Sunday, June 28, 2015

Textile Jewelry

Several years ago I made and sold textile necklaces, collars really, to a sweet little shop in Carmel, California.  Findings was tucked back off the street so you had to know about it or wander back exploring to find it.

Nancy King sold fabrics, buttons, ribbons and other new and vintage findings that were perfectly chosen.  It was a beautifully curated shop.  But alas, it's no more.  Many of us still mourn it's passing.

She was kind enough to take my collars, she probably sold 20 or so.  You can see a couple of them on  the "Remade Stuff" page on this blog.  Those collars were very similar in shape to ones I learned how to make from Kay Khan a year and a half ago at a Design Outside The Lines retreat.  But the shape is where the similarity ends.

I was so taken with the technique she has developed I joined Peninsula Wearable Arts Guild just to take another class from her a few weeks ago.

Kay is a phenomenally talented artist.  And a very generous and fun teacher.  Most of her work is quite a bit larger...vases, urns, armatures, various sculpture.  But she does make beautiful, sculptural necklaces.

I'm a rank novice at this but it's just so much fun!  It's like painting or sculpting.  For me it's very freeform.  It's about color and shape.

The pieces begin with a layer of thick felt that is sewn on to a base fabric, front and back.  From there, you just take off adding pieces of fabric, cutting out, turning around, sewing back together, cutting, sewing, adding...on and on till it's "done".  

I love how you can use little scraps of fabric and I especially love that I can use pieces I've created that are painted, silk screened and stenciled.  I have many such small fragments that I can't bare to throw out.

And, I can use my grandmother's buttons!

This one is from the first class.  It was originally way too big (yes, I know, you think this is big, too!) so I worked with Kay to cut it down.

All of these are very comfortable to wear and will travel well.  I love wearing black but I need some color around my face these days.  

If you ever get the chance to study with Kay I highly recommend it.  Both of her classes were very fun.  The time just flew by, you get so absorbed in the work.

I don't know if I'll ever do more pieces but I hope to.  I'd like to do some that aren't quite so colorful-crazy.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Summer Shirt

I've been wanting to try Marcy Tilton's new shirt pattern V9089.  I'm not big on shirts but I love the lines on this one and the shape works for me.

I bought the fabric for this shirt at Stitchin Post in Sisters, Oregon a month ago.  I think it's an Indian cotton with semi-transparent dots throughout.

It's the kind of fabric that is meant to be washed and not ironed.  The dots are slightly puffed or textured and ironing would flatten the fabric which is not the intent, in my opinion. And keep in mind, my dress form is a little, uh hum, smaller, than me so I fill it out more!

I still have to content myself with a somewhat funky look which comes off a bit better in person than in these photos.

I wore it the other day and got lots of compliments so I think it's a keeper.  I'd like to make one in black and another in white.  I'm getting into the shirt mood!

This fabric is a bit thick and a little "sticky", for lack of a better word, so I thought the double pocket  in the pattern would be too bulky.   I used single layer pocket from another of Marcy's patterns you see above which works out well.  The other thing I like about this type of pocket is that it is slightly forward of the side seem, making it easier to get my hand into.

You might want to try this pattern, it's fun, just the right amount of sewing, surely not simple but absolutely do-able in two days of sewing.

I'm also thinking lightweight jacket...

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Rubber Bling

 I'm continuing to play with jewelry making.  It's so portable and wearable.  It's varied and tactile.  It's visually stimulating and there are so many materials to work with.

I'm not really interested (yet!) in metal work.  I like found or recycled materials and cloth.  Here are some examples of necklaces and earrings I've been making out of used bicycle inner tubes.

I'm using the old inner tubes cut into pieces and attached to an elastic cording I get from WAWAK.  It's inexpensive and comes in a huge roll.
I start with a length of cord that feels long enough, maybe a little longer, than I need and make a sliding jeweler's knot so I can change the length if I want to.
Then I cut about 5-7" of elastic cord and use a big needle to attach two squares to each length.  
Then I tie them on.
Simple and effective.  Light and fun.

I've made two, one with slightly larger squares.

And then I moved on to earrings.  I am in a jewelry think tank of sorts with a few artist friends.  It's so inspiring to sit with other makers and think up ideas for jewelry.  None of us makes jewelry with metal.  It's cloth, paper, you name it.

I got a bit carried away one day and made five pairs of earrings.  I love them!  

I'm also continuing to use my grandmother's buttons.  Here I used cloth beads I learned from my friend, Lisa, that make a pendant on the bottom.  I'm not totally satisfied with how that part looks so it's in process.

Any ideas on how to make these beads make sense?  Do I need more?  Another element?

And then there's always kantha cloth.  This necklace was made using squares of styrofoam I patched with the cloth.  This one is in process, too.  

So, there you are, that's part of what I've been doing.  I have two or three more posts ready to write...just no time to do it!

Enjoy the long days!  Happy Summer Solstice!