I’ve added a few hand made pouches or cosmetic bags to the shop these past few weeks.
They’re made from either hand painted canvas fabric or hand painted linen or cotton. This particular collection have been paired up with a solid coloured fabric to set off the colours and designs. They’re quite vibrant.
The mark of the brush is very much evident meaning that these are a work of art… lots of texture … lots of colour.
I’m pretty keen to empty out the shelves a little. Too much other stuff going just now and I need the space. Perhaps you need the fabric ? Fabric sale
There are lots of gorgeous fabrics at a much reduced price and what with Christmas coming (I can’t believe I said that), the nights drawing in and with the children being back at school. You could perhaps fit in a little ‘you’ time with the sewing machine.
So, take a look you might be pleasantly surprised and I know that you wouldn’t want to miss out.
We’re not really having what you’d call a glorious summer in terms of weather are we ? But I guess that means that it’s less of a hardship to be inside sewing away… making pretty things for when the sun does shine, for your holiday or simply update a few homey things… cushions… quilts that kind of cosy, snuggly thing.
So, take a look at the Bargain Basement link in the menu bar of the Gone to Earth shop and you’ll find gorgeous fabrics being sold by the metre at a pretty attractive price. They are available in shorter lengths elsewhere in the shop but then the price is the same as usual.
There are more so even if you’re not tempted by these then you may find something that’s perfect for your next sewing project. Go take a look!
Oh! and the other piece of news is that I shall add fabrics and take them away over the coming weeks so stay in touch. You never know what you might find.
This zippered pouch is made using my own hand dyed cotton fabric using a tied and bound shibori method. The patterning across the fabric is as gorgeous as always. I never cease to be excited by it. There is a little wiggly lined quilting on the front and the back to emphasise the pattern. I’ve used a variegated thread which seemed to be appropriate with the dye flowing from darker to lighter blues across the fabric surface, It has a black cotton binding at the top and the base of the bag is also made out of a black cotton. It’s interlined and interfaced as always to give it a nice structure.
This another hand dyed fabric wristlet with detachable handle. I used a black dye for this and the patterning goes from deepest black through some very pretty greys. I love this way of patterning the cloth. Again the quilting is in wiggly lines which seems to suit this patterning well I think.
The patterning on the front and the reverse of the bag differs slightly as even though the cloth is dyed as one piece the dye doesn’t pattern the fabric uniformly. I love that. If you want things to be uniform then I guess factory produced goods would be the thing. That’s not me. Those aren’t the things I like. The quilting in these pieces are what tie the designs together and the rest is all about patterning texture and unique pieces to be loved and treasured.
The top band is in black cotton fabric as is the strap handle. There is nothing ordinary about this smart little chap and it’s definitely unique.
Some of the fascination of hand dying cloth is that it pretty difficult and virtually impossible to really predict what you will get at the end of the process. Temperature, fabric type affects how the dye takes… you can use various techniques to pattern the cloth such as shibori techniques… folding… clamping… stitching …. tying…
leaving alone… and whilst all of that might give you some control I’ve come to believe that it is all illusion. Or perhaps something of an illusion of control. The fascination with dyeing cloth is the unpredictability of the results.
The cloth that this pouch has been made out of was folded, pleated and knotted actually to produce this patterning. The colour was a soft green that I mixed myself. I like the way mixed dyes can split giving glimpses of both the colour you wanted and the individual colours that make it up.
I love the way this piece of fabric turned out. Pretty soft green with glimpses of the yellow and tiny hints of blue that made up the dye bath. Although this was one piece of cotton fabric the dyeing looks a little different on the front panel to the back panel but I think that that just emphasises the charm of a hand dyed piece. It is definitely one of a kind and unique. Even using the same mixed colour, the same cloth, the same folding techniques the cloth is unlikely to turn out this way again. That’s the fascination of such fabric … what will happen this time I empty out the spent dye… wash it clear and wait for the patterning to be revealed. Wow! It’s always so exciting.
My chickens watch with amazement when the fabric pieces get hung out on the washing line… just joking I don’t they care either way.
This pouch has been quilted with wavy lines in a variegated green thread and has a dark green binding at the top by the zip and a dark green base. This sets of the colours beautifully I think. Inside it’s lined with a lovely printed cotton and is softly padded making it feel nice and plush in your hands.
It’s a slightly different style of pouch for me to make but it is one that I really like. What do you think?
I made another notebook cover yesterday using some cloth that I’d dyed a little while ago using the ancient Japanese clamping method called itajimi. It’s a technique I learned from textile artist Janice Gunner a few years back. Basically, this is a shibori technique that involves much folding and then clamping the fabric between boards. The boards used can be different shapes to produce different patterns. The shapes I used here were triangles and that’s what gives this flower within a hexagon kind of patterning across the cloth.
