Tag Archives: textiles

Happy “Little” Diversions

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Happy “Little” Diversions

I was rifling through some deep sewing storage looking for a specific piece of fabric.  I didn’t find it, but while searching  happened across these “little quilts.”  They were neatly folded and tucked away waiting to be rediscovered.

People who know I work with fabric almost always ask me if I quilt and I always say, “no,”when in fact I do quilt from time to time.   What I mean when I say no, is that I do not quilt as my main creative outlet;  I haven’t spent my lifetime perfecting my quilting skills like the artists whose magnificent creations adorn quilt shops and shows.  Rather, I am a little quilter of small projects…  offering happy little diversions from my more seriously focused fabric pursuits.

Each piece carries with it a memory, like small snapshot in time… oh yes, I remember when I made that…..

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Folk Art Adventure

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What started out as a ‘fun little project’ has turned into a colossus of detail.  I began with a collection of flowers and other elements cut from various fabrics.  I bought a variety of beads and of embroidery floss for embellishment and started in.IMG_9322I have seen many examples of “folk-art” having had the opportunity to visit The Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe.  I am intrigued by the nature of this category of art with its bright use of color, eclectic and unexpected pairings of materials and designs, and endearing inattentiveness to quality or standard that magically comes together with a kind of flea-market cachet. It is such a departure from my natural bent towards creative order that when I saw a display at a local shop, I thought I’d like to give it a try.

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I’ve discovered that I like the somewhat tattered and unplanned look.  There is a certain creative freedom which develops in the absence of exacting precision; I can use any color thread and don’t worry about evenness of stitches or tidiness of French knots and I can stitch on beads with abandon.  There are no rules, no dictates, just art and that’s fun! IMG_9356

Vintage Illustrations.

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Taking Inspiration from Historic Costume

 

I’ve always had an interest in historic costume; I imagine most of us who sew share this interest, as studying past fashions can provide endless inspiration for contemporary designs.  I recently came across a collection of charming illustrations of British children’s costumes from the 18th and 19th century that I wanted to share with my friends in Sewville.  I adore these and plan to frame a set to hang in my sewing room… they are so sweet.   I’ve put a couple up in my RemnantWorks Etsy shop and will be adding more as I have the time.

 

 

British Children's Costumes Illustrations

 

British Children's Costume Illustrations

 

 

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Byzantine Inspired Fabric Mosaic – Project Update

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Art Meets Fashion

linnyjcreations and I were talking about the latest Dolce & Gabanna Byzantine inspired fashion collection today . Check out her blog entry Religious Mosaic Fabric – Dolce Gabbana.

As it happens, I am currently up to my neck in a Byzantine fabric mosaic project. One of the hallmarks of Byzantine style is the high degree of detail and ornamentation.  I’m sure that’s why I’m attracted to this historic period; it provides a perfect outlet for my tendency to move toward increasing complexity in just about everything I do.  I can get lost in the world of details for hours as though I were transported to another universe.  For example, today I decided that I wanted to highlight each pearl on the dress with required the cutting out an additional 43 circles approximately 1/4″ in diameter.  Very close work, indeed.:)

Any guesses on who the subject is?  Byzantine ornamentation

Creating braids in fabric mosaic medium

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I think I’ve done it!

Wow, what a challenge creating a braid in fabric, but I think I’ve finally done it.

braid created in fabric mosaic medium

Hooray

One down, one to go.

Doing the happy dance!

I’m going to have to be very careful to make sure the second braid is cut so that it looks like it “belongs” with the first braid.  There is a lot of color variation in the fabric I’m using and it really shows way more than than I thought it would if it’s not done right… learned that the hard way.  I’m going to have to make careful visual comparisons to get it right.  Time to take a break before tackling that.

Maybe I’ll work on that luscious piece of purple linen I bought last week.   Hmm…

Fabric Art

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On Checking Out

It’s been several weeks since I posted anything on Sewville, and that’s because I’m knee-deep in a new fabric art project.  Here is a sneak peek of what I’m working on.

fabric art project

I still have some mountains to climb before completion, but I’m inching my way along and am hoping for good progress over the next few days/weeks.  Wish me luck!

