Sunday, December 1, 2013

DIY: An Embroidered Fall Blouse

I'm interrupting my own blog post to share a coupla things with you: I was recently interviewed by The Art of Education about my (often disturbing) wardrobe choices and how I use that as a teaching tool in the art room. Jessica of AOE wrote such a flattering article, I can't thank her enough (check's in the mail, gurl)! I'd also like to announce that I'll be one of the presenters at The Art of Education's online conference! You can keep up with details of this on my facebook page and The Art of Education's page as well. Okay, back to my usual ramblingness.

Over the Thanksgiving holiday (for which I had a whole week off! Don't hate. Ain't my fault the Turkey Fairy don't like you), hubs and I traveled quite a bit. Our first stint was out to California where we hiked, shopped and Disneyland'ed ourselves silly. Possible travel post to come if I can shake this lazy-itis I've been fighting off for the last, oh, 38 years. 

Now I know I've told ya that I really only embroidery when we travel. It's not my most fave craft in the whole wide world but it does travel well so I like to partake when flying or road trippin. And I was actually looking forward to that long flight back to Tennessee to finish this bad boy...that is until our 4:50pm flight was delayed until 8pm. Which wouldn't be that big-o-deal except for the fact that we'd been there since 2pm because hubs is an ever-so-slight spazz-o when it comes to getting the airport in a timely fashion. Because, when traveling with that dude, there is no "fashionably late" there's only "awkwardly early".
Airplane embroidery studio. Turn on that overhead light, drop down that drink table and get to stitchin.
When we finally boarded the plane (which was now slated to land at the lovely hour of 1:30am) and got ourselves settled in, the captain decides to get on the intercom and play Comedy Hour:

Cap: Folks, this is your captain speaking (really?! Why must they always introduce themselves that way? I mean, who else in the world addresses people as "folks" besides an airplane captain?) We're sorry for the delay. We had to change planes because the plane we just landed practically EXPLODED when we hit the runway!

Plane "Folks": Awkward silence. Uncomfortable shifting. Random cough.

Cap: So! We are gonna fly this plane super fast and make up for lost time (yes, he actually used the words "super fast". Terminology learned in flight school, I'm sure ).
Now, for some reason, I've developed this slight fear of flying over the last couple of years. It really only flairs up when we hit turbulence and I just know the whole plane is going to go down in one big ole ball of flames. Which is why I love sitting in the exit row. Not so I can be some sort of hero (despite what I swear to the stewardess) but because I wanna get off first in true so-long-suckas fashion. So, when things started to get a little bumpy, I went all white-knuckle on the arm rests and Capt. Comedian got on the intercom:

Cap: Folks, this is your captain speaking (really?). Things are going to get a bit bumpy due to some winds out of the Northeast (why do they think we care about this stuff?! I don't give a flip where the winds are coming from, just fly around 'em and make the plane stop bouncing like a trampoline!) So I'm going to ask that you stay seated and buckle your safety belts. Thank you. 
(and then...the worst happens...)

Cap: Flight attendants, discontinue drink services (um, excuse me?! I'm expected to survive this Airplane Bounce House without my grown-up bevvy?!). Take your seats imm--

 And, then, like outta some airplane horror movie, the intercom cuts him short and goes to static for the next 10 seconds. And he never gets back on the intercom.

The lady across the aisle does the sign of the cross. I'd follow suit if my nails weren't digging into the thighs of the stranger to my right. He doesn't even notice because he's fervently reading the safety manual like he's cramming for an exam.
I love this super sweet book and it's illustrations. This Japanese author uses poems and stories to explain how to draw the animals. I used her illustrations of deer as the inspiration for my embroidery.
Needless to say, this story ended with us (practically crash) landing at the lovely hour of 2am with the pilot delivering this epic summary as we frantically unbuckled our safety beats, unsilenced our cell phones and yanked carry-ons outta the overhead: 

Well, folks, we made it. 

Seriously? Have they thought about making these pilots take a mandatory speech class? 

 Whatevers, my embroidery was complete. Speaking of, since this is a DIY post, I suppose I should chat a moment about that, doncha think? I've had this dress (that's right, this isn't a blouse at all but a too short and clingy dress that, after wearing as a dress just once and receiving the evil eye from grandmas everywhere, I banned to the back of my closet). This dress is the sister to this navy number which I also embroidered a while back. That one's a size up and slightly less grandma-offensive.

I settled on a fall theme for this brown dress. Using a white colored pencil, I sketched out my design directly onto the cotton and set to work. You can read how-to directions of stitches in this post where I embroidered a wee necklace.

By the way, these photos were not taken in Cali. After returning home for just a day, my mom drove down from Indiana (thanks, mom!) and we drove to Birmingham to stay with my in-laws (thanks, in-laws!) for Thanksgiving. This is the view outside their lovely home.
I always convince myself that embroidery takes no time at all when it truly takes me forever. Especially all of those doggone fall leaves. Which is the reason I really only embroider when I have to like when we travel.

I've spent some time debating whether or not that squirrel should stay or go. I can't decide if he belongs or he's outta place. Whatcha think?

One thing I do know: he's not givin' up that nut.
Once the embroidery was complete, I decided the plain dark brown buttons had to go. But I only had a few of these yellowish brown I decided to alternate.
And there you have it! One fall-ish embroidered blouse/dress for your December 1st viewing pleasure. Whoops, sorry. Totally meant to share this with you sooner. Now this blouse/dress is tucked away with the rest of my fall wardrobe (what, you don't organize your closet by seasons?) I've busted out the Christmas wear and I'm ready to showcase my most tackiest of attire!

Well, folks, until then, avoid those nasty winds outta the Northeast and have a great week!


  1. I hate flying too!! I think the squirrel's cute, he doesn't look out of place to me.

  2. I like the squirrel too, and used to love to fly but weirdly am now in terror every time I get in a plane. Also every time I drive across a bridge, in particular the 2 mile long TappanZee Bridge. (Check it out; it has been deemed unsafe/in need of repair but still handles like a zillion commuters in and out of NYC every freakin' day! And seriously, it is TWO MILES LONG. And people seem to think they should be driving like 80mph on it, and, uh, by the way, their cars all have DENTS.)

  3. I LOVE the squirrel, and also the whole outfit.

  4. It does look beautiful, remember my grand mother used to to embroidery at home. Brought back some old memories

  5. Awesome! We love visiting in your blog.

    if Any one want New Monsters Embroidery Designs ?


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