Sunday, 30 November 2008

Dragon in progress

This is the dragon I am currently working on. It is part of the Fast Friday challenge, but I haven't been very fast. I had the idea before I went to Houston, but had to catch up with other commitments after I got back. I tried very hard to follow the set guides for this time...Perspective - which I don't think I did too badly with and Monochromatic, which I seem to have lost along the way. Several of the fabrics I started with didn't end up in the composition, and then I realised the dragon's features were lost and I wasn't sure just stitching would show them up. So I chose paints in the monochromatic scheme, but of course they were metallic blends. So the silvery turquoise one reads as silver when you paint it on green and the goldy green one reads gold.
The "shadow" was originally teal green (scraps from this skirt), but the dragon and the "shadow" were too similar in value. So, I painted it with olive bronze to darken it...but only the bronze shows! (I have used these before and only saw the other part of the colour!)
As you know, my dragons usually have a story. Well, I started out thinking this was a spring dragon, but when the "shadow" started looking like a lily pond, I realise it was a pond dragon! I think it still is, but it lives in the pond of the Princess of the ?, who has had special bronze lily pads made for the dragon to rest on. It is a very lucky dragon. (Or will be if I can get it right) I am still learning the rest of the story.
Anyway, I will continue to work on it and see if I find out what is missing. I am going to create more texture on the dragon body. I think I have managed to salvage the value, so I am giving up trying to get the monochromatic thing going again. Here is the photo with the colour desaturated, showing the values. Not wonderful, but alright.

By the way, I went for those colours because I wanted to use the background. It is one I did with flour resist. It seemed very dragon - atmospheric.
So, now we already have a new challenge. I am not sure if I will keep working this right now, or hang it up in my studio till I see what it needs, if anything, before I stitch into it. I usually use skirt hangers to clip onto the top of pieces and hang them from the wardrobe doors where my stash is kept. The next challenge should be better as it is about up close/far away and value! So, I think I will do a close-up of a portion of a dragon. I had decided these would be studies, but when I thought perspective, I found it hard not to do a whole dragon.

Friday, 28 November 2008

Sewing Tutors

The sewing tutors from New Directions college, Reading. Rosemary (second from left on the second photo) organised a get together so we could get to know each other better. Different ones teach at different times, different days, and even different learning centres.
1st photo - Left front to back - Gabrielle, Caroline, Lynne (head of the department), Ann (who is hiding, but can be seen in the red blouse in the second photo), - Right front to back - Jill ( who used to teach fashion but now has a senior admin role), Alison, Gill, Rosemary, and Arlene. The other photo is the other way round, but Arlene took the photo with me in her place.
What a great team! Looking forward to working with them!

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Texturised Fabrics

So I got my camera from the library.

Here are more samples of texturising fabrics that we will try in the Tactile Textiles 2 workshop.

The first three are examples of broomsticking. Most times when you do broomsticking, you have to redo it in some way when you wash it to retain the pleats. This method is a bit of a cheat in that the pleats are made permenant, and thus can be incorporated into a garment or textile art piece without concern that the pleats come out. Also, the texture normally means that the fabirc has a lot of give. But the way we will do it means it can just be treated as fabric with texture, and you don't have bits stretching out when you don't want them to.

The last 2 samples are a bit hard to tell, but the texturising gives a deeper 3D effect to the surface.

So, now I have to do a bit of Free Motion embroidery on one or two of these pieces to show how you can enhance the texture. but, I am posting this earlier than normal today, since I really need to work on a dragon that has been waiting for a few weeks.

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Christmas Boxes Day

Birch Hill Library

Well, I meant to have photos of what people made at the Christmas boxes workshop at the Birch Hill library. However, 2 things...1 - I took my camera, but forgot to take photos. 2 - I left my camera at the library! So, here is a photo of the Birch Hill library (from the library website).

But, the workshop went well. there were 6 people making the boxes, and most of them made at least 3. And on top of that, Simon has asked me to do the workshop at the Great Hollands Library, (photo below) where he is also supervisor. It will be on Saturday, 13th December. I think I still have plenty of the resources, but I will check if anything needs replacing.

