Monday, August 11, 2014

United Federation of Planets Custom Project

My favorite thing about buying and selling on Etsy is the collaborative mindset of the community. You can customize just about anything, and most people are very open with ideas for improvement (or expansion) on existing product listings. My husband custom-ordered my wedding ring from an Etsy seller before we even knew much about the community. I've not been selling very long, but I've gotten many requests for customization of items I've listed. Requests are usually for a different size or more color options. Thanks to the collaborative efforts of my customers, I've been able to fine-tune some of my more successful products to meet a wider range of needs and tastes.

My favorite request so far came in a few weeks ago. I was asked if I could make a hot/cold pack with the United Federation of Planets emblem on it. As a Trekkie, of course, I jumped at the chance! How could I turn down a project like this?

My inner Starfleet cadet is trembling.

I won't go into too much detail about the process. Suffice it to say I approached the stars through a good deal of trial and error. The smaller stars were fairly easy, though I had to teach myself the French Knot.

Insert needle.

Wrap thread around needle.

Re-insert needle and (here's the tricky part) pull it tight.

I didn't get the scale perfect, but considering the number of stars I stitched, I'm pleased with the outcome.

After trying to machine-appliqué the three larger stars, I was not happy with the results. They were too small to accurately follow the edge with a zig-zag stitch. So I tried to embroider them instead, to match the other stars. My under-whelming embroidery skills resulted in too much bulk, not true to the original design at all. I ended up cutting new appliqué pieces and hand-stitching them in place.

Finally satisfied, I stitched everything to the background, covered the mess on the back with a lining, and admired my own work before shipping it off to its owner.

Here is the back, with the rice insert inside.

I think I will do another for myself, only bigger and on a pillow so I can dream about space exploration.

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