Last summer I revisited a technique I'd only briefly experimented with before; Screen Printing.
I had attended a one day workshop run by the talented Miesje Chafer a couple of years ago and remembered how I love working with stencils to create bold shapes and repeat patterns. I produced a length of lovely oatmeal linen with neon abstract shapes and made it in to a couple of cushions.
Last summer I wanted to explore the technique further and to add my own illustrations to screens rather than the stencil technique. I attended a six week course at the fantastic print studio Ink Spot Press in Hove run by the print-maker Jane Sampson. I produced some repeat patterns from illustrations I'd produced taking inspiration from The South Downs. I experimented with printing on...
When we finally set a date for our wedding, I had a deadline for making or finding a suitable outfit for the occasion.
I knew I wanted to either make from scratch or adapt an existing dress. I did however feel I wanted to give myself the opportunity to have a wedding dress fitting in a bridal boutique even if it was just for the experience! I booked an appointment locally and went on my own. The shop owner was lovely but just didn’t get what I was after. Her selection of dresses were contemporary but mostly column- style so very tight fitting, tummy- clingers. They all seemed to be full length and with trains and boning and hooks & eyes and all incredibly uncomfortable and definitely ‘not me’. They were also made in China. Disappointing for a small local boutique....
I've been busy sewing softies again! I will be exhibiting my work as part of the Fiveways artists group in Brighton this May. Along with a group of other artists and makers, I'll be showing at 'Art at 80' (80 Havelock road BN1 6GF) -number 14 on the Fiveways trail.
All the toys I make are created from scrap fabrics left over from other sewing projects and some are vintage pieces which include some great prints.
I love the floral graphic print on this 1960s fabric. What started life as a teatowel, has been turned into sweetly scented bags filled with Yorkshire lavender. The towel's border has been stitched into hanging loops so they can be hooked over a hanger in the wardrobe to keep moths away and clothes gently fragranced. I love the way the fabric has a faded look but yet still retains that fun mid century graphic style.
So this year, in April, we are finally getting married! What a perfect excuse for a special occassion dressmaking challenge..
The thing is, I don't really like wedding dresses in the traditional sense but I would like to make and wear something special. Our celebration will be relatively low key but with most of our friends and family so it will be important to have a decent party dress!
The biggest challenge for me isn't how complicated the construction is, it's more about choosing a pattern shape that feels right and of course selecting great fabrics. I am thinking tea-dress length with a hint of 50s or 60s in style and in the fabric choice. My Pinterest research has lead me to the sort of images below. These will act as my inspiration! Watch this space.......
I've decided to teach myself the art of traditional embroidery- one new type of stitch everyday (where possible!)
Having made quite a few clothes for myself towards the end of last year I've decided to do some slow sewing and work small by perfecting my hand sewing skills.
I am using this book of embroidery by the Royal school of Needlework as my guide and am planning on working through it starting with 'outline stitches'.
I received this from the RSN after I put in a bid for my school to receive a class project resources pack and was lucky enough to be sent this, along with a wonderful selection of threads, fabrics, frames and more to use in my lessons.
So far on day 5 of 2019 I have tried: stem stitch, split stitch, coral stitch, chain stitch and couching.
One of my favourite textile projects is designing and making soft toys based on my own doodles and sketches..
You can't help but notice that unicorns are everywhere on kids products- toys, accessories, stationary.. In fact they seem to have been a trend for the last few years and are still going strong, so I thought I'd come up with my own version using fabrics from my stash!
I found a selection of silk samples that I had dip dyed a few years ago on a fabric dyeing workshop. In contrast, the sturdy and textural bright white linen was my choice for the bodies. A bit of hand embroidery for the face and some child friendly chunky beads along with a silver sparkly horn completes these dreamy characters!
I made this super cosy cowl a couple of years ago and I have had so much use out of it!
I get lots of compliments when wearing it- people often ask me where it's from!
The sewing pattern is The Parkwood Cowl from Wendy Ward's MIY collection.
and is basically a shaped and lined neck and shoulder warmer that you just pull on over your head.
I found the rather lovely Chanel-esque tweed in Brighton's Ditto fabrics along with a perfectly matching super soft purple sweat -shirting for the lining. The colour of the tweed really appealed to me as I find purple a very wearable winter colour and I couldn't resist the fun pops of neon in the weave. Only half a meter was required so budget - wise it is worth going for a really nice quality fabric....
I have now made 4 versions of the Coco top/dress. The dress (above) is for casual weekend slouching (!) but the two tops are worn for work with skinny black trousers. The third top is a bolder print and a more going-out number!
I love this easy to sew pattern for these reasons:
1. flattering elegant neckline
2. fitted but gently flared at the hem for a flattering fit on the body
Following my previous post on making toys from a 1970s 'golden hands' publication I have now made 3 corduroy chimps! They look great but I forgot how much of a nightmare corduroy is to work with.. it moves about under the presser foot and there is fluff EVERYWHERE!