Embroidered Jeans

After finishing up my last knitting project, I needed another portable project for when I watch TV or travel. Because the season is heading toward Summer, I took a break from knitting and decided to transform my boyfriend denim. It was already refashioned once from thrifted mom jeans to tapered boyfriend fit but I wanted to incorporate the embroidery trend (You can see my mood board on Pinterest). I had a lot of embroidery threads left over from my previous projects (here and here) so I had everything I needed to tackle this project right away. I used this Japanese book, titled “可愛いハンガリー刺しゅう:はじめてでも楽しめる伝統ある手仕事” and followed the patterns. I used an erasable pen to draw patterns on the jeans. Most things are done using satin stitches and lines are done by stem stitches (useful article on 10 hand embroidery stitches). The trick is to first do the running stitches around the border and then fill the canvas with satin stitches. This way the embroider has more 3D effect. Here are some progress photos – from left, 3/23/2017, 3/9/2017 and 4/19/2017. It took a couple of months to finish. I’m glad that they are done before the embroidery trend is over. After I finish all the embroidery, I had to take in 12cm total of waist. I followed this youtube tutorial. 12cm was a lot to take in, so you can see the side seams are not in true side anymore. Sorry for the many butt photos! But I needed to show off the months of handy work:)  

昔サンキューマートで買った古着のジーンズをリメイクしました。
右後ろポッケとサイド、前股あたりにハンガリー風刺繍を。
海外ドラマを見ながらと、旅行中の飛行機の中でちくちく刺していきました。
刺繍トレンドが終わる前に出来上がって良かった!

ウエストが大きかったので、12㎝つめました。

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Tips on Sewing Tulle Dress

I recently refashioned a tulle wedding dress to a tulle skirt. The inspiration was Olivia Palermo’s two-piece wedding dress. It was interesting to take the dress apart which was made by someone else to make it into something different, and I picked up a few tips on working with tulle fabric along the way.

1. Don’t serge the seam allowances.

Because tulle is see-through, if you overlock the edges, it will be visible from the right side of the fabric. I found overlocking the tulle edges is unnecessary since tulle does not fray. Instead, use a wide seam allowances like 3 cm and press the allowances to one side without zigzag or serging. From trial and error, this turned out to be the easiest and least noticable way to finish tulle seam allowances.  

2. Be careful with the iron temperature.

If you are using nylon tulle, don’t use the high temperature setting as it might melt the fabric! I’ve done it myself. I would start with the low temperature on a scrap fabric first and then gradually raise the temperature. 

3. When hemming, hem on the dress form first then use rotary cutter to finish the uneven edges. 

First place the dress on a dress form or hang it from the ceiling. I use dress form and place it on a chair so it is easier to work. Then use a tape measure to measure the length and start marking the fabric with using pins. Then I cut the dress and take it to a mat so I can make the hem edges pretty using rotary cutter and ruler.  Dress before refashion above.I used the original dress’s lining fabric to make the waist band. It’s gathered on the side just like the one of Olivia Palermo’s. 

P.S. I’ve written more tips on refashioning wedding dress here and here.お客様の購入されたウェディングドレスをリメイクしました。
イメージはオリヴィア・パレルモ。
ドレスのトップス部分をとって、裾をハイ&ローにしてツーピースとして着れるように。
ウエストバンドは裏地だった生地を使って、少しギャザーを入れて仕上げました。
過去のリメイクの案件はこちらこちらもご覧ください。。
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Why I Make Tablecloths in My Down Time

One of the biggest challenges of being an entrepreneur is to have consistent work coming in every month. Some months might be great and some months might not be so good in terms of the amount of incoming work. When you’re in busy season, you have to manage your work and triage it to get everything done on time. On the other hand when you know it’s not your busiest month, you have to work hard to create more work.

In my recent downtime, I made tablecloths. Many of them. It was commissioned by one company I work with. I pressed the fabric hem and sewed straight lines over and over again. It is not sexy nor Instagram worthy but I take on work like this for several reasons.

One is to keep the client happy and build a trusting relationship. They might not give you the work you absolutely love at all times, but work is work. When you are starting up, you cannot be too picky.

Two, it was surprisingly relaxing to do this simple task. It was a good break from creative work. It felt similar to knitting, where you repeat the simple pattern over and over again. Knit, purl, knit purl….

Lastly, it helps me keep going with my business. The money I earned from making tablecloths can be put elsewhere to grow my actual business. So regardless of its sexiness, I take on work like this sometimes to have healthy finance for my business.

P.S. Other small business tips here and here.

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