crafting

Advanced Geometry

After a brief hiatus, FOLKLORE is back on the grid and ready to craft in the Windy City. So… let’s get to it!

If you recall, I made a simple triangle bag back in January and it was instant love. With a fold here and a seam there, I turned a single piece of fabric into a large, utilitarian bag that was perfect for toting around my belongings. Loved my creation so much that I decided to sew another one before we moved in March. This time around, I made things a little more complicated.

Pattern Side 1Et voila! Advanced Geometry, if you will.

In an effort to use up some of my fabric stash before the big move, I created a patchwork of springy prints and paired it with a delicate cream and denim floral to tie it all together. It’s a really sturdy piece and totally reversible – bonus points! I can’t wait to take this bag out for chilly mornings at farmers’ markets and sunny afternoons spent thrift shopping.Pattern Side 2

Why, those are some nice seams! I have to say, those sun-washed hues are very much in line with Pantone’s Spring 2014 Fashion Color Report.lining

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Wurm by Katharina Nopp

Yesterday, it was 75 degrees in East Tennessee. And here I thought it was December… Instead of indulging in cozy sweaters, I’ve been reduced to daydreaming of flurries and all the handmade knits I desperately want to wear. Still, in the face of unseasonal weather, I’d like to share one of my favorite knits of all time. *Drumroll* May I present, Wurm by Katharina Nopp.wurm profile

I finished my beloved wurm hat when I was still living in Chicago. Those grad school days were long and stressful, and knitting this quirky hat was a fun way to unwind. In the future, I’d love to experiment with color to play up the shape of the pattern.wurm wurm stand up 1 wurm rolls

We’ve had lots of adventures together, most notably Snowpocalyse 2011. You might know this epic blizzard by another name, such as Snowmaggedon, Snowzilla, or, my personal favorite, snOMG. I think you get the point – there was a lot of snow.

The day after the storm had passed, I took the opportunity to run out onto frozen Lake Michigan. As the sun set over my beautiful, snowed-in city, I stole a great photo of the skyline from atop a frozen wave. In the other direction, it was iced-over lake as far as the eye could seechicago skyline snowpocalypse lake michigan snowpocalypse

Beaded Peter Pan Collar Tutorial

2013-08-18 10.13.28 HDRTurning a boring ol’ t-shirt into an embellished masterpiece is as easy as draw, outline, and fill! Let’s get to it.

WHAT YOU WILL NEED
Crew-neck or scoop neck t-shirt
Thread to match t-shirt
Thread to contrast t-shirt
Needle
Beads (I used three tubes of 6/0 e-beads in Onxy)
Fabric chalk

Before starting, I recommend giving the shirt one last machine wash. You’ll probably want to handwash your top once the collar is complete.

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Outline1. DRAW THE COLLAR
Draw an outline of your collar directly onto the t-shirt using your fabric chalk. I free-handed mine, but tracing a pattern is always an option.

Don’t be afraid to try out different sizes and shapes until you find something you like. A damp cloth will erase the outline if you want to make adjustments or completely start over. I drew a smaller collar in the beginning, but ultimately decided on something more substantial.

Once I was happy with my sketched-on collar, I used the contrasting thread to sew on an outline. I figured that as I beaded, the chalk would rub off (which totally happened). While this step might seem redundant, it will save you from re-drawing your outline over and over as you begin to sew on the beads.

2. BEAD THE OUTLINE
Your collar is outlined and your beads are assembled, so it’s time to start sewing. Pick a point to begin beading and just go for it! I doubled my thread for extra hold and sewed on one bead at a time.

Make sure your knots are nice and secure, and every so often, gently tug on the fabric to make sure that the beading will stretch. I had this nightmarish vision of pulling the t-shirt over my head, hearing a pop, then watching helplessly as beads tumbled to and bounced all over the floor. Kinda like this.

Once I had beaded around the entire collar in the front, I sewed a single row around the back of the neck. It’s totally optional, but I’m a fan of even the smallest details.

fill in

3. FILL IN THE COLLAR
The final, but most time-consuming step is simply filling in the collar. Just as you did for the outline, sew on one bead at a time and stretch the fabric every once in a while. I took the opportunity to add a bead or two to the outline itself, creating a smoother and more polished edge.

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Like I said, it’s a very simple project and totally worth the time spent. If you use this tutorial, please send pics to folklorecraft (at) gmail (dot) com! I would be honored if you shared your creativity with me!on table

Beaded Peter Pan Collar

Close-Up On

Moving twice in 11 months will certainly prompt you re-evaluate your wardrobe. Why pack, move, and unpack something you haven’t worn in ages? Why fill your closet with clothing that’s out-of-shape, the wrong size, or just plain uninteresting? My friend Sarah, the Fröhliche Haus Frau, recently blogged about her experience downsizing for her move across the Atlantic. It’s tough and sometimes heartbreaking work, but completely necessary if you wish to maintain a polished wardrobe and your sanity. Trust me.

Plain Black Tee

Even though I’ve made a concerted effort to maintain a slimmed down closet, a few items always seem to fly under the radar. I recently discovered this black t-shirt stuffed in the back of a very neatly folded drawer. How?! Why?! Alas, I had no answers. I honestly can’t even remember the last time I wore it. Not good.

Rather than toss it into the donate pile, I decided to give the shirt one last chance. The high neckline made the tee the perfect candidate for a peter pan collar – so hot right now.* I toyed with the idea of sewing a collar, but DJ encouraged me to try something new. I went out on a limb, and by that I mean to the craft store, and took on the task of beading one instead.

On Hanger

The project was surprisingly simple, albeit time consuming. I worked on the collar over the course of a few nights, but I think the results are definitely worth the time invested. Plus, what’s easier than throwing on a t-shirt with a built-in necklace?

I took some pictures along the way, too, and I’m considering putting together a tutorial. Anyone interested?

*this phrase only exists in my lexicon as a Zoolander reference