Wednesday, October 23, 2013

When life gives you lemons, cover them in beads.

Over a year and a half ago I made the caplet featured in the out of print Butterick  5843. 

Alabama Chanin had just launched its a line featuring polka dots and I thought I'd give it a try. I did not have an airbrush so I painted the fabric using my old timey spray bottle method. This method was hit or miss for me. Sometimes I got the paint to stay within the stencil shape, but other times it leaked out over the side. 

The spillage seamed minor and given that I was still new to AC hand-sewing, I decided to press on with this project. I used a double layer of jersey cotton; grey underneath and a denim blue on top.  I stenciled black paint to color the polka dots. To secure the layers, I used embroidery floss and a reverse back stitch. Some shapes had two layers of embroidery floss in grey and white. 

After some time I finished the cape. On one hand, I was happy that I finished a project, but on the other hand I was not happy with the paint. In those days, my sewing results were hit or miss and I was just happy to be advancing in my sewing and using pieces they didn't necessarily work as practice. So, I finished the cape and put it in my closet where it hung unused.

Fast forward to the present day and Natalie's Craftsy class. When she got to the topic of beading she mentioned using beading as a decorative element, but also as an aid to help hide mistakes! This gave me the brilliant idea to bring some new life into this forgotten project. I would use beads to cover the spillage of the paint and hopefully get a wearable garment. I used a mixture of bugle beads, chop beads, and sequins to create random half-beading along the outside of the stenciled shapes and embroidery stitches. This did wonders to hide the paint that bled through the stencil.

Beading on the outside of the polka dots.
Double reverse back-stitched shapes
Cape Front with a cross stitch binding along the neckline and front
Cape Back
The original cape was secured with jersey ties. I decided to swap that out for a jersey covered button and elastic loop. I am pleased with the result and will not allow this to hang out in the back of the closet anymore.

Happy Sewing,

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