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Esoteric embroidery

Before I even start to explain this project, I should preface it with something of a warning. Even Clarkie, who is reasonably used to me by now, looked askance at me and suggested this was a bit weird. But there's a peculiar sort of logic to it, honest! It all starts with Target...

See, we tend to buy the majority of our clothes in the States. Stuff is cheaper over there, and we have the time to do clothes shopping properly. This includes our underwear, which we buy in multipacks in Target. Neither of us has particularly fancy taste in underwear, but there is a set of reasonably strict criteria for me at least: boy shorts for cycling (no seams in awkward places), low-rise bikini otherwise, preferably no pastel colours, not white. Clarkie has her own set of criteria. This time, for whatever reason, we both alighted on the same multipack, and neither of us could see any alternatives we liked. 

Now, I am prepared to share a great many things with Clarkie, but there are some barriers to us sharing clothes. So we ended up with two sets of matching pants* (and various other non-matching bits and pieces) and came home. As I was sorting the laundry one day, I started thinking about how it would be great if there were an easier way to distinguish the two sets.

I thought about marking them with the fabric pen I own, and then remembered that the last time I used it I ended up with an ugly pair of socks I didn't want to wear, and if I'd wanted ugly there were other sets of pants I could have bought. 

Then for some reason, I thought about embroidery. Now, I don't have a long history with embroidery. I can chainstitch, but the embroidery threads I have are left over from making friendship bands way back when. So I'm not entirely sure where that idea came from. But once it arrived, well, it stuck. I thought I could chainstitch flowers on my set. So I started with the orange pair.

Orange pants, green flower

And frankly, I got bored with chainstich and flowers from there. I googled embroidery patterns, and my eyes were opened to the myriad possibilities. I stumbled across new stitches... And almost before I knew it, the dark blue pair ended up with a robot head on the back right. 

Blue pants, grey robot

(Mmmmm... Split stitch and some french knots.)

We were watching the Winter Olympics at the time. These next two pairs are therefore now my Sochi pants.

Grey pants, rainbow

Those french knots aren't quite as regular as I'd planned. Still, the effect was what I'd hoped. And I'm really rather pleased with the rainbow. 

By this time I'd got into the colour of the pants dictating what should be on them. The next pair was bright pink, and in homage to the small pink tank I once knitted... Well...

Pink tank pants

After I finished those I had a day off ill, catching up on some of the programs I've recorded that Clarkie isn't so interested in. One of which happened to be the embroidery episode of the Fabric of Britain. Split stitch took on a whole new significance. The next pair of pants were turquoise, which I chose to interpret as sky blue. 

Turquoise pants, yellow sunshine

Why yes, that is on the back of the pants. I couldn't resist.

That left just one more pair. A purple pair. I couldn't think of a relevant item. I googled purple, and got flowers. But then, from out of left field (further out than embroidering your pants, if you can believe it), there was a purple cow amongst the flowers. I was sunk. The next problem was drawing a simple enough cow that I could embroider it. Oh, and then actually doing the needlework.

Purple pants, cow

I'm kind of pleased with it, although I do think I over-stretched slightly with that one. Although, as Clarkie kept pointing out as I was muttering over it, it is just a pair of pants. 

So, I now have a set of seven pairs of decorated pants. I have to say, I'm actually rather pleased with them. And sorting the laundry is much, much easier now...


*Please note, I am English, pants does not mean trousers.

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