Saturday, December 1, 2018

Wearable Art......for the home

It's the holiday time and I couldn't resist making a holiday decoration for my front door.   The space between the storm door and front door is too narrow for commercial wreaths so I decided to make my own.   Here it is and I love it!! 

For those of you who would like to know how I made it; read on....

Wreath instructions
I used a woven cotton flannel red and green flannel for the wreath and coordinating red flannel for the bow.   I used woven flannel so both sides of the fabric look the same.  The frame could be anything round but I used an old drum head frame.   I know, I have weird stuff in my stash.   Just goes to prove that ANYTHING round can be used. 
You can make it any size, even a candle ring size...think old embroidery hoop.   However, please use LED candle since cloth is flammable. 

  • First I cut my plaid into strips approx. 5/8 " wide.  If you are making a smaller size I would cut narrower strips.  I used a wavy rotary cutter since I was cutting across the width.   It would be also very interesting to cut the strips on the bias.   Then you wouldn't need to use a wavy cutter since the bias won't ravel.  

Fig 1
 The next step takes a fringe maker tool.   I made my fringe 4 inches wide.   Not sure if you can buy them in that width, but I like to make many sizes of fringe so I made my own fringe maker.  At the end of this post, I will tell you how you can make your own fringe maker.  I have found many uses for this tool.   
  • Wrap your strips around the fringe maker tool.  I overlapped mine about 1/4 inch. 
  • Place a coordinating piece of yard down the center of your fringe.  
  • Couch the yarn in place using a zigzag stitch.   See Fig 1

  • When you get to the end of your fringe maker, cut your thread, take the wood bar off the rods and and slide off the top part of the fringe that has been sewn.    See Fig 2.  

Fig 2
  • Reattach the fringe maker and add more loops until you reach the end of the fringe maker.  See Fig 2.
  • Continue this process until you reach the length you need to wrap around your ring.  
  • Leave about an inch of yarn at the end of the fringe.    
  • At this point you may clip your loops if you like a fringy look.   I left mine in loops; either way will look fine.  
  • Glue or tape the yarn to the starting place on your ring.   
  • Wrap the fringe around the ring until it is completely covered.  
  • Glue or tape the end of fringe to the starting point.
  • I added a bow and gold jingle bells to complete my wreath.  

Fringe maker instructions: 

Here's what you need. 

  • 3/4 x 3/8 pine trim about 24 inches long
  • 1/8 inch steel welding rod   (these are usually 3 - 4 ft long)
  • 4 knitting needle rubber stops that will fit and 1/8 needle 

  1. Cut  3/4 x  3/8 pine trim into two 11 - 12 inch lengths.   Any longer than that is pretty awkward to use.   
  2. Drill a  1/8 hole in a scrap piece of wood and test your first hole to make sure that your rod fits into the hole.  Adjust your drill bit size if needed.     (A drill press is very handy for this step.)  
  3. Turn up on the 3/8 inch side and mark dots spaced 1 inch apart.
  4. Drill a hole at each mark.  Be sure to drill all the way through the trim.   
  5. Cut the welding rod into two pieces.  I cut mine about 15 inches long.  
  6. Use a metal file to round off the cut ends.   This makes it easier to insert into the holes.
  7. Insert the metal rods into the spacing you want and cap the ends with the rubber stoppers to prevent the board from slipping off the end while you are working on the fringe.  


Monday, November 26, 2018

Sophie and Scooter

The doll club challenge this year was inspired by Ari Seth Cohen's documentary and book called Advanced Style.   Both depict older ladies who do not let age define what they wear or what activities they do.  I loved looking on line at the "fashionistas" and all the older ladies in their fabulous styles.   I love art to wear so I couldn't resist trying to make a piece of wearable art for my doll.   

Sophie is wearing a coat that was inspired by Sue Kreitzman's wearable art coats.  Sophie loves going for walks with her beloved Westie, Scooter.    She says that Scooter keeps her active and young at heart.   

Sophie's head and hands are polymer clay and her face was painted with Genesis Paints.  She has a cloth body.   Her fuchsia pants, purple blouse and multi-color shoes are made from silk.   Her coat is made from dupioni silk.   I had painted the designs and then appliqued them to the coat.  To ensure that the designs would fit on the coat, I made a scale drawing of each pattern piece and the designs so I would know how they would fit.  

Getting the coat on the doll was also a challenge.   I had to leave one sleeve partially open so I could attach the arm to the doll after the coat was on.   The hands also had to be attached to the arms after the coat was on because the finger positions were too big to fit through the sleeve opening.   

