Wrist Cuff in Autumn Colours

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This is the third cuff I made for the ‘pay it forward’ challenge I mentioned a few posts ago.  It is based on the colours of autumn which are surrounding us at the moment.

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My favourite part of this cuff is the red velvet combined with the stitches.  I also like the contrast between the red metallic net and the crochet.

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Miniature Roses

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I have been buying quite a few of these plants this year and roses have been a focus for me.  Do you find that different things can catch your attention at different times and almost seem as if they are asking you to notice them? I find this happens with colours, gem stones, plants and animals, but also sometimes characters from myths or fairy tales.  I believe that there is a reason for this and I think that the symbolism of certain things are relevant to us at different times during our journey through life.

Last summer I felt an urgency to take care of all the rose bushes in the garden as well as collecting these little pots of miniature roses as in the photo above.  The garden had been neglected for a few years and the roses were no exception.  When we first moved here I made the mistake of planting the rose bushes in a shady spot in the garden under a tree – foolish move! Unsurprisingly they really haven’t prospered in the way that they could.  So this autumn I prepared a new border for them where they will get plenty of sun and I am waiting for the winter before I transplant them while they are dormant.  I can’t wait to see them flourish!

Lourdes x

Wrist Cuff In Graded Pinks, Silks and Velvet

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This is the second of the 5 cuffs I have been working on.

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It includes pieces of velvet, silk organza, chiffon and net.  It is smaller in size than the others.

Lourdes x

Wrist Cuffs

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Last year I took part in a Facebook challenge to ‘pay it forward’. Basically the idea is to give gifts to people who agree to also give away gifts and so on, resulting in hopefully a very long continuation of gifts being both given and received.  3 people respond to each person taking part, but due to some misunderstandings, I had 5 responses!  Anyway each person is supposed to send a gift to 3 people which could range from a card or postcard to an object of some kind or well, anything!  I thought it would be nice to send things I made myself and I decided to design some wrist cuffs incorporating the ideas I have been working on recently such as crochet combined with fabric scraps and stitching.  The year has progressed quickly and I have been focusing my attention on getting these completed before the year has passed!

I have completed all 5 cuffs but I haven’t yet finished the fastenings,  I decided on brooches as both fastenings and extra adornment, but I haven’t made them yet so I will include them in a future post.

This was the first cuff I worked, using one of my favourite colour schemes of lilac and greens, it includes a couple of pieces of free-form crochet and small hand stitches.

Lourdes x

Camisole in Progress

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I am experimenting with ways of building up sections of fabric to form garments.  I really like the idea of allowing a piece of clothing to emerge from the combinations of shapes; it seems somewhat magical and as if the work has an intelligence of it’s own!  Perhaps it just suits my personality to work in an unpredictable way!  The photo above has had the colours enhanced which has made the colours bolder and like the vibrancy of a watercolour or ink painting.

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Here the colours are faithful to the actual piece.  However I quite like to play around with the editing as new possibilities become apparent and the whole mood can be altered.

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This is a close-up photo of white silk dupion which has frayed holes in it, it may be hard to see but in places the stitches cover some of the holes creating areas which are lace-like.

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Here the contrast between areas which include embellishment and areas where the fabrics are held together with simple stitching and left plain is shown.  I really like the look of ‘construction in progress’ that is suggested by the lines of tacking-type stitches.

This is yet another work in progress!

Lourdes x

Added Stitching

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More stitches have been added to this pece of patchwork, however I haven’t worked on this for a while as I have been seduced away by other projects!

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A close-up of stitching worked on a piece of gossamer fabric (once part of a scarf) .  I like the combined effect of the print punctuated by the stitches.

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Another close-up of black stitches.

Lourdes x

Subtle Changes

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My samples are usually quite small so I thought it would be a good idea to try something a bit bigger and also to test my stamina! I started by hand stitching some patches of fabric together.  I am still inspired by the purple tulip colour scheme, but I’ve also added white satin, some beige fabric and a satin and chiffon print.

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I started by stitching the white satin and this took some time! This fabric was salvaged from a pair of satin pyjamas that I had for years and really is quite worn! However combined with rows of small stitches, it creates a very pleasing dimpled texture, which I really like, I’m pleased because I wasn’t convinced that it would be good for much!

I think that when working with fabrics it is important to develop an eye for subtlety, as even a whisper of variation can deliver very different results!  – a slightly finer thread, a little bit more sheen on the fabric, the length of a stitch; these very gentle changes when implemented, can really alter the effect you achieve! It took me years to realise the importance of that! Being somewhat impatient and excitable at times, I am working hard at developing that ability to be more and more sensitive to every tiny element.

Lourdes x

More Tulip Colours and Crochet Lace

Here is some more stitching with fabric scraps inspired by the colour scheme of wilting purple tulips.  The second photo shows what it looks like when overlaid with crochet lace.

I have lots of ideas at the moment of how this could be further explored and I’m pleased with the direction it’s going in as it conveys the pretty, organic and feminine nature of the things I am inspired by at the moment.  It also refers to deterioration and repair.

It can take such a long time to satisfactorily combine different elements of inspiration, especially when there are so many things one would like to include, of course you don’t want to throw everything in but the kitchen sink! I guess tirelessly working towards a balanced look is so much of what design is about.  I often get frustrated at how long it takes and I’m sure I over-complicate things and also change direction far too much.  Creativity is as much a path of self-mastery as the development of certain skills and ability to communicate ideas or aesthetics.  Oh well, all one can do is keep going with the hope that one day everything will come together!

Love Lourdes x

Tulip Colours and Crochet Lace

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I wanted to create a delicate and feminine appearance by overlaying crochet over the stitched snippets of fabrics.  I am thinking of incorporating these ideas into clothing made from upcycled fabrics, but I am not sure yet how to do that – I will need to experiment!

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Here I used a brighter colour scheme and less stitching, I love the use of chiffons and organzas because of their ‘dreamy’, ‘floaty’ qualities.

Lourdes x

Tulip Colour and Stitching

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Very often I take photos of something interesting that I intend to use in my work sometime in the future.  However for a change I thought that I would use the colours from the tulips I photographed a few days ago straight away and incorporate them into my current work

As can be seen from the above photo, there are several potential colour schemes to develop.  The finished result is affected by the quantity of a colour used, the effect each of the colours have on each other as well as the actual colours used themselves.  The following colour studies show some of the possible colour schemes that can be derived from the initial subject matter.

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Here I have focussed on purples, blues and a subtle trace of green.  The transparent fabrics used allows new colours to emerge as the layers combine.  Lots of stitches also help to create colour as they combine optically with the colour of the background fabric they are sewn on, the effect being much like the colour mixing properties of a Pointillist painting.

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Here the colour scheme has been kept simpler and purer, by using lots of white with blue and purple.

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In the above photos, the more subtle colours of the tulips have been emphasised and as these are contrasting, they effect is more dramatic.

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Again the more unexpected colours found in the petals have been given centre stage, creating a more striking colour scheme.  I particularly like this combination, I think that it has a dreamy quality.

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In this sample I experimented with some of the paler hues in the flowers.

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My favourite sample where lots of fabric scraps have been stitched together, creating quite a subtle colour scheme with an ethereal feel.

Hope you have enjoyed reading my blog!

Lourdes x