Sunday, October 14, 2012


I have finally done something with these pieces. They are framed now, but maybenot quite done. I stretched silk chiffon with stitched on sequins over canvases and then stitched the flower embroideries in place. The sequins catch the light and sparkle through the openings in the lace. It is a pretty effect. I have to stop myself from adding rhinestones though. The Irish dance dressmaker in me can be hard to quell. I think I will add some beads though.
A friend made the frames for me.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Lace Making

Irish lace is made from free standing motifs that are basted to a base and joined with more crochet stitches. After thinking about this construction method for a while, I decided to try to do this with fabric.
I combined the free lace technique with applique to make these samples.

These are the pieces laid out on the sticky water soluble film. I did two samples. The first picture shows sample 1uncovered and the second shows sample 2 topped with a non sticky water sol film. I didn't leave a lot of space between motifs. The fabrics are all silk. Some are duppioni and others are organza in shades of dull purples and gray. The green is a shot organza in purple and green that doesn't read as green in person.

Sample 1 after stitching. I did the stitching very dense-ly using a polyester embroidery thread in a purplish gray. I made sure all the motifs were stitched first them added joining stitches.

Sample 1 held up to the light.

Sample 1 after rinsing and pressing. I thought it looked too dense so I stitched sample 2 with less joining stitches. When I rinsed sample 2 it seemed ready to fall apart. I was very disappointed. I left pressing it til morning as the light isn't sufficient for me at night.
Sample 2 after pressing.
Sample 1 on left and 2 on right. I like them both. Now to decide what to do with them. I am thinking of framing them or maybe using them like the fringe on a scarf. Opinions welcome!
I really dislike this new blogger layout. I don't know how anything is going to look.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

More Peacocks

These ones are in cotton rather than silk. I really like making the peacocks. I enjoy the free motion feathers. The satin stitching is a bit wonky and hurts me to do. I spent yesterday stitching one and still haven't recovered yet.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Elephant Tea Cosies

Before my series of surgeries last year I had injured my back. I am cancer free (so far, fingers crossed) but the back issue remains. It has made sewing a challenge. I have some bulging discs that are affected by sitting, especially sitting and leaning forward.
I am trying to teach myself to sew while standing, but my control is not great yet. In order to practise I have been doing a lot of free motion while standing. Mistakes are less apparent in a sketchy style. However, I am accustomed to the heavy satin stitching of the dance costumes I have made for so many years.
These tea cosies have been great practise for re-learning to sew. These ones feature some of the satin stitching while the peacocks have far more free motion.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Peacock Tea Cosy

This cosy is duppioni silk and cotton velvet with free motion stitching.
I love how the sun brings out the details.