Sunday, February 3, 2013

Eyeglass Sleeve

My favorite side
I am very pleased with my new eyeglass sleeve. I wanted it to look  primitive and as though it came from another country. It probably would have been more sturdy if I had woven the fabrics but I wanted to show as much of the sari silk (the coral fabric running down the center) as I could. The yellow fringy fabric and the maroon patch are also sari silks.

The Tutorial
I used this tutorial by Sweet Verbena. It's very clearly written with excellent photos. I really like the slick way the lining is attached. I did make a few changes and would suggest one more that I did not make. I'll explain that first.
  • The lining needs to be cut ½ inch longer than the other piece if you want it to show as ¼ inch of trim at the opening. I did not discover that until it was too late so my lining is entirely inside. I needed every last inch to completely encase my glasses and that's because . . .
  • I wanted the sleeve to fit very snug so that once the glasses are in, they will not fall out. The directions say to allow 1 inch all around the glasses. I allowed more like ½ to ¾ inch.
  • I could not afford to make a mistake as I just barely had enough of the sari silk fabric, so I made a mock-up of the outer sleeve from muslin. It came out to about 3¼ inches x 6½ inches. I later shortened the length but ended up regretting that.  If I were to make the sleeve again for this pair of glasses, I would cut the outer piece 3¼ inches x 6½  or 6¾ inches. I would cut the lining 3¼ inches wide and ½ inch longer than the other piece so that the lining can show as trim. 
  • The seam size was not specified. I used scant ¼-inch seams. If I were to make this again, I would stick with that except for the seam at the top opening, where I recommend a generous ¼-inch. At the neck , be sure to leave the batting untrimmed, so the lining trim is well padded.
  • All my work was done by hand except for the side seams. I made this sleeve so snug that it was easier to do the seam at the neck by hand. 
The Materials
Before I could start using the tutorial, I needed to prepare my cloth.
Lines were drawn on the harem cloth to help with placement
Ready to start constructing the sleeve
  • I started with some sari silks that were prepared for use as knitting ribbon. I found a piece I liked, ironed it a bit but not too much as I wanted to keep the worn appearance. I cut it in thirds and used two of them and saved the last third for another project. 
  • The other fabric is a very fine cotton with a damask weave. I'm not sure where it was made. The color shading is wonderful; all those colors are in one fabric. I have this fabric in several colorways and wish I had more.
  • I used white harem cloth to stabilize the joining of the small pieces. 
  • The lining is a Bali batik done in vivid yellow and some blues and lavenders.
  • The embellishing is done with embroidery floss.
  • I used a super thin batting --  the kind that resembles felt. I don't remember what it's called; I bought it over ten years ago.
The Piecing
Exposed harem cloth (white) was later covered with embroidery
Line of dense stitching added to cover harem cloth
Piecing the fabric strips was tricky. It would have been easier if I had cut the cotton a smidge wider. To keep every thing straight, I drew lines on the harem cloth using a permanent marker. Despite my efforts, there were gaps between the fabrics which I covered with embroidery and patching. I thought everything was covered until the next to last step when I turned it outside-out and discovered more exposed harem cloth, so I added a line io heavy stitching which is now one of my favorite embellishments. It would have been easier to do this before it was all stitched together. I think the whip stitches also made the sleeve even snugger. The glasses just barely fit inside. 

Painter's tape kept the fringe out of the way
The Stitching
From the beginning, I wanted to embellish with tiger strips inspired by those I found in Mimi Lipton's book "The Tiger Rugs of Tibet". I only made a few and realized that it was going to take much longer than I wanted to spend on this project. I wish I had done the darker ones in charcoal rather than black. I prefer the  khaki ones. 

I switched to straight lines and then added some kantha stitch, which would have been smarter to do first.

Cloth ready for construction
I left the torn edges of the silks exposed. At one point the fringe was getting in the way as I worked on the embroidery, so I just covered the fringe with painter's tape!


deanna7trees said...

you really did a beautiful job. great explanation.

Minka said...

Thank you!


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