Padded Heart with Crochet

I worked some free form crochet while stitching it to the heart as decoration.  I think that the addition of beads and sequins could be nice too.

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Lace Heart

I am obsessed with hearts at the moment and experimenting with ways of using my explorations into free form crochet with pre-loved fabrics to discover ways to make and decorate them.

Freeform crocheted lace heart

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Openwork Crochet and Stitching

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These are my most recent experiments where I have been playing around with more ways of combining very loosely-worked crochet with fabrics and stitching.  The work above was also melted with a heat gun to add a distressed quality.

These are samples exploring ways of combining small scraps of fabric with crochet and stitching.  I think that the lines created by the crochet contrasted with the coloured fabric is similar to the pattern and veining found on the wings of insects.  I also think that the use of black thread gives the samples a gothic look.

Thanks so much for visiting! All the best

Lourdes x

Crochet, Tucks, Cords & Thoughts

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As I mentioned a few posts ago, I am at the point in my project where I am having to consider how to bring my visual research and development to some point of culmination.   I have been looking through all of my samples to see what jumps out for more in-depth exploration and potential for some kind of eventual conclusion.

I have also been thinking about concept and how my visual work could suggest ideas, as these I have found are always interwoven with my visual sources of inspiration and chosen route of investigation.  I don’t want to be too definite in describing the ideas I have, as I know how these grow and change, but I would say that I am interested in analysing the relationship we can cultivate with nature through acknowledgment of it’s cycles.

In addition I am also interested in the meaning of beauty and what happens to many of our ideas of what constitutes beauty as we get older.

I began this project with the idea of a secret garden where unexpected treasures can be found and would now extend that to include inner secrets and mysteries particularly as relates to femininity and how they can be revealed.  So, in summary I am curious about nature, cycles, beauty and feminine mysteries and possibly how our awareness of these things could be improved.

Healing is always of fascination to me and I am also curious about how healing can take place.  The challenge is how to incorporate these ideas and questions into the physical act of constructing textiles and clothing.

In terms of textile work I have decided to focus on freeform crochet which is very effective at describing an organic, but also pretty quality.

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When a really large crochet hook is used with a fine thread, a very loose and ‘irregular’ fabric is formed, which is great for distorting as well as creating a very open work material like a net.  It is even reminiscent of the veining on the wing of an insect.

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I love using tiny hand stitching and when combined with fabric scraps and patchwork suggest repair, patience and healing as well as also having an organic feel.  I will also continue to explore ways to create form and texture with bias-stitched tucks which are perfect for creating again very pretty flounces, ripples and ruffles.

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After looking through all my samples so far I have decided to look again at this idea of combining crochet with fabrics and stitching the crochet in places to create a corded lace effect.

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At this stage I am thinking that this could work well as a detail on a corset or bra top.  I have begun by looking at different threads and yarn and how they look when covered with machine zigzag stitch, I need to research ready-made cords too.

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Here, torn satin strips have been handspun and then covered in zigzag stitch and crocheted.  Although an ‘open’ material has been formed, it is rather bulky and stiff.

Crochet Flowers Entrapped by Stitching

I haven’t posted for weeks and I have missed blogging, which I really enjoy.  The truth is that I lost my rhythm as I went away from home for a week and I also changed my focus from creating experimental samples, without too much thought given to how these could be applied to finished pieces, to experimenting with applications in clothing design.  Somehow this changed my orientation, possibly because I felt very nervous about producing finished pieces and I felt little energy for anything else.  However I feel very pleased to return to blogging and I will try to fill you in on everything I have been up to.  I’ve just looked back over my last blog to remind myself of where I was and I was in the process of experimenting with crochet and stitch.  So in the next few blogs I will describe how I progressed to where I am now, which is working out ways to make clothes while incorporating some of the ideas I have been experimenting with.

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As well as trying out ways of using stitch combined with crochet, I also wanted to explore ways of trapping crochet flowers, as I like the idea of collecting beautiful natural objects while outside and I like the fact that this is reminiscent of childhood and the curiosity which we can all too easily loose in adulthood.

The transparent quality of the purple organza in the above photo allows the crocheted flower to be seen and I think that the many small stitches suggest that the flower is treasured enough to be preserved in this way.

