More pattern printing. Above on painted fabric below on paper.
This has to be the most involved block I have cut so far. Those circles don’t come easy – at least not to me. Maybe for a motive like this, it would be a good idea to try working with a plastic block instead of lino. It’s still very much inspired by Lisa Congdon’s line art drawings. While I was carving, I wondered when does something stop being a copy of somebody else’s work and becomes your own. Would changing the medium suffice? I feel like, I’m a lot less perfect with my lines, does that make it more my own? It’s probably all part of the process, as long as it feels like you’re copying, you haven’t fully made it your own yet.
You will know you’re there, when you get there, I guess.
Also, while cutting, I was so excited about this one, and I didn’t like it at all when I saw the finished print. With a couple of days distance, I’m getting to a place where I can appreciate it. That seems to be something I more often then not go through when I’m working on something. Once you know that this will happen it gets way less frustrating though.
Textile and color is one of my favorite things to work with. Earlier this year, I got to take part in an amazing online class about block printing on fabric. I have since spent a considerable amount of time looking at videos of textile printing/dying techniques from around the world. Printing patterns that won’t much alter the basic color of a fabric is relatively easy. As soon as you want to work with bigger areas of color, it get’s difficult. In African Waxprinting, a resist is stamped onto fabric using wax, then the fabric is dyed and when the wax is removed the empty space can be dyed or printed on in a different color.
Sounds like a lot of work and it certainly is. That’s why I’m guessing today most of the waxprint fabric is made by machine. The patterns (pinterest board) are still very much influenced by the parameters of the original technique. The circle pattern stuck with me most, so I took a shot at replicating it with block printing. I could’t quite chose one color scheme, so today’s #25printsproject post consists of three prints.
I just dove into cutting this one without even making a sketch, inspired by – you guessed it – the wonderful Lisa Congdon and her line drawing class. It turned out pretty much exactly like I had envisioned it, which is good I guess. I pulled one print using the spoon method which resulted in a much more saturated black, which I weirdly didn’t like at all. I especially love the dots that happen because some fiber specs of the backing of my lino blocks gets onto the freshly rolled on paint. Every time I tell myself – Dude, you need to learn how to be less messy. Or maybe I’ll just leave everything as it is.
Cause it looks nice, bonus pic of the first inking of my block.
Despite having had a sort of love-hate relationship with preparing food and even being in the kitchen at all all my life, I’m slowly but steadily coming around to realizing that being able to cook will also make me able to eat what I want and what’s not to love about that. Food blogs are not very heavily featured within my blogroll still. But sometime last year, I found KRAUT|KOPF and with every post Susann and Yannic create a little magic on a plate. There’s a lot of food, I won’t eat so eliminating meat completely from my meal plan is not really an option for me. But I feel very strongly about being respectful towards animal products, so whenever somebody shows me a great dish that doesn’t need meat I’m grateful. (A lot of the recipes are even vegan, lactose- or gluten free.)
I’m most enthusiastic though about their amazing photography. Both authors are photographers by trade and it’s instantly visible that the people behind the pictures know what they are doing and also have an incredible sense of aesthetics. Every recipe is accompanied by beautiful poetic pictures that tell a story.
Their cook book was released this past july and it sure will find a spot on my birthday wish list. Also, I can’t wait to finally get my hands on that coco ice cream recipe that popped up in my instagram feed last week and that I since can’t get out of my head.
all pictures (c) KRAUT|KOPF
This has to be my favorite so far. I wasn’t even going to do another one the week before I went away on holiday. So, on a complete whim, I just went with the idea to really quickly try to construct a repeating pattern block on paper. No pressure at all that it should amount to anything much, even the carving was kept to a minimum. I didn’t even measure the piece of paper I used to construct my repeat (If you’re interested in how to make a repeat pattern by hand on a piece of paper, I highly recommend this class.). You can clearly see that it should add up but I doesn’t really. I think that’s what I love the most about it. I keep getting to the point where this weird quest for accuracy that I have meets my inner need for imperfection and makes something I really love. I also really love how the huge areas of lino make for a very uneven print yet the white space is all crisp and clean.
19 Boldest fabric This has to be my boldest fabric choice, still one of my favorite dresses. I use a lot of fabric found at a certain skandinavian furniture store. What can I say, I like their designs and also knowing that what I’m currently wearing was supposed to be on a window or in a bed gives me a lot of joy. Also what you can find at German fabric stores is 90% what my Grandma would like or cutesy childrens’ motifs. There are a few online stores that sell nice patterns but they are way expensive. (Oh, also, I just remembered, once some guy outside a pub asked me if I was serious about wearing this dress out, kinda made my day)
20 Learning & Practicing Can’t wait for Chinelo Bally s book to come out this fall. Her freehand cutting method is genious could be the answer to all my pattern fitting woes. Also she rocks in general!
