Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Lace it up!

Dave's been traveling A LOT for work lately, and while I occupied myself last week with making a quilt, I needed to change it up this week with something different.  I've got another project in the works at the moment for a friend, but as that one is a stop and start work in progress, I took an hour of my time this week to make something for myself. 

I stopped into Old Navy the other night, on the hunt for ear muffs.  Yes, ear muffs.  I'm going to be taking a European holiday soon (holiday sounds so much lovelier than vacation, doesn't it?), and because the weather will be slightly warmer there than at home, I wanted something to keep my ears warm, without mashing my hair down.  Well, forget it on the earmuffs.  They're not my project, and I couldn't find them anywhere.  I went to Target, Kohls, and Old Navy since they're all in the same shopping plaza, and NADA.  Did I miss out on something?  Do people not wear big, fuzzy ear muffs anymore?  I know I could go online and buy some, but the magic has been lost, and the moment has passed.  I'll get by without them.

While in Old Navy, however, I noticed some SUPER SALES! that I couldn't pass up.  Now that I work primarily from home, I don't need to shop for work clothes anymore.  I could, however, stand to treat myself to some cozy sweaters and sweatshirts.  A bunch of the stuff on sale in Old Navy was quite plain looking, but that was fine by me.  I picked up this lovely charcoal gray (or is it grey?  Which spelling do you like better?  I think I like the "a" version) sweatshirt for $10.  Done.  I also got a velour sweatshirt for $8.  I don't care if velour was sooo 2001, I'm wearing it.  It's soft, and I'm in my house.

Whoops-forgot to take a before shot.  That's alright- Old Navy's website has you paying
$2.50 more than in the store.  SCORE.

Last month, I was at the mall and had been browsing through J. Crew, and they had two sweatshirts that had been embellished there, with price tags of $168.  FOR A SWEATSHIRT.  I do realize that this sweatshirt had been "hand sewn" in a design that was "hand drawn" by the J. Crew designers, but come on.  Not happening for this girl.  I can "hand sew" and "hand draw", too. 

Hey, it's 30% off right now if you want to pay $120!

So, I kept this "embellished sweatshirt" idea in the back of my head, and waited for the perfect opportunity to present itself.  That moment has arrived.  I did some research after bringing home my $10 purchase, and decided that rather than sparkly jewels, I wanted a sweatshirt with lace.  Being practical and all, a sweatshirt with jewels is going to:

A.  Be annoying to wash
B.  Leave imprints on your face should you happen to nap on your arm, as one is wont to do while wearing a sweatshirt.
C.  Have a limited wear time during the holidays as a "jazzy shirt"
D.  Have the propensity to turn into a sweatshirt worn at a 2016 Ugly Christmas Sweater Party

All of these things convinced me that embellishing with lace was the way to go.  Also, I have a bunch of lace in my Craft Closet already (yes, that requires capitalization, although I would like to strike out Closet and replace with Room.  One can dream.), and I do not have a bunch of loose baubly gems sitting around.  For this project, I was looking to be crafty and creative without spending any extra money.  Here's some of what I found when I looked up "Sweatshirts with lace":

I took that inspiration, my scraps of lace, and took three pictures that I sent to my mom for voting.  The first picture's inspiration came from the top middle picture in the screenshot above.  The second was just because that was the only strip of that lace I had, and it fit perfectly in the space, and the third was based mainly on the bottom middle picture in the screenshot.




Which one did you vote for?  I texted these pictures to my mom- she voted for number 2.  So did I.  (For full disclosure, I was sitting on my couch while playing around with what lace to use, and didn't even look at the pictures I was taking.  I literally held my phone up above my head and hit the button.  Not bad, right?)

Here was the quick and easy process to Embellished Sweatshirt 2013 completion:

I had some extra iron on transfer paper from previous projects, and cut some tiny pieces of it to fit on the back of the larger, solid pieces of lace.  I didn't cut a whole ribbon to match the size of the lace piece, because you would have been able to see the sticky stuff through the gaps in the lace.

Cutting the iron on pieces.

Can you see the iron on pieces?  They're there- I promise!!

Next, I ironed the lace onto the sweatshirt to keep it stable for sewing.

Then, I grabbed some off-white thread and a needle, and proceeded to sew some quick knots just along the outer edges of the lace.  If I didn't do this, I'm sure that the lace would pop right off during the first wash/dry cycle. 

Small stitches and knots.

I did this while sitting in front of the t.v., so I wasn't really paying attention to how long it took me.  I really only sewed and knotted on the commercials, so the process was drawn out over an hour.  Rest assured, if you want to do something similar and you're actually going to concentrate on getting it done, it won't take you anywhere near that long. 

I'd dare you to find my stitches, but that would be unfair.  They're invisible.

If you're wondering where I got the beautiful lace, and you're thinking that you haven't seen anything like that in your local JoAnn's, you're right.  You're not going to find it there.  Last year, I made a bunch of scarves with a mix of jersey fabric and pretty lace.   This is what's left.  I got the lace at Haberman's Fabrics.  If it's possible to be in love with a fabric store, Haberman's will do it for you.  They don't carry your run of the mill everyday fabrics.  They carry gorgeous, run your hands over it, feast your eyes on it, sigh when you look at the price tag type of fabric.  But anything you get there is OH SO WORTH IT.  Which is why I went home with a bunch of imported Italian lace last year, and cried when I went back for more, and it was gone.  Sigh.

Now, though, I'll get to wear that beautiful Italian lace with my comfy sweatshirt.  It adds just the right amount of pizzazz to an otherwise lackluster top. 

I apologize for not posting a picture of me wearing the sweatshirt, but I don't do selfies.
Picture it with a dark pair of skinny jeans, brown boots, and a cross body emerald color purse. 
'Cause that's how I'm rockin' it.

So, please don't be offended if I stick my chest out at you the next time I'm wearing it and ask you to admire my shirt.  I'm really asking you to look at the shirt, and only the shirt.  I swear.

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