Sunday, May 29, 2022

100 Days of Slow Stitching with found objects—a recap

The 2022 100 Day Project came to an end on May 23. For my 100 Days of Slow Stitching: Stitched Scrolls with Found Objects and Fallen Pieces, I showed up every day and have 5 hand stitched journal scrolls that show the results of this daily practice. I love them!

The 100 Day Project 2022: Stitching Found Objects and Fallen Pieces.

100 days of Found Objects and Fallen Pieces

To get started, I gathered leftover bits (fallen pieces) from various past projects to fill two small baggies. By being observant and present during this daily exercise, I discovered a number of random, everyday items that are often taken for granted or discarded. This expanded my selection of "found objects." Both were incorporated these into my stitch journal scrolls. A few of them include...

Hotel and travel paraphernalia: key card paper envelopes, soap wrappers, and food coupons. 

Hotel paraphernalia: paper key card envelopes and soap wrappers.

Tea bag tags and wrappers: have you ever taken time to read the tags on the end of tea bag strings?

Tea bag wrappers and tags on the end of the tea bag strings.

Postage stamps: there are colorful commemorative first class postage stamps and "themed" cancellation marks (like "Energy Awareness Month") adorning our mail pieces.

Commemorative postage stamps.

Colorful texture was created by couching down thrums and crumbs—yarn bits, handmade paper scraps, fabric trimmings, thread waste—to the fabric scrolls.

Thrums and crumbs create colorful texture.

New embroidery stitches and new favorites

The more one practices, the better one gets. This is true for embroidery. And I found I grew fonder of some basic stitches by doing them more frequently, and with new color combinations, and different types and weights of thread. 

Couching: the laying of threads [or yarn or fabric slivers] on the surface of the fabric and securing them or anchoring them with small stitches of another thread.

Couching yarn, knit fabric slivers, quilt trimmings, etc. with various threads.

Blanket stitch: this stitch has so many variations and possibilities. It can be uniform in size and shape or very organic. I've used multiple thread colors and used it to appliqué and couch other fabrics and threads. My favorite motif is creating a mandala/circle by working from the center outwards.

The blanket stitch and its variations.

Three embroidery stitch books from the '60s and '70s were used as reference to learn new stitches. This 100 Day Slow Stitching Project was a good opportunity to try something new. 

A stitch sampler of new-to-me stitches.

Finding new materials for stitching

Fallen pieces included "fabric slivers" from the serger and trimmings from the rotary cutter. If you have a large eye needle, these slivers can be threaded through the needle and used to stitch—lazy daisy stitches, ruffles, spider web roses and other embroidery stitches.

Embroidering with knit and woven fabric slivers.

Incorporating other handwork techniques

It was fun to incorporate samples of other techniques into the stitch journal: hand weaving, quilted scraps, knitting swatches, and tatting samples.

Incorporating weaving, knitting, tatting and quilted samples.

Five stitched scrolls: front and back

Here are my 5 stitched scrolls end to end.

Five stitched scrolls from The 100 Day Project 2022.

And no embroidery project would not be complete without showing the back. 

Backs of the stitched scrolls.

Take time to notice the small things that are often overlooked.

Sunday, May 22, 2022

Slow Fashion Challenge 2022 recap

By taking the Slow Fashion Challenge earlier this month (May 1-14, 2022), I connected with many people actively involved and passionate about this topic, and learned about some of the issues and what can be done to at least minimize and ultimately eliminate the perils of fast fashion.

Slow Fashion Challenge 2022

Answering the prompts

There were 14 prompts for the Challenge—one for each day. As one would expect, some were easier to respond to and others required research and education. The "educational" aspect of this Challenge was one of the reasons I signed up to participate.

These samples are responses to a few of the simpler prompts (clockwise from upper left):

  • Green Closet: I have a selection of me-made clothes that I wear for my job. This Bristol top was made from leftover knits from previous projects. Aiming for zero waste.
  • Vintage: using vintage buttons from a resale shop on my Kangaroo Path Top
  • Rework: my Tablecloth Jacket 
  • Community: my Boho Wiksten top, a collaboration project with Anonymous.
Bristol Top, Kangaroo Path top, Tablecloth Jacket, Boho Wiksten top.

Being a quiltmaker, the "Scraps/Waste Reduction" prompt was easy—fabric twine, making kitty quilts, and making scrap quilts. As the scraps get smaller, the projects get smaller—EPP hexies for a needle book and my 100 Day Stitch Scroll project.

