Wednesday, January 12, 2011

May contain tie dye.

I'm not entirely proud to say that the following was born out of competitive present giving. I was going on about the things I was making as Christmas presents and Breakfast Club Boy responded with both a 'pah' (though more energetically depicted) and "that's easy". And then he suggested that, so easy was it, that we should make each other a cushion as a Christmas present, the key being it had to be made to the taste of the recipient and not the maker.

And then he mentioned tie dye and I had to go outside and get some air.

Once I'd recovered (some time later) I was forced to ask: "Where do you buy tie dye?"

Obviously BCBoy wouldn't tell me (apparently that would be CHEATING) so obviously I looked on the internet (whilst wearing dark glasses). And y'know what? There is lot of overpriced tie dye out there. WHO BUYS IT? WHO? And even making my own (oh, the shame) wasn't looking exactly cheap. (Plus I was worried about the level of embarassment I'd have to endure if it transpired that I couldn't actually do tie dye)

So I did the only thing I could: I went to Lewisham.

To give Lewisham's fabulous Rolls and Rems credit, it had many beautiful fabric examples. It also had this:

Obviously when I was buying it I had to hold in the need to go "it's not for me, y'know".

Then I set about actually making something with the bloody stuff. It was suggested to me by Dean at this point that I should take photos and pretend I'm a craft blogger. Ha! Welcome to 2011 at DA.

Obviously that's not the tie dye. That's an old dress of mine. That I bought in Oxford during all of that Summer 2007 stuff. So not weird at all. In an attempt to impose some coordination on the whole project I decided to patchwork the front with this and the tie day and squares with tie dye applique. Twenty five 10 cm by 10cm squares if you were wondering (you most likely weren't).

And letter stencils, because, remember, this is a COMPETITION.

There was some stressing whilst working what shapes I could feasibly create relating to things which BCBoy likes. As competition busting as it would have been, I don't think I've quite got the stamina to applique David Bowie's face. I'd like BCBoy to work on liking football and flowers for next year. Also: I'm not sure he likes maple leaves as much as it is an easy cultural stereotype. I don't think there's an English easy-shape equivalent (for which I'm glad).

As someone who is pretty non-plussed by animals in general I'm bewildered by the number of cat people in my life (note the capitalisation there: not Cat People because Russell T Davies never made me the tenth Doctor's Assistant). Anyway, BCBoy likes cats more than he likes humans.

That's a special button right there. It's from Duttons for Buttons ,York branch (as are all the other buttons used on the cushion) which is pretty much a Yorkshire institution. The beads are from my own collection. Also I realised whilst doing this that it's all about the placing when this shape could be a cat or a pig or an owl. I'm not sure that's a true reflection on life.

And then I started sewing the patchwork together. Which is both cathartic and something you can carry in your handbag and do in your lunch break. I'm noting the irony here that after one of my line manager's saw me doing this during a break he said I was talented. Brilliant. Since working there I've written plays, got an MA, turned an empty shop into performance venue, been in the Sunday Times and talked about Shakespeare A LOT, but cut out some squares and cat faces and throw in some sewing and bam! Wow, if only I'd known it was that easy...

This is the part where I'd fail as a craft blogger because I forgot to take a photo of the whole, adding backing of tie dye fabric in an inside-out manner, before turning the cushion cover the right way malarky. But, well, I sewed on the backing of tie dye fabric in an inside-out manner before turning the cushion cover the right way.

And then I popped in my cushion insert (bought at Chiltern Mills, Crossgates branch - which is an East Leeds institution for myself and Dean if for no one else). A few more stiches to close it up - and then we have a fully functioning cushion. In tie dye.

(As a footnote if anyone needs tie dye material I've got some going cheap)

1 comment:

Val said...

Wow! I am impressed (and it's good to see the end result, complete with buttons). I can sort of see where your manager was coming from, as I don't think of 'craft' or 'sewing' in connection with you any more than I do me. Shakespeare now, well, we could go on for hours. Well done for making tie-dye into something attractive