So, fingers crossed I will remember to take photos on the 13th!...after collecting the camera from Birch Hill tomorrow. T'would be a boring blog if I don't have a camera!!

Great Hollands Library
I have also been talking with Simon about doing other workshops through the year. Two of the ladies who came teach workshops at the Bracknell Town Library ("the Big Library"). I got some ideas from them about what sorts of things to think about in planning workshops. For instance, today Simon opened the library especially for the workshop, since it is normally closed Wednesday. I am not sure we can do that all the time, but if we do, it means we can use tools we couldn't if there were children around. The workshop at Great Hollands will have to take that into account, as the library is open at that time. I'd really like to get people sewing, but it may be something we have to build up to...get a group interested after a workshops in the library and then hire the community centre next door so we can use irons, sewing machines and the like.

So, now I will trawl through my ideas books for "safe" projects that can be done through the year.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Inspiration Tuesday

This is what happens when no one wants the rest of the baked beans. However, before they went in the bin, I took a photo. I thought the cracked areas looked interesting. greyscale - abstract moon?

What do you think? You can leave some of your thoughts for inspiration if you click on the comments button and fill out the form. If you want a reply, be sure I have your email addy.

Monday, 24 November 2008

More Texturised Fabrics

Here are a few samples for the Tactile Textiles 2 workshop I will be doing on the 11th December. I have done things with the velvet here and here. But I am very impressed with the crepe back satin. Perhaps I will do something with it someday! I also tried a few other fabrics with this technique, but didn't have as much success. So, they can be "What Not To Do". Perhaps save them a bit of time trying it in the future!

Today I have been cutting card and wrapping paper for the Christmas Boxes workshop at the library. I am sure you know what cut paper looks like. I am glad my husband has a decent paper cutter!

Tomorrow is the teaching training class, so Inspiration Tuesday...and the next day is the workshop at the perhaps Thursday I will show a few more samples for Tactile Textiles.

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Official photos - Midnight Dance by Moonlight

The official photos of the 2008 Bernina show "Rendevous" came recently, courtesy of Bernina and Quilts, Inc. I thought they might be putting them up on the Bernina site as they have done before. I asked about it on the blog they have set up, and received a reply from Jo this week. "Management decided not to post photos this year, but all of the garments are shown in the current issue of Bernina of America's Through The Needle magazine (Issue #28). Also included is the commentary from the Fashion Show. Jo"

Since the photo in the magazine only has one view where they have tried to show the coat and the inner garments all at once, you now have the pleasure of seeing other views here. The photos are by Kim Coffman. As you can see if you compare the skirt photo with the ones I took when my friend modelled it, they got the skirt idea wrong, and have put the straight skirt part round in back. So, the bit of wit has gone awry, but it still looks nice.

detail of beading on silver moonbeam on coat back

Saturday, 22 November 2008


Here is another one of the "another idea you can do" for fabric texture. I had heard the people at Silk Route say that if you get the metallic tissue wet, it will do some amazing things. So, here is an offcut from the silver metallic I used for the large moonbeam on the "Midnight Dance by Moonlight" and an offcut from the pinkyblue metallic I used for the gauntlet sort of sleeves for "Epic Quest of the Last Dragoness". All I did was get them wet in very warm water and crush them slightly to get the excess water out. Interestingly enough, the colour bled out a bit, especially the blue from the pinkyblue piece.

The texture is unbeliveable. I think I could do a plain border round the silver one and make a very fetching scarf...slightly scratchy maybe, so it might need to be mounted on black silk organza....or grey. Do they do grey?

