In my last post, I mentioned that I had taken a two-day workshop at Needlework and Textile Guild of Michigan. I am so grateful to belong to a number of really interesting sewing clubs. I know that many of you don't have person-to-person contact with other sewists. I do have to travel a distance to go to meetings-usually an hour to an hour and 15 minute drives. Just getting off this Island takes me at least 20 minutes and sometimes longer, depending on the ferry schedule. I don't let any of these inconveniences deter me, because I get so much out of the meetings. I learn a lot, and have made friends that love to do what I do.
The NTGM workshop this month was taught by MichelleMitchell. She is an art-clothing instructor, award-winner, and has been invited to show work for the Bernina Fashion Show (no longer in existence, alas). She comes with a lot of credentials. Not only is she super-talented, but she's a wonderful instructor, nice as can possibly be, and cute as a button!
First, we had a trunk showing of her award winning garments, which were breathtaking. It was a treat to get to see her things up close and be able to handle them and turn them inside out and examine them. Her workshop was called "Crinkling and Gathering". The technique is one that I have not seen before. The finished piece is used for an accent--collars, cuffs, pockets, etc.
She had us piece inch and a half strips of fabric, as if you were quilting. The piece was to be twice as wide and as long as you want the finished piece. Texturizing the fabric with her method shrinks the fabric to about half it's width. I don't have a photo of my fabric before I started, but just picture about an 18" wide piece of strip-pieced fabrics. The fabric is going to be covered with 7 or 8 layers of embroidery thread.
Using embroidery threads, you free-motion stitch, in a zig-zag motion, covering a 2-inch wide area at a time. As you move your fabric from side to side, the fabric starts to bunch up, gather and crinkle. The entire piece is covered this way, using your darkest embroidery thread first.. Here's what mine looked like after the first layer of thread.
At this point, you can see the pieced fabrics. I started free-motioning with a dark rust thread. The muslin on the sides are "handles" that you hold to maneuver the fabric from side to side. We are manipulating fabric here.
This process is repeated, with each layer of thread being lighter in color than the previous layer. I used rusts, greens and yellows. My piece ended up losing just about 50% of it's width. And here it is, finished.
You can't see the actual fabric now. All the layers of thread gives it heftiness, and it feels very much like upholstery fabric. Is it a big time suck? You betcha'! But, it is fun. And unique. I don't know what mine is going to be yet. I still have another piece to texture. This is a snow day project.
There is a flea-market at NTGM, where there are various sewing-type items for sale at a tiny cost. Fabric, notions, patterns, books, anything sewing-related that members donate. I scanned the tables and my eyes landed on this sewing basket. It was a dollar. It came filled with old notions--wooden spools of thread, a darning egg (who wouldn't need one of those?). There is a package of 5 machine needles from JC Penny's marked 40cents! The basket is in excellent condition. I suspect the notions are a lot older than the basket itself. It was worth a buck!
I am actually sewing a garment, and will post about it in a couple of days. Plus, I just attended a Designer group today, and have a really fun challenge to start.