Monday, December 3, 2012

A Wee Update!

So a lot has happened in the past few months!  I started back to work in August and have been crazy busy between classes (teaching Sewing & Construction and Undergraduate Fibers Studio) and being the Faculty Advisor to Art2Wear (the student fashion show each April).  I have not been able to stitch as much on my RSN pieces as I need some concentration time for them.  My last class is tomorrow though and next week, I have a date with some size 12 embroidery needles, DMC floss and my silk shading RSN piece! 

Also, my husband and I are expecting our first baby at the beginning of January!  It has been quite the exciting summer and fall!  I thought I'd share some of the stitching I have been doing.  I needed to stitch something and with the craziness of school I wanted to work on something fun and mindless.  I've been working on a quilt for our little guy using backyard animal motifs and a style I learned from Natalie Chanin from Alabama Chanin.  I'm using organic cotton jersey double layer pieces (bought from Alabama Chanin) and mostly reverse applique techniques.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Central St. Martins: Couture Tailoring

Over the next couple weeks, I am taking a Couture Tailoring short course at Central St. Martins in London.  For the course we are making 1/2 a womens' size 10/12 (UK size) couture jacket.  Though I have only completed 3 days of this course, I can go ahead and say that this is probably going to be a future addiction.  I absolutely LOVE everything about this course.  The tutor is absolutely wonderful and extremely knowledgeable, and I love the hand stitching.  Real hand tailoring is truly sculpture.  It is amazing to see how the stitches mold the fabric into a 3-dimensional shape.  I am also getting lots of ideas for experiments when I get home for incorporating some of the tailoring techniques into the interlinings of my dressmaking.   Below are some photos from the first couple days:

Laying out pattern and marking seam allowance.

 Sleeve pattern after marking seamlines and balance lines with tacking stitches. 

Padstitching and adding edge tape.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Between UK Classes

This summer has been crazy!  First trip to UK was for my crewel and silk shading modules for the RSN Certificate.  A couple days after I got home, I interviewed for an Assistant Professor position at NC State, and this Saturday I leave for a Couture Tailoring course at Central St. Martins in London!  A few days after I get home from that course Fall classes will start!

Here's a little update since my RSN Silk Shading class:
Since I arrived home, I have struggled with the issue of lighting with my silk shading.  I have tried everything that has worked in the past for other embroidery and dressmaking projects in my studio.  Part of the issue has also been the weather as I have been known to stitch in my backyard for the lighting and relaxing nature of stitching outside.  However, it has be in the mid-90s and hotter or raining or both everyday this summer, and sweating in the hot Carolina sun and stitching on fine silk do not mix!  After an email to Tracy, I think I finally have found a light that will work, so updates on my RSN Silk Shading will be coming soon!

Here's a little job update:
I am officially an Assistant Professor in the Art & Design Department of the College of Design at North Carolina State University!  I will be teaching Fibers and Experimental Materials courses there (this Fall it will be Sewing & Construction class and Fibers Studio) as well as overseeing the student fashion show--Art 2 Wear-- in the Spring.  I had the wonderful experience of teaching Draping and Fibers Studio last Spring and working with many of the designers on their collections.  If you would like to see some of the student work from the 2012 show, below are a couple links:

RSN Silk Shading: Day 8

Below is the progress of my RSN Silk Shading piece at the end of Day 8 of class.  I will be finishing it at home and sending it in for assessment.  I will keep posting updates on it's progress here!

RSN Silk Shading: Day 7

I started the stem on Day 7.  I also picked out the stem on Day 7 and started it again!

RSN Silk Shading: Day 5 and 6

So I did start my bottom blossom on Day 5.  I actually started it a few times that day and that evening!  Let's just say Day 5 and the morning of Day 6 was spent practicing the art of picking out!  Usually I take photos of the bad and the picking out progress, as I think the mangled threads can be very beautiful in a kind of twisted way, but I guess this time I was too into the process of stitching and picking.  I did not realize until after it was all picked out that I had forgotten to photograph it.  Here is my progress though at the end of Day 6:

RSN Silk Shading: Middle Weekend Progress

Below is the progress I made over the middle weekend between my 2 weeks of class.  My goal was to finish the back portion of the leaf so I could start the bottom blossom on Day 5 of class.

Article In Embroidery Magazine

This summer I had the amazing privilege of being featured in the May/June 2012 issue of Embroidery Magazine!  The article is about my research of goldwork embroidery over the past few years.  It includes photos of my final project for my Masters degree as well as some less traditional goldwork experiments.  If you would like to see more on my Consuelo piece and the goldwork embroidery on it, please see my other blog Consuelo that chronicles my early goldwork embroidery research and the entire process of creating my final project including goldwork embroidery samples, pieces from previous courses, in-process photos of the dressmaking and embroidery for the final gown, and final images of the piece.

Friday, May 25, 2012

RSN Silk Shading: The Design

For my silk shading embroidery design, I took photos of the Lily-of-the-Valley in my yard.  I took lots and lots of photos--when they first popped out of the ground and were just buds and once they had fully bloomed.  I finally decided to blend elements from the following 3 images to create my own composition.  

RSN Silk Shading: Day 4

RSN Silk Shading: Day 3

Split-stitching around the bud

Progress at end of Day 3:

RSN Silk Shading: Day 2

Progress at the end of Day 2

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

RSN Silk Shading: Day 1

On Tuesday, I started 2 weeks of silk shading!  Really nervous about this module, but excited too!  For Day 1, I finalized my design, plied my silk onto my calico, transferred my design onto the silk using gouache (after pricking and pouncing), and stab stitched around all the outlines.  Ready to start stitching on Wednesday!

RSN Crewel: Day 8

The words I hate uttering:  "I didn't finish". . . so until I return home and can frame it back up, here is the state of my crewel piece.  I was so close! 

Friday, May 18, 2012

RSN: Crewel Day 7

Here's Everyone working hard finishing up before Friday!  I'll have more to come about Tracy's studio in Fowler's Yard, Durham, UK once I finish my stitching.
 (Clockwise from bottom) Heidi working on her silk shading Clematis, Gill working on her silk shading Orchid, Louise working on canvas work Lily Pads,  Jean working on silk shading Poppy, Zoe working on silk shading Tulip, Pat working on stumpwork Fairy and Toadstools, and Tracy saving my hummingbird!

And me, slowly making progress!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Thursday, May 10, 2012

RSN Crewel: Day 2

Today I stitched more on the trunk and started the right-side leaf.  The middle part will be lattice with a checkerboard of gradient French knots (I have finished lattice bit).  I am also working on the satin stitch leaves for the top and bottom sections of the leaf that will be surrounded by bullion knots.  I picked out one of the little green leaves because the angle of the satin stitch was too horizontal.  I'm still on the fence about how the blending of the green to blue is going . . . we shall see if I'll end up picking out more!  Below is my progress at end of Day 2.  I was trying to take my time so that the lattice would be as straight as possible and am trying to get all my stitches tighter and better crafted.  

Now, back to my stitching!