Friday, 21 November 2008

Pleat Sample

I have been making samples for the Tactile Textiles 2 workshop, and for the texturising fabric session for my decorative techniques class. I remembered an article from Threads magazine about pleats, so I thought I might try it just to show what else could be done. (A New Way to Pleat Fabric by Patricia Congleton, Threads Oct/Nov 2001)

Well, the results are great, but the process takes too many of my lifetimes! Perhaps I would have been wiser to use fabric with more body than this sheer synthetic, as it may have pleated up faster. After spending the time, and only getting the small amount accomplished, I remembered that fine fabrics need more if you are gathering them. So it is true for this type of pleating, as well. Of course, I didn't follow the destructions to the letter. (Do I ever?) In order to keep the pleats permanent, I did not use fusible interfacing since it would show through. I used fusible web and then turned the unpleated length of the fabric up and fused it in place.

Having said it was too time consuming, I thought I would put the sample on the dummy for the photo. It would show off better than a chunk with raw edges ,etc. I decided to pin it just under the bust. Suddenly, it looks stunning! If I had more of the fabric, (it was a remnant, so I thought it would be good for a sample...and besides it was PINK, so I would never use it for anything else) I would go ahead and make up a high waisted tunic. Perhaps with gathered swathes sewn as a surplice neckline in front, something like this. But a similar thing in back. Since it is sheer, it would need to be worn over something like a lacy cami...I'm thinking black. Okay, reign in the brain. I have no one to make this for! But, you never know, do you? And one particular bubbling in the back of my head project might be just the thing for this treatment...

You realise, don't you, that when the blow-them-all-away sort of projects get in my head, any number of lifetimes don't usually stand in the way of creating the LOOK?

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Running Stitch

While listening to the cricket this morning (England v India - third of seven in the One Day series...England nearly won, but it finished early due to bad light), I finished the Running Stitch sampler for the Beginner Embroidery class. I decided to use striped fabric, as the stripes can be used as a guide. I hope it will be less intimidating than a blank piece of cloth. All the stitched pieces will go together to make a fabric book. Most edges will be raw, but I did do a sort of rolled hem on the right edge, since you can use the running stitch for that.

I also did variations of the stitch, like Holbein and Straight Stitch. Of course, the students don't have to attempt all the variations, but they can see further potential for each stitch if I include them. White probably wasn't best for the laced/woven/whipped part of that variation of the stitch. It isn't as easy to see on the fabric. I have a bit of a colour wheel thing planned for the threads, but in tones that play well with the colour of the stripe. I have started with blue - not because it is my favourite; it is - but because it is nearest the stripe colour. I thought it would be easier to see what was going on with blue in a simple stitch rather than with a stitch that had more parts to it.

I don't know if the photo will enlarge, but I did stitches using from 1 to 6 strands of embroidery thread. For the variations, I got ideas from J. Marsha Michler's book The Magic of Crazy Quilting. Other ideas can be found on Sharon B's website where she has a Stitch Dictionary.

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

My Tactile Textiles 2 workshop is coming up on the 11th December. The students need a supply list, so today I worked on collecting fabric samples and making plans. Because I have so many different things going on, I seem to have piles and groups of things going on all over the studio. I think this is contributing to the out of control feelings that are starting to happen!
In the past I have managed with a few projects on the go. But right now, there are so many different parts to my life that it has become more than just a few!

So, I decided to go to town for some small inexpensive clear boxes. When I came home, I spent time getting classes and workshops and future projects into their separate boxes. Now my head doesn't have to keep tract, the box does! And anything I come across which I think will be good for this thing or that, can just be stuck in the box. They will live under the blue table so the visual mess won't interfere with what I have to get on with. (Like writing assignments for the teaching class, etc.!) I have a few extra boxes for some of the rest of the debris on the other work surfaces.

Tomorrow I check up with Simon at the library about how many people he thinks will be at the Christmas boxes workshop.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Inspiration Tuesday

Love these windows! Very artistic layout as well. I can see a minimal quilt in this can't you? What about turned sideways?

Monday, 17 November 2008

Christmas boxes

Here is a collection of samples I made today for the Christmas boxes workshop next Wednesday at the Birch Hill Library. They include card with fabric fused to it, card with special paper, card with wrapping paper, and a recycled Christmas card. I think I need a larger Christmas card one, as it is very difficult to fold in the small size. I am off to look for inexpensive cards tomorrow. I actually put all mine in the recycling last year! But, I will need some for the workshop. I did a few decorative ideas for the tops, as well, just to spark some creativity.

