Last fall, I preordered Natalie’s newest book, The Geometry of Stitches. When it was delivered in November, I was so pleased. Not only did it describe many of the decorative stitches that Alabama Chanin uses to embellish their garments, but it included some great tools to help even a beginner master the stitches. My favorite part is the plastic stitching cards with grid patterns that you can use either to practice on or you can use them to mark your project to make sure your stitches are even.
The School of Making put out a new DIY kit at the same time, The Striped Scarf.
How beautiful is that! I decided I had to give it a try with some of my leftover fabric.
First I had to create a stencil. I just winged it and created the stripes myself and made a template on a piece of paper. I used that template to create a pennant felt stencil. The straight lines were really easy going with my exacto knife.
From there I airbrushed the stripes on a 54″ x 12″ piece of fabric. Here’s where I went rouge – I had a piece just this size in my left over ochre fabric, but, it was cut across the grain rather then with the grain. I decided to go for it anyway.
I went with white paint and I decided to only paint on 12″ worth of stripes on each end, and I decided to vary the stripes on each end so they didn’t match up perfectly. Then, I cut two pieces of natural fabric to put on the back side. I made an interesting choice here…instead of going across the grain like the top piece, I went with the grain hoping it would help keep the piece from curling up too much.
I also painted up a piece for my sister with some of her leftover parchment fabric. I had bought the book for her for Christmas. Here’s a picture of how she chose to work up her scarf. I have always admired her creativity.
I’ve always been a bit more formal and need to follow instructions so this was a bit of a challenge for me. That was, until I got the first stripe stitched with two lines of blanket stitches and decided to add sequins to it.
This got me really excited and I finished up one end of the scarf in no time.
See, pretty basic. This was my first time doing the zig-zag rosebud and the couching. You can tell I used the grid on the rosebud because the stitches are so even, and that I didn’t on the couching. Of course, I had to put a stripe of chain stitch on there, it’s one of my go-tos.
I have to admit, at this point I put it down for a while. I think my job was using up all of my creative juices. That is, until Craftsy was having a 50% off sale and I bought Natalie Chanin’s Embroidery class.
I can’t say enough about this class and Natalie’s other classes on Craftsy. (They also offered free streaming on Mother’s Day weekend so I got to watch some of her other classes as well.) There is nothing like spending time with Natalie and hearing her talk about “loving your thread” and “long thread, lazy girl.”
What I didn’t realize when I first bought the Embroidery class was that you get several resources with the class. In this case, it was a .pdf file that includes class materials, a full size variegated stripe stencil, a curved variegated striped stencil (for the bottom of the swing skirt), the fern stencil and a metric conversion guide. WOW! Bonus. The striped swing skirt is now high on my project pile list.
After watching the class, I broke out my grid again and got back to work. I loved my blanket stitch/sequin stripe so much I had to put it on the other side of the scarf, but this time I got a little more creative by putting different types of stitches on both sides of a stripe like The School of Making’s example below:
Once I was done with the stripes and tried to wear the scarf, it became apparent that cutting it across the grain was a mistake. The scarf kept trying to roll in the wrong direction so the back of the scarf would show.
For this picture, I took quite a bit of time to position the scarf so it wouldn’t curl back on itself, but when I tried to wear it, it was just too difficult to keep it straight so I had to come up with a plan. I decided to stitch it together kind of like a tube and that did the trick. It’s a bit of a different look but I don’t have to worry that all my work won’t get seen.
The finished project: I love it and I think I’ll get a lot of wear out of it.
If you get a chance, check out all of the different DIY kits using the stripe stencil on The School of Making’s website. They have some amazing options like a T-shirt and a table runner. I’m thinking there will be a lot of striped garments in my wardrobe soon!