Jacobean Crewel Work

This new frame is an embroidery technique called Crewel work.  Crewel work is one of the earliest forms of surface stitching and is worked with crewel wool onto linen. The Jacobean design taught here goes as far back as the 17th century and was influenced by the exotic flora and faunas found on Indian imported chintzes. Another popular design with Jacobean crewel work is quirky insects and animals which were added to the ‘Tree of Life’ foliage design. Compared to canvas work and blackwork, crewel work is not based on a counting technique and is, therefore, more freestyle. What I loved the most with this very traditional technique, is experimenting with the different threads and fabrics to give it a more modern approach. I knew from the start, that I didn’t want to follow the traditional design of Jacobean crewel work and I think exploring each stitch in a modern approach, opened up a lot more design possibilities. My final design was the shell, which was a design taken from one of my art sketchbooks. I chose the shell as it went against the typical floral designs however still gave me a lot of areas in which I could show a variety […]

Black Work

Finally, here is my finished Blackwork frame! Blackwork is a technique that dates back in English history to the Tudor times. It was used in England on clothing as a very decorative stitch around cuffs and hems; and it also served a purpose of reinforcing the shape. It has a delicate lace look which is why  it was often used as an alternate option to expensive lace. Like canvas work, Black work is a counted technique and is traditionally worked with black silk onto white linen. Modern designs however now incorporate coloured threads and fabrics which can change its effect quite dramatically.     This technique is possibly one of my favourites, I love the detailed and delicate look it has to it. It also for me looks more aesthetically pleasing than the other techniques I have been doing. I also enjoyed sewing it the most, but then again, that could have been from the cheerful christmas spirit I was surrounded by at the time. My shoe design on the right hand side is based on my alter ego shoe project I did last term. I wanted it to be more of a decorative design instead of an exact representation of a shoe. With this design I found […]

Floral motifs with surface decoration designs

My fashion project is nearly over! I am currently making my final sample pieces. I decided to make a bunch of floral motifs with abstract surface decoration that I experimented with a few weeks ago. So far they are just painted, but the next step is to decorate them with fabric and gold embroidery. I am then going to appliqué them, hopefully 3 dimensionally, onto a vintage garment or a skirt panel.  

Floral drawings

I’ve decided to go towards floral motifs instead of sea shells today as I’ve realised they will create a nicer flowing design on the garment. These are quick ink drawings that I did with a wooden stick ( I found I preferred drawing these with a stick instead of a paintbrush or a pencil as I worried less about the lines and drew instead very quick and stylised flowers) from a bouquet of flowers. My next step is to turn these into clear patterns and carry on with what I previously was doing with the shells but with these new shapes instead.     

Sea shells with surface decoration

I decided to look at sea shells as I really liked the stylised shapes and thought they suited the surface decoration well. My idea is to have these shells sewn onto a lightweight maxi skirt. Instead of having the tradition shell colours and the inside lines however, I’m going to fill them with the surface decoration that I have been working on.

Mixed media surface decoration

What really struck me with Chihuly’s work is his surface decorations and paintings. So at the end of last week, I concentrated on painting my own designs inspired by his. I then went on to develop the idea by creating the same effect the paint has but with fabric. I decided in the end to mix both medias together. Here’s a few of my surface decorations.    

Paper Project

Last term, one of my favourite projects was  the “Cut, fold, Bend and Construct with Paper” project. This project that started as a struggle on the first day, soon developed like wild fire as I became hooked on it through out the weekend.  I realised how much I liked creating 3D pieces and how paper, particularly tracing paper, is a great material to construct with! I really enjoyed making this piece so I will definitely look into using this construction method more often!  

My Alter Ego Shoe

After visiting the Pleasure and Pain exhibition at the V&A back in October, we were set the task to create our own shoe based on our alter ego. I decided to base my shoe around Martial arts, one of my all time favourite hobbies. My Karate masters are based in Japan and perfectly enough I fell in love with a beautiful Japanese fabric a few days before I even knew about the task, so I went back and bought it straight away! To accentuate the Japanese influence I designed the heels based on the traditional Japanese platform shoes which were supported by planks of wood on the front and the back.  The rest of my shoe is based on the more outgoing and arty side of me, with bright orange and pink sequins that stand out of the crowd. Of course, for a final delicate touch to show my softer side, I added the roses around the heels and the strap. Finally, I named the shoe, Kawaii Kiken, Japanese for cute but dangerous.