I know I’m getting ready for re-entrybecause I find myself thinking about sewing Mandarin collars with increasing frequency. 🙂

Sewing with Linen

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A New Jacket For Springtime

jacket front view

Generally I don’t use Kwick Sew patterns much, not for any particular reason, I just am not that familiar with them.  Earlier this week while at the pattern counter in my local fabric store a helpful clerk  thrust the latest Kwik Sew book into my hands and was insistent that I look, so I did.  I don’t know if this is a new pattern or an older one, but I liked the look of and am happy to say it’s a breeze to sew with.  It couldn’t have been easier to put together and it fits nicely.

jacket pattern

The fabric you see is the photo is a great piece of linen I bought four or five years ago.  At the same time, I also purchased a yard of the striped fabric not knowing exactly how I would use it, but it picked up the colors in the main fabric well and I figured it would come in handy.

 I’m not a huge fan of the deep angled line on the front opening, so I adjusted that to be more traditional.  I also decided to apply simplified techniques I learned when sewing with Vogue American Designer, Adri.  For those of you who may not know of her, she uses simple elegant finishing techniques that are perfect for unlined linen garments.  I eliminated the two front facings in favor of the bias bound edge and used French seaming techniques for all the seam to add to the clean look of the interior.

French seam finishes

I removed 5/8 inch seam allowance (except for the hemline) around the entire jacked and applied the bias binding made from the striped fabric around the raw edges mitering at the corners.

bias binding

Because I eliminated the facing I had to add some stabilizer for the button and that was done by sewing a small interfaced square to the inside of the left side of the jacket front.

stabilizer for button

I was pleasantly surprised by how compatible the pattern was to the fabric.  They both have a bit of an Asian feel and I hadn’t really noticed that about the pattern until it was completed.  I’m thinking maybe I’ll make another in solid black.  

jacket back view

Creating Unique Fabrics Out Of Scraps

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Repurposing Scraps – tutorial

I like the fabric that I used in my last coat so much that I wanted to utilize every little bit that I had left over. I’ve used this method of taking scraps and sewing them together to create a new piece of fabric before and it always proves to be an interesting effort.   I began by looking through my fabric and trims to see what I might have that would go with the piece I the main piece I was working around and came up with some pretty complements.  It’s amazing the bits and pieces I find that I have squirreled away for later use and then forget about; it’s always fun to rediscover them.

bits and pieces

Once I had gathered my materials selected, I cut a piece of bleached muslin to size to use as a base.  Organza would be a good substitute for muslin if you wanted something lighter weight, but I was thinking sturdy for a bag possibly.   The size of the muslin is determined by the length of scraps I am working with  Then I cut out my strips.  I organized the strips in a way that I thought looked interesting and then began to stitch them onto the muslin.

fabric strips

Beginning at the right edge I sew the first strip down face-up along the left side .  Place the second strip right sides together along the right edge of the first strip and sew down the right side with a 1/4″ seams securing both pieces.

stitch along right edge

Press the second strip out to the right and repeat the process until the base is completed.  I don’t worry too much about being perfect or staying on grain, because I like the somewhat random looking nature of the end result… that is part of the charm of this type of quilting.

  press to the right
Once the muslin backing was completed I added some burgundy cord for embellishment.
sewn strips completed

I then trimmed the piece to the edges of the muslin.

finished piece

I repeated this process and will be incorporating these strips into a bag or maybe a decor item.  Not sure yet.

I’m In This Big Art Coat

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I Look Incredible

What-what?  What?  What?      What-what?  What?  What?

I'm in my big art coat

I Look Incredible

This is freakin' AWESOME

Before you start groaning…

please understand that this blog entry is fashioned after the lyrics and musical refrain in the hit tune, Thrift Shop, by Macklemore

(The “unclean” version is more fun to watch in video, but the lyrics are decidedly unsuited to my refined audience)

bring the music up and enjoy

(my lyrics go with the part that starts around 3:04 minutes and goes to the end)

  Thriftstore

Thread Shop

I’m gonna sew some clothes
Only got forty dollars in my pocket
I-I-I’m huntin’
Lookin’ for some buttons
This is freakin’ awesome

I’ll wear my own made clothes
I look incredible
I’m in this big art coat
From that thread shop down the road
I’ll wear my own made clothes
I look incredible
I’m in this big art coat
From that thread shop down the road

I’m gonna sew some clothes
Only got forty dollars in my pocket
I-I-I’m huntin’
Lookin’ for some buttons
This is freakin’ awesome

By the way, I did make this jacket for just under $40 dollars.  How’s that for poppin’ tags!   Not bad for a freakin’ awesome big art coat.