I'm doing some dyeing on silk with natural dyes. It's not my first time, but I'm certainly no expert! I have a question about mordant technique.
I'm pre-mordanting with alum. I learned to soak in the mordant bath, and then take it out, squeeze out the excess liquid and keep it wet until ready to dye.
As I haven't dyed anything in a while, I referred to "The Art and Craft of Natural Dyeing" by JN Liles. He says to mordant, then rinse the fibre and let dry before dyeing.
Do you know what the difference is? What technique do you use?
Right now I'm playing with shibori so I tie up my silk before mordanting, and then dye in a dye pot for a couple of hours. I've also applied dye directly to damp, mordanted fabric and rolling it up in plastic wrap and steaming. Not sure if that makes any difference at all.
Thanks so much you lovely dye-ers!
Bonus question: Liles also mentions oxalic acid as a mordant. Any thoughts on where I could get this? Neither Dharma Trading nor Maiwa Handprints (my two sources for dying supplies) seem to carry it.
I've been making a bunch of these and sending them out as halloween cards, but I had most of them sent before it occurred to me to take photos. Sorry about the washed out cell phone photos, I was too impatient for my camera to recharge.
I've been taking a drawing class, and we've been practicing by drawing fruits and vegetables, so I got some of those mini ornamental pumpkins to draw. These are all hand drawn by me, and given that I've never been much good at drawing I'm pretty proud of these!
I drew the little pumpkins, then sewed them onto the card with a piece of fabric. The fabric was from a pack of charm squares I found on sale at walmart and figured I would find a use for eventually. I frayed the edges a bit to add some texture. I glued a white rectangle of paper inside to write on.
And here they are together, just to show their card-ness.
I made this for Icekibby in the the OTT Gypsy swap. As my partner put it though, "We can't do one tiny anything".
She likes tribal belly dance, so I wanted to make her something that would work both if she takes belly dance classes and to wear in "regular life" until then.
I'm a belly dancer myself, so I've made embellished bras and belts and things, but never actually translated this into jewelery. This was also my first time doing beading like this.
Anyway, on to the photos!
The more complicated piece was the cuff. It's base is red and black silk duponi, with felt interior and more silk for the backing. I stitched on some cotton lace, vintage buttons, coins with loops already attached, sequins, and red glass beads. It closes with elastic loops around buttons. It's made so that the buttons can be easily moved for re-sizing (I have disturbingly tiny wrists, so I wasn't sure what size to make it for someone who I assume has more "normal" sized wrists).
Here you can see the coins:
And this is the other side with the closure:
And this is the whole thing opened flat:
I don't have a photo of the back, but I sewed everything on and the slip-stitched the backing on, so my ugly stitches don't show.
And finally, I made a pendant to go with it. I really like how it came out, and it was hard to send away! Icekibby likes it though, so it's all worthwhile!
This is another vintage button from my stash, more red beads, and a bit of chain fringe, likely from Afghanistan. It's also on silk duponi with felt backing it. The bail and chain are silver plate... I'm hoping they tarnish up a bit with time to match the metal fringe a bit better.
I really like the way the bodice is put together. I like that it's multiple pieces without the weird curved-at-the-bust seams that princess seamed dresses have... if that makes sense). Does anyone know of a pattern with a similar bodice? I'm a decent enough sew-er that the skirt part would be no problem, but I'm TERRIBLE at fitting around the bust.
This dress is actually a wrap dress, but I'm not too concerned about that. I don't need this exact dress, just something with a similar bodice.
This is a top I made recently. It was a custom order to go with the rest of her costume and gone already... unfortunately I don't have any photos of the back. But basically the straps are really long and criss-cross through d-rings on the sides. It's not as exciting as it sounds (but I make most dance tops this way since you can cinch them good and tight and keep the "ladies" in place AND maintain freedom of movement).
Anyway, here's the part you can see!