Traditionally, pieces like this would have been dyed in indigo and I do have quite a few pieces that I have dyed in indigo giving that gorgeous deep blue. Indigo is an exciting dye to use giving gorgeous and unpredictable results but its downside is it’s toxicity and a tendency to continue to share its blue colour even after multiple washes to clear away any excess dye. Ask the Tuareg men and women of north Africa who traditionally wear Indigo dyed clothes and are known for their blue skin sometimes being called the ‘blue people’. So, I’ve used cold water Procion Mx dyes in this piece, meaning you can enjoy the patterning but not have it spread anywhere else. Never looks good on your hands.
I’ve used a little fleece to give it a nice plush feel and protect the notebook beneath. Although covers can disguise wear and tear as well as prevent it… but you knew that didn’t you. There are no raw edges and it’s lined giving it the possibility of a nice long life. Plus, because the fabrics have been washed you may wash it too. (Cool wash with non-bleach containing detergent and iron when slightly damp. )
I have a ‘real hang-up’ at the moment that we’re all being homogenised… our thoughts… our aspirations to suit the needs of big business… you need the biggest car… no… probably one per family member and one for the weekends…. you need to pave the front garden ‘cos it gets weeds in it… and you need to pressure wash the roof …. that’s my soap box by the way. That’s why handmade is important to me. I see it as an antidote to being made to feel that I should be the same as my neighbours in terms of possessions and big label clothes etc. I don’t work that way. Perhaps I should but I don’t. It causes a bit of personal tension as my neighbours need me to to appreciate the work they’ve had done (they’re ok people)…. and really I don’t. I much prefer weeds to tarmac. So, I see handmade as an antidote to all that, the feeling that you’re being shoehorned into a category you don’t want to fit into. I claim the right to be individual.
Enough of my whingeing. (Wanders off to put soap box away.) Notebooks are an item where you can be yourself and display your individuality by possessing one. They are an antidote to all our many technical gadgets, a very nice way to record things. This is particularly good if the thoughts, recipes, plans or intentions are something you’d like to share with someone else. I think that handwritten thoughts can be more spontaneous and your own handwriting makes it all so much more personal.
A fabric covered notebook would also add a certain style to your life. The fabric of this particular notebook is unique as no two cloths dyed this way will turn out the same even if you’re trying desperately to do so and of course the notebook cover itself, cut from this cloth is entirely handmade which also means that that is also unique. I’m sure that one of those ‘uniques’ is redundant but you know what I’m trying to say.
Shibori techniques are intended to give a little control over the outcome of the dyes patterning and to a a certain extent they do. But that unpredictability still breaks through in how the dye flows and moves across the cloth giving unanticipated texture and exciting pattern within a larger pattern. Always gorgeous.
Scream it from the rooftops… Live a life more beautiful and in your own way.
I’ve a bit of a stash of notebooks and these last few weeks I’ve been exploring a few different ways of making covers for them. As well as different styles and materials.
This one is a silver grey silk dupioni with it’s slightly slubby texture and nice sheen.
All the fabric notebook covers I’ve been making are interlined with either a low loft fleece or a medium loft one. My choice depended on the exterior fabric and what I was doing to it.
This butterfly obviously isn’t one you’re going to see when you’re out in the garden (Sorry!) It is entirely fictitious. The lower wings are a liberty tana lawn fabric which is brilliant to work with for applique, light but not flimsy and takes some quite intense stitching without seeming to sag under it all.
The upper wings are made from a ‘French Script’ printed linen fabric and you can just see some of the writing on one of the wings and the hints of roses on the other. I loved how it turned out.
There are also ‘pockets’ which slip onto a notebook. This one is a ruled A5 notebook. and are lined to give finished edges and a glimpse of pretty colour when it’s closed.
I really enjoy making them particularly as they give a nice surface for this type of appliqué.
A few more pictures….
This one is hand embroidered on a linen/cotton mix fabric. It’s a pretty little daisy design interspersed with french knots.
And this one which is a simpler look in many ways with a fabric panel in grey showing the alphabet and stitched at the sides to make a feature of it.
They’re all A5 in size and come with a ruled notebook so you can get writing immediately.
I thought I’d share these little hearts with you. They are embroidered on linen and are quite small as they’re intended to be used as hanging heart ornaments in small places, as key fobs or to hang on door knobs and generally create a pretty, slightly rustic and serene atmosphere around your home.
The reason why there are two trees in blossom is that the apple trees out in the field behind the house where in full bloom when I sat and stitched them. It really is difficult to better the perfume of apple blossom. Wonderful. The other one is a monogrammed letter, a flowery ‘A’ , obviously an ‘A’ isn’t appropriate for everyone but there are another 25 letters (excluding the A) to choose from. You could have one made for a special person or to identify a particular room in the house.
I’ve stitched them on linen as I love the texture that linen gives but it is quite difficult to show at it’s best in a photograph or maybe I just need to get better with the camera. They are filled with toy stuffing to give them their pretty plump shape and have twine strings so that they may be hung as ornaments or tied to keys. Your choice.
They would parcelled up and sent to you in a pretty little gift box tied with ribbon which is always a nice finishing touch.