Thursday, 27 July 2017

Module One, Chapter 5, Task 2, Satin Stitch and Beyond

Fabrics Used;

  1. Dyed Satin
  2. Fine needlecord
  3. Canvas / Hessian
  4. T. Shirt
  5. Fine patterned cotton
  6. Small samples of patterned cotton
  7. Cord "type" fabric
  8. "
Sample 1 - Zig Zag

Yes I believe this works, the zig zag stitch is much stronger than a running stitch and even where I have used white cotton it still keeps its strong pattern and texture.

Sample 2 - Zig Zag / Satin Stitch

Successful - I enjoyed sewing this sample and testing the satin stitch to the full. It sewed very well on this fabric.

Sample 3 - Zig Zag

I was able to stitch well on this canvas and the strong zig zag showed up well, unlike the running stitch sample - the organza strips were to add some colour and texture. Even without the embellishment I think this has been successful.

Sample 4 - Zig Zag

Successful - This works much better than the running stitch easier to control and with the addition of the cut and frayed ribbon which got caught up in the sewing and twisted into a cording effect is much easier to want to look into it a bit further.

Sample 5 - Zig Zag

Successful - This is one of my favorites. I think it worked a bit by accident! I began by sewing on some grey ribbons going down the route of cording and then I started some open large zig zag stitches and the fabric began puckering and I loved it. Because it sort of shrank during the process, I then mounted it on a black calico sample page and it looked lost! So I tied it all together by sewing zig zag stitch in lines to join the two pieces together in both grey and red.

Sample 6 - Running Stitch, Zig Zag Stitch and Satin Stitch

Successful - I created this page showing a sample of each stitch recording the sizes and using on each the reverse stitch option.

Sample 7 - Running Stitch, Zig Zag Stitch and Satin Stitch

Unsuccessful -  this is the first time I have used a cordroy type fabric and wanted to show a sample of it as you mentioned in my previous blog. The stitches in straight lines gathered fabric and were not successful.

Sample 8 - Cording and applique

Successful I think? Not really sure as the fabric was very unstable to sew on as flimsy not a true "cordroy" however I did think the corded thread worked as where I missed with the sewing machine the threads have frayed. The lace pieces sewed on easily and added a bit more interest.

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Module One, Chapter 5, Task 1 Beyond the Straight and Narrow

Chapter 5, Task 1.Beyond the Straight and Narrow

Sample 1

Hand dyed silk (previously done) lightly sprayed onto a backing fabric.

This is a bit of a mess as I began sewing in "boxes" again and I realised it is just not a big enough space to work in to show the stitch variances. So I abandoned the small working area at the bottom and stitched right across the rest of the fabric using between 2.0 and 5.0 mm running stitch and at the same time varying the spacing and direction of the stitch - the result was a pleasant surprise as it appears to have a  "quilted" effect. The machine sewed well and no tension problems.

So in conclusion I must start to use whole sample pages and not chop it up into little bits.
I am happy with the stitch sizes and spacing but to have really shown this piece well a much deeper colour thread would have jumped out of the background.

Sample 2

For this sample I used a slightly stretchy lightweight cord fabric stitching waves in 3mm running stitch. Because of the stretch there is some unevenness and I was worried about puckering. The more I progressed the more puckering I got and with hindsight a backing fabric would have helped in this regard. Also I used the same "90" needle on this fabric - I am guessing I should have changed to a heavier weight needle. 

Sample 3 

This fabric is a very coarse cream weave (canvas). I tried using every combination of running stitch length and the result is bizarre.
I found I could not sew a "straight" line - the fabric was literally swinging from left to right and the stitches are all uneven and wobbly! Very amusing.

Sample 4

After the last sample I thought I would play it safe and use a backing fabric under an old 
T shirt remnant. I began with a tiny stitch and finished using a 5mm running stitch - a bit of disaster, really drab and very puckered because of the stretch even with the backing material. My observation is - this almost looks like pen and ink drawing now, the heavier stitched lines creating more shadow.

 Sample 5

Sample 6

A dyed yellow cotton with stitch and tear backing.

Sample 6 is the right side and I scanned in the "wrong" side Sample 5 by accident.

