Wednesday, 27 September 2017

The strawberry pockets are done!

Way back in September of 2012 I started embroidering a pair of pockets inspired by a pair from the Met. I did a post on them a bit later, when they were 1/4 done, and worked on them a sporadically after that. And now, 5 years later, they're done!
I finished them a couple of weeks ago.
They're embroidered on plain white linen with 2 strands of embroidery floss. I laid down all the colour blocks like needlepoint.
Then I outlined it all with a couched white cotton yarn, and put gold split stitch down the middle of all the stems.
Here are the rest of my fabrics. Yellow linen for the binding, soft canvas for the back, and under the top 3 fabrics is the off white linen I used to back the embroidery on the front part.
I sewed the edges together with a backstitch.
And very carefully sewed the bias binding on with tiny stitches. I didn't have any yellow silk thread, and was too impatient to get some, so I used off white and it blended in pretty well.
The strips along the top are not bias because they don't need to stretch.
My longest standing unfinished sewing project is done!
Now I have yet another pair of ladies' pockets that I'm never going to wear. Oh well. I started them, and am glad I finished them. If nothing else, they were a good thing to work on while waiting for stuff.

Here's the original pair from the Met.
Silk Satin pocket, 1700-1750, British.
And a closeup of mine compared to the originals.
My pocket.
The gold thread in the originals is much thicker than mine, and I used linen because I didn't have silk satin, but that's ok. I thin overall they came our pretty good! (Though my more recent stitching is better than the bits I did 5 years ago.)
And the Met's pocket.
Now I can move on to other embroidery projects! Yay!

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Surface Design Stuff

Since this blog is mainly about sewing, I haven't posted much about all the surface design things I've done for school, and I think it's time I did. I have so many pieces of unsewn fabric that I've printed/painted/dyed and never shown you! This is a very picture heavy post, and it's not everything I worked on, but it is most of it.

I did two screen printed designs in first year. A mole skull, and some roses, both of which were from pen drawings I did and then scanned.
I printed the mole skull in metallic ink on some black pieces of fabric,
and on a shirt and dress for a couple of friends.

The roses only ever got printed in black dye paste on some greyish muslin.
 We did some messy dye paste prints using a technique that involves painting the stuff onto the screen and letting it dry, then printing through it with more of the paste goop.
 And I did a grey silk scarf with wax resist.

Lots of lovely wobbly patterns where the dye separated.
Sprinkling some salt on helps make it mottled.
 For natural dye class we had to do 3 scarves with indigo, and I used wax resist again.
It was a pain in the ass to iron all the wax out, but I liked the results.
One of our first assignments in second year was to do a 2 colour screen print in a circular design. (They called it a "plate design" assignment, but it did not involve actual plates.)
I drew this very startled looking creature with wonky Greek key things, and I'd love to have it on a plate. A big horrified monster serving platter!
Sharpie drawing, edited in Illustrator.
I printed it on some bits of fabric.

My final project for our reduction block printing assignment was the fish banyan, but I did a swirlyboop block before the fish one. I didn't much like the idea of reduction block printing on fabric (Because it means you can't print more of the same later), so I just printed it first with the outlines carved out, and then carved away the tiny background spaces.
It's inspired by those Beardsley swirly patterns, like my embroidered waistcoat.
I printed it on some paper.
You can see here that it's a half-drop repeat.
And on some fabric too.
Muslin printed with two colours.

The white on a dark background is my favorite one.
My fish banyan is printed with dye paste, but I also did some with ink on paper, and on a few bits of cotton.
Cotton with fish done in speedball fabric ink.
And I printed a black band of fish along one edge of a thick flannel sheet, which I intend to make into a nightgown.
Warm fuzzy flannel with fish in black dye paste.
I also made this nice geometric border pattern block, but haven't done anything with it yet beyond a test print on paper.
The other blocks are lino cuts, but the geometric one is adhesive rubbery stuff stuck onto a piece of wood, as is the zig zag block I used for my zebra coat.
I did a lino block of this coffin pattern as well, but have not done much printing with it.
The sketchbook page with my coffin line drawings.
In digital class we had to do a repeating pattern and send for a piece of fabric with our design printed on it, which is how I ended up with one meter of teal coffin cotton twill.
Someday I will make something or other out of this.
And I had a lot of fun doing other repeating prints in photoshop! (Though none of these have been printed on fabric.)

More monsters!

