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1  Underlying - An adventure in oilskin and oversharing. in Costumes: Completed Projects by LadyMearle on: July 09, 2016 10:39:00 AM
So I kind of made a straightjacket.  Out of oilskin. But don't worry! It was for a uni project so I promise I'm sane and everything  Wink

For a little monologue on anxiety and the project concept, continue reading.  For pictures and garment details only, feel free to skip the next block of text.

The project, which I titled 'Underlying', is a commentary on anxiety and coping mechanisms.  More specifically, my own.  Anxiety can be so overwhelming and soul crushing to deal with.  I consider myself to have only suffered from it mildly, but there have still been times where it has rendered me unable to function as a proper human being.  I would describe the feeling as having no grit.  Completely benign tasks become impossible without complete meltdowns and knowing that there is no reason to be struggling with whatever the task might be makes you feel all the worse.  Its a horrible place to be and I massively respect people who deal with this kind of thing more permanently and severely.
So my coping mechanism is avoidance.  I will physically and mentally hide from whatever has triggered my anxiety (By hide I mean, like, not leaving my room.  Not crawling under my bed or anything.  Just so you're not imagining me shutting myself in a cupboard).  So yeah.  I wrap myself up in a safe little world.
I wanted to address the idea that my coping mechanism, while making me feel better, isn't necessarily a healthy or positive way to deal with what I'm feeling.  And also to question whether that mattered as long as it allowed me to cope.

The garment itself represents a physical manifestation of my anxiety.  The lining is embellished with clay 'worry thorns'. I made these using air-dry clay and as I formed them, I tucked a little rolled up pice of paper in each one.  On the little rolls of paper, I wrote something I was worried about or a repetitive negative thought.  The outer of the garment is made from oilskin, which I chose to use because the feeling and smell of it made me squirm (although I'm now in love with it after working with it  Roll Eyes)!

The straightjacket form suited the idea that I was wrapped up in my own anxiety-led world and that it stopped me from performing everyday tasks - hence the super, super long sleeves.

I was a little worried about using the oilskin as I'd never sewn with it before (see earlier opinion on oilskin) but it went really smoothly! I loaded my machine with a denim needle and it was a dream! The heavy fabric was happy to sit on top of itself with no pins and no shifting on straight seams. Yummy!
Curved seams were a little more work - I pinned within the seam allowance as they left marks in the oilskin and used a thimble and determination to baste the seams. Definitely worth the trouble!
I altered the Merchant and Mills Top 64 pattern for the jacket and lined it with linen.
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2  The Moths in Needlework: Completed Projects by LadyMearle on: August 28, 2011 04:57:34 AM

These were such fun to stitch - a really enjoyable little project.
Stitches used: Backstitch, satin stitch and french knots.

Three little moths happily perched on some tea dyed calico.

Detail of the lower moths.

And again.

The top moth.

The back - which I'm strangely proud of  Cheesy

And drawn out all ready to stitch.

I didn't reference any particular moth for these - I searched google to look at the basic moth shape, then added my own colours and patterns to them.

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3  Edward in stitches in Needlework: Completed Projects by LadyMearle on: August 24, 2011 07:14:29 AM
This is my first embroidery piece which I worked on for a while in my first year of College, then forgot about during my second year (busy-busy-FINAL-YEAR-SHOW) and have recently completed.

Edward Elric, the title character of the anime Fullmetal Alchemist.

I used a combination of backstitch, satin stitch, split stitch and some approximation of long and short stitch to create him.

I had some trouble with the filling stitch for his face (the long and short stitch) mainly because of the long gap between starting and finishing that section, but I'm so pleased to have him finally complete, I don't really mind that it's a bit wonky in places.  Cheesy

The original sketch on white cotton, using pencil and coloured pencil for the outline and shading (to guide my stitching).  This was drawn freehand using a screen capture image as a reference.

The outline in backstitch almost complete.

The back of the stitching - because I love images of the back of embroideries.

Messy, messy  Grin

Edward, animated or not; fictional or not, has proved a source of inspiration and courage for me.  And now I can hang him on my wall!

Love the boy.

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4  Sculpture Dress - Image heavy in Clothing: Completed Projects: General by LadyMearle on: June 19, 2010 02:55:36 AM
I'm a first year student on an Art and Design course, and, as our last project of the year, we were given the title 'Lost and Found' and pretty much left to run with it within the context of Sculpture.

We were encouraged from the beginning to challenge what Sculpture is and to incorporate what we are interested in into the final piece. Being a student who is leaning towards Textiles, I decided to make a dress.  Covered with photos of my family and friends (I won't bore you with my link back to Lost and Found!! Cheesy)

I made the dress itself out of white cotton, and then began transfer printing photocopies of photographs onto it. (During the first stages, it got mistaken for a wedding dress a lot. *grumble*)

And with all the printing finished:

And with the help of a couple of fellow first years, photoshoot and the finished dress!

This is the first time I've made a dress like this, and I've ended up falling in love with it a little bit -- even if it did take four hours and eight meters of ribbon and lace to hem it!!

Any comments or criticism would be greatly appreciated

EDIT: Thanks to everyone for your comments! I just wanted to let you all know that I got my grades back today, and I got a distinction! I'm so happy!   Cheesy
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5  Bug!Envy in Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects by LadyMearle on: February 04, 2010 09:40:04 AM
Bug!Envy - The reduced form of the Homunculus named Envy from FullMetal Alchemist.

Hand sewn using felt, self cover buttons, and toy stuffing.  Cheesy
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