Thursday, 17 October 2013

Vintage Apron Style: Tutorial

Click on the image above to watch a video that shows you how to turn a plain, calico apron into something special, which you could wear as a fashion accessory or give away as a gift to a family member or friend. Read the step-by-step tutorial below.

You Will Need

  • A pre-washed calico or linen apron – white or cream in colour.
  • Three fabric paints in a colour scheme of your choice
  • Plastic dishes or saucers
  • Masking tape
  • Sponges
  • An iron
  • An empty spray bottle
  • A of cotton or linen fabric
  • Sewing threads
  • A sewing machine
  • A length of lace or Broderie Anglais

How To Customise Your Apron:

  1. Wash your apron in warm, soapy water and rinse thoroughly. Let dry and iron to remove any creases. Tape your apron down onto a flat, plastic-covered work surface using masking tape. You are now ready to begin painting.
  2. Fill an old perfume bottle with water and spritz your apron to dampen the surface of the cloth.
  3. Pour each colour of fabric paint into a separate dish or saucer. Use a sponge to apply paint to your apron – gently dab the sponge randomly across the fabric to release the colour. (Note: take a look at a colour wheel to get some help with colour mixing. You could try using the three primary colours of cyan, magenta and yellow or perhaps a monochromatic palette – tones of one colour.)
  4. Spritz your apron again with water to get the colours from step 2 to blend into one another – aim for an effect that resembles a watercolour painting. Let dry.
  5. Remove the masking tape. Iron on the wrong side of the apron to ‘fix’ the fabric paint according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  6. Cut out a rectangle of cotton or linen fabric in proportion to the size of your apron. Repeat steps 2 through 4 to paint this rectangle of cloth. Let dry.
  7. Apply decorative stitching to the painted section of cloth using free-machine embroidery or you can hand embroider it if you prefer. (Note: if the apron is intended as a gift, you could embroider the name of the recipient.)
  8. Stitch the embroidered panel to the front of your apron – sew approximately 6mm / ¼” from the edge of the panel.
  9. Frame the stitched panel using four lengths of lace or Broderie Anglais. To make the frame, join the pieces (right sides together) of trim diagonally across with a few stitches and trim away any excess. Stitch the frame to the apron.
  10. To finish, pin a fabric brooch or flower to your apron. Wear your customised apron to a party or when preparing an extra special dinner.

Monday, 7 October 2013

Felty Feelings - A Cone

Felt like felting in three-d. I made a large, seamless felt cone using a plastic resist. I think it would look fine as a Christmas tree or even a festive hat!!!

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Feeling Felty Again and Again!

Made a little flat felt picture using three layers of Merino wool fibre...sooooooooooo fine and soft!

Monday, 23 September 2013

Feeling Felty Yet Again!

I've been experimenting with incorporating pre-felt beads in wet-felting. I created a neckband using this technique - the finished result reminded me of a length of seaweed!

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Stitch and Slash

Tried a new technique today - 'Stitch and Slash'. I'm following a tutorial by Carol Ann Waugh on It's great...a little bit like reverse applique, except you keep the edges raw. I used three layers in my design. I will definitely keep experimenting with this...

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Water Soluble Frenzy

Gripped this weekend by a frenzy of designs inspired by water;...the ocean...blues & greens...and water soluble stabiliser.

 I made a bowl by sandwiching fleece and threads between two layers of water soluble fabric, free motion stitching to cover the fabric, running the design under a hot water tap to dissolve the plastic and then stretching over a bowl and left to dry.

The design reminds me of something that you would pick up off the ocean floor. I love the translucency of the finished bowl.

Also tried another experiment by using water soluble stabiliser to make an edging on a piece of cloth.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Feeling More Felty

Woke up this morning and discovered a large felt lily in my back garden! Then I remembered that my lovely tutor at Beetlefelt Studios had let me go a little crazy in her felt studio and a lily was born!

Monday, 12 August 2013

Feeling Felty!

Spent a lovely weekend making felt vessels. It's such a great, hands-on process that takes you to new creative possibilities. Made felt while eating lemon drizzle cake - can recommend.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Frugal Book Making

Found lots of cardboard and scraps of paper in my work cupboard today, so I decided to get into frugal book-making and create a sketchbook. I painted the cardboard covers with gesso and then block printed to cover the surface. Old buttons and yarns were used to make a fastening. See the work in progress below:

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Being Happy

Found a great post by Wendy Walk of MIY workshops in Brighton about being self-employed. I think it's one of the best accounts I've read. It inspired me to stay on the pathway of being happy.

Thursday, 27 June 2013

First Lovely Post

Welcome to my Blog, where I write about art and things that are lovely in my life. 

Today, I posted a photo at the head of my blog. It's a free machine embroidery that I created based on some sketches of decaying Rudbeckia plants. I think a few of the local residents were a bit shocked to see a woman sketching plants in the park on a cold, icy day; but Nature looks so beautiful when She is frozen in time - She also isn't perfect and that's where I think the real beauty imperfection.

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