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Friday, June 08, 2012

Stitch, Stitch, Stitch...

and a bit of forgetting to stop.  Four different pieces of fabric (including the water soluble stuff), all with stitched circles.  I find this kind of stitching really meditative.  I don't have to pay attention to a pattern, I don't have to have even stitching, I can just go with the flow and let the pattern develop by itself.  Bit like life, really.  You do have to get through the boredom barrier, and past the thinking about the work, and what else you have to do, but finally, there is just you, the stitching and a quiet mind.  Pure concentration.  It's very relaxing.

I must buy more bobbins for my older Berninas, making patterns like this need a lot of bobbin thread, and I have to use the same thread top and bottom.  Breaking off the stitch to refill the bobbin is a distraction.  There is a fifth piece upstairs, which I've done two bobbins worth of stitch onto... it's a little under half way stitched.  It would have been only a quarter stitched, but when I looked at it, I couldn't resist doing just a little bit more.  If I listen carefully, it's singing quietly to me to come back, change the needle and Get On With It.  All of this cloth is intended for hats or bags for Myrtle & Rose.  We're exhibiting in Watton in July, and doing Burnham Market Craft Fair this August, so we need a bit of stock. Which is why the cloth will have to wait a bit; I'm off to wire some hats...and as the rain seems to have stopped for a moment, I'll just nip down into the shed and get the hat forms I left to dry last night, ready to wire.  Obsessed?  Hell, yes!

Monday, June 04, 2012

Learning The Ropes...

is great fun, it transpires.  This is today's creation, a sinamay fascinator.  What's interesting about it is that the sinamay has been painted in places, using metallic paints, so predominately it is pink, but with a very gentle shade of green popping up now and again, and a lovely sheen to it.  I hadn't tried that before, and will do it again, but instead of using a brush, I think I'l use a roller... much easier to get the paint on evenly.  I like learning...what have you learned today?

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Getting It Right...Eventually.

As you know, I went on a wonderful hat making workshop last weekend.  One of the things I made was a fascinator, which I teamed with a felt flower; it's in the image above, perched on Dolly's head.  It looked okay...but somehow, there was something not quite right about it.  There was just too much difference in feel between the tactile softness of the felt and the sculptural nature of the sinamay.  I did persevere... made some more flowers, thinking that it was the balance that was off.  No.  So... I tried something else.  I made a rose out of some hand dyed silk organza, and tried that, instead.  Silk also has tactile softness...but of a different, somehow more formal kind.  This time, I think I got it right.  It's elegant, rather than a cross between elegance and...well.. cute.  What do you think?

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Is It A Fruit Bowl? Is It A Sugar Bowl? No...

it's a hat.  I thought it was important to prove, if only to myself, that I can do this stuff without the eagle eye of a teacher upon me... so I've been putting what I learned into practice.  This particular one is another pillbox; I love these shapes.  Much of millinery is applied textiles, with a bit of 3D thinking thrown in.  I finished this one this morning, it looks like this:

Now, I have to decide how to fasten it to hair.  The tutor recommended a thin hair band, covered with the same colour fabric.  That way, you know it won't fall off, and perhaps more importantly, it has to be worn in the right place on the head.  Hats are designed that way, for a particular spot on the skull (as it were), and often doesn't look right anywhere else.  I've been trying this one out, and surprisingly, it looks good in two or three positions.  The other option would to be to put milliners' elastic on the hat; the elastic gets hidden in the hair at the back of the head (no, not under the chin!!!).  Decisions, decisions.