Hand Sewing · sewing · Upcycling

Something Borrowed….

One of my favourite things about sewing and textiles is that it is such a huge worldwide field and there are always so many new things to learn. There is such history wrapped up in cloth and sewing, it really is the tale of humans and culture with the added emotions of birth, death, migration, persecution, memories of clothing worn, comfort and so much more.

One of the skills I picked up was based on the traditional Japanese technique of Boro, this as with lots of cultural trends that come and go is steeped in history. A way of patching and repairing clothing to pass down to family members, these items of clothing or household textiles would have been repaired to last and essentially contained the story of the family through the textiles used.

Unlike now, where as a trend there is no history or emotion and items are sought after as a sign of expensive luxury. I still cannot understand the trend of buying jeans with identikit factory made rips in them already, any wear patches or mending should be a sign of how the clothing was worn.

Anyway, here are a few pics of the skills I picked up during the session, we were encouraged to be really creative and add other stitches and embroidery over the top. Since the session I have made several more of the squares and added other bits and pieces to them such as buttons and, I am really pleased to be able to say that all the fabrics are scraps I had already.

The largest photo is the stitching I did on the original session and the last one here at the bottom is the current piece I am stitching, it is based on a day trip that I took to Clevedon, near Bristol. I have decided that I would like to use the techniques to recall events and trips that I have taken, particularly in the natural landscape. It is instilling my emotions and memories into cloth and creating a visual diary for myself that is not on a hard drive.

Hand Sewing · Upcycling

Japanese Twist

This was an easy upcycle that I decided to apply to my denim jacket. I acquired this jacket from a friend via a clothes swap and the fabric print of Mount Fuji came from a table runner found in my in-laws flat when it was cleared out after my mother-in-law passed away and we sold the flat on.

The print was part of a multiple set all with a white border surround, which made the picture really easy to cut out.

I applied the the cut out fabric to a piece of double sided iron on fusible web, which I then positioned and applied to the jacket back.

I stitched the appliqued fabric to the jacket by hand using a large zig zag stitch.

I like that the edges are fraying slightly as it reminds me of when punks used to DIY their denim with cut out bits and safety pins in the 1970’s and 80’s.

Close up of the hand stitched edge. I used the thread double for extra strength and you may be able to see that I used a varigated colour thread for a softer appearance.