Monday, 27 February 2012

Even more sewing!

I've been busy tidying up/clearing out recently, but I've managed to get some sewing done when I've had some sit down with a cup of tea time. The first thing I did was some sewing on a very hairy hand felted alpaca bag. I used some poor quality alpaca tops that I got a few years ago and made a little bag with a flap. You can see pictures of it here. I thought I'd use it to try out some TAST stitches. The first thing I did was add some little shapes to the flap. I made a pattern in Photoshop, stitched an outline, then filled the shapes in with really close blanket/buttonhole stitch.

I've started on the front of the bag, but I've only done a border so far. I used shisha mirrors bought from ebay in the centre of my shapes and a few people were interested in them. While I was searching for pictures of the mirrors, I came across this great tutorial from Emily at about how to sew your own shisha mirrors. I gave it a go and was surprised at how well it worked out. I'm not sure I do it exactly the same as her on the back stitch, but it works and looks good! :)

I added chain stitch around the edge:

I've already started working on using different things to attach with the same technique.

The latest thing I finished was my chain stitch piece from last week's TAST. I'm running really low on my natural yarn now, so I'll have to get the spindle out and make more! It'd be nice to have a supply of bought natural wool threads, so if you know anywhere that sells them...something around the thickness of cotton perle 5...I'd be grateful to know :)

Saturday, 11 February 2012

More Stitching

I've been learning some new stitches with Take a Stitch Tuesday. I found it quite hard at first, but then I bought some aida fabric with holes which helped me learn the stitches neatly (there's a lot of counting in sewing!). I wanted to try actually using the stitches though, so made some felt to practise, but then I worried about messing up and ruining it :) So I hunted through my scrap box (I never throw any felt away) and found some offcuts from when I made a set of placemats and coasters. I had some handspun thread that I also made at the same time, but spun some more just in case.
I then edged some offcuts with blanket stitch and practised my new sewing skills :)


                                                                       Fly Stitch:

                                                                   Cretan Stitch:

Feather Stitch:


Chevron Stitch:

I love using natural wools, and I'm really enjoying learning new stitches :)
I do have one problem though, I only have 1 good needle. I bought some embroidery needles, but they're not sharp and I need sharp to poke through thick wool, if anyone has any advice, I'd be really grateful :)

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Surface Texture

At the beginning of the year, Ruth posted a Surface Texture Challenge for the First Quarter Studio Challenge on the Felting and Fiber Studio site..

I love taking photos of anything interesting, so I really liked the idea of this challenge. Not long after Ruth announced it, we had a really frosty day here. I was inspired by a patch of frosty moss in the back garden and made my first wet felted piece for the challenge. I used a blend of green merino shades and carded plastic fibre made from recycled plastic bottles. You can read more here.

My second wet felted piece was a bit more of a challenge... mouldy cheese :)
Here's the source of inspiration:


and the felted piece:

Ruth was inspired by bark and made a really nice wet felted Kindle cover using water soluble fabric, machine stitching and viscose fibre, it turned out really well. You should also check out these amazing felt sculptures by LizB. If you'd like to join in, come over to the Felting and Fiber Studio, click 'Challenges' in the categories on the right, and you'll see all the related posts.