Last week when I popped into the library, they had just put the notice about the workshop up the previous day and already had one person sign up. They are hoping for 10 at the most. Perhaps if there is more, we can run another session.

I have also been working on my beginner embrodiery sampler for the class I will teach at New Directions. I am doing the running stitch to start with.

Other stuff:
Amy got in touch with me to say she couldn't leave a comment since she hadn't a Google Account nor an Open ID account. Oops. I didn't realise that the settings meant some people couldn't post comments. So, I have changed the settings and hopefully you will leave a few comments now and then.

What Amy really wanted to do was to "tag" me! "Post 6 quirky things about yourself and tag 5 of your favorite blogs." Thanks for thinking of me Amy!

I think, since I am new at blogging and most of the blogs I know have already posted things like quirky stuff about themselves, I will pass on the tagging others bit. But, here are 6 quirky things about me.

1 - Okay you already know this. I like dragons and have quite a few running around in my head...well the ideas for how to create them anyway.

2 - At present, my favourite, nearly everyday lunch is pita bread toasted just till it puffs up and then dipped in homous.

3 - I also like ginger and lemon tea and discovered by accident that it also tastes good with milk in it. It is my first cuppa after breakfast. However, following that it is straight onto the real stuff.

4 - I once made a huge bird costume for a Computer Game show at the Barbican in London. The story about it is here.

5 - My dog is called Pepper. I used to have a dog called Ginger. I got the idea from a family I knew in college with a dog called Nutmeg.

6 - Another favourite lunch is asparagus cooked and drenched with very lemony lemon butter. (Yes, the whole bunch just for me, since no one else here likes it and you have to buy it when it is half price. Don't you?)
P.S. I don't always think about food. But since there is no one here at lunch time to scold me or look on in horror, I really enjoy eating those special things! If I have to be careful about what I eat, I may as well make a treat about the stuff I DO like!

Sunday, 16 November 2008


Deola, Deborah, Pat, and Yvonne

My good friend Yvonne is back for a few weeks from Zimbabwe where she has been looking after her father. Deola's mother-in-law Deborah has been here from Nigeria since the summer, and will have to go back in a few weeks. So, I thought it would be a good time to just get together for lunch. Here they all are with my good friend Pat, as well. It is nice to come out of the studio now and again and build friendships!

I also found a way to get a bit of space in my cupboards in the studio. I had been given quite a lot of brocade looking upholstry fabric. I knew I could eventually find a use for it, but Deola and her husband Jide have just moved from a flat to a house that really needs a lot of fixing up. They have only been in the UK for about 1 1/2 years. Deola sews, but hadn't the space to do much in the tiny flat they had over a parade of shops in one of the estates here in Bracknell. So I passed on all those metres of fabric to her for curtains! I am so glad to see it being used...that and loving to see people who sew having something to sew with!

Also, Friday night, I met with 2 other contemporary quilters. We are developing a good little textile art group where we can bounce ideas off each other. I will post more about it another day.

So that was meant to be Saturday's post!
Today, I recognised that I have got to the point where the many projects I am doing are starting to take over ! So many in my head, in various stages of completion on my studio table, or that I have signed up to work on. I generally keep on top of things with lists and goals. However, I didn't go over those at the beginning of this month, as I was still in Houston. So, this afternoon, I sat down and reduced things to words on paper, and they have stopped being so overwhelming. Phew! However, I also know that I must not start ONE MORE THING!

I won't list them all here as I may begin to feel overwhelmed again!! But I will tell you as I finish things.
That being said, I started working on my samples for the beginner hand embrodiery class I will teach next year. Ha! Well, it was actually on the list, and I know hand embrodiery takes longer than some things. So, it is a good Sunday evening project to attempt while watching TV with my husband.

