Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Module 5 - Chapter 6 - Tucks. Pleats & Gathers

Experiments with different ways of stitching tucks into fabric.

050601

050602

050603

050604
Circular pattern tucks also look very exciting from the back.

050605
Tucks stitched randomly from the front & the back of the fabric. Front and back images shown.

050606

Tucks stitched on the curve. Front & back views shown. This would also be very exciting if stitched in a spiral.

050607
Pin tucks overlapped, then tucked again with basic tucks pressed into box pleat. Tucked again in the other direction with basic tucks which were then stuffed, creating a very heavy, linear texture.

050608
Tucks pressed flat, then tucks stitched at angles from behind, creating staggered lines.


GATHERING TECHNIQUES
050609
Hand 'smocking'. This gives a lovely, neat, regular gathered pattern.
050610
Shirring elastic threaded into the bobbin gives a much more irregular pattern. If the lines of stitching were less straight/more wobbly, I think this would give an even more randomly gathered effect.
050611
Zig zag stitching over lengths of wire. I love this effect. The wire allows you to control the direction of the gathers.

050612
Gathering in a zig zag pattern. I used the controlled, measured smocking technique for this which gives a lovely rippled water effect. I really like the control, regularity & uniform structure of this, but as I am basing this project on natural tree bark texture, I think a less measured, more random smocking stitches might give a more suitable result.

050613
Again using the measured smocking stich technique of gathering, I stitched gathering threads at right angles, at regular intervals. I love the crumpled effect, but once again, because of the measured control, all 'ruffles' are of the same height. Such control is rarely seen in nature.

050614
Swirly lines were machined gathered using the longest stitch on my machine.  I also adjusted the bobbin tension very slightly to loosen the bottom thread, making it easier to pull up the top thread to form the gathers. As this stitching was not so controlled it gave a much more random effect of big and little 'mushrooms'.

050615
Machine stitched diagonal lines, randomly spaced were gathered giving a lovely nobbly irregular pattern.

050616
Wavy lines of hand gathering were pulled up to create straight rows of ripples. This result surprised me, I expected a much more rippled result, similar to 050612.

050617
Different sized spirals were hand gathered and pulled up to create the most amazing, twisted, shell like formation.

050618
I could not do a collection of smocking/gathering samples without attempting Michele Carragher's Dragonscale from Game of Thrones. This uses North American Smocking which involves pulling up a selection of points on a gathering grid and securing with a stitch. This was great fun to do. It was then heavily pressed, according to Michele's instructions, to give the effect of dragonscale!

050619
Tiny pebbles were embedded into cotton scrim with elastic bands. This gave lovely soft 'puffs' of fabric between the pebbles. Random threads had been withdrawn from the scrim first. This resulted in a decayed, distressed, worn effect.

050620
Smocking hand stitched to hold and decorate gathers. I love the way the hand stitching controls the position of the gathers enabling the fanned effect.

050621
I loved Sian's sample in the workbook showing 'blocks of machine satin stitch to decorate and also apply this multiple 'gather' onto a new backing'. I used plastic bag, organza, scrim and plain poly cotton to create my own experiment. There is a marked contrast between the less stable fabrics (ie the scrim and the light-weight plastic) and the firmer poly cotton and organza. The first two form irregular, organic gathers, whilst the poly cotton and organza gathers are more rigid, linear, and defined.

Towards the end of this chapter of work, our Stitcher's group had a visit from Claire Muir, (https://www.clairemuir.co.uk/). She makes the most amazing machine embroidered hats and fascinators. Co-incidentally, some of her hats were made using a smocking machine. On one of them, she deeply frayed an edge of the fabric after smocking. Another was made with row upon row of wired pin tucks. I was eager to have a go at both!

050622

050623


Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Module 5 - Chapter 5 - Quilting, Padding & Stuffing

I used image 50302a from chapter 3 as inspiration for my quilting lines in this chapter.


50501

Wadded Quilting with fine polyester knitted fabric (swimwear lining) over cotton wadding using running stitch.

50502

Wadded Quilting with fine polyester knitted fabric over shredded newspaper using running stitch. Newspaper exposed at edges as design feature.

50503

Wadded Quilting with nylon net over feathers, using running stitch.

50504

Wadded Quilting with nylon net over threads run through the overlocker. Whole shapes have been filled with random, overlapped cross stitches.

50506

Shaped Quilting with silk habotai over 'funky foam' shapes. Stitched with chain stitch.

50507

Shaped Quilting with nylon net over pumpkin seeds. Stitched with rows of horizontal straight stitches. I originally used a straight running stitch for this sample, but thought the parallel rows of stitch was far more characterful and contemporary and contrasted well with the smooth rounded texture of the seeds that are visible under the net.

