Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Clothes-Related Crafts I'd Like to Try This Summer

I'm not all about sewing, knitting or crochet (the latter of which I'm really frustrated with right now. I'm contemplating the third go-around on just starting this skirt. I feel like I know the pattern, so I'm not just quite ready to ditch the project quite yet. A hiatus, yes; a complete spurning, no.)

Anyhow, there are some other crafts I'd think about doing because I'm constantly reading the thrice-updated Craft Magazine blog. Actually I don't think I've seen too much there about the first craft I'd like to try:

1. Hair-pin Lace. I wrote a little bit about this on my other blog. I bought a special walnut-frame lace pin last year. Have I touched it yet? It's still wrapped up in that lightweight white plastic wrap. I keep thinking about bringing it into this yarn shop and buying some yarn on sale, then just making a swatch so that I can at least say I gave hairpin lace a shot. I swear I'd probably would like hairpin lace once I started it. I have this way-cool 1930s hairpin lace pattern booklet that I got for 25 cents last year because it was missing its cover. It has some beautiful blouses, skirts, dresses from that time, all in hairpin lace. Naturally done with super-thin yarn at a tiny gauge, which scares me more than attempting that stupid crochet skirt again. But I should do a chunky yarn swatch in the lace pattern, than a spider-webby one. What do you think? Then, and only then, will I dive into something adventurous like the 1930s booklet. I also remember some 1950s Vogue Knitting pattern booklet that has this sumptous full-skirted dress all in hairpin lace. I think that would make for a pretty wedding dress. If I could come across that image again, I'd link it. And I'd make it and upload it to Ravelry. Which gets me thinking. How many hairpin lace examples of stuff are there on Ravelry anyway? I just might look after I finish this post.
2. Chicken-scratch embroidery. I've done embroidery and needle-point, so surely this is something I can do easily. I've even an embroidery hoop or two in my front closet. I just need some gingham fabric. I'd start with a very simple pattern. Maybe some "scratches" on pockets for a 1950s dirdl skirt. I really don't like dirndls because I feel they make me look heavier than I am. However, if I wore a pretty 1950s crinoline underneath, I think a dirndl would looks heavenly, breath-taking even. So how about a red-and-white gingham full skirt with a white eyelet-trimmed petticoat peaking out? I think that would be just gorgeous in a sort of Audrey Hepburn goes to the Lincoln Park zoo farm sort of way. I like all those embroidered aprons you see at the antique shops, but I have no real use for aprons in my life. I make salads and soups. I virtually never bake, unless you call making a complete-from-scratch pizza baking. My cooking is minimal, and so is my need for apronry. But a cute skirt is always useful, especially in summer time, when I virtually live in skirts (except at night, when I sleep in cropped pajama pants and a tee).
3. Smocking. I wrote about it way back when. This is another thing I've yet to do. Now makes it even easier than ever with Clover smocking stickers that show you where to put your needle. If I like to make all those French dots I made on that strawberry-shaped cocktail hat, why wouldn't I enjoy a little smocking by hand? I know I would enjoy it. Maybe if I did that 1940s blouse pattern on my old blog, The Sewist. If I used chiffon, I'd spray the silk or chiffon cardboard stiff with Hancock's fabric stabilizer, hoop it, and then smock away on a project for me, not for some little girl's dress that will only be worn once for a photograph. No, the top, the dress or whatever is going to be for me. It's the only way. It also has be somewhat easy. If it's not, I won't do it. So why I don't give up on the challenging crochet skirt is beyond me. I'm feeling stubborn. That's easy. I can be that way with crafts.
4. The Crazy Daisy winder. I have a 1930s version and a more current prototype. I could whip out cute sweaters. Even a dress! Even a skirt, nice and big in a 1950s way, but I don't know how to use this thing. I'm certain there's a YouTube video somewhere I how to use this thing, but I'm just....lazy but I'm not a daisy. I'm a peony.

Those really are the four crafts I'd really like to explore. What makes you explore a new craft? Is it a new tool? A pattern? The perfect fabric or yarn? Free stuff? Let me know because I'm dragging my size 9 feet here wondering whether I should really go to the local Stitch and Bitch when my crochet project and knitting projects have self-imploded. Sure, I can go and watch others work on their projects, I'll just eat and admire their handiwork.
*The image above? My latest eBay win. It looks like a crochet pattern to me. Sigh.

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