Sunday, October 30, 2016

How to make an Asian inspired felted wrap with button closure

Asian inspired wrap with cinnabar closure

I gathered my fabrics, wool roving and other supplies and materials. These include black silk, the Asian inspired cotton fabric shown in the foreground, metallic silk fabric, Uzbek white silk and a scarf with writing on it that I bought in San Gimignano, Italy last year. 
On my work table I placed a large piece of bubble wrap with the bubbles up. On the bubble wrap, I placed a piece of sheer black silk fabric and added one thin layer of white merino roving.  I wetted it out, covered it with another piece of bubble wrap, wetted the top bubble wrap and lightly pressed everything down.  I did this to make it easier to add additional fabrics. After that I added pieces of other fabric, strands of yarn, tussah silk and additional roving.  I covered the small thick pieces of fabric with sheer silk having the silk directly touch the roving underneath - known as the inclusion technique.

There are so many ways to wear this shawl - upside down, inside out and the holes can be used for the fun closure that I made.

The closure is made with two buttons that go through two holes in the shawl, one stays in the back hole and the other through the front.

I glued a small metal button shank to the back of a cinnabar bead making it into a button.  I used bead thread to add the silver bead, the black crystal drop and small black beads.  I used a jump ring to attach this bead button to a red shank button.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Workshop with Pia Best-Reininghaus on Indigo Dyeing and Eco Printing

I had been following the extremely talented Pia Best-Reininghaus for awhile and was blown away by her indigo dyed and eco printed garments which are so unique, textured and rich.  So as soon as I saw Tash Wesp's Facebook post last year announcing that she was planning to host Pia for a five day workshop on the Oregon coast, I jumped on it and immediately enrolled.  
For months I looked forward to the workshop which turned out to exceed my expectations. For six nights, I shared a suite at a newly remodeled Inn at Nye Beach with my buddy Helen, a student of mine that became a dear friend.  For five days, I intensely immersed myself in the learning process with a great group of like minded women, several of whom I had met before at previous workshops.

Patty, Lisa, Helen and Beth 

This was Pia's first time teaching in the USA and she had the assistance of her talented and darling daughter Marie, who also acted an interpreter for her mom.  Pia and Marie were excellent teachers willingly imparting their extensive knowledge and help each step of the way.  I indigo dyed and eco printed samples from various fabrics including a few white nuno felted pieces that I had previously created at home.  In addition, each student created an indigo dyed/eco printed garment, using one of Pia's patterns, from a beautiful viscose/spandex fabric with gorgeous drape.

Beth and Pia

 My felted garments shrunk further in the dyeing/eco printing process so Pia helped me stretch the garments back to size which turned out to be a real crack up in the class.   Next time I create the white garments, I'll allow plenty for extra shrinkage.

 And as much as I love the viscose fabric garment we created in class, it's the indigo dyeing/eco printing on nuno felted yardage and garments where I want to focus my efforts.  The felted wool and silk take the eco prints so beautifully and the indigo is a natural color that so becomes everyone who wears it.  I can't stop looking at the gorgeous colors, the leaf prints, the vibrant reds and oranges of the eucalyptus leaves, the outlines, the beautiful rust and the richness imparted on the felt.

 CLICK HERE to see these felted garments before they were dyed and printed.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Dying to Dye

I created these white nuno felted seamless garments for the workshop I'm taking in early August at the Newport Visual Arts Center in Newport, Oregon hosted by Tash Wesp with instruction by Pia Best-Reininghaus from Germany. Both women are extremely talented and knowledgeable in the world of eco printing.  

It will be delightful to see darling Tash again whom I met at Irit Dulman's workshop at Opulent Fibers a few years ago.  Pia's eco prints with indigo are simply gorgeous and I hope to learn the techniques and come home with some beautifully dyed indigo/eco printed pieces. 

And the extra fun is that I'm taking the workshop and sharing a room on the beach with my friend Helen from Vancouver who took my vest class in Southern California a few years ago. I just cherish the connections and friends I have met from my passion with felting.

This dress was created with an extra resist on both the back and front to give it its fullness.

Tunic top created on a resist with two layers of very sheer silk gauze and one layer of merino wool roving.  I added yarn for some additional texture.

I love this light weight poncho with one arm and one side open.  I added some paper yarn for extra texture.

 It should be interesting to see how this little vest dyes with indigo and the eco prints.  I used some black gauze along with the white.  

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Open Poncho

How fun is this poncho to make which fits just about anybody.  Make it on a resist with one layer of fine wool roving sandwiched between two layers of silk.  One side is completely open and the other side has a sleeve and is closed.  It is reversible too and is a beautiful accessory to a solid outfit whether it be a dress, leggings and a top or over jeans and a tee. 

I wasn't thrilled with the yellow silk that I used on the bottom of the garment so I dyed it a dark brown color by first soaking it in a mixture of water and white vinegar and then putting it in the microwave in a gallon size zip lock bag for 2 1/2 minutes for 3 consecutive times with a 1 minute rest in between.

The bottom hole was a little bigger than I had wanted so to compensate, I made some felted balls and hung them from the hole - great look.  There is always a way to turn a mistake into a design element.

 It's a terrific one size fits all to leave one side completely open while enclosing the second side.
 I am so loving the Caribbean inspired turquoise and browns.

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