Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Hippie at Heart

Patchwork and embroidery have been around for a long time and why not? It's a fun way to lengthen and enliven the life of your clothes.  I recently started a couple of these denim projects that have taken on lives of their own.

These short term projects that really have no end date are perfect for my collection of small textile scraps.  So many little pieces that I can't bear to toss...Hmong embroidery, braided trim,  pieces of indigo dyed cotton. And this project is perfect for learning to start something,  put it down for a while and then pick it up again.  Anyone else have that compulsion to finish something once you've started it?  This has turned into a form of meditation.

The thread used for boro and sashiko stitching is different than regular embroidery thread. It's more dense and you don't have to separate the individual threads.  Of course I thought my idea to prethread the needles was ingenious but I'm sure I'm just really late to the game on this one.

Japanese sashiko stitching is very structured and neat.  It is traditionally done with white thread on indigo cotton or the reverse- dark stitching on a white background. Boro stitching is looser and used for what is called "visible mending" I love that term.  Clearly I landed on the boro side.

As with most of my work, this project is unplanned and free flowing. It just sort of evolves.  I start by gathering a stack of my favorite textiles and then cutting them to a certain size and sewing them down.  Some of this project was actual mending of holes but most of it is just a patchwork of things I love.

I suppose that I shouldn't really call this "finished" but here are the jeans in their most current state. I used machine stitching for the vertical strips on the left. Couldn't bear the thought of all of that hand stitching.  And, I like the mix.

Here's a pair of shorts that I'm working on now.  Sometimes it's hard to know where to go next. This is sitting for a while until I'm ready to proceed.

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