Not what it seams? Not seams, trims!
I started this chapter by skipping the seams part as I felt really lacking in inspiration or imagination.
However working through the trimmings etc helped me over this hump and it seems I can seam seams after all!
Each photograph shows a variety of samples which are each numbered according to the order in which they have been made. (I hope you can see the numbers well enough, I ran out of black pens, which seems incredible as I have a bit of an obsession for pens and mechanical pencils! A bit like shoes, I am always on the look out for the perfect fit!).
Lot no. 1 – 5.
1. I layered strips of fabric using straight stitch horizontally, spaced about 1cm apart and leaving tails of thread at the end. There are many possibilities for variations of this simple sample e.g. adding more strips of white stitching, adding alternate coloured threads, using different kinds of thread or using wavy lines are a few that spring to mind.
2. Here I changed the bobbin to one filled with embroidery thread and using zigzag stitching both types of thread can be seen on the bottom edge.
3. Similar to 2., except the bobbin thread is on the front of the sample. The strands from the start of each line of stitching have been folded down and sewn over to hold in place. As an extension to this I could also have separated the strands of embroidery thread.
It does say in the notes to make ‘interesting’ samples. As my creative juices brewed with the help of the above samples (which are okay but not bursting with imagination!), I had one of those ‘aha’ moments and made the following two samples.
4. I layered lots of threads between pieces of bondaweb and ironed them together. I then pulled away at the treads and edges. I sewed a layer of this over the front of black cotton and another layer behind which hangs below the cotton.
5. I sewed the bondaweb sample over black cotton topped this with a strip of white cotton and sewed over everything using a free-motion foot and black quilting thread.
Lot no 6 – 10.
6. String, metallic and cotton threads fringe the bottom of this sample . This could be adapted by folding the top layer of cloth down to reveal the other side where fibres are the trapped.
7. Tufts of the above fibres are sewn between two layers of fabric using close zigzag stitching and white cotton thread in the bobbin. The tension was tight here adding another dimension to the trim. I think I should have added another couple of rows of this to improve the overall look.
8.Wire edged, black organza ribbon was cut and frayed then sewn to the edge of white cloth. I sewed another strip of white under this to show the effect more clearly here. I think it looks like eyelashes. (Wish mine were this pretty!)
9. Bursting bubble wrap from my latest amazon purchase, I was inspired to make this sample. I padded the strip of cloth with wadding and manipulated the fabric to create ‘mounds’. I think it looks more like a bullet belt than bubble wrap, however a wider strip of cloth and sewing over the ‘mounds’ horizontally and vertically (or even diagonally) would change this!
10. Thinking about folds and manipulating fabric I pleated* this lovely strip of cotton. I love the way the colour varies from beginning to end. I Zigzagged the folds and altered the length and width of stitch as I went along.
(* A laugh out loud moment I have to share….Wordpress tells me this is a spelling mistake or used in the wrong context, it explains that ‘pleated’ is ‘a feature to make slacks look dorky’ ! )
Lot No. 11 – 12.
11. This sample is not what it was intended to be! I started off thinking I would make the edge of the fabric triangular. However when I cut it, it was too narrow in places and I had two strips the same so not wishing to waste them I layered them over heaps of fibres and a wider piece of cotton. The fibres have been teased into place showing a change in tone from black to white. Looking at it now I can see more possibilities to enhance this trim such as adding spots (possibly hand sewn french knots) to the sides where the fabric is quite plain.
12. The idea of using fabric and not fibres to create a decorative edge was still in my mind when I came up with this one. I had a few scraps of unused bondaweb which I added into the mix when I attached the square samples at an angle on the top and bottom edge of the fabric. Again I played around with the width and length of the stitching.
These samples are not numbered, (oops!) but I will refer to them from left to right, 1,2,3 etc.
A1. A single strip of fabric twisted tightly and zigzagged over.
A2. Using 2 contrasting fabrics twisted individually then together before sewing as above.
A3. Three strips of fabric loosely twisted together and zigzagged flat.
A4. fibres twisted tightly and sewn over using zigzag stitch.
B1. Single strip of fabric knotted tightly at uneven intervals.
B2. Three strips of fabric knotted together at regular intervals.
B3. Short strips of fabric knotted together.
C1. Three strips of fabric pleated together.
c2. Fibres couched between two strips of fabric with ‘strays’ showing where the material has been trimmed away.
D1. Strips of fabric approximately 1.5 ” x 6”, glued, rolled and stitched in the centre.
D2. Strips 2” x 6” approximately, folded in half glued, rolled and tied with string.
D3. Fiddling with a piece of fabric while thinking about the next toggle design, I noted I had made a bow. 1” x 2” scraps folded in the same way and sewn in the centre to hold in place followed!
D4. Strips of cloth cut 6” long and cut so the top was narrower than the bottom. Rolled up and glued the edges are thinner than the centres. (This is similar to making paper beads!).
E1, E2. Strips twisted and folded in half then sewn together at the top edge. 1. has been twisted tighter than 2. These could be used to secure the toggles, as decorations between seams (an aha moment here!), or as part of a trim.
E3. Cloth about 1” x 4” folded in half and secured with another strip of fabric.
E4. Similar to E3 except 2 strips have been used and separated after being sewn in place at the top.
It never fails to amaze me how I can see my thought processes developing from humble beginnings to more adventurous samples. I used to try really hard not to use the samples given but I am finding it can be really useful to work through them to help stimulate your own ideas if you are really stuck!
‘Seams” will follow shortly as I just need to sort an ‘aha’ sample before publishing!