My days of dressing up for Halloween have hit a long, happy pause, for two reasons:
1. Ruggy’s birthday falls on Hell Night, and Birthday trumps Holiday,
2. I pretty much wear a costume everyday as it is.
That said, I still enjoy the wild eyed kiddos, given permission to sugar up, and the even bigger kiddos, given wild eyed permission to DRESS up. This year, I thought it’d be fun to add to my everyday costume with a technicolor take on a grownup trick-or-treat bag.
My schizophrenic stash provided the perfect, blood red Halloween treat, and with the trickery of a magnetic hoop in my arsenal, embroidering it wasn’t scary in the least. (SEE WHAT I DID THERE.)
So yeah! THIS HOOP! This hoop makes embroidering difficult fabrics a breeze. Velvet, silk, small pattern pieces like a collar, anything that would be irritating to hoop in the traditional sense— it’s the bomb diggity for garment sewists. My tricky fabric of choice was Pleather. I mean, what says Halloween better than PLEATHUH!? I laid a piece of tear away stabilizer down, placed my pleather on top, and used the provided magnets to keep the fabric taut and in place. (You could use a bit of spray stabilizer for extra insurance, but I didn’t.)
Watching the skull take shape was amazing! She’s pretty large, about 6 by 8 inches, and super dense. Using pleather over leather has many benefits—embroidery wise. Since pleather is technically a fabric (there are threads inside), you can choose a denser pattern because there isn’t the same risk of it being over-perforated and falling apart like there is with leather. You can also use a wider variety of needles. I went with a gold embroidery needle, reduced the speed to half, and knocked the tension up a point or two. I had a purse shape in mind, but wanted the freedom to change said mind, as I so often do…so I went to town on a large square of fabric that I could cut later.
The Day Of The Dead (Dia De los Muertos) has always fascinated me, with its colorful imagery and downright celebratory depictions of skeletons cavorting in the afterlife. It’s right up my alley in terns of color and spirit! Yet, dwelling on the deeper subject matter frightens me more than any Halloween tale. WELL. What better time to scare oneself than Halloween, eh?
I embraced this delightful sugar skull pattern over at Urban Threads, uploaded it to Gorgeous George in minutes, and started the happy task of changing up the colors to suit my tastes. Ruggy then prodded me into darker waters, changing the blue birds up to red wing blackbirds—those were 100% his idea, and I’m glad he convinced me.
To balance her out, I added floral and mini patterns from George’s arsenal, using the Precise Positioning function, like I did on my very first project here at The Sewing Party. Once I felt like the design was complete, I brainstormed making up a closure and purse pattern, until the cobwebs cleared and I realized I had the answer in my stash once again: the chunky bag pattern from Nicole at You sew, Girl! I just elongated the pattern pieces to accommodate the design.
I added a smart phone sized pocket to the vinyl lining (also a stash grab) and debated soldering a chain to the metal clasp, until Ruggy informed me that’s not what soldering does. AND I WAS SO EXCITED TO WELD SOMETHING, MAN. It’s fun to do scary things!
Let’s talk about scary for a second, actually…I’ve been gleefully diving into the deep end of embroidery, and the web has, of course, been a super valuable resource. But I also see a lot of tutorials out there that warn people away from trying tricky things, like, say, free standing lace (that’s coming!) or embroidering fabric above your level. This Halloween, I invite you to scare yourself. Try something frightening! Maybe you have decorative stitches, lying dormant…maybe you’ve avoided buttonholes… maybe you’ve got a grand master hoop just waiting to be christened!
Whatever monster is hiding in your closet, it’s Halloween… time to let it out to play. Permission to sugar up, dress up, and do something scary is hereby granted!
MARCY HARRIELL Oonaballoona
I’m oonaballoona (oona for short) aka Marcy Harriell (Marce for short). But I’ll answer with wild abandon to any name you call me…especially if you’re calling me to cocktails. I started sewing when I started blogging, during a temporary trek to tinsel town. Before the move to Los Angeles, a wise friend advised: Get a hobby. Blogging kept family close…sewing kept my sanity intact! Eight years later, back in New York, this “hobby” has turned into an obsession. When I’m not acting (the civilian side of oonaballoona) I’m stitching in the city, right next to my very best friend Ruggy.
Sewing machine: PFAFF® creative™ 4.5
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