Here we are a new year and a new start. It feels good to begin something different, my plan for the foreseeable future is to work on small scale portable projects, the main reason behind this is of course that I have a lot less time to dedicate to my passion. With working part time it is amazing how little time I end up with to create….with hearth and home and everything else, no complaints just observations!
I have been busy making eco prints, when the weather has allowed. I do this outside because I do not as yet have a pressure cooker to do the “cooking” part of eco bundling. I have quite a few lovely pieces of fabric with various designs of leaves and flowers from our garden, some I love and others not so much. My plan is to take small pieces of eco printed fabrics and start working embroidery stitches, use other bits and pieces to embellish with and see where the path leads me!
I hope you are feeling creative as well and I wish you joy and passion with your endeavours.
Using natural elements from my home and garden I started to experiement with Eco printing. I gathered leaves of varying sorts from the garden, previously solar dyed fabrics and a new item, an all cotton shirt. I have been reading India Flint’s book Eco Colour which is where this idea has come from. First of all I needed to lay out the leaves on the fabrics and then roll them up around a stick and tie up well with string. Then I soaked my fabrics in a mixture of St John’s Wort dye with a litte beet juice added, boiled them for approximately 10 minutes, it may have been longer but not much. My fire was very hot and the liquid almost boiled dry. Then I left said items for almost two weeks at which point I took them out of the liquid and set them to dry outside. Another two or three weeks has passed and I opened them up today. These are the results.
Trying my luck to-day with a little solar dyeing. Easy peasey! just put your choosen flowers, leaves or other into a glass jar fill with (rain water if you have it) tap water. Place your piece of fabric inside with the flowers and water screw on the lid and leave in the sun for at least a month….let the magic begin.
Here I am making another attempt at the Alabama Stitch project skirt. I have made one in plain oatmeal coloured jersey…but the waistline was a little big, I know that is a good thing !!! but to unpick all that hand stitching and re-do each seam, six in total seemed (pardon the pun!) daunting.
I had another skirt cut and ready to sew, this time I thought I would do the leaves stencil from the aforementioned book. No problem, I used my sewing machine to baste each seam plus the waistline to prevent bagging or stretching while working on the appliqué stencil work. Each panel was laid out to start the stencil, I then realized I had stitched each panel (gore) to the backing fabric. So I decided to draw around the leaf stencil with a Sharpie pen.
At some point along the way I made a decision to appliqué all the leaves. I started out with the creamy coloured fabric on the grey, but I wasn’t sure I really liked it. So I had some cream fabric that I had done some practice stencils on and so I cut out the shapes from this and placed them on the drawn leaves to see if that made it better or worse. I liked it and so began the process you see now.
My creamy fabric has been painted on with a mix of green and cream fabric paint and I used real ferns from the garden to get some leafy designs. I just painted onto the backside of the fern with a sponge and then lay it onto the cream fabric and pressed down gently. Pull off the fern and you have a very delicate imprint of the ferns leaves. Remember to heat set your painted fabric BEFORE cutting out you pieces. I cut my appliqué leaves out of this fabric, some have more defined leaf designs than others, I just went with what I liked the look of at the time!
As usual I cannot follow the basic design….my mind goes off at a tangent…I believe that is called being creative !!!
If you like let me know what you are working on that gives you pleasure, happy summer sewing to you 🙂