Wednesday, 31 December 2008

New Saidi Project

Saidi is a kind of belly dance - with a decorative bent stick. In January, I'll be part a small performance as a pupil of a belly dance school. I decided not to pay a dressmaker like all others:-) This is a call. I've never sewn from a fabric like this (if you don't count the cotton top).

It took me about an hour to find out what to do at all. First, I made the front part of the neckline. I say neckline, but it's not exactly on the neck:) I basted it. In fact I didn't dare to sew it on machine. Then I pinned the shoulders, the hips and a line at the center back.

Then I put it on and transferred the pins along my body. I helped myself with four additional darts. This took me most of today.
Unfortunately I made one mistake. I took too much at the center back seam. I wanted to end it at the butt, but it wrinkles. I'll have to prolong it to the floor.

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

A Long Post

And a long day.
Another pouch: I used only two pieces now. I ironed them to a similar size. In fact this is for a friend of mine who wants me to make her a dress with yellow lining. At her pouch I just swapped the fabrics.

I inserted the cotton at the bottom and couched as yesterday. It's necessary to catch all of the layers with the needle.

At the top I made a tripled couching stitch and inserted the ends between the layers before the backstitch (for more see yesterday). It was more comfortable.

You can see that there's no embroidery. My friend is quite skilful and I put inside instructions and some cottons to decorate it for her.

At the next pouch I can show you how to make a fingerloop cord.
I tie a magical knot that's used e.g. for crochet, on a double thread. The slipping part must be at the longer side.

I insert one loop in another.. that the knot doesn't undo when I pull one of the loops. I hold the cottons like in the picture.

Then I put my forefinger into the loop and yarn on, like when crocheting. When I have the new loop on my finger, I pull the other cord tight. Then I do the same with the other hand. On and on. That's it.

This is the pouch. The dark blue is stem stitch and the light blue is a little cross over a big cross.
You may notice that I used the same red as the canvas is for the back stitches. That's because I placed the cross too upwards.

The last pouch. Velvet, machine sewed (very very little time left). I didn't embroider it. I decorated it with tassels. I don't remember myself making tassels before. I took an inspiration at Matcheld's.
I wove blue cotton around two fingers and tied tight with brown cotton.

Then I cut one end, combed a bit with my fingers and started to wind silver around the tassel to form a certain neck and head. I didn't bother myself solving a knot or other way of ending, I just threaded the silver in a needle and brought it through the center downwards. I made two knots on the brown cotton before sewing it to the pouch.

Two long circles of lace for easy fastening and done. This is a pouch for a lady who often wears court dress.

I also managed to sew a coat for manger for my niece-to-be :-) (I don't even talk about the baby-carrying shawl between this and the pouches)

It was annoying, as I didn't want to make a tunnel for the rubber band but sew it directly on the fabric.

And now, Christmas can start.
By the way, it's six in the morning and I should go for a nap.

Monday, 22 December 2008

Icon Day 4

As far as the pouch. I took some inspiration at Racaire's and at Cotte simple. I tried to iron four identical rectangles.

I took six strands of cotton and sewed the pouche's sides couching them with a red thread. I liked its look. And did something wrong. I accidentaly cut some strands off. Yeah, this is an experienced seamstress:-D

I put the snipped ends between two layers of the canvas and inserted new ones at their place, then I continued couching. You may spot it between the third and fourth couching stitch:-)

I luckily made all the couching and got to the upper part. I made a back stitch line through each two layers of the fabric, snipped the cotton and laid it above the back stitches. Couched. By the way, this is how I end up the golden threads - when I tuck them under the fabric, I don't make a knot but couch a short piece instead.

Then I sewed these layers together with red thread just above the cotton (only a few stitches at one place).

I sewed the upper sides together with my favourite "rice stitch". I already know its name. From now on it'll be a whip stitch:)

Some fingerlooping and .. done:-D
There are two circles of cord for easy fastening.

Sunday, 21 December 2008

Icon Day 3

I finally made the embroidery. So about three days this icon took. (Consider the fact that I'm quite lazy and slow:-D) I was quite afraid about the faces. Medieval artists put the accent on expressions of their saints.

And at night - my beloved work with gold. The aureola. You can see how I couched the golden thread. I folded it in the middle and attached with a small stitch (I had been considering a red thread as a couching one but eventually this one won). I went on couching, always taking two threads at once.
When I reached the end I attached the outer golden thread with two small stitches - to form a little part of rectangle, leavin a space for the inner thread. This one was attached next - with one stitch normal and the other one to catch two threads to form a sharp turn.

Quite happy about this one finished:-) Now I only have to make a pouch out of it and three others (certainly not so complicated and time consuming:-D).


Saturday, 20 December 2008

Icon Day 2

This is how the icon looked in the morning. I tried to make most of the outlines yesterday. When I'm losing patience I just swap a colour and start with another part. It usually works;-)
By the way, to draw the image to the canvas I used a special marker that should disappear after about two days, depends on the kind of the fabric. I had to laugh finding out that it disappeared in quarter an hour - I didn't even manage to draw the whole picture! :-D

And this is in the evening. I tried to make a photo without flash to maintain the colours. I feel like a hero cause I was able to make one good picture in about fifteen bad :-D

I didn't think the colours of the fabric and the cotton would be so similar! But what can I do now..
I'm quite pleased I used the split stitch, with some stitches (e.g. chain stitch that would be faster) I have a problem making curves and acute angles.

