Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Haida Hoodie

I have spent some time with Significant People on Vancouver Island, British Columbia (Canada!), and there was exposed to the amazing West Coast First Nations art - most significantly button blankets. Some day, I vowed, I would make myself one! With an orca, because orcas are amazing!

Inspired by friends who have very cool hoodies, for example from etsy, I conceived of the idea to make myself a hoodie based on a button blenket orca. This was partially fueled by my epic lack of a desire to own any of the amazing hoodies on etsy. Failure on my part. I mean, how could I not want this?

So, I scoured the internets for images of Haida First Nation images of orcas. I also consulted my Fuzzband's West Coast First Nations art books:

Then I did some fancy doodling, complete with using one of my great loves in life: the sharpie!

After this it was a matter of finding teeny weeny buttons (e-bay, shipped from Hong Kong): 6 mm across. I also needed, well, a hoodie. Because I am cheap, I looked for a black hoodie at various second hand stores, and ended up finding a red American Apparel hoodie with some stains at the Salvation Army up the road. I also got a black T+shirt to cut up for the applique work.

I traced the image, more or less, on to the black T-shirt, and after pinning it down securely I sewed it on by hand, just whipping over the edges to fasten and avoid any fraying. After this I sewed the buttons on around the edge of the orca, securing the thick thread every 10 buttons or so in case they decide to explode off the hoodie some day. Only after I had "buttoned up" the outline did I cut out the center pieces oh fin, head and tail, one at a time with embroidery scissors, and sew them as above.

Here vague close ups of the faux mother of pearl buttons. I suck at photography, in case that was hard to figure out...

This is an image of the reverse side of the hoodie. The lines are from sewing on the buttons.



  1. And now I am following your blog! Because I love you. And I love that hoodie. But mostly I heart you.

  2. Bedazzling in the 21st century with buttons! Awesome hoodie!