More things for friends- two of these have even made it to Norway!
Category Archives: Uncategorized
It’s been a long while since the last post, but I am making things, just not getting anywhere with them. Updates to follow if/when I ever finish anything. The main news is that the Han Cave has to achieve its true destiny now. My mother in law has been calling it “the nursery” since we moved in (to my dismay at first!) and now that is just what it must become. Goodbye Han Cave, you were a beautiful dream…
Sorting out somewhere for my sewing stuff to go was described by Mr Han as “a cog that will allow many other cogs to turn” – I think he meant “clear out that room or we can’t do anything to get ready for the baby”. Anyway, proof that he loves me was that he got interested in helping me find a new sewing space in the house. We settled on a corner of what we grandly call the Garden Room (it leads to the garden) which is one of the strange rooms of the house. It is double height and has a mezzanine section which holds an office he works from home in sometimes. It’s white and light so good for sewing.
I stalked Pinterest for ideas for small sewing corners and hit the jackpot with this . Which is how we ended up going to Ikea on the first rainy Sunday afternoon for weeks, with the rest of the world. Traumatic. I bought a bureau after some dithering about whether the drop down leaf would be strong enough when the machine was in operation. I can now confirm it will hold an operational sewing machine, and a cat. Plenty strong enough.
We spent a Friday evening building the bureau – no cross words, we are ace at flat pack. I was genuinely excited about filling it up and organising things (saddo). This necessitated lots of purchases of nice baskets of course, mainly from the Homebase sale (luckily, this new space is adding up in cost!). I spent several happy hours sorting things into them. I particularly enjoyed sorting the yarn.
There is actually more storage in the bureau than the Han Cave! The light is also very nice in there. The first thing to be sewed at it was not at all glamorous – fitted sheets for the memory foam topper for the campervan bed made from a single duvet cover that was £4 in the sale, but I did do some proper seam finishing so they are quite smart. I think I can look forward to some happy crafting time here, if the baby naps long enough anyway.
Next up I ordered some cork “off the internet” which was cut to size and then stuck in to the top doors with no more nails to be a pinboard. As an aside, I am always the one who suggests the low effort version of DIY. As in “we need to fill the hole above the boiler pipe, I’ll get some plasterboard, cut it to size, then plaster over it to make it look neat” me: “no one looks in there, why don’t you just fill the hole with expanding foam?”. This type of thing is why we own no more nails.
It’s very neat right now, but it probably won’t stay that way! Top cupboards are for sewing related things, bottom for knitting and felting. It was a lot of fun putting things in, seeing what needed to go where, what needed to be close to hand… I even managed to get the wool/knitting supplies stash nearly all in here, so it’s not in three different rooms anymore!
The nursery has started to be painted, but I have had nothing to do with that. My weekend working put paid to that, and also I suspect Mr Han raised a few eyebrows when he had to go and look at prams/pushchairs/strollers whatever the hell they’re called on his own – the only man in Mothercare!
Oops, I haven’t been very good at updating everyone in what went on in Textiles class! I actually missed week 8 because I was on my hols on Mull, so there’s only 3 weeks to update really. I’ll combine it all into one because it was really just two projects.
Despite my previous lack of success I decided to shibori again. This time using a different technique where you stitch circles and then pull the threads tight before dyeing the fabric. I decided to dip dye the fabric two different colours, bright orange and bright pink. Not sure this one will be for me…
Once dried and undone it seems I didn’t pull all the threads tight enough, but quite a few worked nicely. I had decided on a tropical, hummingbird theme so I drew a quick hummingbird and cut out a couple of stencils. Pretty amazed how well the drawing turned out actually! Becky our tutor mixed up an amazing dark green dye for me to screen print with.
I was inspired by these Ruby throated hummingbirds, but obviously had to go a bit more basic on details for screen printing so missed out the white bits.
I did still have some pink foil left over though so I used the special glue and the heat press to add this for their throats.
Here it is all finished! I actually quite like the raw edges, it could be a scarf, or a wall hanging… And I think I know someone who would like it!
The last piece I made was another bit of dyed fabric. It was twisted into a rope and then tightly wound around something – a broom handle would be ideal but we used a bit of card covered in brown tape! Then stripes of dye are painted thickly on and allowed to soak through. I used colours inspired by the beach we explored on Mull. Then it us left to dry before being unwound. The results were pretty stunning. I did rinse it and there was a lot of fading but it is still gorgeous! Not sure what to do with this yet.
Things have been a bit quiet – on the blog, not in real life. The craziness of Easter at work over, we took a week’s holiday to Scotland to see friends. A secret project can finally come into the open as my housewarming present to Emily was handed over at her new home on the Isle of Mull. It was in use immediately, even for things that didn’t really require an apron… Sadly I forgot to take any pictures, so you’ll have to make do with some dodgy selfies I took when I made it!
It is reversible – do you recognise the fabrics from another project? Making it wasn’t rocket science, I just drew around an apron of mine. I added the pockets using the techniques from the cross body bag I made.
It’s gone to a beautiful place.
I feel I am somewhat lacking in inspiration at the moment. It probably comes from doing two six day weeks on the trot at work, I’m not cut out for it. On arriving in the textiles studio last week we were told we needed to come up with a quick stencil design to practice screen printing with. My first attempt went in the bin, the tutors suggested a random pattern design, but I prefer representational designs…. In the end I just ripped a few bits of paper to represent the sea (and I even got that idea from tutor Aeron) and shoved in a little seagull with my craft knife at the top. This is then taped to the screen, turned over, the fabric goes underneath and you add ink to the top and squeegee it down over the stencil.
I was pretty pleased with how it turned out actually.
Once these were printed and drying we experimented with adding foil and flocking to our projects. You make a stencil, brush over some special glue and put a piece of foil face up or a piece of flocking face down onto it. Then it goes into the scary heat press. Three of us watched it nervously… Once cool, peel off the backing and voila! Again I couldn’t just go for random shapes:
We only got the pink foil to practice with, but I love the effect – I need to find a way to add it into my mid-point project. The glue smudged on the flocking, so my bat is a bit muddy looking. I don’t really like it much. Quickly, before we had to tidy up, I decided to add a sun to my sea scene. I LOVE how it turned out.
Now I just have to think of a design to do for my mid point project which we are starting next week. I know I want to use screen printing, and foil, but I don’t know what to do – there are too many ideas swirling around my head. Today is my first day off for a while, so I need to get deciding, and maybe even start cutting out my stencil.
This week we were trying out the Japanese dyeing technique of Shibori. Our tutor Aeron warned us that it was quite a tricky technique but showed us two ways to try it. You can either pinch pieces of fabric up and sew tightly around them or you can fold the fabric in a concertina and then sew pieces through it. The idea is that these stitched parts will remain undyed. When the stitching is done you can dye the fabric. I tried out submerging it fully and dipping is different colours.
All that I needed to do was to wait for it to dry and then unpick the stitches… These are in the same order as the ones above so you can see how they turned out.
One of the folded ones (bottom right) really didn’t work at all. The other looks good towards the bottom but not enough dye got into the folds higher up in my opinion. The “pinched” ones worked better, particularly the pink one. The navy one had a plan to middle of it – ignore the random dots down the right hand side, inspired by the night sky. If you can guess which constellation it is please comment below!
If you want to see what can be done by people that actually have some skill in this look here.
We are all thinking about what we might make as a finsihed piece at the mid point of the class. Somehow I don’t think I’ll be using shibori, but it was fun to try.