Saturday, 21 September 2013

Embroidery Inspiration

So the theme has been decided -Autumn it is! I have to say I was hoping for Winter, my mind was buzzing with ideas involving frosty ice blues and whites with pearl and silver threads. After having a quick look for some Autumnal inspiration I'm actually quite happy though as I think Autumn also has a lot to offer -more even in terms of colour.

I'm thinking (obviously I suppose) golds/oranges/reds perhaps with a few splashes of green and dark brown to contrast. I think I'll start by digging through my scraps and threads to see what goodies I can find and go from there.

Whilst perusing the internet for embroidery goodies, I happened upon the website of Michele Carragher, who works on (amongst other things) the costumes for 'Game Of Thrones' with designer Michele Clapton.

I'm in sheer awe of her work so definitely recommend paying her site a visit.

Monday, 16 September 2013

Drawn Thread Embroidery

Yesterday I decided that as it was Sunday, it would be acceptable to stay in my pyjamas and start working on some embroidery ahead of the ATC swap I mentioned in a post last week.

I really wanted to learn a new technique so spent several hours (unusual for me as I don't have much of an attention span) trying out some drawn thread work which involves, as the name suggests, drawing out either the warp or weft threads to leave a ladder. The threads are then gathered or bound to create decorative patterns.

For a first attempt I couldn't be happier with the result and I seem to have a little more patience with this method so I'll work it into some of the projects I have coming up.

Anyone else learning a new skill? Or have a particular technique which speaks to you?

Sunday, 15 September 2013

A Quick Birthday Treat

Today is my friend's birthday (Happy Birthday Alice!) and so last night we had a little gathering for which I wanted a token gift to take along in lieu of her yet to be made present -a 'handmade item of your choosing' naturally!

I didn't have a huge amount of time but remembered seeing Ali's tutorial for a lined 'Zippy Pouch' over at 'Very Berry Handmade'. You can never have too many (and I've seen the size of Alice's accessory collection so knew it would be put to good use!). I managed to take a few quick snaps before dashing out of the house.

I had a rummage through my scraps and found everything I needed (except fusible fleece which I omitted) -interfacing, Zip, cotton for lining and some of the great patisserie/macaroon fabric left over from making a fold away tote a few weeks ago which I thought would be perfect for someone utterly in love with Paris.

I didn't use the pdf pattern provided as I had a limited amount of fabric to use, so just 'winged it' with what I had (hence the not quite straight sides!). I started by decorating the front piece with a few scraps of ribbon I found in my stash just to liven it up a bit, and also used a scrap for the zip end. Then got stuck in to putting it together.

It's a great tutorial with really clear instructions and I was pleased as punch with the end result which I managed to whip it up in a couple of hours (including rummaging).

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Brand New Pattern

I finished my parachute and thought I'd post a little progress report on the latest of the children's designs which I've been working on (yes -I am taking my sweet time! but I'm planning to have several more ready to go for the run up to Christmas).

I stumbled upon some great fabric covered in tiny trains the other day which I decided would be great for some more dresses plus various other bits and pieces I have in mind (but have yet to execute) so I grabbed a few metres and set to work on a little shirt toile for a pattern I drafted earlier in the week.

I'm really pleased with how it looks though it could use a little tweaking. I'll get my little helper to try it on to check the proportions/sleeve length etc before making any adjustments. Boy was hand stitching the tiny collar stand fiddly!

In other news I'm very excited to be taking part in the next textile 'ATC' swap via Very Berry Handmade which involves creating a little 'Artist Trading Card' using fabrics and whatever decoration method takes your fancy and then swapping it in the post with someone else from around the world. I've been meaning to brush up on my needlework skills so this will give me just the little nudge I need to crack on with it.

The sign up is now closed as there are limited spaces available but do have a nose at the Flickr group if you'd like some inspiration/more info for the next one.

Thursday, 5 September 2013


Just to keep things interesting I'm currently working on a play parachute for some family friends' acro-gymnastics club. It's a gift for their new premises launch on Monday (so I'd best get cracking if it's going to be finished on time!). I went for Olympic-ish colours which seemed appropriate for a sports club.

Working with ripstop nylon really takes me back to my college days when I had a part time job as a machinist making hot air balloons -only then I had a great twin needle industrial machine to use. It's much more of a nuisance than I remember on my trusty little Bernina.

I can't say I have a burning desire to work with it again any time soon...