Friday, September 6, 2013

The trip to the fabric store

This week has been a very busy one what with the start of school and all. Our oldest started Kindergarten this week, and our younger son's OT (occupational therapy) home visits picked up to once a week instead of every three. I had been planning to post about the first week of school, I still am but that's not what this post is going to be about. Next time. For now I've got talk about my shirts some more. Heh.

So I went to the fabric store and shopped for things to decorate the shirt I cut up. I found some really lovely pink ribbon that had little beads already attached. It came in pink and turquoise and I thought it was perfect. What was not so perfect was the fact that it was $7 a yard. Cough... "Excuse me? Oh, no thank you, I changed my mind." I got silky cord instead ($0.99 a yard) and just bought my own beads. After finding out where the bead section was, I browsed around and saw a lot of nice stuff, but it was more for designing jewelry. That's great, but maybe not for just decorating a t-shirt. Plus, none of it, to my eye, was bright enough.

Clerk: Can I help you find anything?
Me: Actually yeah. Where can I find just a bag of beads in a variety of colors?
Clerk: Like what kind of beads?
Me: Those bigger plastic ones you find at a lot of day camps.
Clerk: Pony Beads?
Me: Is that what they're called?
Clerk: Come this way, I'll show you. They're in the kids' crafts section.

Sigh, kids' crafts? Oh well. Sure enough, those fat plastic colored beads from camp are in fact called Pony Beads. It says so on the package. Who knew? Not me.

Clerk (holding out a bag): Is this what you want?
Me: That's exactly it! Do you have a bag of neon?

So that's what I got, along with another variety bag of crystal colored ones. Kids' crafts... Meh. I bought the beads with the intention of decorating the grey shirt I cut up.

But once I'd made a few sets of spangles (that's what I'm calling them), another idea started to form. I'll get to that momentarily. To make my little tie-on spangles, I took a yard of silky cord and cut it into eight even pieces. Then I tied a knot in one end, loaded it with some beads and tied a knot in the opposite end. Then I made sure I had the same amount of beads on both ends when I tied it around a piece of the shirt. The number of spots on the shirt where I wanted to tie these things just happened to be 16, so I made 16 spangles with exactly two yards of cord. They untie really easily so if I want to take them off and tie on a different set, I can redecorate. I started with pink because I wanted to match it to my new pink pants. And yeah, in the picture on the right, the shirt is upside down. Have you ever tried to put a halter top on a hanger? Hang 'em upside down, it's easier! And you're looking at what I plan to wear September 18th. In case you forgot, that's when Jae's new session starts.

Okay, so what was my other idea? Because obviously I didn't use the neon beads on the grey shirt. A couple nights ago, I had actually planned to spend the evening writing but this just sort of took me over. I imagined that the neon beads would look pretty good on black. That they might really liven up a plain black shirt. As it happens, I have just such a one in my reject pile. So I brought it downstairs, grabbed the scissors and set to work. I cut this one into a halter too. When I cut the back into strips, I cut every strip in half and then tied them back together. If you're going to do that, put the shirt on and -then- tie it so that it fits you properly and isn't too small or too big. Both would suck. On each of the fringies (I've decide that's now a word - so there) I tied three neon beads. Definitely brighter right? I wanted to make sure I was choosing colors that would look good together, so grabbed my tie-dye tank top and laid it next to me and followed the color combinations. I think it worked out well, at least as far as it looks... I have yet to field test this one. It needs a practice run before I'll wear out of the house. Again, like the grey one, it's basically tied in place. Only this time, there's the added weight of a bunch of Pony Beads. You follow me?
Uh huh. I'm sure the last thing Jae needs is for me to wear this out to class and..."have issues". In all seriousness though, if the beads fall off when I dance, that would become a safety hazard to me and the rest of the group pretty quickly so it's best to know in advance if things are going to hold. Here's a zoomed out photo. I took two because from a distance, it's hard to make out the individual fringies. Those are indeed bracelets that I made to match sitting next to the shirt. When I cut the edging off the neckline and arm holes, I saved it like all the videos said. Then I thought, hrmm, maybe there really is a purpose to all the hoarding. I sized the amount of beads to my wrist and had a lot of extra edging left. I almost cut it off but decided to leave it since it matched the fringies that way.

I guess the question now is: Am I going to do this to every shirt in the reject pile? Not every shirt. Whether I make more will depend on whether or not I can come up with enough ideas so that they don't all look the same. But I think it's safe to say that when it comes to the brown ones, I'm not even going to bother. Brown doesn't match to anything Zumba makes. Actually, I don't think they've heard of the color... Doesn't. Match. To anything! What was I even thinking?

Best advice: Don't buy brown!! I can't stress that enough here people. If you see a brown tank top, back away slowly and don't make eye contact with it. It may try and jump into your cart or basket. If it lands in there, you should just abandon that cart or basket all together and get a new one. That's probably the safest option.

Just for fun, here's a link that a good friend sent me. I shared it on my own Facebook so if you're friends with me there, you may have seen it. This is really funny, and really pretty true. I know it was true for me when I started Zumba 3.5 years ago. Enjoy!

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