21 Shades of summer Meet my beachbag, formerly known as shower curtains and day-glo straps from the hardware store, in the background #lagodigarda.
22 Last thing I made A-line dress featuring my first set of self-drafted sleeves. Can you guess where I got that fabric?
23 Favorite sewing technique While I love the look of Kimono sleeves, being able to draft set-in sleeves and raglan sleeves has opened a door for me. I think it’s magic to put two pieces together that look totally different and in the end it all works out.
24 Worst part of sewing The worst part of sewing for me is that I never ever can just make the same thing twice. I’ll tell myself that I will just tweak it a little here and there and end up redoing almost the complete thing. Oh, and I keep wanting to make things that just can’t work out. Like a dirndl skirt with a kind of wrap-like adjustable waistband, but the skirt part can’t be a wrap skirt. That one has been keeping me busy for quite a while now. (If anybody has any ideas, I’d be so very grateful.)
25 Behind the seams Here are all my tools in their boxes waiting for me to get home. I can’t wait to get back to sewing, I know I’m repeating myself, but the #sewphotohop has left me so inspired.
26 Labor of love After much deliberation whether it is a good idea to add to the pre-wedding frenzy and one too many unsuccessful and uncomfortable experiencences at the bridal shop, I finally made the decision to make my own wedding dress. I got to completely make the whole concept of what people would wear to our wedding my own. I tried to incorporate elements of traditional Franconian costume into my dress. My husband wore traditional leather pants (Lederhosn – as did the groomsmen), we rode on a tractor (pictured on the right). I made matching dirndl skirts for the bridesmaids. I’m still incredibly happy about how everything turned out. (pictures by the wonderful Mrs.de-elfjes)
27 It’s been a while It’s been a while since I bought these two beautiful books. Still haven’t ventured into experimenting with the great inspiration they hold. #sewphotohop is a good reminder to finally do so.
28 Trims & haberdashery I have a bunch of stuff like buttons and elastic and grommets in a small amount, but I have a relatively large stash of zippers. I don’t know why, I just love zippers I could constantly buy more, especially those with metal teeth, for some reason they are incredibly hard to find where I live.
29 Eye level The beautiful wood ceiling at the last stop of our #estateitaliana road trip. It was a great adventure, but I’m happy to go home to my printing tools and sewing machine. Holidays are awesome obviously, but I always miss creating so much, what do you guys do about that?
30 Favorite era I have been in love with petticoats all my life. My biggest fashion wish is to someday magically find a full skirted 50s dress in my size in some vintage store. I am obsessed with the early episodes of #madmen, when Betty Draper would still wear those huge dresses everywhere. Swoon!
31 Last thing I bought I finally got around to stocking up on carbon paper. Using the yellow/white kind on light fabrics used to result in a lot of guesswork and lack of precision.
32 Buttons or zippers? Both have their pros and cons, I love stocking up on either. I’ve already shared my zipper drawer, most of my buttons are kept inside this pretty box. Thanks again @houseofpinheiro and everybody who participated for an amazing month of August, I had so much fun, was immensely inspired and most importantly met a lot of awesome people! Hope to see all of you around! Can we keep the hashtag or find a new one? #sewhoppers
Lino print using a brayer/spoon, multiple colors / one color, on paper 100g
I cut a three piece block for my cassette tape. One for each color. I haven’t figured out how to properly align multiple blocks with a register. Actually, I quite like when they don’t line up perfectly, but it would be neat if I could control it more. Just the black and white outline is nice, too.
Boy, did I have a great time, participating in Rachels #sewphotohop through all of August. Actually, I’m quite sad that it’s over already, can we just go again, like right away? I met so many amazing sewists, who make the most amazing and inspiring stuff. My decision to participate happened on a total whim and it will probably take me a while to get over how much this has done for my approach to sewing. It’s wonderful to be welcomed into such a supportive community, just cause you’re showing up. This is not something that is sure to happen everywhere on the interwebs, I can’t say this enough, the sewing community is beyond awesome!
I enjoyed reading all the amazing stories behind every single garment so much. I just love being part of something, I guess it’s who I am. Before the internet that meant, joining communities just because they were available geographically. Now I can find one that I can fit in simply by being myself, that’s incredible. #thankyourachel for helping us all come together. It has been a blast!
1 Hello (introduce yourself) My name is Barbara and sewing makes me happy. I’m tall so finding clothes that work for me is a bit of a challenge. Being able to sew my own clothes helps. My favorite piece I’ve ever sewn was my wedding dress. I’ve never participated in something like the #sewphotohop before.
2 Can’t (won’t) live without Apart from my husband and family, I am most grateful for my studio and the freedom to create every day. I can’t live without being creative. I tried, it didn’t work.
3 Colorful I keep scraps of every fabric I’ve sewn with in jars and strips of fabric on my wall. So a piece of my makes always remains with me even when I give them away.
