Sunday, 8 January 2012

Stitches and Folds

Smocking sample (detail)

Way back in August last year I entered The Sketchbook Project, run by Art House Co-op in Brooklyn. Since then I've been so busy with other things that apart from occasional "I really should do that" thoughts I've not got much done on it. However, last week it suddenly popped into my head and I realised it must be getting pretty close to the deadline (it is) and I better get on with it.

The theme I chose was stitches and folds as I thought it would be a good chance to experiment and play with some different techniques. Today I have been experimenting with smocking. I've had this see-through fabric for ages and thought it would be interesting to try smocking it to see what effect the gathered fabric would create.

Taped down whilst in progress

In progress

I'm pretty pleased with how it's turned out, although it was the devil to work with. When I'd put the gathering lines in and pulled them to gather the fabric it curled all over the place and it was really hard to find the pleats, but I persevered and via the gift of masking tape I got it stitched. I just did a basic honeycomb pattern using knots rather than stitches as I thought the short threads would stand out nicely against the soft folds of the fabric. The finished sample has a lovely soft, shadowy look to it that I'm very pleased with.

Finished sample

I also made a stitched button for the front of the sketchbook, using rayon thread and a plastic ring. Time consuming but very pretty!

Hand stitched button in progress

Finished button

From the side

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