Friday, 14 November 2008

Lady Sew-Forth

I am showing a piece I did a while ago for the Fast Friday Fabric challenge. Challenge 15 was about scale. I think some of the medieval artists did some fun things with scale...basically they didn't worry about it at all!

Normally when I go into the past for inspiration, I go to the Tudors. However, now and then I go back a bit further to the Medieval period. Today I have been laying out ideas for a piece that is based on Illuminated manuscripts. SO, I have piles of books out about times in the Middle Ages and about illuminated lettering. I came across the picture that the above piece was based on, and thought you might like to meet Lady Sew-Forth. I need to finish the edges. I am thinking red binding of some sort...probably with a smallish pattern that has a similar feel to it as the blue pattern near the edges.

Here is the story behind the making of Lady Sew-Forth. The Museum in Reading, Berkshire has a Victorian copy of the Bayeaux Tapestry. At sometime in the past I had thought of using early medieval (anglo-saxon etc) art style in my work, as I am not confident about drawing people. I figured the style was so archaic, any mistakes in my stuff would just blend in!!Anyway, I never did any of that at the time. But when I saw the tapestry, I realised the archaic style was actually a different way of depicting scale and perspective! For instance, the horses are bigger than the castles and churches. Men setting a building alight are as tall as the house.

So, I got out my books with medieval history. I sketched Lady Sew-Forth by looking at a picture of a king being crowned. He had a church in his hands...that became a sewing machine. The sceptre became a rotary cutter, the crown was decorated with needles as big as the scissors also on it. The throne became a cutting table with drawers overflowing with fabric and thread, and so on. I had a lot of fun with it.

Then I realised it was similar colours to a cheater panel someone had given me years ago, knowing I like history. They are prints from the book of hours of Richard Duc de Barry. However, having seen a modern copy of the book of hours, these fabric panels really looked bad! Sooo, what I have done is cover the main print with a thin layer of this stuff like angel paper, which knocks the colour back a bit and pushes the people you can still see on either side, into the background. Then I used other pieces from parts of the cheater panel and placed them here and there to pull the whole thing together. Then I did free motion embroidery. I think that using black for the Lady, and grey for the table helped to give a better perspective, too.

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Refashioned Cardigan

Earlier in the year I picked up a man's XL wool jumper that was shrunk to about my size. I thought it would be good for the winter, as I haven't got a blue cardigan.

Spurred on by the many people refashioning clothing over at Wardrobe Refashion, I decided to chop and change it to make it something more becoming. I cut up the centre, took out the zip, and shortened the sleeves. I turned under the cut edge and sewed it down. Then I handpicked a toning ribbon on each side of the opening. The original cuffs were sewn at an angle on the front, and slits cut to make pockets.

Tonight I have just finished it by putting little blue hearts on the ribbon. I haven't got much of the ribbon left, but I am thinking that I might do something with it at the cuffs, too.

It's a bit rough, being wool, so I will either have to wear long sleeves under it, or put in a lining. At present, I am happy with it. It looks better than the cast off fleece I wear which was my husband's!

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Dragon Jeans

This is the project I started in Tracy Bautista's class Denim Re:Vamped on the Wednesday while I was in Houston. I loved the techniques she showed us and had a pair of jeans I have just managed to get back into again. Half of Tracy's supplies never showed up! But she still had some good colours. Rather than um and aw about "what to do"...I decided to go with colours I knew I could work with straight off. I am not totally happy with the shape of the dragon...a bit too wurm like for me, but I have some ideas how I can fix it. There wasn't a darker red, so I had to go a bit pinkish for the base colour.

She gave us a little kit with bits and pieces, and I used an adhesive soft foam shape to make a stamp to give the dragon a bit of a background. (Story Alert: As it turns out these are fire balls which the dragon breathes out, rather than the typical flames.) I used that shape idea to cut up the painted fabric collage to make larger fire balls for the other leg of the jeans.They are fused down, and will need to be stitched to make them permanent. I also did a bit of painted fusible to create the transparent looking ones. Tracy hadn't heard of that technique, so I showed her. Wonder what direction that will take her work!!

