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It's been said that if you wait long enough, the fashions will return full-circle. And, I'm inclined to believe it. So much of today's fashion trends are reminiscent of styles I remember from my youth. (And some, you wouldn't get me to wear again if you paid me!)
Today's fashion borrows from the past
But increasingly, I've noticed the attractive fashion detail, the embroidered motifs, the embellishments on tops and jumpers that were so common years ago. Do you remember?
Of course, in those days, we would often spend hours knitting the designs into our jumpers and cardigans.
Simple cross-stitch detail
But we'd also cross-stitch beautifully detailed roses and whimsical creatures onto our tops. I certainly don't have time for that now.
But it doesn't take very much time to add a smaller motif; it adds an affordable fashion spotlight for you or would delight your grandchildren. If your grandchildren are old enough, it's a simple skill that you might like to share, too.
(If you've never tried to cross stitch or embroidery, it's easy to learn and there arewonderful online courses to help.)
So.. what do you need?
* The top or jumper you wish to embellish. Use a fine knit jumper, not one too bulky, or even a quality weight tee-shirt.
* Cross stitch design - I chose a simple design with a small number of colours. It meant that I could complete it in only 2 nights while watching TV. The design itself came in a small kit with a needle and embroidery thread.
* A piece of 'waste canvas' a little larger than your design- Use the 8.5 count if you're working on a knitted article, or if you're teaching your grandkids.
* A tapestry needle and embroidery threads
* A piece of iron-on interfacing roughly the size of your waste canvas
* An embroidery hoop
* Regular needle and thread
1. Turn your garment inside out. Decide where you wish to position your design on the garment. Lay your piece of interfacing in that position and iron.
2. Turn the garment right side out. Position the piece of waste canvas on the front of the garment above the interfacing within. The layers: waste canvas- front of the garment- interfacing.
N.B. The back of the garment should be clear of these layers. You don't want to sew the front to the back.
3. Slip the embroidery hoop over these layers, keeping the back of the garment well clear, and tighten a little.
4. Anchor these layers together by sewing a simple basting stitch (a quick temporary stitch) around the edges of the waste canvas through the garment and the interfacing.
5. Now, using 3 threads of embroidery floss, work your design in the waste canvas and through to the interfacing, not the back of the garment. (The 3 threads, rather than 2, will be a little firmer and stand out a bit against the knit of the fabric.)
6. Your cross stitches should be worked diagonally from the small squares, not the large ones. But if you're teaching your grandchild, I'd start them off using the big squares within the canvas.
7. Once the design has been stitched, remove the basting stitches.
8. Spray a little water to dampen the waste canvas.
9. Then, one by one, gently pull out each of the waste canvas threads.
10. Iron lightly inside out and ...... it's finished!
No longer is your garment just an ordinary knit, but rather an individually designed signature piece. And who would have thought that revisiting an old skill, like a blast from the past, could create a look that is now thoroughly modern? I hope you enjoy creating your timeless cross-stitch design.
So.. what can you try now? How about one, or all, of these fun fashion projects?
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Most weeks seem to pass in a blur. And it's not because I'm old and forgetful. Well... not just because I'm old and forgetful. Life is just too busy!
I've tried to slow it down. I've tried to pull back on the minutes to stop them zipping past.. but something always needs my time and attention and those slippery little minutes so quickly escape.
Weekly and daily planners are all very well. A to-do list is nice and organised. But I need something to just glance at and keep me focused on the big picture. I need something that will force me to keep my eyes on the important focus areas and events for the week or month. And, something that will help me remember the special occasions and highlights and memorable time with family - a mood board!
So... what is a mood board and how will it help me?
A mood board is a collection of images, notes, colours and textures related to a particular theme or concept; in my case, a particular week or month.
More than that- it's fun to create. It's a visual presentation of my time and helps me to focus on my tasks. It also helps me keep an eye on the big picture- what I goals I want to achieve for the week or month.
I guess you could say that a mood board is a collage. It can be physical or digital but it's an extremely effective tool for me to stay on track.
A Digital Mood Board
If you want to create a digital mood board, there are a couple of programs that will make the task easy. PicMonkey is an online program that will enable you to create beautiful collages in very little time- and, it's free. There are additional features, if you want, for a small monthly fee, but the free version is perfectly adequate. (A sponsored link is included.)
Just upload your images and create your online collage. Then download the collage image and use it for your computer's and tablet's monthly wallpaper.
Another option is to use one of the many apps available to create your digital collage. Just to get you started, check out Moldiv or FrameArtist, but there are many others.
A physical mood board
You could buy a board and add the photos, images, text and colours you wish to highlight your month's activities. Or you could make your own-- easily. The steps are set out below. Just hover your mouse over each image for the instructions.
You will need:
* 1 large foam-core or corrugated board
*a piece of foam the same size as your board.
*a piece of calico a little larger than the board.
* thin satin ribbon. (The length will depend on your board size, but I used 10m.)
*small beads or diamontes
*double sided tape
*coloured duct tape
*white pva glue
Life as a grandma.. it's no 'quiet, restful days in the rocking-chair'. It's filled with activity, excitement and lots of family fun. Please share it with me.