activities, adornment, diy, ecofashion, Fashion, recycled fashion, sewing

The Sewing Class

I was looking through some pieces that I upcycled and realized that I needed to add a new creative element to what I was doing. I’ve sold a few pieces, and I’m still looking at how to improve and enhance things that haven’t sold yet. I’ve been cutting stuff, and using patches and glue to remake things, but back in December I saw an instagram ad for Make Workshop‘s Sashiko and Visible Mending workshop and I pounced. Couldn’t get into a class until February, but pouncing did indeed occur.

February 22nd came and I jumped out of bed and hustled myself to class. Taught by Jessica Marquez, author of Make + Mend, the class is about using Sashiko embroidery to embellish and strengthen your items. Instead of throwing something away, you can use visible mending to patch it artistically. Instead of hiding the stitches, they become part of the piece. I had seen the book and was dying to learn how to recreate the cool patterns and patchwork techniques. The class is very hands-on, so you end up sewing right away. I had forgotten to bring a project, so I cut the pocket of my Levi’s jacket and used a piece of cloth to create a contrasting patch.

While we were working, a former student came in and we all got a good look at how Sashiko can be used to stunning effect. This woman had upgraded a pair of jeans to runway ready masterpiece using printed cloth collaged with exposed mending stitches. It was electrifying to see someone with a finished piece on, and she seemed really happy with her work. I tried to zoom in so you can see how the stitch patterns become one with the textures, colors and patterns of the patches.

The finished pocket. Jessica had us trace lines in the cloth to stitch on, you can see them under the thread.

Finishing a project in class empowered me to buy the book and use the stitching to finally finish a big, thrifted scarf that I was upcycling. I had painted it, but couldn’t go beyond that. As soon as I got home from Make Workshop, I pulled out the scarf and I could see how the stitching would transform it. I was shaky on how to space out the stitches since I just learned how to do Sashiko, so I bought a cheap graph paper notebook, drew the stitch pattern on it, and have been sewing through it then ripping the paper off.

The fabric is very soft, so the stitches get a little messed up, and yesterday I actually had to pull the needle back through the cloth because I had made a wild stitch in the wrong place, so it’s a process. But I’m loving how this is developing and I want to do a patchwork panel on it before I’m through. There’s a place called FabScrap that re-purposes garment district scrap into sewing supplies for crafters. You can order online or shop in person (check their website first, though. Currently they are closed until March 30th because of Coronavirus).

I’ve been staying in my apartment thanks to Covid-19, but I got stir crazy yesterday and went over to the Japan Society to see the Boro Textiles: Sustainable Aesthetics exhibit. I have been putting this off or too busy, and when the Metropolitan Museum of Art announced a shutdown, I decided I better run over quick. It’s also just one train all the way there, which minimized exposure to Coronavirus from changing trains and walking through multiple stations or standing on multiple platforms. It may not be foolproof, but that was my strategy. I needed a blast of inspiration to sustain me just in case this quarantine thing gets more serious.

Because Japanese fashion is so deified, I wasn’t prepared to be looking at rags. The fact is that boro is all about making do with what you have, and trying to literally stitch together bits and pieces of nothing to try and stay warm. It looks cool now, but the inspiration is poverty and survival. The program describes clothing as a ‘precious resource’, so these garments may have been mended and patched for generations of a family to wear.

The galleries are very quiet and it’s kind of eerie walking through the dimly lit rooms looking at the items lit from within. However, it’s a closeup look at the layers and layers of fabric, and the stitching. Since we live in a world where people have so much that they can throw away clothing and shoes that are barely worn, this made me take my upcycling and recycled fashion business even more seriously. While there’s not as crucial of a need to do patchwork or mend things right now, I want to be able to fuse this deeply held tradition of clothing conservation into my own practice of helping pre-owned items find new owners.

I you’re interested in taking classes in New York, you can sign up at Make Workshop. Instructor Jessica Marquez also tours, so you can hit up her site Miniature Rhino to purchase books or see if she’s teaching near you.

Until next time, wash your hands and stay safe!

Faith/SEBMarketBK

american retail, beach, black fashion designer, clothes, clothing, denim, diy, E commerce, ecofashion, ecommerce, entrepeneur, Fashion, fashion designer, flash tats, lifestyle, pants, personal style, sewing, shoes, streetstyle, Style, stylist, wardrobe

The Tattooed Shorts

Loox temporary tattoos looking sweet on sundrenched denim cutoffs.

I have been working on these shorts for a year.Technically. I got these jeans free from L.L. Bean (blogger perk) and one day decided to make cutoffs from them. Then I thought I would rehab the cutoffs, so I put them on my crafts trolley. Then I forgot about them, because I was working and somehow there was never any time or inspiration to finish my pile of design projects. It was sad. I wanted to do my thing, but coming home after work, I usually would just huddle in bed, watch netflix and try to go to sleep so I could go to work again. Working on my projects seemed to hard.

Lately I’ve been super inspired (might be because of exercising and better diet, I’m not so depressed), so I’ve been going through my project pile and finally finishing some things, like these cutoffs. I was on instagram and saw an ad for temporary tattoos, and I thought…’YES’!!!

It started with some dipdye bleaching until I had a variety of blues playing across the cotton fabric. Then I started applying the temporary tattoo, which was a few days of my life. First transferring the tattoo to the cloth, then treating it to make sure that the tattoo didn’t just peel off. Waiting for things to dry is sheer torture. But I love the way it looks! I put a few clear, acrylic jewels on the petals like water drops.

Being ocd and sewing on little pearls because little pearls are everything.

Studded, but in a sweet, feminine, Gucci kind of way.

Laid back, beach bum chic.

This awesome carp tattoo looks amazing on the back pockets, across from the gold lame lined distressed pocket. All you need to look summer blessed is a vintage t-shirt and some glitter slides. These shorts are hand painted, distressed and embellished. They’re badass in the most effortless way.

And they only took a year to make.

See you next time!

Faith/Sassy Ethnic Bohemian

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Handpainted,upcycled denim shorts with tattoos, size 6

Re-worked, upcycled SEB Market BK handpainted tattoo cutoffs have been bleached and temporary tattoos applied on the left front and left back pocket. Sequins, acrylic jewels, stars, studs and mini-pearls have been applied. Right side front and back pocket are slashed. Left back pocket is lined with gold lamé. Made of cotton, polyester and elastane. Rise is 10.25 inches. Waist is about 29. Jorts are 12 inches from waistband to hem. *Price includes shipping and handling. **United States customers only, no international shipping.

$125.00

Glitter shower shoes, size 7

Gold glitter double strap slides. Buckles are operational. Contoured soles for comfort, glitter for style. Brand new and never worn. 10 inches from the big toe to the heel. 3 1/2 across the widest part of the foot. *Price includes shipping and handling. **United States customers only, no international shipping.

$35.00