For the past few weeks I’ve been having fun working out how to make a doll size tallit. It’s not quite there yet, but it’s pretty close. For my first versions I tried woven wool fabrics so I would have fibers coarse enough to make little tassels at the ends of the tallit. I’m kind … Continue reading
Category Archives: Tallit
You don’t need to make a whole tallit. Just make the atarah!
If you love the idea of making your own tallit but the thought of taking on the whole project feels intimidating, I have great news for you: You can create a very special, personalized tallit by making only the atarah –the neckpiece– and sewing it onto a purchased tallit. The atarah is a long, narrow … Continue reading
New “We will build this world with love” embroidery pattern
Here’s a new version of the Olam chesed yibaneh embroidery pattern. Earlier this year I posted a hand embroidery pattern for a tallit atarah (neckpiece) with the theme Olam chesed yibaneh. The English translation is “We will build this world with love” or “We will build this world with kindness.” The design was inspired by … Continue reading
Free Hand Embroidery Pattern for Tallit Atarah: “We Will Build this World with Love”
I’ve really been inspired by people who’ve put themselves on the line for the sake of building a better world. I’ve been looking for ways to contribute, if only small ways. This is one of those small ways. It’s a pattern for a hand embroidered atarah, a neckpiece for a tallit prayer shawl. The design … Continue reading
Get inspired by Stephanie’s full-size handmade tallit
Thank you, Stephanie, for sharing this beautiful handmade full-size tallit, personalized through a mix of creative techniques. Stephanie started with the tallit instructions in the Sew Jewish book, choosing the variations for the full-size tallit. Then she sewed on ribbons for stripes in a mix of blues, purples, and teal. She used fabric paint to … Continue reading
Does a tallit prayer shawl have to have stripes?
Stripes are not required for a tallit, although they are strongly traditional in some communities. In Ashkenazi Jewish communities –communities that trace their roots to Eastern Europe in the Middle Ages—prayer shawls traditionally have black or blue stripes. The stripes call back to the blue dye used to color one of the tzitzit strings in … Continue reading
What kind of fabric can you use to make a tallit?
You’re thinking about making a tallit –prayer shawl– and wondering what fabric to use. Wool and silk seem popular, and many modern commercial tallits are made from polyester blends. Are these the only acceptable options? Are some fabrics better than others? Are there some fabrics you can’t use? Here are some considerations based on Biblical … Continue reading
Where do you put the tzitzit holes on your tallit? Follow this ancient rule of thumb
So you’ve finished making the main body of your tallit —or tallis, prayer shawl— and you’re ready to add the corner pieces, the square pieces of fabric that decorate the corners of the tallit and help reinforce the holes for the tzitzit strings. Does it matter how close to the edges of the tallit you … Continue reading
Get Inspired by this Curved Seam Tallit Applique
Inspired by a quilting class in curved piecing and staring down a sizable fabric stash, Deborah Freedman crafted this tallit featuring the rolling hills around the Old City of Jerusalem. Deborah created the scenes on each of the two ends of the tallit as separate pieces, and then she appliqued the pieces on to the … Continue reading
How to Add Stripes to a Tallit Bag with Inset Fabric Strips
Here’s a nifty way to add stripes to a zippered tallit bag. I recently created this tallit bag of heavy gabardine for a client, and added stripes of blue Dupioni silk to match the corner pieces that were on the tallit (I wish I had a photo of the tallit to show you, but alas, … Continue reading
New Tallit Atarah Pattern: King David’s Jerusalem
Here’s the newest PDF pattern: an atarah and corner pieces for a tallit (tallis) featuring a Jerusalem cityscape. It’s called the King David’s Jerusalem Atarah Pattern. It’s a machine applique pattern, and it includes instructions for sewing the atarah and corner pieces to your tallit. You can find all the details in the Sew Jewish … Continue reading
Get Inspired by this Tallit for the Generations
This bold, modern tallit was created by reader Susan Yaskin as a bat mitzvah gift for her granddaughter. The tallit and matching bag are made from Dupioni silk. An embroidery service created the lettering and Stars of David for the bag. The blue and gold colors and the diagonal stripes give the tallit a modern … Continue reading
The Sacred Space of Teaching
Yesterday evening we finished a four-day tallit making class at a local synagogue. Eighteen students participated, most of them around bar and bat mitzvah age, but some as young as eleven and also several adults. Yesterday’s class was dedicated to finishing tying the tzitzit, which we started the week before. So much positive energy. Every … Continue reading
Hemp Fabric Works Great for a Tallit
If you plan to sew a handmade tallit and you’re looking for a fabric that’s in line with your commitment to environmental sustainability, consider hemp. Growing hemp is particularly environmentally friendly. The plant needs little water to grow. An acre of hemp yields twice the fiber for fabric than cotton. Unlike plants that deplete the … Continue reading
Get Inspired by This Reader’s Tallit Made from Denim
Everyone who’s made a tallit by hand, especially a tallit for a teenager, has probably considered at least for a moment if it would work to use denim. Well, Darlene Gordon has done just that, sewing a tallit from white cotton denim. And she shared the above photo. It looks really cool! Darlene made the … Continue reading
Does a Tallit / Tallis Have to Have Stripes?
A reader recently asked about stripes on a tallit, so I thought the topic would make a good blog post. A tallit, Jewish prayer shawl, does not have to have stripes. You’ll often see tallits with stripes in Ashkenazi communities. In Sephardic Jewish communities, however, the tradition is for the tallit to be plain white. … Continue reading
How Big Should a Tallit Be?
Whether you plan to make a large prayer shawl or a scarf-style tallit, these guidelines will help you determine the best size for you. Before making a final decision, you’ll probably want to try on a few prayer shawls to gauge how they look on you. If you don’t have access to any finished examples, … Continue reading
Tips for Making a Tallit Katan
Yesterday a reader wrote to ask for advice on how to make a tallit katan, the small tallit typically worn under a shirt for daily use. It’s something I had been looking into although I haven’t written up a project, so I thought I’d share with you what I know. Because making a tallit katan … Continue reading