Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Collage on Canvas

and sew it seams that my 11 year old daughter is a genius artist........

Sweet Pea has been going to Art Classes for two years now, she brings home some great work .... they even have an exhibition coming up ......

... colour..... depth ...... textures ..... layers and layers of textures ......

Solar Thread

and sew it seams that things are NOT quite what they seem ........

When I was at Texstyle 08 Teacher's Forum I went to a session about Gutermann threads and stabilisers. The Gutermann man (sorry I didn't get his name) gave us this sample of a commercially machine embroidered design using Gutermann Solar Threads. Well, to be honest, it didn't get a reaction from me at first - we were inside a building for most of the day..... but when I went outside .......

The threads are light sensitive and gradually come to life as soon as you take them into the sunlight - I think I'm a bit like that sometimes!
There are only about 5 or 6 "colours" in the range, but imagine what you could do! A panel of decorative embroidery stitches on skirt, embellishing a bag - you would need a fairly dense embroidery design and to use a range of colours for the effect to really stand out ........anyone else use these?

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Gill's Masquerade Party

The lovely Gill & Stewart invited us to Gill's birthday party – a Masquerade Party!

Hmmmm - what to wear?
Well, I purchased some el cheapo masks ….

And one of the worst blonde wigs I’d ever seen ……. modelled beautifully here on the iron ...

And decided to team up the little trapeze dress and slip that I made for the lovely Candice to wear for the Tessuti Awards with some sequinned black pants – as you do!

The trapeze dress (Black Lace from Tessuti's - McCalls 5583) was ultra short on Candice – but she has lovely legs! So, it's perfect as a top for me ...... I used New Look 6544 for the pants pattern. The black sequinny fabric -though not exactly sequinned - more like shiny black squares stuck all over it .... anyway, the base fabric is a stretch velvet - but the shiny black squares reduced the stretch rather significantly. I tapered in the side and inside leg seams to fit my legs quite snugly.
Here is the ensemble...
It was a great night - awesome venue ..... lots of dancing - and of course SOME were better dancers than others - lots of laughs with great friends- Happy Birthday Gill!

Black & White Dress Simplicity 3877

This poor neglected partially completed dress was abandoned amidst the renovations in my studio (ex granny flat). All sewing came to a screaming halt as the tradesmen moved in and the sewing stuff moved out.

As soon as I had the all clear I shifted the essentials back in and finished the dress in time to wear to the work Christmas lunch. The fabric is a cotton / lycra blend so it’s quite comfortable with the extra stretch. I like the bodice – especially the stand up collar.

Don't you just love the way my photographer angled the camera (14 yo son!). The fullness in the skirt comes from 8 godets. I made View D – the pink one. The Bodice has Princess Lines at the front and darts at the back. The zip is at the side and I didn’t make the belt.

When I got to work there were several black and white ensembles! We had a lovely lunch wrapping up the year in style!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Texstyle 08 .. Wandering Around ....

In between my workshops I had a sneaky peak at what the others were doing. Wendy Scott is a fellow Novocastrian and her work is stunning and amazing - she has a zeal for teaching textiles and it shows!

She ran a workshop called "Making Opals" where pieces of textile art began as scraps of leftover fabric.... they assembled .....and stitched .... and I believe they also used a heat gun and soldering iron to create new pieces of fabric (i didn't get to see the finished products...)

Lynda Peters presented a “Felted Bowl” workshop. They started with some wool tops .... and they ..... well I don't know how ...... but they used soap, heat and agitation to make these ...

Aren't the colours luscious!
and voila........ felted bowls!
The people from the Craft Mailbox had a display and "how to" for some of their products. They also had a selection of Kaffe Fassett's delectable fabrics ...
... the Clover Yo Yo Makers ..

It was an inspiring two days that I would highly recommend to fellow Textiles teachers - congratulations and thankyou to the teachers who organised it all.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Texstyle 08 - Liquid Radiance Fabric Colours

Day Two of the Texstyle 08 Teacher's Forum

Today I did a workshop with Ann Mitchell from Genesis Creations. Ann is from Toowoomba and she sells colours for fabric that are really really easy to use with minimal waste and maximum results. The best bit about them is that they can be used on ANY fabric - they are not dyes they are finely milled acrylics. Ann and her daughter, Margaret, organised a mega jam packed morning of fantastic colouration fun. We started with a goody bag and the tables all set up for colouring ….

Ann’s samples adorned the room …. These are "marbled flowers". You actually put marbles in the centres of the flowers ......

...... ahh the Psychedelic Tshirt ..... very Woodstock...

Can you see the tiny socks and singlets?

Most techniques started with wetting the fabric and squeezing out excess moisture. We worked on a piece of cardboard covered in black plastic – so you don’t need huge pots and sinks – unless you’re planning to do large pieces which can be done in plastic tubs – the key is to use minimal amounts – it is not an immersion method.

