Denim on Denim – Appliqued Heart and Stitches

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I love the distressed denim look as well as embroidered denim so I thought I would try appliqueing a denim heart.  It’s very soft light denim so it wasn’t too much trouble to stitch through the layers.

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

More Tulips

imageI bought these purple tulips mainly to see how they would dry and I wasn’t disappointed in their performance! I like the delicate colour scheme very much and the inclusion of complementary colours, purple and yellow brings a vibrancy.

The papery texture is also pleasing and as the petals have shrunk they have been pulled into tiny ripples.

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Infact they are quite similar to little watercolour paintings.  I find that the subtle characteristics are often the most inspiring.

When translating some of these qualities into textile design, I would look at ways in which I could recreate the colour scheme.  I find that dyed silk and merino fibres as used in feltmaking are really good for providing organic and sensitive colour palettes.  Also fabric paint could be used to recreate the colours, particularly silk paints and silk habutai would be an ideal fabric to work with as it is similar in weight and translucency to the tulip petals.

Thanks for visiting!

Lourdes x

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.

Cornwall

I wasn’t intending to post this entry yet as this is probably research material for a future project, however I will be off on holiday to the Lake District in a few weeks and no doubt there will be more inspiration for yet another future project!  It also continue’s yesterday’s theme of inspiration, so it seemed appropriate.

I went to Cornwall for a week on holiday in the autumn and it was amazing to experience the coast again.  Living in Birmingham, UK, unfortunately means that the sea is far away, so I felt the need to make the most of the opportunity.  I enjoyed a couple of hours takIng photos and collecting pebbles, shells and so on to take back home for inspiration.  I found that what was really fascinating was the different types of seaweed and they suggested all sorts of textural possibilities to experiment with.

Once they they have dried out the texture changes and the colours darken and intensify.

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I find that it is very useful to think carefully about appropriate adjectives to describe objects used as sources of inspiration. Words can suggest many possible paths of exploration, directing the thought process to methods of interpretation informed by the research material and also suggesting less obvious routes.

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Words suggest different textile techniques or approaches for experimentation.  Some of the ideas that come to my mind are rouleau loops to create long tubes of fabric, melting fabric to create bumpy rippled surfaces as well as crispy textures, clumps of tangled thread and fabrics made to look bedraggled by tearing and shredding.

I also found that shells found along the beach include striking patterns and textures.

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I would love to investigate the potential of these shapes in relief; I have been attracted recently to ornate embroidery techniques such as beadwork and metal thread embroidery and I think that these shells could provide very suitable subject matter.

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I have always really loved these little shells that can be found here on the British coast.  What I love about them is that in places the matt patterned coating has worn away to reveal an irridescent surface.  I think that the contrast, although subtle is stunning! Unfortunately the photos do not clearly capture the beautiful swirls of irridescent pink, green and blue.

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I also think that the fine grey pattern is beautiful and I like the fact that they have been eroded away in places to leave holes.  I would like to perhaps interprete these characteristics using embroidery to recreate the pattern, on layers of fabric to imitate the different layers on the shells surface, as well as some cut work to suggest the holes.

Thank you so much for stopping by!  Much love.

Lourdes x

Stitches and Raggedy Fabric

 

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I wanted to further explore ways that patches of fabric could be joined to make a background surface for crochet and other forms of embellishment.  In keeping with the spirit of my experiments up to now, I also wanted them to look somewhat bedraggled. The above piece is comprised of small crinkled pieces of fabric held together with lines of machine stitching.

In these samples I wanted to look at the different results created by varying the stitch type and experimenting with textural effects achieved by layering and combining the fabrics.

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Creased fabrics have been stitched down with criss-crossed lines of zigzag stitch.  The stitching forms a prominent feature when used this way.

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Hand stitches secure small crinkled patches of fabric to a foundation fabric.

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Delicate hand stitches are used to very gently hold small scraps of fabric together.  This forms an extremely light and fragile fabric.

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Different fabrics are scrunched together and secured with machine straight stitch.  I think that this is suggestive of  dramatic,  ‘blousey’ blossoms.  This effect would look best in small amounts, perhaps as an edging or trimming.

Hope you all have a great week!

Lourdes x