Friday, 19 December 2008

Icon Day 1

I wished to make a pouch for my friend as a present. I was searching for a symbol to decorate it, when I remembered she loves icons:-)
I collected some cottons, found a picture on the Net and started.

Illogically I didn't start with the outlines but with the red. I don't know why:-D
Technique - split stitch.

Thursday, 18 December 2008

Blue Gnome

I wanted a present for my friend's baby. I had a piece of elastic fabric. I thought it would be suitable. But then I decided to make a face by hand embroidery. Not a good combination:-)
Embroidery on elastic material's a lot more difficult than on canvas. After some examination I made the white with satin stitch, the blue and red with back stitch and the pupil with French knot.

I cut the head in an eye shape. I stuffed it with a natural wool. Than I basted the neck and fastened.

The toy is composed from these - the head: eye, the body: square.
I basted a line below the neckline. Then I took a needle and thread; I took a piece of fabric in the center of the three sides of the square. I pulled the thread and tied. This formed the legs and hands. I also found out I'd have to make the neckline bigger (lower) which should shape the crotch.

I put a bit of wool inside the body, but not much, for it not to be swollen. In fact I put in four pieces. I inserted each one in a member and tied with a thread to form a hand or foot.
I fastened the basting around the head, rolling the leftovers inside. I sewed them together.

A toy was born:-) I hope this little blue gnome will protect him and bring him good luck.

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Green-Red Flag Poi Finally Done

I put some eyelets into the poi cover, and tied the strings. This was quite ok (just required some strength as I inserted the eyelets with quite short pliers).

The eyelets in the poi were worse; I bought 6mm eyelets and tried to hammer them with a 7mm form, which was quite disappointing:-) I had to rip them out and repair. Fortunately, no consequences.

I had to send them soon (Christmas) so had to take photos even in a light rain.
All the flag poi are wonderful to spin with! I fell in love:-)

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Green-Red Going On

I made the weight sacks bigger this time. I'll have to insert them during sewing in the black part. They're filled with sand in about a third of their height. Their pattern was the black piece's pattern decreased for a bit.

I progressed like last time, but now it was easier to do. I sewed the black poi to the veil. When I was in the middle, I put the sack in. I could move the sand through the sack and insert the weight later than before..

The pocket for carrying the veils has been French seamed. I made it two cm wider than folded poi. I fold it in the middle and sewed half a cm along the edge.

Then I cut the fabric about 3mm from the stitches, turned over, rolled in fingers and sewed half a cm from the edge again. This should be the wrong side.

And this is for the truly stupid. If you sew the narrow tube first and than find out you hadn't folded the upper edge, please do it like this:-)

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Green-Red Flag Poi - Beginning

My second pair of flags - for this time not for me:-)
I cut twice the pattern and combined the pieces of different colours.

The fabric is quite light. I am not able to serge it perfectly on my home sewing machine, I'd probably need and overlock:-D The seam is squat. It requires some strength to extend it back. And then ironing of course (have you noticed I iron everything since I bought the iron?).

I didn't cut the edge this time, I thought 5mm are enough, when the stitch is 5mm wide. I was wrong. That's why I had to cut this little hair afterwards. Extra work. Cool.
Fortunately (only for this occasion) this kind of fabric is really easy to fray out and snipping hairs has better results than snipping a strip of fabric.

By the way, I take use of the natural fabric's edge so that I didn't have to serge the sides that are to be hidden inside.

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Hood Number Two Finished

As the hood's to be reversible, I had to sew something in hand. It was the part around face. This time I folded half a cm of the edge and ironed.
Then I used the invisible backstitch I'd described already. You can see that I had to learn to sew with left hand - it's really slow when you have to turn your work after every single stitch. Just a little alternation to the stitch: when I went back, I didn't return to the same place where I'd been, but a bit closer. Thus I get less noticeable stitch and more places the fabric is joined in. I can do this because the seam won't be stressed.

I tried to iron the seams from outside. I rolled the seam with my fingers in the way I showed you yesterday and iron. It's a substitute for ironing the seams from the inside as you iron the seams into a form opposite to their natural one, this should balance. However, not forgetting is a lot better:-D

The hood. It's ment for a boy (a friend of mine) and maybe I'm a bit lost in it as he has even bigger head than my boyfriend:)

By the way, I found out by chance that it looks quite nice when I turn about 4cm of the hood around the face backwards ;-)

Monday, 8 December 2008

Hood Number Two

Second version of a medieval hood. If you count the Eštěniak's version as a zero try:-D
I adjusted the pattern a bit and increased its measurements. Cut two pieces in blue, two in black.

I pinned and sewed the parts of the same colour together, without the facial seam and the lower one. This is how I cut the fabric at the curves.

Then I sewed these two together along the lower edge. When sewing they were wrong side out.

This time I tried to join the liripipes' ends. At the previous model it was quite difficult to reverse the hood to the other colour with the liripipe, so my mate got used to just not sticking the tail inside the other, but leaving it all at the beginning of the liripipe instead.
I just sewed them together at the leftovers with a few little stitches.

Then I got down to ironing the lower edge of the hood. Not very comfy before I found the right way. I knew I had to roll the end in my fingers to get to the seam, but when I used both hands like this, it was very fast.

I also found out I should have made the inside of the seams flat with my iron. However, now I would get to them with difficulty, and what's more, I only left about half a cm. For ironing, more's better.