I got my ears pierced in High School, at the Mall, of course…and since then, my lobes have supported all manner of decoration. Wood, metal, coconut shells…the bigger the better. When you have this much hair, if the earrings aren’t Texas sized, you’re not seeing ‘em.
However, those earrings (more like earbracelets) were fairly…heavy… and often came off during whatever outing they arrived at. Sometimes on purpose: left behind on a table, like abandoned shackles. Sometimes by accident: flying off during a dance move, like a small missile.
Having gained some wisdom from those lost and/or dangerous decorations, I’ve been on a quest for lightweight bangles. I hadn’t come up with much, save for oversized, real feathers, that ended up looking ragged after one wear. Enter the Free Standing Lace (FSL) Feather!
I’ll let you in on a recurring dream I have. And by recurring, I mean I’ve had this dream going on five years now. I’m sewing at a regular sewing machine, but there’s no fabric in the machine, just top thread and bobbin thread. But crocheted lace is magically spooling out from under the presser foot, and into my hands! I’m always amazed in this dream, both at the product, and at the realization that I could have been making lace with my sewing machine all this time!!!
Of course, this dream is not possible. Not with a regular sewing machine, at least. But George is no regular machine! GEORGE IS A WISHMAKER! With a couple sheets of wash away stabilizer, a hoop, and some psychedelic thread, we set out to lighten the load on my lobes.
Super scary internet advice notwithstanding, this process is actually pretty simple. You need an FSL pattern and a willingness to play. You might not get it perfect immediately, but once you’ve got your tension right (usually a bit higher than normal), get set to put lace on EVERYTHING.
I found these feathers at Embroidery Library. Not sure how I feel about this, actually, considering how the timing has worked out—it being in the Native american section, and it being Thanksgiving, AND me being part Lakota, but I’m happy with my baubles, so I’m going to leave the self-analyzing for later. Run-on sentence courtesy of my psyche. You’re welcome.
Everything I’ve read suggests that you stitch out only one FSL per hooping, using your smallest hoop. I obeyed on hoop size, but after a few tries, I thought I could get away with two feathers per sheet. I also used just one sheet of vilene per hooping for the rayon earrings, and two sheets for the silver metallic guys.
I think it all depends on how sturdy you want your lace. Once you wash away the stabilizer, you set them out to dry— the two sheeters have a way more rigid feel to them.
This pattern has a nifty little loop built in, so all I did was thread them onto some hoops. I didn’t even need a trip to the jewelry supply store! BONUS! If you’d like to see this in action, our very own Devon shows you how in a great video about stabilizers (and be warned, you’ll want to do this immediately after viewing—it’s what got me hooked!).
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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