

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Project: Racing Stripes

I am notoriously bad about documenting anything I do when I am in the throes of doing it, so of course I do not have before pictures of today’s project.

The project today was a beat up pair of trainers. They weren’t beat up because of extensive use, but by the virtue of being shunted around the various cities I have lived, being buried under a pile of other shoes, and the like. Last month, I pulled them out for use when I go to the market, since the market is full of uneven flagstones, and I needed a thicker sole on light footwear to save my feet and ankles from extreme abuse.

The shoes originally has three metallic stripes down each side: the centre one in a light purple and the two flanking that stripe in a pewter shade. Both colours were metallic and pastel. However, due to the wear I mentioned before, the colour started flaking off.

Now, I am no diva nor fashionista, but I draw the line at looking shabby. So peeling shoes was not my idea of acceptable. The shoes themselves are serviceable, so I thought I’d try painting them.

So I did. And here they are.

racing-stripesThey look rather cheerful now, and overall I am pleased with the way they turned out.

Ms. Fixit

Do you ever have favourite comfy home clothes that become ratty and tattered, but you don’t want to throw out because they are the comfiest things you own? I do. Several pairs of cotton sleep shorts which I love with my whole heart.

I may have just confessed to being in love with shorts. I can live with that.

Anyway. My mother has been on a mission to delete those pairs of shorts from my life. And I have resisted, claiming that they were irreplaceable. The shorts were bought at a fair in Goa, from an export surplus kiosk. Calling it a temporary structure is being very generous. The originals from the US would cost me a bomb to buy, so yeah no way was I giving up my ratty clothes.

Then, an Indian brand decides to launch sleep shorts too. And now I have a whole new set of them. With matching tees! So I had to think fast to save my shorts.

So I darned them. I have spent the last day and a half darning clothes. A talent, by the way, I didn’t know I had. I have had an enduring interest in embroidery, but I haven’t really done too much with it.

The other achievement of the week was a newish top that I had bought, but whose lace tore on a sharp edge somewhere. The lace was in a panel on the back, and looked awful. Mum and I stopped by a lace shop nearby, and got a long strip to be put in sections in its place. However, the tailor made a mess of the whole thing, so I had to undo it, and redo it. And it turned out really well!

The escapades above have engendered a little more confidence in my crafting abilities, and I think I will actually get around to tackling the projects I have shelved for years. Once I get around to them, I will post photos on here too. Yay! So excited.