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It has been a very productive week. My apron dress is finished!

finished-apron-dress apron-side-view

Complete with lots of ties and bumble bee buttons…

apron-back-view apron-back-with-bumble-bee-buttons

And a pretty corsage….

apron-corsage1

Even better news, my coat is nearly finished too.

coat-front coat-back

Complete with embroidery, applique, reverse applique, puff paint, aqua suede and machine cord:

coat-detail2 coat-detail

Yippee!

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I have recently come across a beautiful book called the Alabama Stitch Book.

I was really attracted to the book for a number of reasons, firstly for its sustainable fashion slant using re-loved t-shirts and materials, and secondly for the use of applique and reverse applique which are two embroidery techniques that I really enjoy. I also love the idea of “Loving” your thread which ‘infuses the work with kind intentions, but … [also provides]… a very practical step that removes excess thread tension and prevents pesky knitting’.

Natalie Chanin also has a great blog (http://www.alabamastudiostyle.blogspot.com/) and website (www.alabamachanin.com/) with more images and examples of their work.

The book has inspired me to have a go at a few projects. The most successful of which was a t-shirt applique inspired by Robert Indiana‘s famous LOVE sculpture:

(image from http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Image:LOVE_sculpture_NY.JPG).

I also chopped up an old t-shirt to create a new corset based top with the seams showing on the outside. I have to admit that I did use my sewing machine through rather than keeping with the hand stitching instructions!

I have also done some experiments using reverse applique with some secondhand t-shirts. Firstly a horse image t shirt which I would like to embellish further with some beads and embellishments – some rossettes perhaps?

And a book cover using pear imagery:

I was browsing in Waterstones and came across Subversive cross stitch, a book by Julie Jackson. There are definitely parallels with Tilleke Schwartz work, using traditional embroidery to make untraditional statements and commenting on contemporary language today. So having always assumed that cross stitch had to be from a kit and had to include twee animals I have put together a small sample:

I’m a gorgeous

When I was in the embroidery shop in the Grassmarket I saw a great flyer for a workshop on contemporary crafts at the Collective Gallery. The ad included a tiny cross stitch with something along the lines of ‘Hang out your draws’ and was shaped and stuffed as a tiny pair of knickers. I have never been into pincushions but now I want one! So I am currently thinking of ideas for my own pincushion – bra?! T-shirt?

This would also be a great idea for making birthday cards. ‘You’re a gorgeous’, ‘Happy **** Birthday’.

I love what is going on in the US.  

My first embroidery project:

Shirt

Cuff:

Embroidered cuff

Completed second project for City and Guilds in Creative Embroidery:

C&G Panel