However, they both have entirely different qualities and could be used I think either way or possibly folded and layered - the stitch quality was good and my observation of this sample is the differing "width" between the 3 lines of stitches gives a good perspective.

The fabric has puckered once again but I think this enhances the sample not detracts as it creates fabulous shadows.

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Chapter 4, Task 3 Crafty Couching

Task 3, Crafty Couching

Sample 1
Started off using a twisted heavy cord and this sewed on very well and a strong line was the result.
I then twisted embroidery threads together in the same tones of pink - I tied the ends together and left the wool to show the amounts and colours chosen to get the effect for future reference.
Finally I used three strands of white cording over sewn with first pink zig zag in a small stitch and then over again with red thread in a much larger stitch to show. No particular tension or sewing problems on this page and the base fabric I used was a piece of strong printed woven curtain fabric I did not need a backing page.

Sample 2.

On this sample page I chose a strong heavy tapestry upholstery fabric - I had made cushion covers with previously),
Using red Sulky thread I tried attaching an arrangement of various wools from my knitting bag to create texture and colour.
I tried a white bobbin and yellow thread to see if I could highlight the stitching and changed the stitch length and width to create patches of dense stitching. The blue / grey wool which was identical in form to the dark maroon, I sewed over with a deep red in a very small length (0.5 x 5.5) zig zag stitch and it "flattened" the wool but left a "frayed "edge which I thought very effective.
Similarly with cream cotton over the deep red lace wool (0.5 x 3.5) leaves a good solid line.
The large (3.5 x 5.0) further to the right was a complete contrast showing through the base layer.
I spent quite  a lot of time on this sample page and was pleased with how many effects arose from it.

Sample 3.

Next I chose a raw silk in deep red with the frayed edge. I decided to mount it on a sample page as the fabric was far too thin to use as it was.
I began with 4 colours of embroidery threads with a white cotton cord twisted around them and sewn on with invisible thread. Yellow and purple satin strips were twisted and over sewn using gold metallic thread and an orange bobbin. The tension problems are evident in the smaller purple twist where by I tried sewing a solid 1 x 2..5 zig zag stitch - you can see the orange thread has come through to the top - could be useful in future designs.

Sample 4

I was in a local shop the other day - bric a brac and loads of lovely crafty bits and pieces and I spied old fashioned pipe cleaners in vibrant colours and bought some home to try cording them.
This is the result - I kept the gold thread and twisted the pipe cleaners into circles and random shapes and colours, they sewed over beautifully, however the fabric I chose was a printed cotton and too light without a backing fabric and stretched and puckered in places. But, the pipe cleaners are I think a success as they are so flexible - just needed more stability from a backing fabric.

Sample 5.

In the same shop I found childrens packets of multi coloured "hair extensions"! These are exactly what I have sewn down and behaved very well as long as you twisted them sufficiently and used a wide enough zig zag stitch to contain the hair. I played around with the sizes of stitch and the result of the purple was I tried to go too narrow with my stitching and missed a lot out.
I did notice the tension problems resulting in a lovely orange and gold stitching too and this could be useful in the future. This page also would have benefited from a backing fabric as there are puckering issues.

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Module 1, Chapter 4, Task 2, zig zag and beyond

Module 1, Chapter 4, Stitch Magic, Task 2, Zig Zag and Beyond.

Sample 1.
Design 6b running stitch
 Design 6b zig zag stitch
 Design 6 running stitch

Design 6 zig zag stitch
Design 7 running stitch
Design 7 Zig zag stitch
Design 7b running stitch

Design 7b zig zag stitch
The samples that worked well are the stronger designs that have much thicker lines eg 7 and 7b.
The fine zig zag stitch required on 6 and 6b are virtually the same as the running stitch.
For this reason and because the lines are so much deeper and bolder I prefer the latter 2 designs.

Sample Page 2

I thoroughly enjoyed playing around with the zag zag stitch and finding out what could be done with my machine. The possibilities are endless! I like the "rushes" design and the strong "cross" design in the centre using the stitch width knob whilst sewing to alter the stitch and create this graphic image.
I do not think the top "boxes" design worked I was trying to combine different stitch sizes but created a weak finish. I could have sewn over and around with larger stitching on reflection.