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This is another example of where a crochet flower has been trapped or ‘preserved’ in layers of fabric and secured with surrounding stitches.

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This crochet flower has been trapped with a line of stitching which describes the outline of the shape.

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The experiment shown in the second photo above has been heated with a heat gun to melt the organza and create a distressed look.

Thank you for reading my blog and hope you have a great week!

Lourdes x

 

 

Crochet and Stitch

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This week I have been experimenting with different ways of combining hand-stitch with crochet.  The cotton yarn I used above was crocheted freestyle, varying the size of hook and there is a contrast of texture between the firmer, tighter stitches which have been worked with smaller hooks, and the loose, droopy, more bedraggled feel of the stitches formed with huge crochet hooks.  One of the attractive features of using crochet as a foundation to add other materials or stitches to, is that it has an appearance of a net which has debris caught up and entangled in it.

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The crochet in this sample has been worked using a much finer cotton thread and therefore creating a more delicate result.

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In this sample the idea was to trap the crochet with transparent fabrics secured with small stitches around it, on a foundation of fabric patches which have been sewn together.  I quite like the idea of different elements being trapped and enclosed within a garment so I decided to look at this idea more closely.

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The crochet flower has been enclosed in an envelope of organza and is free to move about.  A few wisps of Angelina fibre has been added to suggest a hint of faery magic.  This idea suggests things which are collected perhaps on a walk through a forest, on the beach or in a meadow and it brings to mind childhood, where shells, flowers and pebbles are pieces of treasure and in fact for anyone who loves textiles and sees the world of nature as their main source of inspiration, the scavenging for a natural jewel of some kind, continues.  Pockets, pouches also play a part as vessels for collecting, enclosing, protecting and trapping.

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I made some crocheted flowers with a variety of yarns, deliberately aiming for an uneven appearance by using thick and thin handspun yarn and varying the length and size of the petals.

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I ironed the flowers to create the impression of pressed flowers.  I like the fact that the irregular appearance of the flowers suggests that they may have been drawn by a child.  My next step is to explore ways of combining these floral shapes with fabric and looking at ways to enclose them.

Lourdes x

Crochet Tendrils

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I must say that I have really enjoyed working on these samples.  Initially I intended to combine crochet pieces with fabric by using appliqué and experimenting with both machine-stitched and hand-stitched methods of application.  However once I started to play around with the materials, other possibilities presented themselves.  As I am researching different ways of contorting fabric, loosely-worked crochet is ideal to experiment with as it can easily be pulled into different shapes and when the yarn used contains wool, it has elastic qualities.  After stretching and stitching on to fabric, it springs back to close to it’s original size taking the fabric with it and forming ripples and puckers. It’s quite subtle, but it is most obvious on the white satin in the following photo.  The more elastic the yarn, the more pronounced the effect would be.

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During these experiments, I have been most intrigued by the potential created by attaching crochet to fabric using the zigzag-covered tucks I have been using on my bias-stitched samples.  The crochet adds another dimension in terms of pattern and texture and a pleasing corded lace appearance is created when the crochet is left in areas without fabric underneath.

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Another way I experimented with zigzag stitch and crochet was to use open-worked crochet as a support for fabric patches and threads to be machine-stitched on.  The result was reminiscent of debris caught in a net, which is an idea I really like.  Zigzag-stitched tucks along both the crochet and the fabric pieces were then added. Very interesting contrasts were formed between the zigzagged crochet and the unstitched areas, and I feel excited about the many ways this idea could be experimented with and developed further.  Somehow, I also feel that this look is suggestive of insect wings too,  dare I add yet another influence to this project?

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For this final sample, I stitched strips of fabric to a long piece of crochet before adding some zigzag stitched tucks.

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The pale blue organza had been melted with a heat gun, which created more texture and also affects the translucency of the fabric, although this is quite hard to show through a photo.

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Now I would like to try incorporating some hand-stitching into combinations of crochet and fabric, probably by treating crochet pieces as patches to repair damaged fabric and using darning to further explore the idea of repair and symbolically that of healing.  Until next week!

Lourdes x