For her hair, I bleached Tibetan lamb, made wefts then glued the wefts to her head.   I then cut and styled her hair.    Her glasses are hand made from semi-stiff vinyl.   I used a wood punch to cut out the "lenses" and then used scissors to cut the shape.  

Scooter is needle felted from roving, Tibetan Lamb and yarn. 

I love her outfit so much I'm thinking of making one for myself!!  😄

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Katie's Wearable and Figurative Art ONE DAY SALE

The Indy Cloth Dollmakers are having their 16th Annual Show and Sale on Saturday, November 17th.   At this ONE DAY sale I sell wearable art that I have made.  They are one-of-a-kind garments that you will not see anywhere else.   This year I have made coats, capes, ruanas, jackets, purses and jewelry.   I also have 3 new dolls for you to enjoy.   As usual all of our member artist will have their handmade items for sale as well.  

Our challenge doll was inspired by Ari Seth Cohen's documentary, Advanced Style which depicts women who have not let age define their style or their activies.   We have called our challenge "Growing Old Outrageously".  Come and vote your favorite doll.   

Also this year we have a special fiber art doll exhibit by Barbara Schoenoff which is entitled Wood Wives and their Habitat.   This exhibit is entirely handmade by the artist and is approximately 4 ft x 3ft.   It is so whimiscal and truely amazing.   

Show details:   Saturday, November 17th    
                         9 am  to 4 pm

 Where:             Irvington United Methodist Church
                          30 N. Audubon Rd
                          Indianapolis, IN 46219


Sunday, July 22, 2018

Summer Sewing Projects

I've been working on a few summer sewing projects to add to my wardrobe.   My sisters and I recently went to Zinck's Fabric Outlet in Ligonier where I found this beautiful gauzy cotton butterfly fabric.   I knew immediately that I wanted to make a summer kimona style top from this fabric.   I originally thought that I would use my serger to do rolled hems on all the edges but the fabric was so loosely woven that I had to make hand rolled hems on all edges.   Nearly 7 yds of hand hemming!!!!  It was beautiful when finished but very time consuming.   I will love wearing this piece. 

The second project was a simple cotton top.  I bought this fabric about a year ago in a cute shop in Cincinnati called Fiberge  Knits and Bolts.   She has a very nice selection of fabrics and yarns.  Well worth the trip.   I really like the loose cotton tops with capri pants.  They hang loose from the body to keep you cool when it's hot but the sleeves also keep me from getting too cold in air conditioned restaurants.  

To add an additonal personal touch I made a necklace from fabric that picked up all the colors in the top.   If you haven't tried making your own fabric jewelry I recommend you give it a try.   This necklace was made using the "Ficklesticks" method.   Ficklesticks has a website where you can buy a starter kit that includes idea book and wire.   I'm definitely going to do more textile jewelry in the future.  There are so many beautiful ideas ways to use up fabric scraps and make something is totally you and totally unique.  


Friday, July 20, 2018

Clover Mini Iron Caddy

I received a clover mini iron with all the attachments as a Christmas gift from my son.   All those attachments are very handy when working in small places such as doll clothes.   My only problem was how to store and keep track of all those pieces.   I decided to design a caddy for the iron and its attachments.   I wanted each piece to have a separate storing place so that I could easily see them and also know if I missed putting one of them away.  As you can see there is a place for every tool and the instructions too.   When I'm done I can just fold it up and put it way in a drawer or on a shelf and everything will be ready for me the next time.   Sure it's not very glamorous but it's very functional and  that's half the battle sometimes. 

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Introducing Maia

Maia is my first full body sculpt in paper clay.   She is 14 1/2 inches from the base to the top of her headress.  Instead of a traditional costume Maia is wearing a more architectural style gown.  The volume of her skirt balances her unusal pose.  Her delicate hands and face are complimented by the intricate beading on her gown and in her jewelry.   The face is hand painted with acrylic paint.   I enjoyed creating her and hope she brings you joy when you look at her. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Fabrics selected for new sculpture

I've been busy working on a costume design concept and selecting fabrics and embellishments for my new sculpture.   I've selected some silk fabrics that I think will work well with the design concept.  I wanted to create a costume that was more sculptural and less drapey.   Now, it's time to create the pattern.   The costume has to be constructed from the inside layer to outside layer.   Because a clay sculpt doesn't bend there are challenges on how to get the costume on the doll and still retain the design concept.    Here's a picture of the fabrics and embellishments that are my starting point.   As any artist knows, as you get into the process, things are added and deleted, but here is my starting point.