Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Fabric selection and this, that and the other

I've tried out a couple of layouts for the bag. First of all the 'sunray and curve'. I photocopied different pieces of fabric to test out how they might look. I think the curve would need to have some sort of pale fringe or border to really highlight and emphasise it.

I tried this for the 'windmill' layout, then decided the big white circles upset the balance, so tried the following alternatives. The one that looks just like a piece of black fabric doesn't show up properly but it is the wrinkly fabric with circles of black /shiny thread.

I could have a different design on each side of the bag.

I made some felt. This is not quite as random as it might sound. I did entertain the idea for a short while of making the base felt for the bag itself. Common sense returned luckily, but then I thought it might be nice to explore some possibilities for extra bits and pieces to attach to the bag - dangly things to add interest and movement.

I also made some felt balls to cut up to make large felt buttons - that was fun. Might have to make some more of those too!

I had some false starts trying to sew up my strippy piece of fabric - last time this was shown just tacked together. I began sewing it together with my machine but it just didn't look right. I considered using curves of stitching but then I didn't want to lose the looseness of the strips or the frayed edges. So I've handsewn using less than tidy stitches, and using the size and colour of the thread to add to the tonal shading.

Last but not least I was looking at the wooden balls that I used when dyeing the black cloth with the white circles - they have taken the dye in places creating an interesting effect and now I'm wondering if I could incorporate them in some way. They'd have to be in some sort of net as they don't have holes through them.

So much to consider....

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

First beauty parade

Here's the main contenders all together for a group photo:

That's over 2 sq m of fabric and me, being me, there is more, primarily similar to the grey tie dye to the top and middle left. Well, you simply cannot have too much fabric (what a ridiculous notion!).

The three black fabrics in the top right section are:
1. A fabric with thick yarn couched on the reverse so that you get the impression of the yarns from the stitching on the right side.
2. One with ordinary thread sewn in many overlapping circles creating a lovely lumpy bumpy surface.
3. Black thread with shiny bits sewn in circles so you get lovely lumps and bumps and some sparkle too.

I've also been doing a bit of felt making for some dangly bits around the bag - more on that another time.

Monday, 9 February 2009

It's nearly time for the auditions

No, I'm not running late for the BAFTA's. I am dragging out this last part of module 2 into a close approximation of what infinity really looks like or eternity really feels like. Well, I'm not trying to do that as some sort of punishment - even if that is what it feels like to you. I'm just showing each and every single step of the way - and the final assessment piece is a long hike up a big hill ... in a howling gale ... with a leaking anorak ... and ... ok you get the picture. And I am rather "over-egging the pudding" as I am really enjoying it now.

It is nearly time to audition all the bits of fabric for possible inclusion in THE BAG. I'm also lining up various 'bits' that might also make it onto the bag in some form, maybe as additions to part of the fabric or as dangly bits.

1. The felt base - I am still trying to source this, but I may be close to finding something. I did at one point find myself imagining that I'd have to make it myself, and then realised that trying to create a huge piece of felt 1cm thick was a bit of a tall order.

2. The fabric.
A lot of stitching later and I decided all that snow had subliminally crept into my head and then out again onto the cloth!

Cloth created from other pieces of dyed cloth torn into strips and arranged into a tonal column of sorts.

And then I went round and round and round in circles ... I wonder what my head was telling me here?

3. The buttons (it is starting to sound like a pantomime)

First all ebay produced some goodies (and you can find these and more at Textile Garden)

Then my experiments bonding felt turned themselves into oversized buttons (4 - 5 cm across and 8mm deep)

Then I played with shrinkles plastic and made these teeny weeny buttons:
the first set are about 0.5 cm across

the second set are about 1cm

Finally I had a rummage through an old box of family buttons

So it is coming together in diverse and tangential ways. Watch this space. More is coming soon .. at a cinema near you ...

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Another step or two closer...

Apologies to anyone reading this blog who is not my C & G tutor - things must be looking a bit repetitive and dull by now. ("When will she be over this whole black and white thing?!" - trust me I am truly over it, but I still need to finish this module).

Anyway, I am now testing ways of obtaining thicker felt. I am still persisting at trying to build up thick felt from sheets of thinner felt. Here's six sheets sewn together making 6mm felt:

And here are 8 sheets creating 8mm felt (and thanks to my 8 year old daughter for her fabulous photography ... and my thumb is still there really underneath the ruler)

8mm felt

I have been producing more samples to create different tones in the final piece. This is some yarn that has been unravelled periodically.

Trying out a sort of darning effect:

I think this has possibilities - white thread sewn with whip stitch and then whip stitch in the alternate colour way (white underneath in the bobbin on a very loose tension, black thread on the top, normal tension)

This next piece is only the start of another whip stitch experiment. I want to add stitching and thread so that the tone graduates from light to dark down the cloth:

Yet another sample that will have more stitching probably:

I may do something more with this too: