By Shea + Raan Parton
We love inviting our community to the Apolis Print Shop to get to know one another in real life. We're inspired by the creativity and excitement that having events in-store brings and our latest embroidery event was no exception.
This past Sunday, our friend James Cardenas came to the Apolis Print Shop to embroider bags in person. It's pretty incredible to watch him. He learned how to chain-stitch while working at Lot, Stock and Barrel, an LA-based studio that produces vintage-style embroidery using the same methods used in the 1940s and 50s to produce classic varsity jackets and more.
James has spent years honing his craft using the same kind of machine chain-stitchers used decades before computers. These chain-stitching machines look almost exactly like a sewing machine — you can literally pick one up and set it up anywhere. What’s different is that this machine allows you to control the direction of the needle, enabling you to do imaginative illustrations and drawings — anything from a simple monogram to a full-blown art piece.
James told us the process is easy enough to figure out, but it takes a long time to get good at it — it took James 3-4 years of constantly using the machine to start getting fairly good. He said he enjoys the process itself, which entails freehand stitching — no tracing or stenciling.
It’s no surprise that there’s a pretty small group of people who do this, and that the chain-stitching world is one in which everybody knows each other. And with the unique look and feel of the resulting designs, chain-stitching is increasingly in demand – so we're glad to offer our classic market bag with the phrase of your choice rendered in James' unique chain-stitching!
And – would you be surprised to know that Los Angeles was the most requested expression at the event? Hey, we can't blame them – it's a great city! For updates on upcoming events add the Apolis Print Shop on Instagram.
Check out the photostory below to see more of the chain-stitching process behind our collaboration.