Part 5 – Personal Project – Stage 6 Planning & making a finished piece

After drafting out my design on paper into the correct shape for the bag, adjusting the design slightly to fit the shape  and enlarging it to the correct size I made a mock up in plain fabric. this gave me a clear idea of how it would look in 3D .

I decided to mirror the front and back of the bag. This gave an interesting effect at the sides off the bag adding interest all the way round. I almost like the sides more than the front and back! I decided to make use of the shape of the base of the bag to show a single flower motif.

Once I was happy with the overall effect I started to make the felt for the appliqué sections. I decided to use the embellished machine to start the felt and then popped it into the washing machine in a drying program to felt and shrink it further . I ended up with lovely soft, well felted fabric to use in exactly the colour I was looking for. I had added some silk fibres to add a slight sheen and extra colour interest to the basic felt as well which made it slightly more interesting.

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My next step was to apply the felt to the background that I had pre-printed using the embellisher machine. This eliminated the need for any unnecessary stitching on the felted shapes which would have detracted from the clean lines and strong shapes I was trying to create.

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Once all the felt shapes were applied I could commence stitching. I wanted to craete a painterly effect shown in my drawings so chose a number of varigated threads to achieve this. I had completely underestimated how long it would take to cut and add all the felted shapes. It seemed to take forever. I also had not really realised how long the stitching would take especially as the thread I had initialy chosen was constantly fraying and snapping. I had to source some replacement thread but ended up with some beautiful variegated rayon threads from Sulky which were so easy to use and gave me the marbled look I wanted to achieve.

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Showing the front and reverse of the base of the bag.

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Closeup of stitching showing th epainterly effect I was trying to achieve.

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The finished embroidered panels

My final design choice was the colour of the lining. I decided that the purple satin worked the best. It worked in harmony with the colours and style of the bag.

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The final bag. I am really pleased with the end result, I acheived my aim of keeping the strong colour, line and shape of the original source and also the striking colour changes. If I were to make it again I don’t think there is anything I would change.

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About Julie Hooker

Having recently returned to my roots in Surrey, I am currently studying a BA Hons degree with the OCA. My work is often inspired by the local countryside in the beautiful Surrey Hills area and the wild rugged nature of the North Cornish coast. Steam engines and abandoned industrial history are also recent themes. A free machine embroiderer and felt maker; I like to explore the use of natural, found materials to create my art, whether that be as raw materials to stitch or weave with or as a material with which to produce dye or print with. Previously, I completed City and Guilds parts 1 & 2 Creative Embroidery at the East Berkshire College in Windsor in 2007. I was also awarded first place in the wearable art section of the National Quilt Championships 2008 and 2009 held annually at Sandown Park.
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