Thursday, December 4, 2014

Wedding dress details ...

Finally, all information has now been included for the making of the Black Wedding Dress (click if you want to find out all about it) & a special "THANKYOU" to the bride 'K' who permitted me to do the write-up & use photos.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

One of my special designer touches ! ...

One of my special "designer touches" is to stitch the wedding date into the dress - a nice easy finish with freehand machine embroidery! This was completed for the black wedding dress currently detailed here: Black wedding dress

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Boning a bodice ...

A boned bodice is being made for the wedding dress - if you want to find out how it was done, please click boning a bodice. If you'd like to see more about the making of the actual dress that the bodice was made for, then click how the Halloween dress was made

Friday, August 29, 2014

The stitched cell is prepared for mounting ...

The cell textile has now reached the next stage of its work – being encased in a circular form. This has been chosen (as with all other techniques & fabrics) symbolically & will be representative of what I shall ultimately be depicting.

As I need the finished piece to be transparent & hold its shape perfectly, the circle chosen needs to be relatively strong as the textile piece will need to be stretched for further working. With this in mind too,  a black discarded bike wheel (from a cycle shop & almost new) was found - minus its spokes. The holes in the rim are perfect for attaching the textile to & being a little larger than the fabric, will be ideal to use with cords &/or shaped textile pieces.

Note: Prior to using, the wheel rim has been cleaned. Overlaying it on the cell-textile, the fabric was marked (with pins) at each of the 32 hole positions on the rim.

Friday, August 22, 2014

My quickly remembered site !

For those in the M5 vicinity, I'm just beginning to upload a dedicated website:

please bookmark for the future!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

I started life as a cell ! ....

I've just named my latest piece of textile work as "I started life as a cell" - click if you want to read more about it.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Diary Date: Hobbycraft ...

I'll be here in Bristol at Cribbs Causeway) between 11am & 1pm - Friday 4 July.

This time I'm having an "Advice-cum-Open Surgery" session so if you want to bring along any stitchery problems that need help or guidance, I'll be pleased to help - if you can, bring the stitching with you too!

Alternatively, I'll be able to just provide some in-store advice or answer a textile related query you may have.

See you there!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Patchwork / Mesh sample with added lace ...

I'm trialling some MESH samples for use in my on-going projects (more samples are here:

Some small off-cuts from the earlier patchwork waistcoat have been cut into strips & 'woven' together to create a 'mesh' like fabric. Stitched using a variety of utility stitches & using several different colour threads, some short left-over lengths of old lace have also been included. When completed, a 'free machine embroidered' edge was stitched around the edges for later working.

woven strips of cotton fabric
section of 'mesh' being worked
final strips of lace with cream stitching
completed (so far) with outer free machine edge

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Recycled black necklace ...

Taking around half an hour to make, this recycled necklace wears well!!

Several weeks ago I was to wear a black outfit (slightly Edwardian styling) & was unable to find exactly the jewellery suitable to match it.

However I found a 'base necklace' in Sainsbury's (a heart on a rope) & added to it by raiding my 'odds & ends' boxes.

Left is the completed result!

A length of narrow ribbon was knotted into the heart 'link' & individual beads, links & small hearts (from a broken bracelet) were knotted along each half section.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Renovate a blind & track ...

Inheriting a 'Next' black folding faux suade window blind (lined), I decided I would renovate it as I haven't done one before & thought it a good experimental exercise! The track cords were in a bad state of repair (ie. the blind didn't go up & down) & the blind itself, was quite dusty with a slightly cigarette/smoky smell.

Recommended for dry cleaning, I decided to have a go & 'wash' it - after all what was to be lost?

Not to actually soak it, I used 'Ecover' washing liquid making a mild solution in warm water along with an old tea towel (soft yet not fluffy).

The track & blind were taken down & lightly brushed. Next, the blind was vacuumed with a soft vacuum upholstery brush, then shaken vigorously outside.

The track pieces were then wiped clean BUT leaving all cords in place as a guide.

Left: The track & blind metal & plastic pieces.
Right: Cords at upper locking rollers had almost disintegrated & had become "shredded" & somewhat knotted in places.

The blind was measured for cord lengths: the blind's drop + upper width of track +side length for cord 'pull'. Cords were cut & following the 'guides' of the old track, each cord (there were only 2) was replaced.

End caps were attached at each pull end & then the cords free-hanging lengths loosely knotted in place.

 The blind was layed over a soft towel & with the damp cloth & the Ecover solution, carefully wiped. The lining side was completed first. Turning over, the faux suade side was then done - finishing with a wipe in the direction of the suade. (Image right shows dirt removed in first wipe!)

When completed, each side was gently sprayed with 'Febreze' fabric spray & again lightly wiped with the damp cloth. AT NO TIME was the blind saturated & left to remain wet. Before leaving to totally dry, the blind was given a slight "widthways pull" to straighten & shape up.

It was then left to dry for 2 days in a warm room ...  further news when dry!

NOTE: If you want to try this, test a small fabric area for colourfastness - I didn't as I had nothing to lose!!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Coppered bedhead finished !

The bedhead is finished & this is the main gold edge repainted - the rust spots have covered well. If you want to see it complete, click ' Hammerited'.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Renovating a Bed frame ...

The bedhead (frame) mentioned in Stitcherydoodaa Make-overs is underway. Cleaned last week with sugar soap, I'm using Hammerite paint in white & copper. I like the hammered finish PLUS it covers metal well - I've used it many times in the past with good effect. As you can see from the images above, there is some pitting & paint chips (where it had been previously painted) in a variety of places.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Resembling a virus !

I've been concentrating on a possible computer virus over the past few days & the above 'paper collage' from the 'cell project' seems appropriate to be added here! I spent all morning running the virus checker & fortunately found nothing.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Cells: Step 3 - artworks in the making ...

Over Christmas/New year, another article was prepared for the magazine (for publication later in the year) & details 3 of my current mixed-media artworks:

Initial concept for self portrait

Initial design for " Trapped Inside" (self portrait)

Initial concepts for "Meeting on the Shores of Eternity"

Initial visual for "Love Lies Bleeding"