A couple months ago, I received an email from a woman asking about a custom tallit for her daughter. Her daughter loves the Northern Lights and wanted a tallit for her upcoming Bat Mitzvah inspired by the Aurora Borealis. She wanted something reminiscent of a traditional tallit, so creating a tallit from Aurora Borealis fabric or printing one for the full tallit was off the table. She sent me a photo that they wanted to use and I designed a tallit using the image for the stripes, atarah, and corners. Once they were happy with the design, I created a file with the image the size I needed to create all the elements and sent it to Spoonflower.com.
Once the fabric arrived, printed on poly crepe de chine, I used by dining room table light table to paint the blessing on the atarah in white fabric paint.
While that dried, I measured and cut the white silk de chine fabric they selected and carefully measured the northern lights fabric to cut the stripes. I then placed the stripes on the silk and pinned them in place.
The first stripe slid around as I was sewing it and ended up wavy, so I ripped out the stitching and used lots and lots of pins to keep everything in place on the slippery silk. There was a lot of measuring and pinning to get them straight and spaced perfectly.
When all the stripes were in place, I got out the serger to finish the edges. At first, I couldn’t get the serger to stitch correctly and the thread kept breaking. After about an hour of threading the machine over and over again, I was about to give up and bring the machine in to get serviced when one last try seemed to do the trick. Whew!
Once the edges were serged, I folded them over and used a straight stitch to finish them and then pinned and stitched the atarah and corners in place.
They requested tzitzit techelet to bring in more of the blue. And the last pieces of the fabric were used for a matching bag.
Then the piece was complete! I hope she enjoys wearing it at her bat mitzvah and for years to come!