Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Tuesday tidbits

in which our plucky heroine considers a definition, and makes progress slowly...

artisanry (n.) - artifacts decorative and useful, skillfully made, with love and a touch of whimsey.  See also: Artisanry,The (n.) - the largest and most favorite room in Acorn Cottage where materials and ideas dance together with my clever fingers to become something new.

The initial sketch for the neckline embellishment was dubbed "too floral", so the small flowers were removed from the design in favor of more leaves and tendrils:

In order to transfer the sketch to the semi-opaque freezer paper, the simplest way (for those without a lightbox, as is the case here in Acorn Cottage) is to tape the layers to a bright window, allowing for tracing whilst standing up in a simple process. The two sheets of the design were aligned and taped in place first, and then a large-enough piece of freezer paper was taped on as an overlay...
The design, though only sketched out, is clearly visible, and the tracing process is comparatively easy - the second image shows a partially completed design motif.  Once traced, it is necessary to cut out the freezer paper stencil; I use an exacto knife, with a plastic kitchen cutting board underneath the paper. There are an assortment of gadgets and processes that can be used for making these tasks either quicker or less direct; some folks use a light box for the tracing, some figure out ways to print the design directly on the freezer paper with their computer printer, or use graphics programs to do the sketch and design work, and there are dedicated machines that can cut the stencil for you... but our plucky heroine is somewhat old school and does these tasks by hand.

Once the stencil panels are cut out, they need to be ironed to the fabric prior to applying paint. Because this project is being done on a RTW garment, each section of the neckline needs to be dealt with one at a time to keep the paper flat and smooth. The first quarter panel, on the back neckline, is ironed in place:
Once the paint has been applied, it needs to dry, cure for 24 hours, and then be ironed on the wrong side - the heat treatment makes the paint permanent and washfast. Then it will be possible to begin the actual reverse applique process of stitching and cutting. There is a reason why Alabama Chanin garments sell for the couture prices they do. Even a relatively simple quantity of embellishment takes a substantial amount of time.

while I know I've not been cooking as much as usual because temperature from Hades, was it really necessary for a spider to build a web across the stovetop/pot-rack? Don't worry, I scooped her up in a bowl and took her outside, and being a kindly person, did not dump her in with the hens...


  1. It is so interesting to read about the design decisions you make as you work. Your final design reflects your thoughtful considerations and is lovely. I also appreciate your clear descriptions of your process; they are very helpful to this person who needs such clear descriptions.

  2. Glad you are finding this interesting and helpful. I am considering teaching a workshop on this technique, and so am doing a bit more in the way of documenting process than I usually do, so as to help me write up a class handout sheet...