Saturday, July 14, 2012

Steampunk Bobbin Barrettes

My compulsion to create goes beyond fabric. But not too far beyond. Like, all the way to bobbins?

One of the side effects of being a button collector, is that I wind up with a lot of orphan bobbins (Wind up! Get it?). I have lots of bobbins that don't fit any of my machines, virtually all from thrift shops or flea markets. Bobbins are soooooo cool - steampunk steel, or, from more recent machines, groovy, clear plastic.

 I have long unruly hair and always need more barrettes. So I made these:.

Barrette A, front and side view below, is made from plastic bobbins, fully loaded with thread (I didn't load them!). I used a sturdy, sparkly silver plastic yarn (called Jelly Yarns) to stitch them on. Begin by tying a knot at one end of the barrette. Then weave into the top of a bobbin, around the backing, back up through the first bobbin hole, then into the next bobbin hole, around the back, up the same bobbin, and so on, onto the next bobbins.

Barrette B below is made from vintage "one-dot" bobbins. Again, they came fully loaded with the thread you see here. I glued the thread ends down. Then I used a super strong glue to fix the bobbins to the backing.

For barrette C, below, I again started with loaded bobbins. I wired them to the barrette. The wire is fastened at the ends, of course, and there's another piece of wire in the middle, to prevent gapping. Tying that wire in the middle wasn't an elegant solution. Anyone have some better ideas?

Barrette D is my favorite. I used two kinds of bobbins, and large round metal beads. Everything is wired together, similar to the path described in barrette A. Except here, start by securing the wire to one barrette and, and then come up the central hole of the first bobbin; then go through the bead, and down the same hole. Wire is a little clunky to work with, so be very patient with it and yourself.

There are two great advantages to wearing bobbin barrettes. First,  it's like one of those dating cellphone apps that helps single people find other singles in their vicinity. This is a stitching app. Anywhere you go, people who sew or have sewn will recognize the origins of your hair accessory, and will start talking to you!

And second, if you wind up on a desert island with a vintage sewing machine, electricity, fabric, but no bobbins, you can simply unsnap the barrette from the back of your head, pry off a bobbin , and you're good to go!

1 comment:

  1. These barrettes make me wish I had long enough hair to use them.