Been putting stuff together for my latest convention, the American Atheists 50th anniversary con in Austin, TX, this weekend.
I always feel better-represented in new environs when wearing something I made. I made a new shirt for this trip, with some beautifully soft knits, but it's not all that exciting to anyone but me. The main piece is actually an embellished skirt.
As I've mentioned before, I'm just crazy for my embroidery machine (my dear Rudy). One of the major challenges in working with it, though, is lettering. It's very difficult to get exactly the right tension balance for any small/detailed stitch work, but lettering is particularly devillish because any flaw is so screechingly obvious.
But I loves me some words, so I decided what I wanted was a great quote, on an awesome background, added as a detail to a skirt I already own and wear (so it'll be more than a one-time-garment).
I started with the fabric. The last time I was at Joann, I'm pretty sure I'd looked for this "universe" fabric and didn't find it. So I wasn't even thinking about it when it jumped out at me from the quilting department. I just love the colors and the...impossibility of the design. Grabbed a yard.
Next came the skirt. The last time I purged my closet, I gave a friend 27 skirts that I no longer wore. I'm not exaggerating, that's the real number (she never wears pants, so this was a windfall for her). Even so, I have a whole rail of skirts left -- what can I say, they're the easiest thing to make, and now that I have a system down for making slinky leggings, I wear skirts pretty regularly myself.
Point is, I had a lot of options.
I chose this burgundy denim, as it coordinated nicely with the jeweltones in the quilting fabric.
Next, the quote. Speaking of options...
There are a lot of writers and thinkers whose words I would happily wear. Because ol' Rude has a 100mm x 100mm size limit, I needed to find a favorite that was pretty short, but still related to the overall design AND the conference. This Sam Harris quote from "Free Will" is one I especially like (whether or not it jibes with the overall point of the book...discussion for another time), and struck me as being quite apropos.
I found a nice little embellishment, edited it, made it 2-color, fit the quote in (I don't want to hear anything about the kerning JIM), and stitched away.
The finished apx 4" trim was intended to fit along the lines of one of the pockets in the front. The pocket is still completely accessible, and buttonable. With that stitched down, I decided to take a couple of particularly cool illustrations from elsewhere on the leftover fabric and place those into the back pockets.
Again, the pockets are functional and buttonable. All I did was rip the inner stitching from the trim around the pocket (that Gingher seam ripper...manoman), carefully trim a piece of the quilting fabric to fit under the edge (with a hem at the top pocket opening) and restitch the trim. They look perfect. [pat pat]
So if any of you heathens in Texas this weekend see this walkin' by, be sure to say hello.
Oh! I forgot to mention my favorite comment when showing a friend what I was working on. He said, "My, you have a lot of space in those back pockets." Wakka wakka!