Sunday, 23 September 2012

A bit Ruffled..

This week 3 out of 4 projects had RUFFLES!  I'm not usually into frills or fanciness so not sure where it came from really... maybe the feeling of autumn in the air.

It all started with this scarf..
Thinking of autumn leaves..
Asymmetric - one wide leaf-like end and three lovely long tendrils all with ruffled edges :)
My Truffle Ruffle scarf
I used lots of cream and black tussah silk and gold mulberry silk.
One side is darker, the other brighter
Raspberry Ruffle #1
Not 100% happy with this one.. planning to try again this week
Raspberry Ruffle Beret
I really enjoyed making this hat!  Using colours that I LOVE and experimenting.  I'd been picturing this hat and knew just how I wanted it to be..  I used everything I learned from the ruffle cushions I made last year

Using newspaper to work out the size and shape of the ruffle resists I would need,
and using the newspaper cut-outs as templates to transfer onto painters plastic sheeting

Remembering to number the templates, so I use them in the right order :)
My main hat resist is a circle of foam underlay 48cm (19") diameter.  For wetting out I use COOL soapy water in this, I want it to go slowly.

After laying out 2 perpendicular layers of fibre to encase the resist..
and adding final surface design 

The first resist goes down

2 layers of fibre are applied to the resist.. merino and silk in both layers.
The fibres come past resist by an inch or so onto the hat
BOTH layers running in the same direction
 Having both layer running in the same direction means there will be more elasticity in the felt, allowing me to stretch and manipulate it into a ruffle.

AFter wetting the first ruffle, the second resist is inset about a half an inch from the first resist
and the fibres are applied in the same way.
Wetted thoroughly (still with cool water) and covered in painters plastic
 I spent about an hour gently rubbing this, concentrating especially on the ruffles.  After an hour I gave it a  hundred rolls in each direction, sandwiched in bubblewrap. 

Cut a hole for the opening and sealed it with soapy fingers
 I used a cellulose sponge to remove as much water as possible at this point, then wetted it thoroughly with very warm soapy water and continued rolling, stretching and working it as usual.. stopping regularly to stretch and shape the ruffle, gently at first so as not to damage it.

This needed to felt down a lot (it was the size of a dustbin lid to begin with :)  For final shrinkage I took it out of the bubble wrap and rolled it in a damp towel, throwing and pummelling it a little too.

After rinsing, spinning and pulling back into shape I dried it on a hat block overnight

Sunday, 16 September 2012

September.. getting back to 'normal'

The children have been back at school for just over a week now.. and things are slowly getting back to normal.  I'm still struggling to figure out how I fit in everything before the holidays.. there really just are NOT enough hours in the day!

After a few weeks without making any felt (yes I was getting very twitchy!) I think I went a little felt-mad!  There has been a flurry of scarf, bag, purse, hat and boot making .. with a fun picture panel thrown in too.  Here's a quick catch-up  :)

Turquoise & Chocolate brown Icelandic wool with navy leather soles
A little while back I thought that I had found a solution to save having to wear my hats for photos (I'm quite self concious).. A nice canvas head shaped hat / wig block found on ebay.  Unfortunately I had a 'mad one' when placing a last minute bid and bid on the wrong one!  I brought a mans sized block for ladies hats DUH.  Thats likely to be going back on ebay.  So I'm stuck having to photograph them on me head

Nice rich autumn colours.. won't be long till the leaves are these colours

This one was inspired by one of my lovely ceramic
buttons handmade by Sharry at Buttonalia
The next bag was inspired by a piece of driftwood brought back from Cornwall last summer.. it was a piece of bark which had been bleached by the sea and sun, lots of barky texture but smooth and lovely, cracks where it had dried out and tiny old barnacles in and around the cracks.  I used BFL in white and oatmeal for the body of the bag, with linen fibre, boucle yarn and tussah fibre for the lines and cracks.. and wool nepps for the barnacles.  Its fully lined with a remnant of wool-blend fabric that I've had for quite a few years now (left over from kids Dark-Age clothing sewn for a local museum :) I stitched the handle and fastener loop from the same material.

Lovely chunky ceramic button handmade in Scotland by Julia Smith
in perfect sea colours.. been hanging onto this waiting for the 'right' project

Nuno scarf in blue, green and orange

Burnout silk chiffon and satin fabric -
quite a lot of work needed to get the fibres to work through the satin pattern areas

And apart from all of this I have been totally engrossed in my new book!  Second Skin by India Flint.

India Flint actually commented on my last post, the one about my eco print shawl, pointing me toward her blog and this book.  Within a week I had my copy from Amazon :)  and I am thoroughly enjoying it.  I don't get time to sit and read for long, but I'm taking every opportunity to pick this up and read another page or two.  Its full of useful and interesting tips and info on so many aspects of clothing textiles, with lots of lovely anecdotes from the authors life, family and travels.  The photography is enough to get me drooling!  Very, very inspirational.

I havent actually read the section on eco printing yet, its toward the end of the book and I'm only about a third through.  The fact that I haven't read it yet shows how spellbinding it is.. usually I'd read the relavent section first :)  (I'm a bugger with books.. I excitedly flick through from front to back having a quick look.. then hungrily from back to front stopping and reading the bits that catch my eye.. THEN I start reading properly from the front).  I think I will be adding India's other eco dye book to my collection at some point too.. her ethos is right up my street!