Bits and Bobs

Wow this year is flying.  Since I haven’t blogged in ages I thought I would update on some of the sewing and textile work I have done in recent weeks.  I haven’t really had much time so have had to do things in “bits and bobs”

I made a dress to wear to a family wedding. Actually I made 2 ½ dresses – the first one I decided was not “wedding-y enough” so I made another one which I hated well before it was finished, and the third one was the goldilocks one. Just right!

The first one was the lady skater pattern, with some scuba knit purchased from Spotlight.  I really like this one, but as a more casual dress.

1.LadySkater

The second one was not the fault of the pattern, but my choice of fabric.  I didn’t finish it (it’s in the “what will I do with this?”pile) because it looked way too dowdy – not the look I was going for.  I always count the time spent on these things as “entertainment” as well as learning, so the time is never wasted.  I don’t even have a photo – but this shows the fabric. A bit stretchy and not suitable for the pattern.

2.Stretch lace

The third dress I made (finished the morning of the wedding) was inspired when I saw the fabric (after going to buy a zip!) I knew I had a pattern with an A-Line skirt (New Look 6184) which I had made once before so I searched for it and used that one.

3.NL6184

Cora and I had a day of stencilling/painting/colouring fabric a couple of weeks ago. Unfortunately it was about a million degrees outside and quite windy so I only did a few pieces as we only stayed outside in the heat for about an hour.

I have made a couple of submissions for my Made on Monday (MoM) challenge out of one of these pieces, a larger piece is already stitched over and will become the front of a cushion cover and the other pieces I will use for some more MoM pieces.

Here are my latest 2 pieces which I just uploaded to the gallery.

While I was looking through my “What I made” book, I realised that I had made an A line dress in October as well – another New Look, pattern 6210.  I loved this fabric the first time I set eyes on it so I wanted to make as simple a dress as possible.

8.NL6210

One thing that I have done for the whole of this year is to keep a record of my dressmaking projects.  It is a small spiral notebook in which I write the date, the pattern number and any comments like “took in at shoulder blades in centre back seam”, which helps me if I decide to make the same pattern again.  I stick a swatch of the fabric on the page as well.  It’s also a reminder that I do actually achieve a fair bit, even though sometimes it doesn’t seem like it.

Next on the list – I have nearly finished a summer dress which only needs elastic in the waist band and I have cut out another dress with a high-low hem. Both of these were inspired by the hot weather which suddenly appeared in Melbourne for over a week but has since disappeared! I will post pictures of the dresses when they are done.  I will also continue working on my Made on Monday challenge pieces.

What have you been working on? Clothes or textile art? Or both?

Until next time

Lyn

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Found Treasures

Recently, while looking for something else, I found some amazing painted fabrics and other bits and pieces that I did many years ago.  Too many, I’m embarrassed to say.

The classes were run by the fabulous Susan Mathews in her (then) home town of Yarrawonga.  She had a fabulous studio behind her house in a setting amongst gum trees – very Australian.

Despite being hidden in my cupboard for many years, I’m still loving the colours and am eager to start planning what I am going to do with each and every one of them.

Here are some of the key bits I found.

I also found one with pins still in it.  Obviously, started constructing but never finished.  Proof I’m easily distracted and clearly forgetful.

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Also found a wet felted piece I did during another class with a different teacher.  Not sure what to do with this one, but will try some machine embroidery on it and then decide.

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Lots of inspiration and bases for some fun projects.  I hope you stay tuned for the results…..

 

More Inktense

Having had little time over the past few weeks to get into the studio, I was happy to spend some time there yesterday, experimenting with inktense pencils.  After a comment received on my Instagram and here, I tried using aloe vera gel as the medium. It was an interesting experiment, because I used the aloe vera growing in my garden which was all I had.  It was quite sticky getting it out of the leaves, but I guess it was very therapeutic for my fingers!  I only tried a little sample, and will compare that with the textile medium/water solution by washing them.  I am interested to see how/if the intensity of the ink fades and will get back to you about the results in a future post.

Having dreamed about scarves with multi colours, I found some very light weight fabric to try some samples on – I think it’s called muslin here in Australia. It’s very loosely woven cotton. Firstly I sewed a grid on the fabric using straight stitch and zigzag stitch using a soluble stabiliser because the fabric is so unstable.

