Friday, July 16, 2010

Reverse Applique Bag

small slow stitch bag closeup

I've been seeing these beautiful reverse applique items all over blog-land for a couple of years now and have been fascinated by them. I've always wanted to try the technique but have never felt very confident with my hand-stitching abilities.

Then I saw this tutorial by Beki at Artsy-Crafty Babe and was hooked. I thought about it all day at work yesterday. (I'm sure my employer appreciates that).

When I came home, I looked for the freezer paper I knew I had bought a couple of years ago. It wasn't where I thought it was, but a yardstick I had "lost" over a year ago was there. I have a corner in my apartment that I refer to as the "Bermuda Corner". I have lost more items in that corner in the years I've lived here than I can count. I live alone. How can these things keep going missing??

I eventually located the freezer paper (in a closet. who put that there?) and then couldn't find the t-shirts I had started cutting up for another project (that I haven't ever mentioned. I'm an excellent craft blogger, aren't I? yeeshk). This led to a complete overhaul of my sewing shelves to find the fabric (on the bottom) but now that area is tidy, so yay, bonus!

My paints were where I thought they were and the textile medium was exactly where I thought it was (because it had never been in the Bermuda Corner. Obvs.) so I got going on stenciling a simple design on my fabric. I decided to do a small bag (about 3" x 6" complete) so if my mad hand stitching skillz failed me it wouldn't be too big a write-off.

You know how you get a project idea in your head and you have to start it RIGHT THAT SECOND or you won't be able to concentrate on anything else? (Yeah, I know you do. That's why we all get along so well.) So I painted my design and then my brain went "Oh, wait. Paints are wet. This has to dry before any stitching can be done." and then my brain said "Huh? wait? no one said anything about waiting." and pouted for a while.

I used my hairdryer. I'm not ashamed to admit that.

Eventually it was dry and I got going on stitching. I'm not very good at even stitches by hand so it's very very very "homemade" as opposed to "charmingly handmade" but I am very happy with my first attempt at this process. (and I used the word "very" 5 times in that sentence so I'm sure my writing award is on its way, no?) I decided to complete the bag by hand, just to see if I could do it. I did a "charmingly handmade" (ha) wonky blanket stitch up both sides and turned the top edges under with a straight stitch to leave a casing for a draw string if I decide I want one.

small slow stitch bag

I will definitely be attempting more of this technique. I love the finished look, and who would have guessed at the colors I pulled out for this practice bag? (ha. ehem). For now this is holding my sunglasses in my bag but I think it might end up seeing use as a sock-in-progress bag.

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