Sunday, 9 March 2014

Story Telling & Embroidery

This week I've received some wonderful parcels, all containing fabrics and pretty things I've been waiting on for my Storyteller.

It doesn't feel like I've got much done, but looking back now I guess I have. I've done more of the French knots for my Lilith in Sunflowers applique, but it's taking me ages to fill in all the flower middles and it's hard going on the hands. It's looking really pretty and I'm hoping to get it finished, framed and mounted by next weekend. One of my parcels contained a book called More William Morris in applique, and once Lilith is finished I might try a small Morris applique project of my own. I've always loved his patterns and designs and I might be able to make myself a nice backdrop for when I photograph my dolls. Or maybe a nice miniature quilt for one of my ladies to sit on...

My storyteller now has a cream cotton petticoat under her under-dress of soft pink silk that reaches to the floor. It's a lovely soft colour that fits really well with the marbled multi-colour silk I have for her robes.

After gathering the pink silk into tight gathers around the neckline I added a bodice or short corset to help hold it all in place around her high waist. I use wide elastic that I can stretch tightly and sew into place to make my corsets, which I cover with fabric and decorate when I have them as underwear. This one will be covered and edged at the top with lace as it's the bodice of her robes which will be seen.

You can see here that her sleeves right now are huge, much too big for her little arms. But I'm planning on binding them together at different points along her arms with the patterned silk to create a series of puffs and fitted sections.

I'm really in love with this multi-coloured marbled silk, and it reminds me of the paper marbling we did at school when I was young. I always loved dripping the ink into the water and carefully swirling it around before ever so carefully laying the paper on the surface. All those sheets of wet paper strung up in the supply cupboard on string with pegs and the smell of paint, ink and school supplies. Always a smell of dusty paper and pencils :)

When I found this fabric I was struck immediately by the mix of colours and the beautiful textures. the fabric is quite soft and falls very nicely, even thought it's not as thin a fabric as haboati or china silk. I can't wait to see it come together into the robes I'm planning. And I'm looking forward to finalising the ideas I have to add decoration and detail.

My custom doll Katrina is almost finished, and she's looking very Punk Rock Glam in her new black organza ruff. I've added tiny silver lined seed beads around the edge of the folds in the ruff to add more sparkle. And I want to add some silver chains around her neck and bodice too.
Once that is all done and her shoes repainted (wrong colour) she'll only need the replica of Ashley's head piece that my dear friend Linda is making for me from wire. But I can't tell you what that's like yet or it'll spoil the surprise :)

Yesterday I spent a long time doing something I haven't done for ages. Preparing and mounting an embroidery ready to start sewing.

During the week I photocopied a William Morris design and blew it up to almost it's full original size. And some of my parcels contained the Irish linen and cambric as the original used for me to sew it on to. I've no idea how my Hubby managed to convince me this was a good idea, but somehow he did. But as I rarely make things for myself these days it's all just sort of happened.
Something for me to do on lazy Sunday afternoons and to get a change every now and again. It's quite an intricate design and I'm going to need to practise my satin stitch as I'm usually too tight on that and get nasty puckers.

I'm sure you'd agree that I've not been easy on myself here. This is photo of the original taken from a large book on William Morris I own shows how detailed it is.

It took me ages yesterday afternoon stood before my dining room window with the design and linen taped to the glass so that I could trace the design through. It measures approx. 52cm across and is almost square. I need to find myself a good gold silk thread for some parts of it.

I've promised myself I'm not setting a needle to this until I've got all the knots finished on Lilith. So while the rugby is on this afternoon (Come On Wales :)) I'll either be working on that or on more of my Storyteller so that I can make a start on this next weekend hopefully.

I hope you all are having a wonderful weekend, and I hope this beautiful weather lasts for everyone :) xxxx

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