Sample Page 3

Started building up layers of fabric and over stitching in zag zag. My favorite mounted designs are the strong lines using a large zig zag stitch on the tall layered pink and blue chiffon. Love the flowing lines over the delicate material. Good contrast.
Also, I think the middle top design was striking I used scraps of raw silk that was fraying along with pieces of organza and stitched over in various sized of zig zag - pleased with the feel of it.
The rest have some parts I like but I think I could have made them better by changing the colour of the thread perhaps to a more subtle tone particularly on the yellow / orange bottom right design.
The blues of the fish shape top right is quite effective. Not keen on the round "rosette" type design - just hasnt worked, not structured enough for me and looks unfinished but not sure how I would have improved that.

Sample Page 4

This is where I started using the buttonhole stitch - originally all sewn on scrap lengths of black felt and then cut and mounted onto the orange felt background. I wanted a 3d effect and like the fact that not everything is attached! Its a strong graphic image and when I was doing it I loved it but now I prefer the more subtle colours and fabrics in the last sample page.

Sample Page 5, "lace" and "ruffle"

Began by sewing pieces of lace onto strips of fabric varying the colours from light to dark - there is cord sewn under the blue and purple / white lace, I was trying to "ruffle" but realised my zig zag stitch was not wide enough. I did get it right eventually as you can see in the purple and pink satin. I used a multi coloured thread throughout to add to the interest. As a sample page I was pleased and can see it will be useful in the future.

Sample Page 6 "Lady in pastels"

Using my own hand dyed satin fabric (from a previous local machine embroidery course) I began by ruffling the pastel bottom layer of her dress, leaving the cords in, at this stage there was no intention to create an "image" as such I was just playing around. The form developed though as I went and then I began to have a vision of a lady in a lovely summer satin dress. I love the finished piece and really like to finish a task on a good one. I have used varying satin stitch and colours in the background using the ideas from the previous sample page 2.

This is an additional attachment, it shows my attempt at lettuce leaf edging using a dark maroon pair of tights, with a white bobbin and a yellow top thread on a very tight zig zag stitch also the gathering using elastic on the pink stretch jersey material.

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Module 1, Chapter 4, Stitch Magic, Task 1,Superb Satin Stitch

Superb Satin Stitch Sample Pages 1 & 2

Page 1

Page 2

It appears to me that the perfect Satin Stitch would be the equal length / width stitch combinations ie 2.5 width and 2.5 length etc
There are obvious tension problems at either end of the spectrum on both samples.
Also I can see that satin stitch would be very useful for Applique work and also for decorative / design work later on.

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Module 1, Chapter 3, Task 3.

These are my "Stitched pieces" from the "Designs" that I had previously done:

 Design 1.

Stitched piece with the ends left loose to accentuate the direction

Design 2.

Stitched piece

Design 3.

Stitched piece

Design 4.

Stitched piece

Design 5.

Stitched piece

Design 6.

Stitched piece

Design 7.

Stitched piece

Design 8.

Stitched piece

Design 9.

Stitched piece

Design 10.

Stitched piece

 Design 11.

 Stitched Piece

Design 12.

Stitched Piece

Design 13.

Stitched Piece

Page 14.
Sample of my machine stitch sample plus hand stitch additions on the left hand side.

Page  15.
Further sample of machine and hand stitch embellishment

Page 16.
Inked page sewn onto a sample page with threads left unfinished

Page 17.
Torn magazine and torn out page from my old water color block and over sewn onto a sample page.

Page 18.
Mixed sample page with layers of fabric and metallic thread and machine sewn onto the page along with further machine and hand embroidery work and a stitch sample in four sections.

Torn out magazine page sewn with equal spacing diagonally then dampened and distressed, I tore at it with a wooden clay tool that had a lovely serated edge.

Page 20.
Monochrome magazine page worked in the same way as above - prefer this moody, shadowy effect.

Page 21
Yellow satin sewn onto a calico sample page first and then stitched in curves. I used two colors for this though the second color was possible a little too strong for the monochrome effect you were asking for.

Page 22.
Final sample page for this task! Really happy to end on this one,