Posts Tagged 'embroidery'

Valentine’s Day

Canvas case for Dan's Nokia 810

Canvas case for Dan's Nokia 810

For Valentine’s Day I made Dan a canvaswork pouch for his Nokia 810. It’s made in the same colours as my canvaswork sampler which Dan expressed a liking for.

Update: Edited the title of this post from St. Valentine’s Day to Valentine’s Day as I was informed that it hasn’t been a saint’s day since 1969. My bad.


Geekifying my girliness (Assessed Bag Part 1)

This is a mirror to my earlier post about ‘girlifying my geekiness‘ by making a pretty, lacy case for my internet tablet. I can’t help getting aesthetic about geeky things, and it seems I also can’t help but get geeky about arty things.

In City & Guilds we are currently half way through making a bag for an assessed piece of work. Week before last we were asked to create a design for the bag and my after a few initial ideas my mind kept returning to platonic solids. I’m such a maths geek! Tetrahedron or dodecahedron were favourites. In the end I plumped for the latter because it is made up of pentagons, and they are more interesting than triangles. (I’m sure normal people don’t have favourite geometric constructions).

Once I had inserted a measure of geekiness into the undertaking I took to it with enthusiasm, drawing up designs and creating a mockup out of some scrap grey felt.

On Thursday in C&G we spent the time creating the fabric from which to construct the bag, by the same method I used to make the needlecase and my notebook covers.

The fabric took ages to make, putting together tiny pieces of fabric on a felt background and then stitching all over it so much that the fabric base can barely be seen.

Once I’ve got all of the fabric made I’ll cut it into little pentagons and stitch these together with an insertion stitch, which will allow the contrasting lining to show through. Construction will occur on Thursday @ C&G. Stay tuned for pics of the finished thing.

Girlifying my geekiness



Recently I came into possession of Dan’s old Nokia 770 internet tablet. It was a fairly pretty thing as gadgets go, black and silvery plastic, but kind of square and clunky. I thought I’d take the edge off of the geekiness by making a pretty, embroidered, pink case. Well partly pink at least.

The case is machine lace. I made a paper template of the gadget’s shape including areas to be left open – one at the bottom for cables, and another for the screen, which is under the flap at the front. I traced this template onto clear, water-soluble fabric with a biro. Onto the water soluble fabric I placed scraps of pink, white and black chiffon, pink, sparkly yarn, and designs cut from some scrap lace. The bottom edge of the front flap is entirely existing lace. I affixed these items to the water-soluble fabric with a bit of water, which made the surface gluey enough to hold them in place.

Next step was to fill in the template area with circles and circles of overlapping machine embroidery in black thread, taking care to interlock all of the embroidery and to fill all of the template. Once this was done I went around the edges with a close zigzag stitch in white thread, to provide contrast with the main body of the machine lace and to match against the scrap lace.

Sewing done that next step was to wash away the water-soluble fabric, warm water and gentle rubbing got rid of most of the fabric. A certain amount of it remained in the threads as a gluey substance which would then dry and add stability to the final shape. I left the machine lace to dry, formed around a pack of cards. When it was dry I sewed it along the seams into it’s final shape.

I was worried about the robustness of machine lace as a hardy case for a gadget, but so far it seems to be holding up. The gadget itself has a hard case to protect itself, so that wasn’t a consideration. And my gadget looks so, so pretty now.

Counterchange and quilting


Yesterday in C&G we explored counterchange and English quilting.
The design portion of the class was to take and image from architecture and create two images of it in reversed colours, i.e. one black on white image and one white on black image. I used a segment from a picture of the Eiffel Tower.
The second half of the class, the craft part, was to quilt a design based on the counterchange image done in the first half of the class.

Tonight’s C&G fun

Tonight at C&G Embroidery (aka colouring in for grown ups) we drew bold shapes on white paper in oil pastel, then crumpled up the paper to create the cracked lookand doused it in black ink. Looks kind of batik-y.

Canvaswork Sampler 1

This weeks homework from C&G was to finish off a ten inch square canvaswork sampler showing a variety of stitches.  We had until after half-term to finish it but I completed mine yesterday afternoon. There’s something quite addictive and soothing about making the repeating patterns of stitch. Downsides were that it didn’t feel particularly creative, and it’s extremely time consuming.

Ugliest cushion in the world

Last week at C&G I handed in my first assessed piece of work. It was a cushion made of dyed fabric, machine embroidery, machine lace, and braided machine cord – and I hate it. It’s not at all what I thought it would be when I envisioned it.

The fabric was a preprinted cotton I had scrunched into a sausage shape and tie-dyed purple by mixing pink and blue dyes. The method of dyeing with the two colours gave an interesting effect, most of the fabric was purple, but at the edges of the tie-dyed section there were areas of pink and areas of blue where only one of the dyes had permiated.

In class we were given the task of embellishing a piece of our dyed fabric with machine embroidery. I started out using long, straight, parallel strokes of machine embroidery to enhance the different shades of dye in different areas of the cloth.

It wasn’t until we were all well underway with our sewing that the tutor told us that this would be a piece of assessed work. Cue much woe from the assembled company. Everyone, including myself, would have liked the chance to agonise more over our design decisions had we known it was to be assessed.

I covered the face of the cushion with machine embroidery. Then I created a motif in machine lace. The motif was a simplistic flower based on the original pattern on the printed cotton. The machine lace was made by machining into a water soluble fabric to create a mesh of thread in the appropriate shape.

To finish the edges of the cushion I made five long strands of machine cord – by zigzag stitching over wool in the same colour threads I had used for the machine embroidery of the face of the cushion. These strands I braided together, leaving loose sections for variation, and then attached around the edge of the cushion.

It was a whole lot of work for one very ugly cushion. Feedback from the class was that everyone liked the machine cord and the braid. Which was probably my favourite bit too.

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