Wednesday, July 02, 2014

well helloooooo!

Too bad there isn't a way to hug a blog and tell it how much you've missed seeing it.

I'm still trying to figure out where my life is taking me, but I seem to be being lead down the path of "making" more. I'm not sure what will come of it, but meanwhile, I'm going to keep making things until more is revealed.

As for today, there's been some coffee, some emptying of suitcases and laundry (we have just returned from some travel), some listening of audiobooks and podcasts, and then....there has been The Hand Sewing (yes. Caps. I bow to it.) 

I have totally fallen down into the Alabama Chanin rabbit hole, and I don't expect to climb out of it any time soon because quite frankly, it's enchanting.  I saw a loooovely Chanin inspired sundress a year (or more?) ago and I thought to myself:
a) this is completely unattainable for me and beyond my skillset, and
b) if I start, I might not be able to stop.

Well, I was correct about the latter, but happily incorrect about the former. Since I saw that first dress I have done a couple of other hand sewn projects, and I loved the result plus the actual making. In doing those projects I also learned that imperfections are not so fact, they actually add charm and character...and realizing that let me off the "I need it to be perfect" hook.  

Right now I'm practicing reverse applique on a triangular bandana shaped scarf. I'm not much a wearer of headscarves (and I might just wear it around my neck instead), but I'm treating this project as a fabric swatch, for skills practice, because practice I must. I can totally see garments (like these for example) in my future so I'd rather work out the kinks on a few smaller projects first!

Using Natalie Chanin's first book and the template that came with it, I cut my own felt stencil and then I painted my own fabric (getting happy results with the paint took a few tries and few different paint products).  The stenciled fabric has been placed on top of a backing fabric, and I've hand sewn through both layers around the painted shapes. Then I'm cutting away the fabric centers to reveal the fabric underneath. Some of the paint remains around the edges of the shape, which is part of the design (it adds color to the finished piece).  I used a slightly metallic paint.

You can really make these pieces your own by mixing up the fabric colors to get high or low contrast as well as playing with the paint and thread colors. And then when you're done with choosing all that, you can still add beads and sequins or more embroidery to your project if you want! The sky is the limit. It is feeling very playful to me. 

I'm almost done with this bandana, so today I'm also doing the prep work for the next project (prepping the fabric for stenciling and working on the stencil itself).  Since the crafty bug has definitely bitten me, I'll be back to show you a few things soon, and then we'll see how this all factors into my writing more.
I'm hoping the two are linked.
I miss it here :-)


Gina said...

So good to have you back again. I was worried that you had left the blog behind. So impressed that you actually emptied your suitcases. I just got back from 2 weeks in Humboldt and the only items that have been unpacked are the dirty clothes.