Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Handmade Holidays 2009 #1: for my sweetie

the holidays are fast approaching and I thought this year I'd post a few things earlier, in case some of you are - like me - still making things, or maybe even still looking for inspiration. This one isn't even finished yet - but on the off-chance that he actually looks at my blog for some reason, at least he won't see the whole thing.

Now, I don't make a lot of things for my partner - or at least, it doesn't feel like I do. A Halloween costume here, a pair of really loud pajamas there ... that's about it. But upon learning that he really loves patchwork and starting to hear more often that he likes the things I make and that I should make HIM a shirt from that cool fabric I bought for myself, etc., I've realized that maybe he would like to have more personal things made for him. I mean, I do all this sewing and embroidery for everyone else I know.

So, in addition to the clothes that he really NEEDED, I decided to embroider a little something for hanging on the wall. It's the second stanza of Pound's two-stanza poem, "The Garret," which I can't read without thinking of him and the beautiful early dawn hours in the height of summer. You know those mornings, when you can smell the coming heat in the air, but while it's still just a promise - not there yet? Yeah, those mornings.

So, to do this, I typed up and printed out my poem, about 24pt font. (I used a font he likes, too.) I gently ironed two pieces of Solvy together with a very low iron, with a piece of paper between the solvy and my iron to prevent messes. This just kind of welds the two pieces of Solvy together. Normally, one piece is fine, but if I'm going to make a lot of holes very close together (say, when working words?), I find a single sheet of Solvy can tear and then my design warps before I'm done working it.

Once the Solvy is fused, I laid it over my poem and traced out the poem using a permanent pen (I use sharpie). When the solvy dissolves, the ink doesn't transfer - it's fine. I also drew rectangles on my solvy to use as guidelines for sewing my borders. You lay your Solvy sheet over your fabric and slip the pieces into your hoop together. When you're all done sewing, soak the sucker in water and the solvy will dissolve, leaving only your work! Its a nice way to make an embroidery pattern for yourself.

I stitched the poem in a combo of running and stem stitch, with french knots to dot the i's and make periods. I'm working two little borders around it, one in palestrina knot, and then a blanket stitch and laisy daisy combo that I found through google. When it's done, I might reinforce it with some fusible interfacing on the back, and then I'll find a little frame, probably without glass. It'll be just over 5" X 7" with the borders.

I hope he likes it ... because I sure like him a lot =)

1 comment:

Polly said...

This is such a beautiful idea. I make my boyfriend handmade presents, some more successful than others, but he isn't really very into things for the home or more "romantic" gifts so it's usually clothes. I hope your partner appreciates this gift because it looks so lovely and is obviously very heartfelt.