Thursday, 28 April 2016

Colour prompt 63

'The rules are simple. Use at least three of these colours in your journal, stitching or any other sort of artwork – add more colours if you wish to make them sparkle and sing.'

As it is Spring, I had flowers on my mind

I decided to have fun mixing mediums

As this was just for fun, I was not being too careful, nor too precious
The petals are (top left clockwise):

 Appliqué of twelve different fabrics 
Applique of one solid colour
Crayola crayons
Sharpies applied to wet fabric
Neocolour mixed with textile medium and water

Saturday, 16 April 2016

Be Creatively

Joined this FB group to inspire me to record more of what I do.  And, as an excuse to procrastinate on sorting and tidying the final room after our move up to the beautiful Midlands ;)

The latest colour prompt....

As my mother and I have been discussing artworks featuring hares, I immediately saw a hare in this palette.  And of course some FME had to feature :)

He is stitched using FME, the blobs of organza and rayon were added next, and then a splash of Inktense mixed with textile medium.  Poetic licence on his eye colour to fit the palette, and because my little Toby Ragdoll was sitting on the table next to me.

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Grindr Gifts

For that special friend....
Just needs a frame 

If you don't have a clue, google 'Grindr'
It is a pressie for a very special friend in Berlin, die Schwule Stadt :)

Sunday, 31 January 2016

Pattern drafting for Bras

Oh, what joy, what glory, what bliss...
I'm gonna make me a million of this
(adapted words from the "Otto Titsling" song in 'Beaches' about the bra designer)

I have been learning the fine art of pattern drafting for bras.
Of course, in bra making, the proof is in the fitting, and this was perfect!

'And the sigh of relief that issued forth
from the diva's mouth
was so loud that it was mistaken by some
to be the early onset of the Siroccan Winds
which would often roll through the Schwarzwald
with a vengeance!

I am thrilled!
First try, perfect fit!

Monday, 25 January 2016

Playing with Dyeing (again)

After asking a few experts about dyeing lingerie fabrics, I decided to give Procion dye a go.  It is relatively easy to use as it doesn't require boiling!  Mixing primary colours results in crisp, non muddy secondary and tertiary colours, and you do not need to use much of your precious dye powder to get vivid colours.


Mix Dye with small amount of hot water and mix well.  I found that doing this like one would mix cornflour - in a small dish, adding tiny amounts of water until all lumps are removed - to be best.  Use a spoon to squish out all the lumps REALLY well, and then add some really hot water to ensure all dye is dissolved - no powder left.  This seems to be especially vital with reds.  I actually transferred to a pot and heated it up before it finally dissolved properly!  I read that adding a bit of urea can help 'melt' the dye powder.

The instructions I found worked best (taken from:

For every 100 grams of material (WEIGHT OF DRY MATERIAL) you need (lower figures are for medium shades):
2 litre of water;  3-5 gr. dye;  80- 100g salt;  30- 40g soda ash
60- 90 minutes fixation

1. Dissolve dye (granules by sprinkling on top of lukewarm water - powders by dissolving in very hot water) then add required amount of water.
2. Immerse cloth and agitate to ensure even penetration.
3. Dissolve kitchen salt in hot water and add it to the dye bath. Agitate for 10 minutes.
4. Dissolve Soda Ash in little boiling water and add it to the dye bath. This will start a chemical reaction which will fix the colour to the material. Leave for 60-90 minutes depending on required depth of shade. The material should be periodically agitated.
5. Rinse material under cold running water, then rinse in boiling or very hot water containing 1gr of SYNTHRAPOL per litre of water.
6. For Scarlet, Turquoise and Green use Sodium Sulphate instead of kitchen salt

The word "cold" fibre reactive dyes does not necessarily mean that they should be used in cold water. All "cold" reactives, who ever the manufacturer is, are designed to function at their optimum between 35 - 50 centigrade (95 -122F). 
After dyeing is finished, the dye bath is completely exhausted and can not be reused.
I did not use the Synthrapol, I simply pre-washed, using an organic detergent, which worked perfectly.  Nor did I use the Sodium Sulphate, only because I didn't have it, but I have now ordered some, will let you know if it makes a difference.  As the rest of their instructions (slightly different from others' instructions) worked the best, it's probably worth it!

As Pantone predicts Rose Quartz to be THE colour for 2016, and Luminary Green in the top four section, looks like my new lingerie will be bang on trend  :)

Procion is meant for cotton and silk (natural fibres) and doesn't take quite as well to synthetics, and you can clearly see the % natural fibre in your fabric by the colour yield you get.  Dispersion dyes are better in some ways as they will even dye your rings and slides which Procion will not.  As this year is supposed to be the year of paler, gentler, calming shades, I seem to be starting with calming-coloured knickers!

I will be giving brighter colours a go next... 

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Frenchman in glasses

Remember my French Bulldog sporting reading glasses?

I am busy reworking him onto the flap of a messenger bag...

He is done in free motion embroidery with Neocolor and textile medium so that he is washable.

Watch this space for the finished item....

Sunday, 3 January 2016

Sewing Space

I love my little sewing room in the UK, but I still miss my pretty blue room in Berlin!

A German friend's very honest comment upon visiting my British sewing room, 'It's very practical, but not as pretty as your Berlin sewing room.'  Gotta love that German frankness!