Sunday, July 04, 2010

Playtime - dyes, printing and more.

The past two weeks have been really busy here. I have been doing a lot of sewing!
But first, I had a lesson. My first sewing lesson to help me understand how to use commercial patterns properly and to alter them so that they fit.
It was a really interesting experience. Two hours one-to-one. I don't class myself as a beginner and there were no other local lessons available to me, so I thought it money well spent. I have another lesson in around three weeks time. I have far too much to do at the moment to fit another lesson in before then. Especially since I have some homework to do...........

The first pattern I am working on is this one. It is Sandra Betzina's Vogue 7903. The fabric was a lucky find on a market stall. It is a cotton-like fabric which will be just right for the long-sleeved version of this blouse. My homework? To trace off the pattern and get it all cut and sewn ready for a first fitting.

This is the second one. A semi-fitted blouse. Its an old New Look pattern 6134. Here the fabric is a heavy silk I bought some years ago in Hong Kong. I have loved this fabric, but never felt brave enough to use it............. My homework? To get the pattern traced for a tissue fitting.

My homework has to wait for a special quilt I am working on. Since this is a gift, the details are secret. But here is a photo I took of some of the quilting.

This weekend has been busy with a few experiments being completed. My younger daughter was at home and was able to join in and help.

Firstly, we did some screenprinting. This was fun and we worked outside until it decided to spot with rain. It is a two-person operation since one person needs to hold the screen steady whilst the other person uses the squeegee to pull the ink across the screen.

This is the first piece we did. The patterns were achieved by using cardboard pieces to cover part of the screen. Basically we were just playing to see what would happen. Next time, I shall cut the fabric pieces to be the shape of my printing board.

The next piece was printed inside the kitchen since it was threatening to rain. Thankfully it didn't, since the first piece was hanging to dry on my washing line!
On this second piece, we played with mixing the red and yellow screenprinting inks together. We only got one print out of the properly mixed medium, so for the next three played with putting the inks on the screen without mixing them.

I just loved the effect this gave. Magic. I must buy some more inks.........
While the fabric was drying, we washed the screens outside.

I must remember to wear wellington boots next time! My poor slippers got soaked.
The next experiment was to do some pole dyeing. I had read abnout this in a number of posts on the Contemporary Quilt Yahoo Group. I am new member of this section of the Quilter's Guild.
This was huge fun. A piece of fabric is scrunched onto a pole and fabric dyes and inks are painted on. Note for future reference - red silk dye does not come off concrete paving slabs however hard you scrub before it gets to dry!

This is the finished piece drying on the line. I think that next time I shall use a much smaller piece of fabric. That way I should be able to saturate the material thoroughly with dye. I shall work on this piece further. Sadly, it will have to wait for another day.
With all the activity, my poor workroom looked like............ well, it was a mess. Can you see the DVDs on the radiator? Its summer here, so they are perfectly safe there. It is part of my collection of Jane Austen films - BBC serials, as well as the box office type of film. These have kept me company while I have been busy quilting and working on the quilt mentioned above.
Well, I did get the room tidy again, ready for work on an improvised swift. I needed to get some lovely yarn ready for being knitted into a pair of Vinnland socks.

It is this lovely yarn. So soft. It will be delightful to wear this as socks in the Autumn.

Well, I had better get back to the quilting so I can get this quilt finished in time.

1 comment:

janet said...

Looks like you have been very productive lately! How fun, you have so many different projects going:) I look forward to seeing how your blouses come out.