I liked the start of these so much, that I cut a few more shapes in the hotel and fused them to the back! Then I wore them for a class on the Saturday. I got a lot of comments when I was walking round the quilt show.
This is a close up of a patch which I put on the front upper thigh area. I have added the flames since I came home, since I also used up another larger piece of the collage fabric, added flames and put it on the back thigh area.

As you can tell, I have now opened the side seam so I can stitch the appliqués with my sewing machine. I think I will use black thread.
These jeans will be great to wear for some of the workshops I am going to be doing in the next few weeks. I will show a photo when they are finished.
Christmas Boxes at the Birch Hill Library Wednesday, 26th November, 2008 2-4pm
Tactile Textiles 2 - private booking here 11th December, 2008, 10am-4pm

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Inspiration Tuesday

Here are 3 of my favourite rocks. I love the patterns on them.
One day I will do something with them!

Sandwich and lightning pattern

Lacy pattern

Stripes Pattern

What would you do with the patterns?

Monday, 10 November 2008

Glass Beads

Aren't these gorgeous?
The other day my friend Helen came round to chat about goings on at Houston. In the course of it, we started going through my embellishments for colours for the next big project that is beginning to fill my head. (More of that another day). One of the colours I needed was purple, which I haven't much of. So, she said she'd bring me some beads which she bought for doing pansies one time.

WELL, the next day she popped round, and besides the purple beads and other seed beads, she brought a container with drawers full of larger glass beads from when she used to do lace making. She had intended them for dangles for bobbins. (I think that is what they are called.) I consolodated them a bit so I can put some of my own glass beads in the other boxes that go in the container. I don't have that many...and funnily enough, I think most of them Helen gave me before! Unfortunately, she has troubles with her hands, and can't do too much handwork any more. However, she makes up with it by using her sewing machine to make little quilts for charity.

I am sure I will be able to find uses for these! Even if it is spending time with the boxes laid out to enjoy the colour!!

Thanks Helen!

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Remembrance Sunday

Today is Remembrance Sunday.
Thanks to those brave soldiers who gave up so much
so we can live as we do.
Thanks to those families who are still dealing with loss.
Thanks to soldiers who are still willing to serve.

Regardless of beliefs or convictions about war, these people still need to be honoured.
Stop and Remember.

Saturday, 8 November 2008

Tudor Rose

This is one of my Textile Art pieces I made earlier in the year. I love the Tudor period. The rose and the couple were inspired by photos I took in Cambridge. I was trying to depict the sculptured stonework on many of the buildings there.

This was entered into the innovative category for a certain show. The lines and shading on the cream silk were made with the soldering iron. I quilted round all the motifs on the brocade with copper metallic thread, and then applied the cream silk and quilted through the burnt lines.

I was quite surprised then to have comments from all three judges about the couple needing more quilting. In my mind, I had really quilted this! However, I have only recently started working big, so I wasn't sure what they meant. (Okay, this is big for me! It covers the large desk/table in my studio!)

Well, last week in Houston, I took a class called "Here Comes the Judge!" with top quilt show judge, Dixie McBride. I took the quilt, just to see if they could give me some ideas. Mrs. McBride said she probably would have said the same thing, but then went on to explain that the extra quilting would be for texture.

Following more discussion, I realised that I could use cream silk thread and quilted patterns as if they were sculptured by the artist to represent brocade patterns on the clothing. It would not be "clothing" them, but would allude to the idea. I am thinking of how Holbein drew brocade patterns on the drapery and clothing in the portraits he painted. It is possible his painted patterns weren't true to scale, but it gave the idea of opulence he wanted. What I will have to work out is how to do patterns that lay naturally on the drapery of the clothing. For instance, portions of patterns will be hidden in folds of the cloth. SO, that will take some thinking.

Any ideas?

Friday, 7 November 2008

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday today to my husband. Here he is with his mum in September on her birthday. Getting a photo is rare...isn't the smile great in this one?
He is the wisest man I have ever met...besides that he is clever and a very steady rock.