4 Work/Play In my life right now almost all work is play and almost all play is work. I think when you’re a creative artistic person this is one of life’s challenges that you face.
Finding a balance between being incredibly lucky to be allowed to do what you love for most of your day and starting to be annoyed by things you normally enjoy doing.
While I’m still figuring out where this road will take me, I’m realizing that I need to find a new playground, even if it’s just a very small one.
On the other hand to work for me is to be, and I truly never want to stop creating, so I’m glad that my work will never be over.
5 Silhouette My two favorite silhouettes (read as basically all I sew) are Dirndl and A-line, if you found what works for you, you stick with it, right?
6 Pattern that changed my life My body is not at all compatible with what a woman’s body is supposed to look like according to the people who make clothes you can buy in regular stores. Turns out people who make sewing patterns go by the same parameters. After getting pretty frustrated with the amount of alteration I’d have to do on a commercial sewing pattern, one day I just decided to try something new. I started thinking about what my measurements are and what I’d want the finished piece to look like. Hence my first self-drafted A-line dress was born, it was astonishingly easy to accomplish. I’ve never looked back, this pattern really changed my life in a big way. It finally gave me the freedom to simply not care anymore that stuff other people came up with won’t fit me.
7 Sew up close Chapter one in my love-hate relationship with my sewing machine (it’s a purple Pfaff select, we’re not getting along great) is that I badly want to be able to use the embroidery foot to write stuff on fabric and I just never seem to be able to get the threat tension right. This was a rare occasion, when it worked.
8 Sewing playlist Since I didn’t want to pay for internet access at my studio, I brought over the stereo I had when I was a teenager. I tend to listen to old CDs that never made it onto my iPhone. Brings back a lot of memories, I love it.
9 Stash I know, compared to all of you this seems like it’s not a lot. (I’ve actually had a sewing friend pity me for my small stash.) I have some more though stuffed into corners of my appartment waiting to make its way to the washing machine. That’s why I’m not allowed to buy more. Which I adhere to – most of the time 😏
10 Would exchange closet with I have to be honest here, I would not trade my closet with anyone for the world. While it is still very much a work in progress, I wouldn’t want to give it up. For the first time in my life, I have clothes that fit me. Some I made myself, some I had to search for high and low till I found people who cater to taller women. I finally don’t want to be somebody else, I just want to be myself. #sorry #notsorry
11 Bucket list I want to figure out how to draft pants, so I can make a jumpsuit that’s going to fit my size.
12 Motivation My main sewing motivation would be these long legs. Clothes in regular shops tend to be too short in general. Also, when you’re tall the rest of your measurements scale up, too. That’s a fact, models who wear a size 0 at 6″ are the exception not the rule, just sayin’.
13 Sewing space Actually my studio is not that small, but I seem to have one spot I feel most comfortable creating in. So this small table is where I do everything, except for cutting. That happens on my standing up table. And I have an ironing board to be set up next to me. Gotta have your iron close!
14 Style I recently made this collar, I think it’s very me, kinda edgy and also very girly with the rhinestones. I’d say what has definded my style until recently most is quirky, from trying to find something that I liked with the limited options I have. I’m starting to feel like a broken record, but I guess I’m working through that right now, so here goes again. I’m tall, I’m not stick skinny, there’s not really anything that fits me available in shops or as ready made sewing patterns. I have shopped in the men’s department, I have shopped in the plus size department. Now I shop at the one company that sells tall clothes in Germany. And I have started to figure out sewing stuff for myself that fits me. I don’t know where this is going, I would like my style to become a lot more feminine. No more pants, no more T-Shirts, no more Sneakers.
15 Secret corner of shame My secret corner of shame is my brand-new awesome serger that has been sitting on my shelf forever unused. Because my first serger was a cheap piece of %$§& that threw a broken piece of needle at me the first time I used it. I’ve been scared of sergers ever since. It’s kinda funny, only it’s not. I’ll seriously have to get over this like soon.
16 Tiny vs big große Schere – kleine Schere / big scissors – little scissors / I love them both dearly
17 Proudest achievement I hate shopping for black tie events like weddings and such, because you guessed it I’m tall and nothing would ever fit me right. Floor length gown ending around your ankles – no thank you. So I finally made my own. I didn’t use a pattern, it worked out fine. I’m f-ing proud. #sorry #notsorry
18 Sewing resolution This is my new favorite bag, I printed and sewed and then just kept for myself 😋. My sewing resolution would be to sew more for ME. I tend to get excited about making things to give away, which is great but I end up spending most of my sewing mojo on other people. Sometimes you just have to put yourself first. I think especially us women get easily wrapped up in the joy of giving joy to others. If you don’t replenish that well with some serious selflovin’ it can run dry pretty fast.
Part two to follow.
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