Kantha stitch shirt

Today I have something to share that isn’t an art journal page!  I like to switch it up. So much so, in fact, that I’m constantly in the middle of projects of all media types, although my art journal is a background constant.

The problem: So, as a person who likes to make artsy craftsy messes, my clothes always have a small amount of paint or ink or something on them. And as a hopeless cat purrson (I’m allergic, yet I live with 3 and volunteer at a shelter with 200 others), I usually also have tiny claw holes in my shirts, right on the stomach. That is not an attractive or easily coverable place for tiny holes.

The conditions of the solution: I didn’t want to throw out the shirt. Actually, I think I started this project when I was pregnant, and didn’t have a whole lot of stuff to wear (and I really hate clothes shopping). Also, I’m not really comfortable in “feminine” clothes, so I had a hard time thinking of an androgynous way to embroider something over the holes and stains. What to do, what to do…

Solution: A VERY simple Kantha (running stitch)!

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Can you see the ink?

I’m not sure I remember the details because it’s been so long, but I’m pretty sure I started with the middle line. I wanted it to be slightly wonky (as per my usual) and a good, random mix of neutrals, with a bright blue thrown in the pop against the red. So I folded the shirt in half, marked it on the inside, and got to work with the middle line. IMG_6485[1]

I was pretty happy with how it came out, but as soon as I wore it the stitches started to pull out (I’d knotted them). I’m so rough on clothes. Anyway, I knew I needed some kind of interfacing, but I’d never done that, so I put it off and put it off for a whole year. This winter I find myself with an almost 8-month-old and yet still wearing the same shirt (heh) and still wanting to show off my handiwork. So….

I used Pellon Fusible Sheerweight and so far, so good. It sort of “glued” the stitches down, and now that I’ve washed it drapes better than after I first ironed it on. I’m pretty proud of my problem-solving, even if it did take longer to make this shirt than my baby. Hopefully I’ll get to wear it another winter at least, if the cats or the paint don’t get to it first!

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