Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Button Moon

Following on from my last post (Dragon Bag)..  I wanted a button closure but didn't want it to look out of place.  Didn't really take long for a button moon to pop into my head - only problem: I didn't HAVE a button anything like a moon!  So I decided to have a pop a making my own..

Inspiration came from 2 of my blogger friends this time:

Nicola at Clasheen blogged about some gorgeous little brooches she was doing as a mini workshop.. I think these are so cool, she had so cleverly used tiny resists to create texture.. I could picture a moon with tiny craters. 

A while ago Heather blogged about a gorgeous felt & leather button that she had made.. I loved this button.  I decided to have a play and try making my own version... as a full moon.  I certainly ENJOYED myself making them.. and will make other buttons in the future.  As far as my bag goes though THANK GOODNESS for Sharri of Buttonalia; she is making me some moony buttons as I write this :)  I  am so excited to see what she comes up with - and I know its going to be a lot better than my moons lol.

I laid out a piece of 'textural' felt with loads of different silky bits; fabric, hankies, fibres, caps.  Mostly white but with some deep gold (naturally dyed) which is actually UNDER the silk hankies on this pic.. you can just make out a glow

I chickened out at the last minute from doing the tiny resists.. not sure why.  I felted it really hard.  When it was dry I cut circles and using the darning foot on my machine, freemotioned some 'craters' - they all look like grinning halloween skulls to me ...
Button backs - from the left:
* felt back with floss loop - this is the inner piece of felt
* leather back glued on
* leather back sewn on (just machine stitched around the edge through both felt layers plus the leather
* leather back sewn on first to the back felt layer in radiating circles to make it flatter then around the edge through all 3 layers

Pleased with how the loop turned out. 
I cut a hole in the leather disk and threaded the loop through before attaching it.

Glued on - not very happy with this one

Zig-zag stitched through all 3 layers just around the edge. 
This was ok.. but I wondered if attaching it more securely to the back layer of felt would make it stiffer.

bit creepy..
Stitching the leather & felt at intervals did make it feel STURDIER

Glad I played around with this though.. even if I'mnot planning to use them :)  it was interesting and different.  I would do things differently again next time (apart from using interesting and colourful felt.. HAND embroidery and maybe some beads.. I shall try handstitching the leather back on to see how that looks.

Next post will be the finished bag (I hope).. I VERY nearly finished it a few days ago.. then decided to change the way I was doing the handle. 

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Dragon Bag

After my post on Tuesday.. and having caught up with the blogs I read - and finding inspiration there :)  I got down to experimenting, and playing with my new fibres (all merino in lovely deep wintery colours.. blue/black, blue/purple, deep red, juniper green, rich mustardy gold).

I have a range of Celtic inspired bags in my mind.. they have been there for a while, but I finally started sketching a couple of weeks ago.  Actually visiting Glastonbury got me moving with them..  Well one of the bags is a Dragon Bag, what I couldnt decide with this one is what SHAPE the bag should be.

Reading Heathers blog on Tuesday.. in particular the Green Bag posts it clicked into place.  SO, very much inspired by Heathers beautiful bag, I set to work.  It was a dark, miserable day and I had the light on all day while I was working.. I did take photos and am really pleased that they are OK to post. 

Resists for integral pockets. You can't see it, but the first thing I did was lay whisps of mustard coloured fibre where the pockets would be, so I now where to cut the resists out when its felted.

Mixed colours on the back.  I had a couple of layers of solid blue/black beneeth the colours.. I like the way it mutes the colours and brings them together.

Wetted the fibres on the front before putting the dragon on.  I had cut the body and wing shapes from acid green silk chiffon and laid this down first, then whisps of green merino, finished with pistachio green tussah silk fibre.

Removing the pocket resists part way through

Felted.  You can sort of see the resist behind it.. its shrunk by 1/3
 - which is what I expected as it was laid out pretty thickly

Next day I started pinning and sewing decorative ridges to emphasis the shape of the bag

I used my darning foot to freemotion around the dragon.
I had debated whether to machine or hand stitch around him.. went with the machine because I like the extra dimension it gives felt.  Didn't turn out quite the effect I wanted though..

So I am hand stitching OVER the machine stitching.. the felt is still pulled in by the machine stitch, the hand stitching is hopefully adding a little more definition.

I haven't finished the bag yet, so I'm breaking it down into 3 posts.. next time I'll show you the button I made today :)

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Highs and lows

I've had a couple of really productive weeks.. worked on some custom orders, some new designs, some bits n bobs for a Christmas fayre Im doing this weekend...  and then WHAM  today I'm feeling totally lost.  Demotivated.  I really dont know what to do - and I know I can't afford to waste a day.  Grrrrrr

Instead of moaning I'm going to post some pics of a few of my makes :)

These are my custom orders.. all either at their new home or on their way now..

Custom coasters.. part way through (love these colours)

parallel stitch lines border
I had to rush to get the coasters shipped & didn't get chance to photograph them all finished.
Remember these? 
I posted pics of them part way done.. here they are all finished & ready to go

I played with textures on this one.. curly locks, silk caps, nuno silk chiffon (vintage sari), slubby woolen yarn and MASSES of sari silk fibre inside
And new designs..

Black, grey & a little white merino with LOTS of extras.. bleeched flax fibre (linen) silk laps, throwsters waste on one side and curly BFL locks on the other

Big and snuggly

I fancied a substantial fring on these.. so I felted 14 cords, leaving the fibres fluffy at one end & incorporating them in at layout stage
And a bit more colourful & glitzy

I added some strips of synthetic fabrics to this one.. this silver is torn from a vintage (prob 70s) disco type top - not mine :)  Its a very solt & slinky mesh-like fabric.. it felted in well & is much more silvery in real life than on the's still really soft to the touch too (thank goodness).  Lots of multicoloured firestar fibre blended in on this side too.

More felted cord fringing :) 16 this time.  I love the teal with the purples

This is the lighter, plumier side.. nice bright sari-sil ribbons and irridescent synthetic organza (it changes from midnight blue to copper depending on the light)
There you go.. now I'm feeling better :)  And as a bonus my latest fibre order just arrived.. Wingham have a nice range of non-standard merino at the moment and they are LOVELY.

OK, I'm off to play  xxx