You are currently browsing the monthly archive for September 2007.

A week of dye work shops:

  1. Dying natural cloth using procion dyes
  2. Dying synthetic cloths using heat transfer press
  3. Mark making with pigment dyes (also used from screen printing)

Then Thursday was spent at the National Museum of Scotland, Chambers Street.  

Some of my drawings of knitted plastic bags reminded me of mosaics and ceramics so I focused in on some of the old pots and fragments of bowls:

Vase in scetch book

These drawings then inspired a couple of experiments using bleach on black dyed cloth (muslin and felt):

bleached clothes


Thinking about christmas presents and up-coming Christmas fair:

  • Fair isle
  • Shabori style felted cashmere scarf
  • Spiral scarves

Also knitted up samples from Colourmart., which turned out to be very beautiful and soft after a quick 30 degree wash. Was delighted to discover that can also use DK weight on single bed standard gauge Knitmaster, as this creates as fantastic soft but dense fabric perfect for jumpers and scarves to survive the Edinburgh cold.

After a bank holiday Monday, we were asked to bring all of our work into the studio and to pin it up for review. Some of my completed pieces included a ink and bleach drawing of my first string journey, a Warhol inspired headphones picture taken from my second coloured string journey (which included large hand stitching with wool for the cords), and an oil pastel drawing on tracing paper of my knitted plastic bags and a Irn Brew can ‘flower’:

 Bleach and ink 

Andy warhol inspired headphones Knitted plastic bags and irn brew can

This included discussing what other subjects the forms in our drawings alluded to, such as organic forms or brightly painted mosaic and ceramics.  We also spent a day looking at Bas Relief – taking one detail of our drawing and building it up to represent the texture of the detail (i.e. knitted wool). This essentially involved sculpting a single area so that it is built up (and therefore more substantial than collage). I experimented with tissue paper and string:

Bas relief

We also made a start on our A3 sketchbooks this week, observing a single object (sunglasses in my case) from a range of different angles and perspectives.

 Sketchbook sunglasses

After a busy week I had a great Saturday morning in Mandors, one of Edinburgh’s best fabric stores (although the one in Glasgow is meant to be even better). I finally decided on 2 beautiful Liberty prints: Little People, and Flying Birds.

Liberty Flying Birds print  Liberty Little People print

I am thinking of experimenting with some more smocked tops/dresses.

However the really exciting news is that I entered their daily prize draw to win a Huskystar sewing machine, and was phoned in the evening to be told that I had won! Fantastic news as it looks as if it has the darning plate attachement which I haven’t been able to get for my Brother machine which I bought in OZ. So hopefully I will be able to do some basic machine embroidery now that the teeth can be disabled.  

Smocked dressSmocked dressTo keep myself out of trouble over the local Edinburgh bank holiday weekend, I have given my sewing machine a dust off and had a go at a simple smocked dress. The pattern/idea was taken from my latest craft purchase – How to make stuff – an alternative craft book.

The pattern was extremely simple – basically a rectangle with an optional A-line addition skirt. (I added the A-line but then regretted it and went over the seams again so that they were straight – there was just too much fabric for my already pear shaped hips!) The smocking itself was surprisingly addictive and satisfying, and dare I say it – looked quite professional.

Not sure if this style of dress suits me as it does add fabric to the hips – Vivienne Westwood bustle perhaps – will need to explore how to cut the lower skirt section to get less fabric – perhaps make the overall rectangle narrower to start with? However all in all I am pleased with the result as a first attempt…

Smocked dress