I like this one best.
The surface design class (me and one classmate) had to enter the surtex design challenge, and since the judging was months ago I am now allowed to post my designs online!
The theme was "geo", meaning both geometric and geological stuff. My favourite design was the one inspired by bismuth crystals.
This took so very long, but was worth it.
I drew out all the patterns by hand, made textures on watercolour paper, scanned it all, and spent many hours fitting it all together in photoshop. For the ones where the lines all touch I very carefully made sure that they would repeat.
And it did line up! The tracing paper and careful measuring worked!
This jumbly crystal one was sort of an accident caused by me not quite knowing how to delete backgrounds.
I added dark and light bits to make it less flat.

The only one of my designs that actually resembles geodes.

Pillars, with a total of 3 of my watercolour textures in there.
This assignment was great practice in getting used to photoshop and layers.

I tried to draw a more complicated version of these, but it didn't work out.

Took a very very long time to find a colour scheme for these that I was happy with.
Then we had to "wrap" images with our designs, and assemble it all onto a perfectly cut and measured out foam board display. I did pencil tracings of menswear and put my patterns on that.
Here is my board with the pieces cut out but not assembled:
The thing that annoyed me about surtex is that the website didn't post pictures of the winning boards. It did for one of the previous years, but now it's only pictures of the designers. I want to see the work that beat mine (and that of my one classmate), dammit!

For our final project in screen printing, we got VERY big screens, and had to do a 3 colour print with them. I did birds on branches. I roughly sketched out the design on 4 big sheets of paper, scanned them all, and used that to draw my whole repeating design in photoshop with one of the school drawing tablets.
one of the 4 sheets. I think these were 9" by 12".
After a whole lot of fuss we finally got our designs onto our screens, and I printed some bird yardage.
Bird cotton yardage. I think this is 4 screen repeats.

It's printed with dye paste, and in some places all 3 colours lined up perfectly.
And in some places they didn't, but they're not too bad.
It's fairly slow going, since you have to wash the screen and wait for things to dry so often, and do the whole process 3 times over when you're doing 3 colours.
I did a few more meters of cotton with just the outline screen. I think I will most likely overdye it in a soft grey or blue before I make anything with it.
There was also this nubby cotton panel I had in my locker, and I printed it in grey, red, and black. I mixed up a very thick red dye, which didn't take quite as well as I hoped, so I got flame coloured birds.
Not bad, but very bright.
I'm going a bit out of order here, because this next project was earlier, but this is Mr. Leefy.
A slightly edited scan of my pen drawing.
Mr. Leefy is a leafy sea dragon I drew for a 2 colour t-shirt print assignment. His stripes are one colour, and the rest of him is the other.
These are the screens.
I printed Mr. Leefy on many scraps of fabric, and on several shirts.
Because so many people kept asking me, I also printed some shitty dinosaur drawing shirts.

You may recall my awful dinosaur satin waistcoat lining, which was done when we were learning silk painting.
I did a similar square scarf. Which I should probably try to sell, since I'm never going to wear it.
This is before steaming and washing, but the colours stayed just as bright.
And a scarf with more of those monsters I am so very fond of!
My teacher told me I'd "never get that sketchy effect" with dye paste and those little drawing bottles.
And I feel like I should include this piece of muslin, which my classmate and I doodled all over with dye paste. I like it.
It's a bit hard to tell which parts I drew and which parts Laura drew.
Ooh! And the space fabric!
I did some blotchy dye painting on several pieces of cotton, and with some splattered white fabric ink and a couple of painted bigger stars it becomes space fabric! I have only added the stars to one of my splotchy cotton pieces so far.
Not as good as it could be, but not bad!
Speaking of splotchy pieces of cotton, this was a cotton scrap I had soaked up some leftover dye with, and it looked very ugly but kind of stormy. I tried painting it with both watered down fabric printing ink and acrylic paint mixed with textile medium.
Some of the shading on the clouds is added, as is the black at the bottom.
It was just a bunch of experimental doodling, but it's one of my favorite fabric scraps.
And to finish off this excessively long post, here's some watercolour-y painting done on smooth, tightly woven cotton with diluted fabric printing ink.
This particular piece of cotton was so smooth I got a great level of detail in this small portrait of Dave Vanian.
I like painting on fabric, and want to do more of it.
It layers so well!
Small cemetery doodle on another smooth cotton scrap.
That was probably far too many pictures to put in one post, but I will not make a habit of it.