A Little Quilting Experience

I have been sewing since I was a child. The first quilt I made was in high school: a double wedding ring pieced quilt with hand quilting. It’s atrocious work!

weddingring

I have made a lot of quilts that I have given away as gifts, and for some reason never thought to take photographs of them!

I’ve been to the International Quilt Festival in Houston, Texas.

I really enjoyed making small wall quilts, and for a few years I entered my quilts into the Hoffman Challenge.

I am glad I have a little quilting experience in my past, because it gives me a nice foundation to begin to explore fiber creativity!

Quilting For The Love Of It

I have not done much sewing for a long time. Reason? Because motivation. Because pain.

I was getting sidetracked with work, taking care of our homestead, and trying to find the right niche in New Hampshire. I also started experience serious symptoms from autoimmune disorder, and I was often unable to use my hands so sewing was sort of tabled.

Having recently relocated my sewing space to another room in the house, and reorganized all of my quilting supplies I have decided to launch back into quilting. I’ve been making quilts since the early 1990s. Many of them I have given away as gifts.

19260568_10155415491878255_8820554330762209495_n.jpg

Two immediate projects have been taking my attention, which I will document and post. One is a pieced block quilt with vibrant colorways. The other is a hand embroidered fruit table runner.

I plan to quilt at my own pace, and for my own enjoyment. And that’s it. Quilting for the love of it.

 

Photoshop As A Design Tool

I am experimenting with using Photoshop as a design tool. This is the first attempt at sketching an illustration with Photoshop. I haven’t really used Photoshop as a drawing tool before; mostly it’s for editing my photography.

The idea behind this sketch is clearly tribal bellydance style with a typical 10 yard skirt and tribal tassel belt. This is a look I really want to develop into my own style, probably through embroidery, hand dyed fabrics and something else that makes it my own and unique. The overskirt is an idea I’m playing with, where there is dimension and texture built up in layers on the skirt itself; this one uses strips of fabric? Just one more step towards creating the Global Garb collection!

blues

Design Process

Now that I’m full swing in the design process (this collection has actually been circulating in my brain for months) I feel like I have a better grasp on what I’ll need to complete it. So, here’s my basic plan, for those that are interested:

  • I’m planning on using primarily cotton, silk and possibly bamboo fabrics. I plan to source them from Dharma Trading and will be dying them with solid colors or stamped/resist designs.
  • My inspirations come from many places, including renaissance fair clothing, Middle eastern embroidery designs, belly dance attire, and the need for cool, flowing, comfortable “garb” made with natural fibers.
  • I have quite a few sketches, and am currently in the patterning process. My goal is to ultimately make the pattern sized and ready to reproduce for the garments to be sold at renaissance fair booths.

I am working on the embroidered bracers today. I have recycled some fabric from projects in the past, and will try to use a black velvet, a burgundy velvet and/or a tan suede-like fabric. I am looking into using embroidery designs called “Suzani” which is Persian for “needle.” Once I have the bracers completed, I’ll be sure to post some pics!

Global Garb

Trying to launch the Global Garb collection I’m inspired to create! I need some fabric from Dharma Trading, some thread for the embroidery, and a little bit of gumption to #createsomething.

gofundme

Sewing Apps

There are not many sewing apps available. I know there are a few on the Apple side and painfully few for Android. I’m not entirely sure what I would use a sewing app for but have some ideas! What types of functionality would a sewing app have? Measurement guidelines? Conversion tables? Sewing machine support (like needles and bobbins needed)? Basic sewing techniques? What would be valid, useful information worthy of an app?

Do It All?

Sometimes, I just want to do it all: sewing a fashion line of my very own, making garb for sale at renaissance fairs, creating soft home goods and decor. Then I construct something rather atrocious and feel like I just can’t do it all.

It’s hard to decide which direction to focus on because I enjoy doing so much; yet I know my skills still need to be perfected. I can’t do it all. But I’m working on it! I do think that I should focus on apparel and try not to sew home goods or quilt or anything crafty, unless it’s a specific project.

I’m also pretty obsessive about going down the organic and/or natural fibers path. I’m pretty concerned about the source of my fabric. I’m not sure I can be so picky about the source of my notions, though. I’d like to try to design some of my own fabric, as well.

Of course, my new love: machine embroidery, will all be a part of my plan!

Waiting on myself to see how it all comes together… sigh.

ImageDuck embroidery design from Urban Threads

Sewliloquies

O, she doth teach the torches to burn bright!
It seems she hangs upon the cheek of night
Like a rich jewel in an Ethiope’s ear;
Beauty too rich for use, for earth too dear!

Sewliloquies has been inspired by a soliloquy. After agonizing for some time about what type of sewing endeavor I should set upon here in my new home of New Hampshire, it has clearly come to me. While I will continue to stitch fanciful garments for myself (and friends), I have decided that sewing period costumes is probably my best choice for selling what I sew.

Here’s why:

  • I’m good at it. While I have not sewn that many costumes, I’ve sewn a goodly amount, and what I have created has received positive reviews. I don’t have photos of everything I have made, but it has included: men and women’s full Tudor court garb, men and women’s Victorian costumes, pirate coats, cloaks, knight tunics, skirts, pants, hats, corsets, bodices, flags…..
  • The Texas market for period garb is saturated. There are so many lovely people that do this so well for a living, that even with my skills, I wouldn’t have been able to prosper.
  • With that said, it appears at first Google that the New Hampshire market does have some gaps; while the customers might not be as plentiful, there does seem to be opportunity – at renaissance fairs, re-creations, theaters, etc. Of course, I’ll need to do my due diligence in the market research area, but the possibilities appear to be there.
  • I like it. Seriously, I love costumes, love attending period events, and enjoy the process. So why not make costumes to sell?

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