Monday, September 28, 2009

Fabric Score

While picking up some basic bridal satin at my local Fabricland store I saw some fabrics that looked nice. Fabricland is not known for its "nice" fabrics, so I had to check it out. An entire table was labelled as Pink Tartan overstock. Pink Tartan is a Mimram enterprise- the people who brought Club Monaco and Joe Fresh into existence. It looked, felt and smelled like wool and was only $9/m so I purchased 2.5m.
Once it was home, I snipped off a bit and did a burn test. It had difficulty catching fire, smouldered and went out quickly and left a soft ash, no bead. Sounds like wool to me!
On the other hand, a purchase made from a well known US mail order fabric store of 100% Merino knit brought me a synthetic blend. I will still use it, but am disappointed in that one.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Pleated clutch bags

I purchased some leather from FabricMart Fabrics recently and needed to make some bags from it. It wasn't a large skin so I could only get one bag and some trim from it.
I used Vogue 8527 view C for the first (the leopard one), then modified it for the all leather one.
I couldn't fuse the leather or the laminated dots got really dull, so I used 505 spray glue to attach hair canvas to back the leather. I cut it to size, then trimmed out the seam allowances after it was sewn.
The leather bag closes with a magnetic snap.
The leather bag is a basic clutch, while the leopard bag has a zipper and strap. I used a leopard rhinestone to trim the leather and made a leather tassel for the zipper pull.
The pattern went together really easily. I wouldn't hesitate to use the pattern again.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A Morning off work

I took the morning off and brought Maisie to the Children's Museum today. She had the most fun in the first room we entered. There was a stage, lots of musical instruments and some costumes. We had "tea" in two other areas.
Maisie as a dragon

Funky Red Riding Hood

Searching for eggs to bring as goodies for Grandmother.
The ottoman in our living room has three babies perpetually sleeping on it.

Friday, September 11, 2009

What makes an artist?

I attended a seminar yesterdayabout applying for a grant from the Art Council of Ontario for their "Artists in Eduaction" project. I found myself hesitant to say what I do, afraid they might tell me I don't belong.

Is it art?
Is it craft?
Is it something unrelated? Engineering, perhaps? Some form of technology?

When you ask my kids what their Mum does, my son replies "She sews" and my daughter says "Make dresses." I do do both of those things.

I also measure bodies, pattern make, draft, drape, fit.
I analyse body shapes to determine the most flattering lines, while trying to keep up with the ever changing whims of fashion.
I make designs for the structure of the garment, then change it depending on body shape, style of movement and need of the individual it is commisioned for.
I create artwork that is applied to the garments, then apply it, embellish it, analyze it for line, balance, flow, change it again.

Does this make me an artist? A technician, a craftsman? All three?

It isn't straight forward art, pure and simple. It is too practical for that. I have heard description of art as something with no practical purpose and craft as something useful.
A friend claimed that art does not need to be well made, but craft does.
Anyone have an opinion on this topic? Please feel free to share. I would love to know what others think.

Monday, September 7, 2009

2nd attempt

Some very soft and girly colour choices. These are much closer in value so shouldn't be as distracting. The girls/dolls/princesses will be holding hands like the kind you fold and cut out, but in different dresses.
The multi coloured floral stripe will not be in the quilt, but might become a Roman blind, so I would like the colours to coordinate. The pale pink paint swatch is on the fabrics in the first and third photos.
Maisie really doesn't want to move, so she is being bribed with a new bedroom where she gets to help with the choices. She is a bit of a tomboy, so I am surprised at the direction this is taking. Ballet lessons and peer pressure from the other girls at daycare are having an effect.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

While I was blogging...

While I was writing the previous post Maisie emptied about 4 vials of beads into a business card holder, which she called a couch. I guess it IS kind of couch shaped. Here she is with her brother picking up the ones that ended up all over the floor.

ETA: While I was blogging this entry she scotch taped the faceted ones to my OmniGrid ruler at 1" intervals. Do you see the piece of boning on the floor beside the card holder? It HAS to be there (as in "I NEED IT MAMA!"). That is her "puppy leash" for her imaginary puppy. I wish we didn't lose the imagination we have as a child.

Random is hard to do well

Cute is easier though (for some, anyway).

Maisie in her new Mama-made jammies.

I have been tring to make a quilt with princesses on it, loosely based on this quilt from Pottery Barn.

I have fabrics in the colours I would like, but want them in long strips randomly forming the horizonal lines. Random is not easy to get right. I cut three different widths (3.5",4", 4.5") in various colours and cut them to slightly different lengths at around the one third mark

I sewed them in a dark/light order in groups of four. It wasn't until after I had them sewn together that I realised I needed one more block each to be able to stagger them. I had to cannibal-ize the strips to get the width I needed. The pictures ended up all wonky, but they really are straight. It was hard to photograph without standing on a chair and I don't want to do that in front of Maisie. She copies everything.
This is what I ended up with in the few hours I had today to sew. I think I am coming down with the flu, so I had a nap instead of doing any more.

ETA: in retrospect, I think the bars are too busy. The focus should be on the princesses, so I will redo it. I have gifts to make for two friends who recently had little girls, so I think this might become a pair of stroller blankets.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Labels and felt

Cleaning up certainly has it's benefits. I found my woven labels, which have been missing for about 4 years. I just assumed I had run out. Surprise! There are a lot left in all three colourways.
Aren't they pretty!? They are a two tone woven brocade background with the business name in a Celtic font. I am so glad to have found them again.
The labels are shown on top of some wool felt squares I purchased. I have been selling things of on Kijiji and someone paid me through Paypal. I don't have an account hooked up to Paypal, so I get to spend the payments! The wool was very flat compared to the textured fabrics I usually use, so I washed them in the machine. They have a lovely slightly bubbly texture now.