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!)