Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Party Dresses!

Friends and fans, I haven't worked on any fiber art in a long time, due to my health problems and doctor-imposed hiatus. Since I've lost so much weight (not a good thing), I've attempted to make some of my own clothes that FIT. I am certainly not an accomplished seamstress, but I have a lot of fabric and goods in my stash, so I figured I'd do some research and give it a whirl.

I was particularly inspired by Mary Adam's book "The Party Dress Book: How to Sew the Best Dress in the Room" to make a stand out dress for a big gala at the beginning of November. So Mary, bless your heart, these details are for you. Thank you so, so much!

I made two dresses -- the first one below out of cotton strips gathered at the skirt. This prototype was to get the fitted bodice just perfect.

Front view

side view

back view

detail
I haven't yet made the pettiskirt for it, but I love it! I can't wait to wear it in the summer. This next dress turned out well despite some challenges and I am very proud of it. All the women at the Ball complemented me and couldn't believe I made it -- it was by far the most feminine and elegant dress there. Pictures first, then notes for Mary after:

front view

bodice detail

skirt detail

me next to my creation

Mary -- my original plan was to make the soaked taffeta dress in the iridescent teal. However I had problems sewing it, so on to Plan B. I used hand-dyed Sil-Co fabric to a lustrous silver. Have you ever used this fabric? It is half silk, half cotton with one side shiny satin and the other soft cotton. I takes to dyeing very well and sews up like a dream. It is as expensive as silk unless you buy it by the bolt undyed like I do from Dharma Trading Company.

Anyway the bodice I embellished with some embroidered and beaded trim in shades of silver, black and turquoise; added black chiffon ruffles at the neckline, and covered a strip of silver Sil-Co with black tulle and trim for the halter.

For the dress I made a custom fit pencil skirt from the silver material, lined it in turquoise silk, and overlayed black crinkle organza. Two rows of ruffles are barely visible -- in black and turquoise.

Please ignore the messiness of my sewing room. And guess what? People didn't even notice my lack of hair from neurosurgery! They thought it was on purpose and very chic! Hahaha

I can't thank you enough Mary.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Hiatus

To my loyal and true followers, I must let you know that I have been having serious health problems for the past few months and that it'll probably take another six months or so to try to resolve. I've put my fiber art down temporarily to concentrate on my health/life. Blessings to all of you!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Under The Sea Fantasy - Silk Fusion

My dear hubby and I got back from Key West 2 weeks ago. Yep had a fabulous vacation. I was very inspired and had always wanted to do an undersea piece so I did it in silk fusion over Tissuetex. Boy shells were very inexpensive to buy there, already holed for beading; as opposed to my local bead shop where they are $.25 each. So here's a couple pics of what I made. The first 3 pics are of the entire piece -- the first one on the window so you can see the fibers, stitching and translucence. The 2nd pic is semi-translucent and the 3rd pic has no lighting from underneath...only on top.

translucent

semi-translucent

matte




























These next 3 pics show details of the corners:

left bottom

right bottom

right top




























Here's how I made it in brief:
- I dye-painted a sheet of Tissuetex for the back - for hanging strength
- I made silk paper (silk fusion) out of many different kinds of dyed silk and banana fiber
- When dry I free-motion stitched wavy and circular patterns across the piece
- I also made cording from silk and other materials and stitched this down
- I machine embroidered many elements onto water-soluble backing. When the stabilizer was dissolved and the items were dry, I stitched them into the picture with monofiliment thread. Included are the clown fish, the two koi together, 3 differently colored pieces of coral, fisherman's netting, a starfish, a little colorful fish, a seahorse, and my favorite -- a school of jellyfish.
- I finished it off with shells, beads, and some hand embroidery with silk thread.

It was an entire week's work, but worth it. Hope you like it -- I sure do!

