Monday, October 4, 2010

A First Commission

Over the weekend I worked on a project - my first commissioned piece. The friend who is selling pretzels on the market here in Dublin and for whom I produced loads of gingerbread heart pins (see the how to here and more pics here) challenged me with a request for a sign/flag for her stall. Now, I am not the most gifted seamstress ever. I am good at straight lines; appliquéing usually ends in desaster. But I was willing to give it a go. And I was surprised by the relative presentable-ness of the outcome.

I started out with an old promotional flag that is based around the colours of the Bavarian flag. I cut off one third off the bottom, dissembled the dowel from the top and sewed a new insert for the dowel at the top of my offcut.

Next I free-handed a pretzel on some newspaper to create a template and cut it out.

Then I put my template on some brown felt and traced around it with chalk to transfer it to the fabric. (Mental note: Should really invest in some taylor's chalk - I had to fall back on my left-over chalk sticks from my days as a teacher... Yes - that was aeons ago, quite clearly in the days before interactive whiteboards, when teachers still used such archaic means of communications as blackboards and chalk *LOL*)

Here is the pretzel on felt:

Before I sewed the pretzel cut-out onto the flag, I used some left-over fluffy paint to create the little salt crystals that adorn pretzels.This demanded letting the paint dry for about six hours, during which I attended a pub quiz, met with friends and drank a couple of  G&Ts (sorry, illustration for latter had to be censored...)

Next morning, after fluffing the paint in the oven, came the difficult bit: Sewing the pretzel onto the flag. I am notoriously lazy - and since I didn't want to go upstairs to get more pins, I messed up my first attempt at fixing the pretzel onto the fabric. What's the proverb: "A stitch in time saves nine"? Yeah, very true! After sewing around half the pretzel, the fabric underneath was all wrinkly and scrunched because I had not used enough pins to fix the felt onto the flag and it had moved all over the place. So I had to re-do it and pin it on properly...

I found it worked best to start sewing around the inside bits first and then finally going around the outside of the pretzel shape. The machine didn't even mind sewing over the paint blobs.

Finally, I reassembled the dowel, fixed the string, and ready. So here is the pretzel flag which will now hopefully grace the pretzel stall at the Oktoberfest:

I am quite happy with that for a start.


1 comment:

Ann Martin said...

It sure looks like a pretzel to me - great job! Love the salty bits too.