Fabric twine, kitty quilts from scraps, scrap quilt, small projects from scraps.

The more thought-provoking topics were Size Inclusive, Inclusivity, Greenwashing, and coming up with a Slow Fashion Pledge. I found more information about these topics in the following articles:

Is inclusivity part of the sustainable spectrum? by Samanta Bullock

Can we mend our relationship with repairing clothes? by Lauren Rees

Sustainable Fashion Heavyweights dive under the sheets to champion Transparency 

Topics from the Slow Fashion Challenge 2022.

The Slow Fashion community

The sponsors of the Slow Fashion Challenge were Louise Kane of ReAdorn London, Sharmon Lebby of Blessed Designs, and Amy Daileda of Vivid Element. The sponsors and other participants were very knowledgeable, supportive of each other, and offered lots of photos and information about their practices and thoughts about the issues. 

It takes a village

The problems with fast fashion are global. Recommendations from the community that every person can do to combat the issues:

  • Reduce consumption. Buy less.
  • Buy better. Buy quality. Buy only what you need and take care of what you buy.
  • Choose natural fibers, organic, recycled and upcycled. Buy from ethical and eco conscious brands.
  • Support local community artisans, tailors, and makers. Shop small, indie, local, vintage and second hand.
  • Engage with brands. Ask questions. Research and learn.
From the perspective of someone in the textile industry, my suggestion would be:
  • Be or become a maker! Learn mending, sewing, alterations. Make garments you love and care for them.

"The most sustainable garment is the one already in your wardrobe." 

Orsola de Castro, Fashion Revolution co-founder
and author of "Loved Clothes Last"

Monday, May 16, 2022

Nearing the finish line of The 100 Day Project

 The finish line is in sight! There are less than 10 days remaining in The 100 Day Project. I'm happy with the progress I've made and things I've learned with my hand-carved stamp project.

Combining stamped images with watercolors.

More mixed media

I've gotten more adventurous with the stamp carving over the 90+ days and have incorporated watercolors and slow drawing with the stamping. 

Stamping combined with slow drawing using colored pink ens.

New tools and materials

From a tip from a fellow stamp carver, I got 6 or 8 rubber stamp rounds that are pre-cut, so circles are more precise. I've added the VersaFine ink pads from Tsukineko which provide good ink coverage. And I've added a few more acrylic stamp blocks to my toolbox.

Stamp mounting blocks, circle stamp blanks and new ink pads.

I have 69 hand-carved stamps. Two of them have two sides that I use, so there are 71 images.

69 hand-carved rubber stamps, 71 images.

I'll be looking back through my sketchbooks after the final day. I'm sure I'll see the evolution and improvement of the prints. I'm having a lot of fun with this practice and will likely continue after Day 100.

Sunday, May 1, 2022

May is the month for Slow Fashion challenges

May 1 is the first day of the Slow Fashion Challenge 2022. The Challenge is hosted by Louise Kane of ReAdorn London, Sharmon Lebby of Blessed Designs, and Amy Daileda of Vivid Element. This is the 6th year and they've modified the Challenge—with daily prompts—to span only 14 days. 

I'm going to give it a go. 

Slow Fashion Challenge 2022 daily prompts.

Slow fashion and sustainability

In prepping for the Show Fashion Challenge, a little research revealed this information from a Slow Fashion USA social media post: 

What is slow fashion? We ask ourselves this question constantly. In 1987 the UN defined sustainable as “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."

It's a LOT to think about!

At a personal level

While I don't work directly in the [fast] fashion industry, I do have a role in the textile industry. On a personal level, I make some of my own garments (personal fashion). So, I have choices on what and where I source the fabrics and materials I use in my projects, and I have control over the care, use, and longevity of these items.

I hope to become more aware about the issues and goals of the Slow Fashion movement through this challenge. My initial pledge would be to slow down, make mindful purchasing decisions, buy better, and support small businesses. Through this challenge, I hope to learn more about better care methods, mending, repurposing/re-engineering garments (and fabric scraps) so I can use pieces longer before retiring them.

Me Made May

On another note, the Me-Made-May Challenge begins today as well. This Challenge is in its 13th year and it's set up with the purpose of getting better acquainted with your self-made—or "me-made"—wardrobe. If you are a maker, I think it plays perfectly with the Slow Fashion Challenge. 

Me Made May 2022

Enjoy these May activities whether you follow them or participate in them.

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