clothes in progress stencil

Speaking of doing it backwards..

The shark jaw stencil strikes again. You’re supposed to stencil your pattern pieces and do all the embellishment before you construct the garment, but in this case I really wanted the image to stay as whole as possible. I sewed five of the six panels together and pinned them flat to a board for stenciling.

Stick the shark jaw on everything.

And then, in what may be a terrible decision from the “needing access to the back” angle, I finished sewing the whole thing together. I basted a layer of scraps underneath the stencil to help support the weight of the beads that are going on it. Then I thought I should bind the neck and armholes so I didn’t overwhelm those basting stitches and make them wonky.

Prepare for beads.

I expect to have weeks (months) (years) of beading ahead of me so we’ll see how it goes.

hand embroidery i made it stencil

Shark jaw vest

I spent a lot of time cutting this shark jaw stencil and I can’t stop sticking it on things. I bought a moto-style hooded vest from the clearance rack at Target – a piece of clothing that I’m probably too old and uncool for – and hand appliquéd the image on the back. The ivory fabric is some cotton/poly interlock blend I got from the remnant bin at Jo-Ann. The paint is probably Tulip or something.

Shark jaw appliqué

clothes hand embroidery i made it stencil

Short fitted dress from Alabama Studio Sewing and Design

I don’t have much in the way of cotton jersey around, except for the bag of scraps I bought and some tshirts I haven’t cut up yet. I scoured Jo-Ann, and the only 100% cotton knit in the whole store is from the Doodles line aimed at young girls. The prints are small and busy and mostly hideous. I found this weird Pepto-bismol pink button flower print in the clearance bin, and bought all that remained with my magic 40% off coupon. I cut it into a couple chunks and dyed it to try to make it slightly less.. whatever it was. One piece went in raspberry, one in pewter. I’m not sure I was successful in toning it down, but I’m working with it anyway. (Since then I realized the fabric is a double knit and so the wrong side could easily be used as the right side, keeping the print mostly hidden. Gah!)

This time we’ll use the scallop stencil. Paint dabbed on with sponge brushes, and not covering the whole interior of the scallop.
Dress piece with scallop stencil

The top part of the dress is two layers, but not the bottom, because there wasn’t enough of the pink to make it that long. I stitched around the scallops with embroidery floss in a range of purple shades, #95-102 from Anchor.

Beginning embroidery at the top
Beginning stitching on dress panels

The wrong sides, about halfway done
stitching for reverse applique

Embroidery stitching completed, interior sections of scallops cut away at the top
Interior sections of scallops cut away for reverse applique

All done!
finished dress

Detail of binding stitch

clothes hand embroidery i made it stencil

Bucket hat from Alabama Studio Sewing and Design

What do do with those stencils? Let’s try the first thing out on the bucket hat from Alabama Studio Sewing and Design!

I used the shark jaw stencil, glittery paint, and a variegated cotton floss.

Bucket hat brim with stencil and some stitching

Originally I had planned to trim away most of the lighter fabric around the stenciled and stitched sections. Then I realized my only good fabric scissors are 8″ shears and a tiny pair of thread snippers, so I didn’t do that. (I have since purchased a good 5″ pair for reverse applique trimming.)

Before construction:
trimmed, ready to construct

All done:
congratulations, you have a weird hat

i made it stencil

Making stencils

The next step up for my clothes-making endeavors was to start embellishing the pieces with stencils and stitching. I used acrylic pennant felt.

I wanted to cut something very simple for the first stencil, so I just traced the round shade from an Ikea desk lamp onto the felt with a Sharpie. I drew a line inside and outside of each original traced line, and cut out the centers to make this scallop design.
Scallop stencil

For my second attempt, I made something slightly more complicated: a shark jaw. I had embroidered a shark jaw about five inches across several years ago. I took a digital photo of the embroidery, and manipulated the image to solid black and white. Then I printed it tiled on several sheets of paper. Our glass sliding doors served as a lightbox for me to use to trace the image onto the felt. I divided the lines into smaller sections to preserve the integrity of the felt.

The original embroidery:

Cut stencil:
Shark jaw stencil after cutting

I need to make something with cut sections that are smaller than the scallops and larger than the shark jaw, but I haven’t had a chance to finish designing anything new yet.