We then had a go at a range of techniques and laid all of our work out to “dry” – would be better done in sunlight – but we managed …. here is the marbling technique again ...

adding salt and sugar(!) gives an interesting effect ....
The range of possibilities is endless - and we only really had time to dabble in a few ..

We were all very appreciative of Ann’s efforts to present a really inspiring session – we could all see classroom potential for her products. Once dried the samples just needed an iron to heat set. Simple, safe and fun!

Monday, December 8, 2008

TEXSTYLE 08 - Machine Feet

Last weekend A, A & I travelled to Sydney for the TEXSTYLE 08 Exhibition and Teacher's Seminars as organised by the TEA (NSW). It was a great weekend of gathering information and ideas and meeting fellow teachers of the Textiles persuasion. Texstyle is an exhibition of NSW Higher School Certificate Textile and Design major projects. The exhibition was amazing - congratulations to all of the students who completed their projects - if you get the chance you should have a look at the creativity and skills of these students - well done to the teachers as well!

The first seminar of the day for me was Thea ("I have a foot for you") from Bernina showing us a million and one things to do with the variety of machine feet (well maybe not a million - but WOW she gave us some great ideas!). And - what timing ...... I just noticed that Bernina currently have 20% off Bernina Feet and Accessories as a Christmas Special ..... Thea had some really lovely product samples for us to drool over .....

Hmmm looks like a Prints Charming to me .... you can sew great circles using the Circular Embroidery Attachment which fits all Berninas ....

This cute cushion was embellished using #43 - Free Motion Couching Foot ....

This bag features Bobbin work where the decorative thread is manually wound onto the bobbin and then you sew on the Wrong side and the good stuff comes out on the Right Side ....
We also saw some great work from Kirry Toose. This bag was knitted then felted and then beautifully embellished ....

This is a corset, and I'm sorry that the photo does not do this piece of art any justice, that has been made by Ruth Osborn, lots of freehand embroidery using soluble stabilisers. The detail is exquisite.

Next is the Bra Bag, two bra cups sewn together and embellished ... what will they think of next?
These jeans are snazzy - undo the inside seam and stitch to your heart's content ...

More Flutterbys

This is a piece of patchwork made from sewing circles onto squares and by using two contrasting fabrics the effect is ... EFFECTIVE.

This is a nearly completed bag using the same technique - I am intrigued!

Well, lots of great ideas, and a good reminder to get out all those feet and have a play to see what they can do ........a great day all in all ....... and then the bad part ....... three intelligent, law abiding citizens were a tad confused by this overcrowded and poorly designed sign..... ouch! $135 fine.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Bright Lights, Big City Part II

Continued from Part I

We returned to the city, dropped off the boottee , a headed out on the goodship Charlotte to Balmain for some more markets.

We went to Rozelle Markets and then walked along the foreshore to find the Dawn Fraser Memorial Pool - then we walked up hill and dale to find a wharf to get the ferry back - eventually we found the cute little Birchgrove wharf. At this stage my feet told me go back to the hotel ....

Tine to get dressed for dinner. I am wearing New Look 6429. We had a lovely dinner at The Waterfront restaurant.

And that's a Dress Bag that I also made.

We live 2 hours from Sydney, and while I travel there maybe 6 or so times a year for workshops and seminars, it's a great place to go for the sheer variety of other stuff to do - I highly recommend it.

Our last walk around the rocks and this little fellow reminded me that I'm pretty tired and it's time to go home to sleep ......

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Bright Lights, Big City Part 1

Just returned from a weekend in Sydney. It was my husband's annual Christmas work Social Club weekend away. We stayed at The Rocks and we enjoyed Friday night strolling around the markets and shops.

We sat down for a burger and milkshake, and as I skimmed through the local newspaper you wouldn't believe what ad I found ...........

WOW - a Mokum fabric sale - I had my chart set for a fabric shopping mission (which incidently was my hidden agenda for the weekend).
We wandered around some of the great shops at The Rocks. A couple of books caught my eye ...

Then we found this rather stunning window display for an up and coming bag designer ....

I'm sure that Nikki could whip up a pattern for this swanky little number.

All of this window shopping sure takes it out of a girl .... back to the hotel for some shut eye.

Up bright and early we set off for Alexandria and the Mokum sale. I am wearing Simplicity 2923 from their Project Runway range.
There were some fun Christmas trees on display in Circular Quay. By the way, thats a Sling Bag that I also made - though for this one I did lengthen the body of the bag.

Found the Mokum sale -
lots of big rolls of big big fabrics - mostly for upholstery
but I did manage to find a few nice pieces of quality decorator weight cotton that I'll probably use for bags.

My husband likes walking so we walked from Alexandria to Surry Hills to find The Fabric Store - just watch out - there are 2 Cooper Streets in Surry Hills - The Fabric Store one is near Foveaux Street. And, boy, was I glad to find it ..... gorgeous stuff - huge variety.

Here is what I bought - very exciting!

The conclusion to this adventure follows in Part II .....