Remembered Thursday night that best friend's birthday was that Saturday. Oops. What to do? What to make? Best friend is a HUGE Wheel of Time fan and I knew she'd love having her own Blue Ajah shawl ... so a quick trip to Joann's for supplies and my machine and I were ready. Now I've been sewing for a while now but this was my first time working with fringe or appliqué so it was a fun learning experience. In the future I'd (a) take my time and (b) make a much larger shawl but friend was thrilled beyond words with it and I'm not about to tell her how much better it could be.
Here she is displaying the shawl after opening it that evening:
The shawl is made out of a nice, heavier linen and the fringe is standard poly fringe from the ribbon aisle. The color is just a bit different but it's the closest match I could get while still using a natural fiber for the fabric. I wanted it to be moderately realistic and while I was willing to fudge and get poly fringe (it's supposed to be silk - same look if you're not too close), I wanted the shawl itself to be wool or linen. As any who shops at Joann's knows, that doesn't leave a wealth of options. So I did my best with the color matching. The books describe the shawls as having decorative vines embroidered on them. Lacking the time to do that, I added the ribbon trim to give the vines and help hide the color differences.
I cut the shawl out of a yard of 60" wide fabric. I just folded it in half, marked my cutting line from top selvage corner to bottom fold corner with a piece of blue painter's tape (my new magic bullet for sewing. seriously, that stuff's amazing) and cut outside of that line. It made a smaller shawl than I really wanted but Joann's was low on the blue linen so it's what I had. Sewed on the fringe, using that fabulous tape to keep the fringe out of the way and in the right place. I sewed the fringe to the WRONG side of the fabric so that, when I sewed on the trim, it would sew OVER the fringe/shawl seam and enclose it. I like clean hems. The top edge is just a simple rolled hem.
I found instructions on how to draw a yin-yang symbol online and played around with it until it was the size I wanted. Cut out the yin and used that as my pattern for cutting out the flame of Tar Valon for the back. Realised then that I'd forgotten to restock my interfacing. Any interfacing. Any at all except some terribly thick stuff. Great. Ok, I'll do this WITHOUT interfacing. Right. I can do that. For my FIRST appliqué work ever. I'm really not certain how I've gone this long without any other appliqué on my resume but I have. So lots and lots and lots of pins came to the rescue. Even so, there's a reason there's no closeups of that appliqué. Oh, well. Friend thinks it's fabulous and that's what matters.