Posts Tagged ‘lace’

Some while ago I bought some dyed silk cocoons just because I fell madly in love with the colour.

Silk cocoons

It occurred to me a couple of months ago that they would be wonderful combined with something in the brass line to become jewellery of some sort.  Perhaps with the hole fitted with a cap of domed brass…? I scribbled some preliminary ideas but didn’t actually get round to doing anything until last week, when I had some time to spare waiting for something to finish steeping in the pickle.

I was introduced to a doming block and doming punches and after cutting myself a piece of brass, rather tentatively began. Wow! It was a lot easier than I’d thought it was going to be, and I quickly produced this cute little cap.

Brass dome 1

I then hammered it all over the convex side to give it a lovely finish… and found it was fractionally too small for the cocoons!

Brass dome 2

But it’s lovely, I’m sure I can find something to do with it and now I know how to dome the metal, I’ll be cutting out some slightly bigger circles during the week to have a blitz on making them on Wednesday!

I also used my favourite lace to do a bit more impressing with the rollers. On gilding metal:

Lace texture on gilding metal

Lace texture on gilding metal 2

I love this pattern, especially the bright shiny areas where the larger holes were in the lace. It’s like bark or snakeskin, really organic.

Lace texture on gilding metal 3

same lace on brass – this has been tumble-polished.

Lace texture on brass

And on silver, for something very special. 🙂

Lace texture on sterling silver

More of that later…

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I’m not through with making these little fabric journals yet. I’ve used other people’s dyeing experiments and it occurred to me that I still had some oddments of fabric left that I’d dyed with red cabbage – just about enough for another journal. Silk, top middle and bottom left, lace and some cotton bottom right.

Red cabbage dyed journal 1

I used the silk in the middle (a scrap of overdyed yellow silk dupion) to cover the back, leaving it plain to showcase the tie dyed pattern.

Red cabbage dyed journal 2

I added some of the hand made lace on the right of the top photo to the heavy weight sample of silk satin bottom left. I hadn’t dyed any thread when I did all the fabric (an oversight for which I was kicking myself) but I found some Kates Kloths silk thread in very pale space dyed lilac which was a perfect match for the subtle shades of the red cabbage dyed silk and used it to embellish the lace and the fabric with french knots and running stitches.

Red cabbage dyed journal 3

Then I covered the second board to make the lace piece into the front cover.

Red cabbage dyed journal 4

Two covers done and now the backings to sew on.

Red cabbage dyed journal 5

Some quiet stitching for a snowy night…

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I’m teaching a one day workshop (details still to be finalised) on natural dyeing  using safe dyestuffs  here in the summer. I’d already decided to use the old favourites of onion skins and avocado skins and pits but I wanted another option and yesterday I finally managed to get round to testing out the possibilities of red cabbage.

I researched it on the internet and as recommended in a few places, decided to preboil the fabrics in a 4:1 water vinegar solution before I added the water drained from the cabbage leaves and heated the whole lot up together again.

It definitely does have possibilities!

From left to right: polycotton damask modern napkin, polycotton calico, heavy weight cotton drill, embroidered bridal silk dupion, habotai silk, pale gold silk dupion, lightweight silk, polycotton and a silk satin.

It gives a wonderful depth and richness of colour on silk and cotton and doesn’t really take at all on anything with any sort of manmade fibre.

The silks are fabulous.

As you can see, I did a bit of knotting and rubber banding on some of the pieces to experiment. Classic rubber band up the middle starburst for this one…

…knots for this offcut of pale gold silk dupion…

… and knotted corners and rubber banded middle for this piece of silk habotai.

I  also added some trims to the pot.

From left to right: modern wide lace, vintage pink bias binding – knotted, vintage lace, wide grosgrain ribbon and vintage crocheted lace.

Lovely lavenders and lilacs.

The light wasn’t brilliant this morning when I photographed them. The purples aren’t vibrant – after all, this is natural dyeing – but the colours are much stronger in real life.

Wish I’d dyed some thread too while I was at it!



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…because I’ve been stupidly busy and not done much sewing for the last fortnight. This is another shot of the end I’ve already blogged about.

And this is one of the central sections. Modern and vintage lace and scraps of plain, embroidered and damasked silks.

I love the central fragment of lightweight silk and the way it’s fraying over the handmade lace at the top, held down almost invisibly with french knots stitched in one of the threads I dyed with the fabrics. Some more of the spotty voile is layered in underneath.

The running stitch stabilises and alters it. This section is still unfinished.

Commercially embroidered silk with extra stem stitch tendrils.

Machine made lace dating from the 1970s embroidered over with french knots, back stitch and straight stitches.

One of the last pieces of a yard of this lace I bought as a little girl. Buttons, ribbons and lace were some of the few things on which I was allowed to spend my pocket money. I suppose it’s lasted longer and done me more good than a packet of Spangles.

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