Monday, October 10, 2016

Epic and done

Well, I finished! This is how they looked together.

This is how the collar and pleated hem trim are attached to a separate vest. They have domes to hold the two layers securely together when worn. I may never wear the jacket without them, but you never know!

I'm having trouble getting my tablet to cooperate writing this, so I'm giving up for tonight! I may have to resort to the desktop computer tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

The WOW jacket saga continues

It feels like I have been at this forever. (Which I pretty much have.) This jacket has been an extremely time intensive project! I have to confess that it really makes me smile when I read other people's sewing blogs when they mention something that took many days being a major project. While they are right, that makes this one truly epic.

Most days I put in multiple hours on it. (And have done for many weeks) Today was four and a half hours, which I manage several times every week. Often more at the weekends.

I've got the fronts, collar pieces and sleeves beaded, stitched, snipped, sequined and ready for assembly. The backs have been beaded, stitched and snipped, but there is further beading and sequin applying to be done after The Gecko. The vest to which the collar will be attached has yet to be started, but is very simple and won't take long.

The CB seam is done...

And after waiting aaaaaaaages for it's release, I got Magical Jungle by Johanna Basford last Friday. For this guy.

He's been enlarged to 122% and mirrored with a photocopier. One foot needed to be moved slightly to avoid a beaded leaf.

Then traced onto press'n'seal and applied to the seamed jacket back. Now the ever so time consuming process of backstitching the whole thing.

I can't change the order of these photos on my tablet and I'm too tired to find a teenager to do it for me, so the last pic should have been earlier, the photocopy pinned to the jacket to determine placement.

Since I took these photos a few days ago I've got right around The Gecko's perimeter and I've just about completed all the tail.

As much as I am enjoying every aspect of this Most Epic project, I don't much like the sense that I must work on it in every available moment just to be certain of completing it. The fact that I am always wanting to work on it is so far dominating the attitude, but if obligation to meet a deadline overcomes desire, that would majorly suck. Not terribly likely!

Saturday, July 16, 2016

The bug dress

Here it is. Complete (probably) apart from a meandering flight path to be added with bugle beads for the two bees.

Thanks to Ange at work for quickly snapping these between customers. My shoes are a perfect match for the jacket I'm feverishly working on, and one of those the-op-shop-gods-are-smiling-on-me! moments. A pair of Mi Piaci shoes with the $210 price tag still on the sole, look unworn, in my size, for $25 at the Hospice Shop a couple of doors down from work. I LOVE that place!

Can you guess what the back of my running top looks like?! I have sock tan lines too, which I really hate. At least I only see these tan lines if I see a photo of my back.

A few gratuitous detail shots.

Now I am anxiously awaiting the release of Johanna Basford's new colouring book, Magical Jungle. I saw her show it on Facebook, and there are at least two images which would look amazing on the back of my jacket! A jungle nymph and a gecko. I should have a month after the book is released to embroider one onto the jacket before WOW. No pressure....

Saturday, May 28, 2016

What to Wear to the World of Wearable Arts aWard shoW in Wellington.

Moving along, sorry, had to see just how many Ws I could get in the title. Anyway, Georgia and I are counting down till we go to Wellington with my sister to see the WOW show with a couple of our cousins. It should be a ton of fun, and an excellent excuse to wear a bug embroidered dress. So now I need a jacket to wear with it.

The pattern is based originally on the Alabama Chanin t shirt pattern which I modified for my wrap top a couple of years ago. Three iterations were needed to get the pattern right. Sometimes the simplest designs are the hardest to execute - few seams and no  darts to help with shaping in order to minimize breaks in the stenciled design. I ended up literally eyeballing the sleeve cap after copying the shape of the lower sleeve from a work cardy, and measuring the armhole of my new pattern. I laid a tape measure on it's side to give me the right dimensions and winged it. To my smug delight, I was completely happy with how it sat when I made up a toile.

Then I went to stencil, and opened my jar of white fabric paint.

Rude words were said, and a trip was made to Warehouse Stationery. Then back to stencilling with the New Leaves stencil from Alabama Chanin.

And now I have all the top layer stencilled and drying.

I have a few cunning plans for this jacket. I just need to finish a whole campervan of curtains, and formal dresses for Georgia and one of her friends, and my bug dress (which is almost done) and there are only four months to go......

Monday, January 4, 2016

Alabama Chanin meets Johanna Basford

I have been awfully quiet here lately. Blame it on Life, lack of mojo, who knows? Sometimes I'm inspired to document my makes, sometimes I'm not. Usually I post finished items, but this time I thought I'd post a progress report! If I get around to it I should post about the feather stencilled/embroidered Alabama Chanin skirt I made too.

Currently working on a four panel dress, in Alabama Chanin's new leaves stencil, which I purchased as downloadable artwork from their website, printed out, and traced onto laminator plastic as a stencil. I'm really pleased with the green fabric, which was my first attempt at dying for years. (All the pictures are of the same fabric. Vagaries of indoor photos and phone camera make it look different.) The underlayer is off white.

Anyone not living under a rock recently will be aware of the current craze for adult colouring books (boy did it make me cringe typing THAT into google!). I happened upon some by a Scottish (I think) illustrator called Johanna Basford and leafing through one saw a page of gorgeous bugs. That set the wheels spinning in my brain, and this dress exploded into my imagination, because, BUG DRESS!

No effort is being made to be biologically accurate to any actual insect, or arachnid.  I blew up the picture in question as the bugs were too small to render on my cotton knit fabric.  Stitches are a simple back stitch, chain stitch and couching. I'm using hand/machine embroidery thread, mostly polyester, one or two rayon. The metallic emroidery thread is being couched with embroidery thread.  I have no idea how this will stand up to wear, so the bugs are being embroidered onto scraps of fabric which I will applique onto the stitched dress panels. Then I can remove or replace as required. I can play with placement ideas this way too. When the excess fabric around each bug is cut away more leaves will show and they won't look so chunky on the dress.

I bought three of Johanna Basford's books, and nobody is allowed to colour in them! It could be a while before this theme runs it's course....

(This is the first post I've managed to write using my tablet rather than desktop computer, and since I use my tablet almost exclusively, maybe that's why I don't post more often!)