Dyeing lots of Silk

I know lots of you other fiber artists are doing the same thing...now that the weather is decent we can get outdoors and dye, dye, dye! I spent the last week dyeing 30 silk pillowcases, about 100 yds of silk ribbons and somewhere near 10 yds of different silk fabric. Here are some of the results.
 

pillowcases




























All of these silk pillowcases in fabulous colors are available for purchase on my ArtFire storefront. Every woman should have a silk pillowcase! Just click on the link to my store in the right-hand column.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Silk Paper -- Experiments with Line and Form

I have been super busy the past month, mastering the silk paper techniques and pushing this art form even farther than the work I've seen so far. For this posting I am going to show you a few; because of time you can see my entire collection on my ArtFire store (which I am currently populating as well).

Maroon with Silver: For this bowl I used one-color dyed silk hankies and molded them over a cereal bowl. While it was still wet I would thick silver metallic thread around and around. After it was dry I hand stitched silver wire mesh around the top edge and manipulated it to stretch out here and there.
side view

top view

detail

































 Threadpainted Flower Bowl. This started out as a white (undyed), flat piece of silk paper.

side view

top view

detail

 Turquoise and Lime: Silk slivers wrapped around the vase while moulding:

side view

top view

detail





























































































 Tall box. This was made by adhering the silk fibre to a piece of watercolor paper. I also added brown cheesecloth inside for texture; used heavy cord to stitch together; and added an eclectic mix of capiz shells and beads.
side view

top view

detail



































































 Red Canoe: This also started as a flat sheet of paper in which dyed red silk fibers were adhered to watercolor paper. I painted the back side of the paper brown/black. It may look simple but was complicated to get the right form constructed. I stitched it all together with a sinew/hemp thread.

front and side view

top view

view of bottom

detail

Silk Paper -- Experiments with Color and Embellishment

I have been super busy the past month, mastering the silk paper techniques and pushing this art form even farther than the work I've seen so far. For this posting I am going to show you a few; because of time you can see my entire collection on my ArtFire store (which I am currently populating as well).

White silk hankies with multicolored silk flowers (flowers I cut out of silk I dyed) trapped within the layers and also attached on the inside and outside with a bead each.

top view

side view

detail




























Big Ben clock machine embroidered with copper metallic thread onto custom-dyed silk hankies; plus extensive beading around the top edge:

side view

top view

detail




























































Multicolored vase:

side view

top view

detail

Friday, April 29, 2011

Silk Paper -- Experiments with Texture

I've been really loving this medium (silk fiber) and am pushing it as far as I can, using all of my other multi-media knowledge. In the following pictures, I've sort of categorized the works into "experiments with texture". There are 3 more posts coming where I experiment with other aspects of design. I have been very busy.

This first one started out to be a green bowl, but when I was making it some combed out blue silk stuck to it. So I decided to go with it and see what it looks like. The texture of the "fluff" silk is of course very soft. I also painted a silver blue edging to the top.

View from the side

view from the top

detailed view









view from the side
view from the top


detail
 The above bowl is black with intricate white stitching all the way around. I used a punch cutter and cut out white silk paper circles and sewed them on both outside and inside the bowl. The white circles stand out in a 3-D way

And how here's the opposite: a white bowl with black polka dots trapped between the layers. I embellished it with groupings of silver and black beads on the outside of the polka dots and painted the top edge silver.

side view

top view

detail
















[white w/butterfly embroidery placeholder for author's use]

This next one is pink with a large purple bird embroidered in the center, some green leaves, and white free motion stitching along the upper edges.

side view

top view



































































bottom view







This next piece is a russet colored bowl (with a bit of angelina for sparkle) with white lace appliques attached with a copper bead. And white paint around the rim.

side view
































top view




































detail

There is a lot going on in this bowl: It's got feathered embroidery which you can see clearly from the top view. There is angelina which adds to the texture, as well as the couched ribbons which are very similar to fuzzy pipe cleaners. In my layers I also added tulle and a few cutout birdies.

side view

top view

detail