strapped: “mario through the ages”

mario through the ages – guitar strap, originally uploaded by fingerpistol.

this guitar strap is awesome. it was also a freaking BEAST to make.

i used a generic black guitar strap made of a relatively loose webbing material (many of the webbing guitar straps i found were woven too tight to stitch through). since the weave isn’t exactly uniform (every row is offset by the last, so that every other row lines up), i had to sort of devise my own method of keeping the stitches even (not that anyone can tell).

i used the ever-popular “mario through the ages” pattern. i just edited out the background bits to keep the individual incarnations of mario.

the strap was originally meant to be a christmas gift, but it took sooooooooo long (nearly four months, off an on) that it eventually turned into a birthday gift instead. (ha.)

the number one reason it took so long? stitching black floss onto black webbing = SATAN. ohmygosh, it was so difficult to do. the marios with solid black bits (as opposed to black outlines) took literally twice as long as the rest. and they generally took about seven or eight hours a-piece, so… yeah, super suckypants.

thankfully, i was smart enough to go out and buy myself one of those fancypants “daylight” lightbulbs. those things are freaking AWESOME. five bucks well spent, i tell you what. i just plugged it into my normal everyday lamp and BAM, suddenly i could see things!  :o)

admittedly, a couple of the floss colors are a little off. this was the first project that i ever actually used a pattern for, so i didn’t think to check the floss i was grabbing. i assumed (silly me) that if i needed floss 1234, all i had to do was reach into the bin marked “1234” and grab one and i was good to go. not so.

turns out, there are a lot of people out there who don’t know how to put things away correctly, so i should have checked the floss as i grabbed it.  :o\  not a crazy disaster, but incredibly annoying to someone such as myself (who sorts her skittles by color before eating them…yeah, i’m *that* girl). you may notice that hammer mario is a little off.  :o\  yeah. not really sure what happened there. luckily, frog mario was next, so i just shoved him off to the other side to even them out. (and it just looks like he’s jumping! wooooo!)

another issue i ran across was that some of the marios were originally outlined in black on the pattern (because the background was intended to be white). unfortunately, it meant that a lot of bits just faded into the strap. so i ended up outlining those marios a second time with a coordinating thread color, so they still pop out.

there are individual shots of each mario, as well as shots of the back, in my flickr set.

as i stitched the strap, a lot of puckering occurred. it was weird. it was either from the way i was holding the strap (i gripped the hell out of it, i tell you what), or just from the strap trying to escape. or, i suppose it could have had something to do with the stitching itself. i don’t know. i tried to iron the strap after it was finished, per my mom’s suggestion. of course, neither of us realized that was a terrible idea (seeing as how the strap is made of NYLON). haaa. a tiny little edge melted, but i noticed real damn fast and stopped. luckily, the backing fixed most of the puckering problems.

i used a regular old embroidery needle and normal DMC thread, nothing fancy. after i finished it, i took some pictures of the back, then covered that shit up with some fleece. that way, it’s a little softer on the shoulders, and (hopefully) the thread will be protected a little better. i just used spray adhesive to stick the fleece to the back of the strap, then sewed up the sides to keep it down. it was kind enough to lay flat in gratitude.

the strap is still fully adjustable, only now it’s fully BADASS too.  :o)  yeah, i’m a nerd.

i have two other straps i’m supposed to make (one more x-stitched strap featuring images from the legend of zelda, and an embroidered one with a caricature image of frank zappa), but i’m pretty sure i’m gonna procrastinate like it’s my job.

first major crafty project: SUCCESS.



5 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Lisa Leggett said,

    Whoa lady, that’s epic! I think you did a phenomenal job especially considering the material you were working with! I too, have attempted embroidering on that kind of webby, strappy stuff, it was a nightmare of Freddy proportions… I gave up. I especially like the outlining, the Marios really pop! Your friend is going to have a heart attack. Kudos, kudos, kudos!

    Ok, and in other news! I’ve finished the piece I’m sending you for the Phat Quater Movie Swap, wanna email me your deets? Full name (unless you get mail addressed to Fingerpistol, which would be pretty awesome!), address, special delivery notes…that kinda stuff.

    I hope you like it! It’s in my top 5 of things I’ve embroidered. I’m going to have to make one for myself, unless you hate it, then I’d happily stitch you something else (rainbow unicorns perhaps?) so I could keep this little beauty for meeeee. Only you can be the judge on that one. Part of me wants to give you a hint, another part wants it to be a total suprise, d’oh! It’s killing me! I think I’ll go with total suprise! Mwuahahahaha!

    Talk soon!

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