15 August 2010 by

I’ve been sewing for Burning Man 2010 since September of 2009. I’ve improved last year’s costumes, made plenty of new ones, and have been making wonderful things to gift on the playa. I wanted to continue this personal sewing theme at the event and share my love and skills with Burners in need, and so I made this renegade mending bandolier.*

sewing bandolier sewing bandolier sewing bandolier

Just call me Rainbo.

I really love the idea of taking something that is normally made out of animal hide to hold bullets to kill humans and completely changing it around. Instead of bullets I’m packing thread and safety pins! My bandoleer* is for helping people by mending their costumes for free. It’s rainbow and beautiful but also completely functional. Admittedly, it was largely inspired by the Mad Hatter’s thread bandoleer, but I feel like I’ve made it my own.

sewing bandolier sewing bandolier safety pins

I bought rainbow webbing at Joann’s, as well as the spools of thread (there was an awesome notions sale many months ago) and the plastic vials at the top. Everything else was taken from my stash. The belt is adjustable and attaches with an overall-style hook. The green shank button holds the hook very securely, but it’s also easy to take off (or I can slip the whole thing over my head). On the back I’ve got a row of gold safety pins to hand out to burners in need.

sewing bandolier sewing bandolier sewing bandolier

The plastic vials are actually glitter containers that I emptied out (no glitter on the playa!). I’ve got pins, needles, and buttons handy, and the loops are also the right size for a Chapstick.

The spools were from a basic cheap-o sewing kit that I wound with my own thread. They are attached to the belt with some heavy gauge wire that has drops of hot glue on the cut ends to prevent them from scratching me. The wire loops aren’t attached to the belt, but the tension of the wire keeps them from moving around on their own. It was important that the spools can spin when I pull thread, and I placed them on the belt so that the notches face me, to secure loose ends.

sewing bandolier pocket detail sewing bandolier pocket detail

The pockets are made out of scraps from other projects. One is the perfect size for my fleur de logo stickers, while the other holds my folding scissors, tape measure (not really necessary but fun), and any other little tools I might need.

sewing bandolier vial detail sewing bandolier pin detail

In addition to walking around doing repairs in the wild, I will also set up at a table in Center Camp with a sign advertising my free repairs. For this, I’ve got another bag with larger buttons and some gold patches. I can’t wait to wear and use this on the playa, and I’m really looking forward to all the people I will meet through this project.

Thanks to my blue eyed man Jason for taking such rockin pictures on his new camera!

sewing soldier salute


*Both spellings are correct!


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