For this she wanted to keep it with a little stretch, and given the lack of stretch fabrics available locally I bought a bikini top at Walmart and re-worked it. The bikini was solid black. I kept the cups intact (though cut them apart at the middle) and basically reassembled the whole thing. I covered it with this red stretch lace and then added some jingly bits and buttons. It's not as elaborate as some of the decorated tops I've done but I like it! (And so did the recipient... yay!)
(Erm, don't mind my make-shift mannequin and the messy craft table. That's the normal state of my sewing table, I'm afraid.)
I've recently decided to try quilting. The first project I've started is a queen size quilt (I know this makes me crazy). I love working on it so far, but I needed something for more short-term gratification.
The solution: mug rugs!!
I've decided I like them in pairs, both so you can share tea and a cookie with a friend, and because once I'm cutting up and sewing the little pieces it's just as easy to make 2 as one.
These are only my second attempt at both quilting and the binding. So it's definitely not perfect but I'm pretty pleased none the less.
The tops are random scraps pulled from my scrap bin(s). They are a combination of new and vintage fabrics, as well as pillowcases cut up for other projects. The binding is a poly-cotton broadcloth chosen because it matched and there was enough of it in scraps to use. I used a cotton batting, and machine quilted them.
OK, OK, I'll post photos now.
And pseudo-action shot (I'm tragically out of cookies at the moment):
Edited to add: the reverse! I might like the backs even more than the fronts, so I shall call them "reversible".
This was a super simple little project, but I'm happy with how it came out. I've been trying to be more organized in my craft space, and I decided I needed something other than the old salsa jar I'd been using to keep pens and whatnot in.
So I rescued a can that had contained beans from going in the trash, washed it out and covered it to make a nice little container for scissors, rulers, pens, pencils, etc.
I raided my scrap box pile and cut some randomly sized rectangles. I sewed them together, then sewed them onto a scrap of quilt batting, and did some diagonal straight and zig-zag stitches through. Then I pulled out the trusty glue gun and stuck it to the outside of the can. The bottom is padded with another circle of fabric over quilt batting, also glued on.
I did some rudimentary measuring and then guestimated to make the liner, but it actually worked out perfectly. It's not glued on, since when I folded it over the outside of the can, it's tight enough to stay on. Ignore the lint and random button, it's already in use.
And a close-up, to show the stitching and because I like taking artsy, close-up shots of ordinary objects.
And now it might be the most over-documented pen-holder in existence!
I really didn't know where to put this questions, since it's kind of clothing, but kind of art, but kind of recycling. If there's a better place let me know!
I'm planning on making a dress out of strips of newspaper for a photoshoot for a friend of mine. I want it to have a very full skirt (possibly sort of Victorian style) and be able to stay together well enough so I can transport it, put it on and take it off again. In my head I'm imagining gluing the paper on to some kind of backing (fabric or plastic) but I would want to use glue that is flexible enough to make the dress semi-wearable and not going to crack if it bends.
It would be a bonus if I could make it sturdy enough to wear as a Halloween costume, though I'm thinking if it survives the photo shoot I could stabilize it with clear mac-tack (that vinyl-y stuff that is sticky on one side).
I'm thinking of making a duct-tape corset sort of thing for the base of the bodice, which I would then cover in paper. Though I suppose that would need to be flexible too, lest I suffocate. I'm most worried about the skirt portion though.
Anyway, if anyone has any suggestions that would be great! It all looks really awesome in my head, so I'm hoping I can make it work!
I've never made a quilt before, but it's going to be my next major project. I've been reading up on it, and have a design picked out, and am now thinking about colours. I have sewing skills, so I'm not so concerned about making the quilt top, but I have a couple of questions that I haven't found the answers to in my internet poking.
How big is a normal, finished, queen-sized quilt? I've found charts on quilt sized, but they list different numbers that seem to relate to the size of the bed and the amount that drapes over the bed. I know I've come across 90"x90", but I don't really know what that includes. I'm confused.
I really think I want to use 100% cotton batting. It's more expensive, but it just seems nicer, and I really like natural fibres. The stuff they have at my sewing store seems thin to me- does one normally do multiple layers? Or by the time you have the fabric layers on is one layer enough?