Thanks for being willing to let me develop my talents and follow the dreams. Thanks too, for watching out that I don't go beyond my limits and for stepping in to help when I have stretched myself too thin.

Many Happy Returns of the Day!

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Midnight Dance by Moonlight - detail

Seeing that I haven't worked any more on the jeans from the workshop last week, I thought I would post some close-ups of the Bernina Garment. Some of you have asked for a bit more detail. Some of the details were hard to photograph since the light shone off all the sparkley bits.
Coat collar and star sequins - these are sharp! the coat is very heavy and when I tried to lift it up to Mademoiselle's shoulders I kept getting stabbed!
(Mademoiselle is the thin dummy's name; she is adjusted to suit the Bernina model shape. Curvy, thin, and tall...the other is M'Lady; she is adjusted for me and we won't go any further with that description!)Beaded tassels at ends of release darts.
Darts covered by line of blue bugle beads whipped with silver beads.
Beaded stars on "Shoon" moonbeam edged with silver metalic cord whipped with blue bugle beads. Some detail of the paterning for the beaded moonbeams.
Detail showing two of the beaded moonbeam patterns on the lower part of the coat.
Even closer detail of one of the six beaded moonbeams. I used the diamond pattern of the coat to guide me with the pattern. I only used one or two beads or sequins in more than one pattern.
Fuzzy view of one of the foiled moons on the skirt. I used circles of Misty Fuse which I fused to the skirt and then foiled with holographic silver foil.

Close-up of the front jacket where the man and lady sides met. The lady's bodice was done with another fused technique, stitched and then zapped with a heat gun and embellished with sequins and beads. The vintage brooch at the waist was a charity shop find. I knew it needed something so I went out on a mission and found just the right thing!!Detail of the boa before I overlocked the edges with royal blue thread from Sulky.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Midnight Dance by Moonlight

Well, here I am back again. Exhausted, but a brain full of ideas and memories.

Here are some "unofficial" photos of my Bernina Fashion Ensemble. The theme was Rendevous, so I wanted to depict lovers dancing by moonlight. The model is my friend Aimee. She just had time to try it on before I sent it off in June and before she moved off to Dubai. Although she isn't as tall as the models, she has been very helpful, since the gowns fit her in the torso area.

First is the hat and coat. The inspiration is Walter de la Mare's poem Silver. The hat, of course, is the moon. The coat is inspired by medieval design and sparkles with moonbeams of crystals, beads and sequins.
Down the back of the coat is a large silver moonbeam train of silver tissue metallic organza. For me this is the "moon's silver shoon" as from the poem. Just the beading on the coat took 7 weeks (sort of 9:00/10:00 AM to 10:00 PM every weekday!) and 7 reels of Nymo beading thread!!
Inside the coat on the lining is the scene of the couple dancing by moonlight.

Here is the gown.
It is realy a bodice section and a skirt.
I wanted to realistically show the man and lady dancing. So, one side is the "man" with a "tuxedo" - tailcoat, waistcoat, and straight skirt/trousers. The lady's side is a bustier and full circle skirt with circular ruffles on the hem and a circlular ruffle boa.
The moon shapes on the skirt are cut from Misty Fuse and then foiled. I like the etherial effect the Misty fuse gives. It is more web-like so doesn't give a solid "spot".
Here is part of the commentary on the gown.
Perhaps this ensemble would inspire de la Mare to add yet one more scene to his silvery landscape!

And, lo, beneath Moon’s silvery light,
Hidden almost out of sight,
Lovers lost in their delight
Whirl and dance throughout the night.

When the "official" photos come, don't be surprised if the skirt is round wrong! They didn't seem to read the label saying BACK or to look at the photos I sent. (Both these things we were asked to do.)

I have a head full of things I could say about this project. but if you want to know more, please leave a comment and I will respond. Just click on comments and it should take you to a screen where you can fill in what you wish to say. If you haven't got a google account, you can comment as a guest. If you put your email addy, I can reply to you privately if you wish.