Tag Archives: sewing

Project 6 Manipulating Fabric


To work on this project I chose these 6 pages of my sketchbook to work from.

  • The first two are inspired by fungi I spotted whilst out walking, I made a few initial sketches then worked from those and additional photo’s I found, experimenting with collage, oil pastels, acrylic paint and inktense pencils.
  • The next page was inspired by a photo I found of bird in a magazine which was focused on the beautiful pattern made by its feathers, I worked on these ideas using layering and scratching away acrylic paint, wax crayons, marker pens and a fabric collage. It was the jewel-like colours and overlapping shapes which really interested me here.
  • The ‘rock-pool’s’ page was inspired by the road where I walk my dog, it is very broken and uneven and the patterns the stones form on the floor always catch my attention. I really love the small range of colour’s shown in the photo I found, it is very simple and ‘earthy’ feeling, but still has lots of contrast, it also has a strong circular feeling to me which I think came through ion my sketches.
  • The page about ‘birds on a cliff’ doesn’t really show up very well in the photo, but I felt very drawn to its feeling of many layers and lines.
  • The last page I worked on has to be my favorite. I had been reading a book about people marooned on a desert island and when I saw this photo in a magazine it caught my attention. I really love the shapes and colours shown in the photo, although in some ways my sketches and collages make me think more of a peacocks tail than the desert island I intended.

Read the rest of this entry


Research Point: Medallion Quilt


This is a quilt I started making as part of a ‘Hand-stitched Class’ from a blog called ‘Stitched in Color’ when I was in the dark depths of post-natal depression. The colours feel rich, warm and jewel-like to me which I find rather comforting. It is roughly a square shape, about 60in sq. Not only is it made from beautifully patterned fabrics but it also has plenty of hand embroidery and quilting to add to the decorative effect. Read the rest of this entry

Project 3 Colour: Stage 6 Combining textures and colour effects


Machine Embroidery.

For this exercise I managed to find two types of water-soluble fabric to try, one was a clear plastic film, and the other was opaque and felt more like paper. To start off with I tried out the plastic film with dark colours – I first stitched a grid on to the film with black thread using a straight stitch, then I went back over it using a zig-zag stitch in lots of different shades of blue and green trying to create a progression from to the other like you would find on the colour wheel. I spent a lot of time working on this piece as I thought it would require a lot of stitches to hold the new lacy fabric together, but when I dissolved the film I found my stitches had formed quite a hard and dense mat, so I decided with my next piece to try a few less layers of stitches. Read the rest of this entry

Project 3 Colour: Stage 5 Coloured Stitches


For this exercise I had to use a black background and two primary colours – I picked red and blue to work with. I tried mixing the colours together in two different ways, using small crosses and french knots. The crosses blend together when viewed from a distance, whereas the french knots are still very separate looking. I think the amount of background fabric showing through has a big effect here, with the french knots not much of the fabric is visible so theres a clear contrast between colours, but with the crosses a lot of black can be seen, which I think dulls the effects of the colours on each other. Also, the crosses don’t directly touch, just sit near each other, whereas the knots are pressed up against each other. Read the rest of this entry

By Hand London Anna Dress – Fixed!!!


I haven’t posted about this dress before, even though it was finished back in April, and also happens to be my third Anna Dress from By Hand London. I saw this beautiful cotton voile in a blog post from The Village Haberdashery and just knew I had to have it! (You should totally check out their selection here, I would buy the lot if I could!!!) I wasn’t even sure what it was going to become, but I’ve always wanted a lovely soft summer dress in this kind of pattern, so I bought 1.5m before the photo was even up on the website – guessing from the description and praying I’d chosen the right one! When it arrived it was just as beautiful as I’d hoped, and it washed and tumble-dried wonderfully.

This dress is fairly simple to make – sewing it together is mostly straight lines. In this case a lot of straight lines as I did french seams through out (the inside just had to look as beautiful as the outside). I chose not to line it as even though the fabric is so light weight its not particularly transparent, and I figured it would be lovely and cool in the hot weather – I just wear a slip under it if necessary. This was the first time I tried making the slash neck, as my first two were both v-neck’s which after taking 2″ out of the back fit perfectly. Unfortunately this neckline just didn’t sit right even after taking the 2″ out of the back. It’s hard to see in the awful photo’s but it was all baggy at the top a bit like a cowl neck – obviously I’m missing the necessary assets to fill it out . I tried to embrace this look thinking maybe it would be ok, but after a couple of wears I just couldn’t take it anymore, it had a whole saggy boob feel to it, unbearable! So it hung there on the side of my wardrobe mocking me, the fabric so pretty, the fit so bad, the unpicking – YUK! *Sad face*

Finally today I bit the bullet, I tried unpicking the front neckline (voile is not fun to unpick) and took 1.5″ out from the centre, curving back up to meet the back piece and reattaching it to the facing, but of course that didn’t work as it would’ve been too easy. After that I was totally fed up, (would I ever rescue this lovely fabric!!!!!!) so I hacked off the neckline at the front below the topstitching with some nice big fabric shears – that felt satisfying! I put it on and pinched out the excess fabric, turning it into 4 1/2″ pleats then sewed it all back together, and amazingly it worked! This is now my favorite dress ever, so pretty and so comfy! And with only 4″ in total taken out from the neckline?! I guess at least I’ll know for next time!

Linking up with Finish it up Friday.

A sock horse named Blue


A few weeks ago whilst messing around with all my crafty stuff I made these.

So when my son came home one day needing a sock horse to help decorate the school gardens for an open day, I realized I had the perfect inspiration (his school colour also happens to be royal blue!). I started off by finding an old sock which I filled with toy stuffing. Now this sock had definitely seen better days, so I decided it needed some work to hide the worst bits! Read the rest of this entry

Project 2 Developing your marks: Stage 4 Preparing to create textures


For this stage I found out some paintings I’d made whilst experimenting with making marks, and a card I’d received for my birthday. I studied the textures that could be seen then went looking through all my bits and bobs for things I felt were similar. I felt the first pink painting seemed like it was oozing down the paper and I made up a small sample to try and recreate the feeling. The second big pink painting reminded me of a flower, like the one shown on a piece of silk, I could see this being made up with many layers of appique, french knots and beads as it looks so lumpy and bumpy. Read the rest of this entry

Project 2 Developing your marks: Stage 6 Using thread and yarns to create textures



To start off this stage I tried sewing with chunky threads and strips of material on some hessian. I then tried making my own threads, first up was the fabric twine, made following this tutorial, I have to say this was totally addictive – I could make metres and metres of this stuff! Next up I stretched out some thin strips of jersey fabric to make a thick thread. Both these handmade threads have very different textures, the fabric twine is quite rough and firm, whereas the jersey strips are soft and stretchy. Read the rest of this entry