Thursday, 13 September 2007


I love the texture of crochet - it's heavier and denser than knitting. This is the finished bib over on the right, well, almost finished. I haven't manged to deal with the ends yet because I'm already a few rows into the next one. Crochet (particularly of small items) is very portable and I was able to do it standing in the train this morning. (I even did manage to catch the 7:40am - heavens.) Although difficult to discern there is a buttonhole there at the end of one of the straps and I will be sewing on a wooden button which I think will match nicely with the natural look of the cotton.

As mentioned before, the cotton is recycled from a jumper. Unravelling a commercially made garment is a fascinating process, it's very interesting to see how it has been constructed and where all of the ends are hidden and there is a destructive relish involved similar to that involved in pruning roses - it's all for a greater good. I have previously recommended Neauveau Fiber Arts' tutorial on unravelling a jumper but I do have a quick something to add on the topic of good seams.

A good seam has two sides, one that resembles running stitch and one that looks like a row of Vs - actually, it's a row of interlocking loops. To most efficiently undo the seam you want to orient the garment as shown in the photo, best begin with the V closest to the end of the seam, be it a hem or the juncture with another seam. Cut through both legs of the V with some fine sharp scissors or a quick-unpick but don't pull at the threads yet; instead, lift the stitch below up a bit such that it becomes free of the V that you have just cut, at the same time taking care not to let any of the cut threads pull through to the back of the fabric. Once the cut legs of the V are free of the stitch below, you should be able to pull at them and the seam will unravel all the way to the end (or to wherever it snags, but you get the picture, yes?).

Purchasing clothing at the op shop with an eye to recycling them, either for yarn or fabric, has become a new way of shopping. I now look for colour and texture and print, I look through the plus-sizes rack because really, if you're going to spend $4 on a jumper to recycle you may as well get as much yarn as you can! This pretty blue and white floral fabric is previously featured amongst my best intentions and is a Blazer men's shirt, 100% cotton. The size is XL so there is heaps of fabric there to make a summer dress and perhaps something else for baby bear. I'm thinking a pintucked sundress that utilises the existing button placket as the fastening in the back as this is a lazy way to get professional button holes (and to avoid learning to do them myself). Or maybe another smock - the pattern arrived in the post from the US a couple of days ago - love ebay!

I realise that all of my intended refashioning projects so far have been for children's clothes - yes, there is some lovely printed 1970s velvet in there that is destined for me. I'll post about that next.

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