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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Random Recipe: Bejwelled Infestation of Mutant Baby Doilies

a.k.a. "Glittering Scabs"

Yeah, if it's minute, finicky, labour-intensive, intricate, painstaking, and time-consuming, WE LIKE TO DO IT! *purr*

Allison and Adel have been working on these little babies for quite a while! They're small (ideally fits in your palm) and super fun to make, and can be turned into brooches, pendents, wristlets, and headbands, whatever you like.

Think organic shapes, irregularity, asymmetry, random colour combinations, crazy textures, contrasting hard and soft materials, tiny islands, frankenstein doillies, ammoebas, gore/disease/infestation formations, clustered coral growths, ruined lace, glittering glass/crystal set against soft plushy furry fibrous yarn formations...

Knitting/Crochet Yarn
Scrap Kimono Fabric (or any scrap fabric)
Sewing Thread
Sewing Machine with fancy stitch options and automatic sewing function
Soluble Fabric
Beads/Crystals/Pearls/Semi-precious stones


1. Free-form crochet the yarn into small lacey formations.

2. Depending on the colour of the yarn, select matching or contrasting kimono scrap, cut out shape roughly conforming to crochet 'patch'.

3. Do the same for soluble fabric, but cut larger than the kimono patch shape (leave an excess border of about 2 cm or more if you prefer).

4. Layer crochet patch on top, kimono fabric in the middle, soluble fabric at the bottom, and prep sewing machine with matching-coloured sewing thread, and stay-stitch all 3 layers. (Stay-stitching is optional, you can skip directly to the next step as well).

5. Select a fancy stitch and automate stitching all around the border of the crochet patch, permanently attaching all the layers together and forming a roughly 1 cm-wide 'frame of swirling stitches' around the shape, which extends outside the kimono fabric and onto the soluble fabric.

6. (Optional) If you like, change the thread colour and sew over the first layer to create more contrast, in another fancy stitch.

7. After you finish sewing, wash away the soluble fabric. The thread border should form into 'lace'. Press as much moisture out as possible with towels, lay flat, and let dry completely, overnight.

8. Attach your choice of a range of matching or contrasting beads, crystals, semi-precious stones, and etc, in random formations. Alli prefers to keep the variety within 3 or 4 different kinds of beads but Adel goes nuts and goes for up to 8 or more kinds.

9. To finish, you could glue on a backing layer of felt cut smaller than the patch (leaving the thread 'lace' border free) to cover all the beading stitching. Or do without, as the combination of glue and felt creates a very stiff patch; you might appreciate the flexibility more according to what you envision the final product to be.

10. Attach the patch to a brooch pin, or ribbon, headband, or add to other gear as a decorative feature (perhaps as the focal point of a clutch bag or fascinator?)...and bring your very own Mutant Baby Doily out into the world!

We have made a small collection of 11 Mutant Baby Doilies, and they will soon be exposed to the big bad world!!!

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