Monday 23 January 2012

Fabric Fascination

 What fun we have had this weekend. Lin arrived Friday morning for our first proper ArtsyCrafts exploration session. We had a few ideas floating that we have been discussing for a few weeks, so after refining them somewhat, we decided to embark on a fabric kick. This entailed spending most of the day of our most favourite things to do!
We arrived back at PaperArtsy HQ, armed with a whole lot of stuff that sounded really alien and started to play. Lin needed a quick lesson on my sewing machine, and we were off, cutting, embellishing, trimming, transferring, burning, name it, we tried it.

The first craft I mastered as a young child was sewing. I learned how to smock and embroider by 11 years old at school- I was always finished first, and mine was always the neatest in class, it just seemed to be really easy for me.....but I had spent hours at home mucking about on Mum's sewing machine just for fun, so maybe I had a head start without realising it at the time.

Through high school and University I more often than not sewed my own clothes. When the kids came along I went to quilting classes, and enjoyed hand-sewing teddy bears (which I taught Mark's Mum to do), and I usually had a cross-stitch or 3 on the go as well as a quilt, beach bag or Christmas stocking... Now, after 10 years of paper-crafting I'm trying to deliberately sew as wonky as possible. 

How times change. Loose threads, ragged edges, crooked seams...I am unlearning all the things that mattered - which makes me think that anyone can do it. If you were a train crash sewer at school then this is perfect for you! There is no skill involved in this kind of crafty fabric construction.
Have you tried it? machine sewing? With paper or fabric? A line of machine stitching is the fastest, cleanest and easiest 'gluing' method. 

Layering fabric is pretty much the same as layering paper, except you get to fiddle with transparent, chunky and lace layers, then one row of stitching combines the lot in a blink. I'm in love with fabric all over again, but attempting a whole style that is completely new to me. But I'm thrilled how my paper experiences give me ideas for good composition with fabric. Stamping is easily incorporated, so it's a familiar process, but softer and very exciting to explore.

And (uh-oh)... Lin now wants (*needs*) a new sewing machine. She must have said it about 50 times. "I'm loving this. I need one like this. I've got to get one soon." over and over and over. 
After 3 days of fabric play (1.5 more than we budgeted...) we have dreamed up a really cool fabric project for one of the ArtsyCrafts days. The pics here are a few early sneaky peeks. I think class is going to have to be BYO machine...but you will probably need 1 machine between 2 or perhaps 3 people, but that's do-able, isn't it? 

Do you guys have machines or access to one from a friend, Auntie, Mum or Gran that is stashed in the back of a cupboard somewhere!? We have a handful of people who travel by air, and I know those people would be able to share with those UK based lovelies who come by car. You only need straight and zig zag stitch, so a basic model is doesn't need to be an all beeping, computerised gizmo ....but that could be interesting to watch in action!! This event will be at the Warrington venue which has a HUUUUGGGGEEEEE room, with loads of sockets for electricity and lots of tables and plenty of space. 

So we know 1 of the 3 classes will need a machine, but the other 2 days won't, so if you really don't want to tackle a fabric item, then there will still be 2 other days of painty, metallic and other crafty tasks to get stuck into! And we have a couple of great ideas for those too, but they need refining further before we can spill the beans!!
The purpose of this blog post is to get some feedback on your thought about working with fabric. The piccies give you a taste of where we are heading with this idea. Do you likey? Are you happy to bring a sewing machine with you? I promise the sewing is all flat layers, there are no seams, inside outie complicated stuff. Simple simple simple.....

Please, take a moment to give us your honest thoughts, ArtsyCrafts isn't until June 8,9,10 so we have lots of time to make changes, but you are the ones who come to these events, so tell uswhat you think. Thanks for your time.


Inkypinkycraft said...

These look fab!!!not a sewer myself ...but these look fantastic sneaky peaks!! Hugs trace x

Jo said...

For me, isn't a problem as I'm sort of doing that already, looking at what you've done in the sneaky peaks then potential some could be done by hand with embriodery thread???
Also is there a local sewing shop in Warrington that nmay be able to "lend" or could you look at sponsorship from say Janome (get Mark on the case) who may be able to supply and do some demos, offer a good desl for non sewing machine owners.
I wasn't intending to go to Warrington but seeing this I might have too! jo xx

Anonymous said...

Love the fabric project, showed the twitter pictures already to my husband and said `this is what i am going to make`!

Anonymous said...

I love the idea of doing a fabric project. I already do quite a bit of sewing for my cards/altered items, but to do an all fabric project would be great! If I come to ArtsyCrafts (budget permitting!) I wouldn't have a problem bringing my (my Mum's) machine.Sue C x

Trish said...

Looks really exciting!
I do have a machine (fairly basic, but does all the stitches needed). Even if I dont come to the fabric class (dont know which one/s I'll do yet), you are welcome to borrow my machine for that day - I live only about 20 minutes from the venue, and could drop it off.

Joanie said...

I used to make all my own clothes too but machine was gathering dust. Recently pulled it out to use on papercraft projects so the workshop looks like fun especially if the last ones are anything to go by. I can bring mine although it is a bit old - about 35years OMW that makes me feel old lol!!!


The Sparkly Fairy said...

Wow - these are amazing!

Kirsten Alicia said...

The sneak peeks look wonderful. I'm *slightly* interested in using sewing on my paper projects, but haven't had a go so far. Unfortunately, the budget won't allow me to go to Warrington, so I may save up to buy a a cheapy machine at some point.

Artmadnana said...

Oh yes!! Right up my street and ready for a new twist!The Gothic arch got me into stamping on fabric and adding stitched embellies. I would love to bring my new machine - very basic - wanted to test the waters and upgrade when I know what I want fom a full gadget machine! others are more than welcome to use it (Brother basic model) - and hopefully will give me lots of tips. Sneaky pics are great and tantalising!Can't wait - don't change the idea!!

Bethan said...

likey a lot!!!!

Anonymous said...

Oh gosh -- what do I think? Well, first of all, my flapping about SEWING would be even worse (if possible) than my flapping about previous AC projects/events!!!!!!!!!!! Oh dear! But . . . it looks soooo intriguing. Wouldn't be able to bring a machine from France (don't own one, anyway); don't know how to use a sewing machine -- not a clue! But am willing to give it a go as long as I know my trusty advisors/helpers/savers will be around to get me out of trouble and give me a helping hand. . . . . . . . goodness -- do you REALLY think I could do something like those gorgeous sneak peaks?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Big hug - Missie Sally in froggieland xoxoxox

Amy said...

Oh my. Beautiful. Really inspired and so hope i can come (armed with my machine). Fab. Need to breathe now - heart palpitating!

Karen said...

Sally just 'alerted' me to this, asking if I have a machine! I have a very under-used one and could do a good excuse to get it from under the stairs: This looks like a fab excuse: Like it lots!
Bringing my machine to Warrington is a different issue: Most likely to fly over again, although a couple of strong bags and it could be hand luggage!