2 grids

Then I used the inktense pencils to colour in the boxes, this time only using the textile medium/water solution.   I quickly decided that doing a large scarf this way would not be my thing!

On the second sample I simply coloured in small dots in the grid, which is a much quicker process.  I really like both effects, but if I was to do anything like this on a larger scale I would definitely use the inktense blocks rather than the pencils.

 

So I now have 2 new samples for my Made on Monday pieces.  I’m sure this will lead to other pieces because I really love the effects.

Until next time,

Lyn

Playing with Stamps

I went through a card making stage a few years back and have a few stamps in my stash.  I thought I’d try using them on fabric.

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I tried stamping on both plain and printed fabric.  I debated whether to add more colour before stitching but decided to leave them simple and just add a touch of colour with thread.  I’m pleased with the samples.

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The stamps are easy and fun to use.  I haven’t tested the ink for permanency as yet; however, I did heat set and will try washing a future sample.

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I love the simplicity of minimal colours.  It does help that I love the colour purple.  I like the look of them together, so might try and incorporate them into something…..?

Number 23

Last week was week 23 for my Made on Monday challenge.  I decided to continue my experimenting with Inktense pencils.  Numbers 21 and 22 were also created using inktense pencils, and although I don’t really like piece 22, I do like the idea of using a simple image, and outline stitching it with free motion embroidery.

The starting point was an offcut from a piece which had been painted using stencilled images. (Have I mentioned I have a LOT of STUFF in my sewing room which needs to be used/donated/thrown out?)  So I used it… and grabbed a bag of stencils which had come from some magazines meant for paper crafts.

1 fabric

Using the pear stencil I created the image by blending various colours of inktense pencils, wet with a mixture of textile medium and water.  I used less water this time, because number 22 showed me how much the ink spreads when wet.

I then experimented with a border, still using inktense, because the fabric did not have colour all the way to the edges.

 

Finally after checking the layout with my trusty pink board with a 5 inch window cut out, I stitched with free motion embroidery, using simple outlines around the pear.

6 checking size

The background was stitched in a leaf pattern, sort of following the pattern of the leaves but not really!  I stitched around the border triangles as well to try to make them pop up a bit from the fabric.

After a zig zag stitch to finish the edges, it’s finished!

8 final stitched

Detail of the stitching:

9 stitch detail

Currently I am borrowing Cora’s inktense pencils, and I am certainly sold on getting some of my own.  I might get some of the inktense blocks, because the pencils are great for small areas and detail, but I think it would be great to be able to cover larger areas.

Do any of you have experience with inktense? Am I the only one late to this party?

Until next time

Lyn

Creative Catch Up

I finally have my machine back from the repairer and have almost shaken off the winter blues.  Getting back into the swing of things, I have finished quite a few 5″ squares for the Made on Monday Challenge.  Below are the finished pieces from the semi finished piece I showed last time.

I also completed another appliqued piece I’ve called coastal.  Choosing different colours to represent the ocean, sand, sea and sunset.

17_Coastal

This weekly challenge has been great for stretching the creativity and trying new things.  Experimenting with backgrounds, fabrics and thread.

For the next few pieces, I am experimenting with some stamps I have in my stash that have been used in the past for card making.  Another detour I took a while ago.  I have used the stamps on plain and printed cotton but am yet to decide what is next.  Whether to just stitch or use some more colour (Inktense or Water Colour Pencils).

More completed photos next time……

 

 

 

Keeping up the Creativity

The last few months have seen everyone around me succumbing to the colds and flu that come with winter and I was therefore destined to eventually get sick as well.  Feeling unwell and with the added problems I’ve been having with my sewing machine (which has been back and forward with the repairer over the last month or so) has put a significant pause on my creativity and has made me fall very behind with my Made on Monday, weekly challenge.

I am currently 4 weeks behind but I spent today reconnecting with my sewing machine and experimenting with a piece I had started months ago but never progressed.

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I’m trying various pattern options around the initial flower design that was done using variegated thread on a pieced/woven background and I am pleased with the progress so far.

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Now that I am back in the (sewing machine) driver’s seat, I’m sure a little extra effort will put me back on track.  I hate being behind schedule.  The plan is to finish a few more pieces and post them on the weekend.  Until then……