50508

Padded Quilting with fine polyester knitted fabric. Stitched with twin needle on sewing machine & stuffed from the back with polyester stuffing. Think this might be slightly overstuffed as shapes have been distorted, but I guess the distortion could also be used to creative effect. This is the first time I've ever really played with the twin needle. I found that the flat area between the two rows of stitching contrasted well with the puffy, overstuffed areas.

50509

Padded Quilting with silk organza. Stitched from the back with herringbone stitch (to give a double row of running stitches on the front), and threaded with sari silk. I really enjoyed this sample. Its very neat and precise and was much easier to control than I had imagined. 

50510

Corded Quilting with silk habotai. Lengths of string were stitched between channels of 'twin needle' machine stitching. I have ordered a pin tuck foot for my machine as I think it would make it easier to control the direction of the string during this process.

50511
This is the previous sample from the back. I think this is much more attractive, probably because of the contrasting shades and the contrasting textures of the rough string against the soft shiny silk. It would have probably been quite interesting to do a combination of backwards and forward facing channels.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Module 5 - Chapter 4 - Fabric Investigation

I collected as many different types of fabric as I could in white or natural colours. Some were from my fabric stash, some (many of the man-mades and rubbers) were from work. Some I ordered online to increase the selection and diversity.

050401


050402



I then carried out test on a selection of fabrics to see how each behaved:



050403
SILK NOIL


construction: finely woven
creases when crumpled
no stretch on warp/weft
stretch on bias
edges fray easily
bias frays with some difficulty
threads unpick from centre of weave easily
a crumbling ash was formed on the edge when burned
burn marks were made on the fabric with a soldering iron





050404

LINEN SCRIM

construction: loosely woven
creases when crumpled
no stretch on warp/weft
stretch on bias
edges fray easily
bias frays easily
threads unpick from centre of weave easily
a crumbling ash was formed on the edge when burned
burn marks made with a soldering iron were difficult to see because of the openness of the weave



050405



COTTON ORGANDIE

construction: firmly woven
creases heavily when crumpled
no stretch on warp/weft
stretch on bias
edges fray easily
bias frays quite easily
threads unpick from centre of weave easily
a crumbling ash was formed on the edge when burned
burn marks were made on the fabric with a soldering iron



050406


LINEN


construction:  woven
creases when crumpled
no stretch on warp/weft
stretch on bias
edges fray easily
bias frayseasily
threads unpick from centre of weave easily
a crumbling ash was formed on the edge when burned
burn marks were made on the fabric with a soldering iron


050407

WOOL BLANKET


construction:  woven
does not crease when crumpled
no stretch on warp/weft
stretch on bias
edges do not fray very easily
bias does not fray very easily
threads unpick from centre of weave quite easily
a crumbling ash was formed on the edge when burned
burn marks were made on the fabric with a soldering iron



050408

COTTON VELVET


construction:  woven
creases when crumpled
no stretch on warp/weft
stretch on bias
edges fray easily
bias frays easily
difficult to unpick threads from centre of weave
a crumbling ash was formed on the edge when burned
burn marks were made on the fabric with a soldering iron



050409




NYLON LYCRA


construction: knitted
does not crease when crumpled
stretches well both vertically & horizontally
stretches well on bias
edges do not fray easily
bias does not fray easily
difficult to unpick threads from centre of weave
fabric melted away from flame when burned and created a hard edge
fabric was melted away with soldering iron



050410
POLYESTER SATIN


construction: woven
does not crease when crumpled
no stretch on warp/weft
stretches well on bias
edges fray very easily
bias frays easily
threads unpick from centre of weave quite easily
fabric melted away from flame when burned and created a hard edge
fabric was melted away with soldering iron


050411
TYVEK


construction: spun bonded
does not crease when crumpled
no stretch on warp/weft
no stretch on bias
edges do not fray
bias does not fray
no threads to unpick
fabric melted away from flame when burned
fabric was melted away with soldering iron


I then decorated fabric bands with inventive edges.

050412

It was interesting to see how the different processes gave exciting textural qualities to the fabric strips.

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Module 5 - Chapter 3 - Texture and Relief in Paper

Looking closely at photographs and images of textures and relief surfaces, I manipulated papers to translate the observed textures.

50301

50301a
Using scrunched up newsprint I created the texture observed from leaves on the woodland floor.

50302

50302a
Using scrunched tissue paper and spaces for the branches I created the canopy texture.

50303

50303a
Using twisted strips and newsprint I created the texture shown by silver birch saplings.

50304

50304a
Using folded watercolour paper laid over scrunched crepe paper I created the texture of silver birch bark.

50305


50305a
Using folded crepe paper and circles cut from watercolour paper I created the texture of the bark of a pine tree.

50306

50306a
With machine gathered, and twisted tissue paper, I created the texture observed from the pine tree coppice.

As these textures are to be used as rubbings later in the module, I mounded them all on a sturdy base of foamboard. Each 'block' is A5 in size.