Wednesday, February 06, 2013

sewing soakers

I love putting multiple interests/skills into one project.  Two years ago, I decided to start taking screen printing classes so I could combine my love of drawing/designing and fabrics.  Sometimes I make prints on nice paper, but nothing makes me happier than printing my own custom fabric, then sewing it into something one-of-a-kind.  So when my catlady ice skating friend Dayna, who also studied art in school, and I, started talking about drawing cats skating and potentially using the drawings for some kind of project, visions of screen printing ice skating cats onto our own fabric immediately came to mind.  Last week Dayna, Lindsay, and I got to work to make this dream happen!  This is my 3rd sewing project of the year.

Dayna had screen printing experience as well, so we printed the fabric with my at-home screen printing set-up.  The design was a collaboration between me, Dayna, and Marie.  I just invested in 6 new screens not too long ago, so of course given that, along with my recent sewing ambitions, I am envisioning lots and lots of fabric printing in my near future!

And what did we make with all that cat fabric, you ask?  Soakers!  Soakers are soft blade covers for skates.  They help completely dry the blades after skating, and keep them from getting scratched up.  They are normally terry cloth (fabric material) on the inside, but the outsides can vary.  We printed our outside fabric with the cats.  It was a simple broadcloth from the quilting area of the fabric store.  We got lots of colors and are working on sewing up more pairs for all our skating friends!  When we finish them up, I'll make an illustrated tutorial of how it's done, but we modified the instructions from the Figure Skating Advice blog.

And by the way, these are my NEW figure skates.  They are so beautiful!  I have been figure skating for 16 years, and had my last pair of skates a total of 14 years!  5 of those years I did not skate regularly, but 9 years of skating is still a really long life for skates!  They were so worn out.  I am still keeping them around for when I get to teach skating classes for children on the weekends (skating with 3 year olds can be rough on the skates), and since I only had one pair of soakers between the two pairs of skates, this was the perfect, functional project for me.  My other pair of soakers is pretty wild...they are made of faux giraffe fur...13 year-old me picked them out and thought they were ah-mazing.  Miraculously, they are still in perfect condition after all this time.  The fur makes them a little more heavy duty than the average soaker.  That was a funny sentence to type!

If you're wondering what that print looks like, here is the computer file I made the transparency from (click to see it larger).  I drew the Russian splits cat.

I've already started on my next project, which I'll post about soon.  It's this vintage blouse pattern that I'm in love with.  It has everything...a big collar, a huge button, a front yoke, and elbow-length's perfect.  The fabric I chose is peeking out on the top left of this picture--navy and yellow tulips on a cream backdrop.  It's sewing up beautifully and if it fits well/I'm able to make it fit well, I know I'll be making several more of these!  More on that later.

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