Wednesday, November 23, 2016

New Learning: A Stenciled Cardigan

In my last coaching session, the assignment Diane gave me was to use stencils on two garments. She wanted me to choose patterns that had few pieces and to use a singular fabric rather than combining them... which apparently I'm good at. I love when she casually slips those compliments into the conversation - LOL - because we don't always know what we're good at on the compliment from someone whose opinion you really trust level.





One garment was to have a dark background and one was to have a light background. To start, I chose Marcy's Vogue 9190 cardigan. My version is a hybrid with the back from views C and D and the front from views A and B. The fabric is a very stable knit in a soft grey.





A pastry blender gave me the random striped look that I wanted for the cuffs. Even though I taped off, I rotated too far back a few times and ended up with some extra dots. Oh well!





Once the cuffs were in place, I thought the lines were too dark and added white on top. When I found myself tempted to eliminate the slit in the cuff, "we" had a chat because these are exactly the kinds of details I want to add to my clothing and it only took a bit more time.





I am amazingly good at absolutely even repetition and it takes a lot of work for me to be random. While stenciling the collar, I tried to work fast and not overthink and the placement did end up more scattered than in rows. YES YES!





OH... and I eliminated the gathers in the back yoke. The difference in length between the yoke and the lower back was 1 1/2" which IMHO is not enough for nice gathers so I decided to create a series of tucks and while they looked good in my sample, they looked horrible on the real thing so I re-cut the lower back sections and created a box pleat at the center. I like how this looks.






I've been sewing for a really long time and at this point, it is rare for me to read the instructions but I had no idea how to get the drawstring to extend past the collar seam. I had to read them to figure it out. That was fun, learning something new.





Let me tell you - as the voice of experience - that it is not a good idea to attempt to flatten your plastic stencil by ironing it no matter how many layers of press cloths you've put over top. When I get a new one, I'll extend the black floral stencil to the upper collar. I waited until the cardigan was finished for this decision because I wasn't sure if the collar could be worn up or down. If up, I may have stenciled the under-collar but it looks best down so I'll add to the upper collar.

When I added the black paint, it was TERRIFYING but I got over the fear quickly and continued on. And it was fun. And I felt like I'd made progress. And now, I've started on my second garment with the dark background and I've done a really good job of creating a hot mess. I thought a darker surface would be easier to work on. It's not. I'm persevering. I'll let you know how it's going on Friday.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - a total of 9 1/2" lost to date

21 comments:

  1. Very cool top. I love the way you have stenciled it. What is the fabric used? Also is the circle stencil your own design? I love it and you have such a feel for it. Also what is your paint and is there a rough stiff feel to it? Sorry about so many questions but your work is really changing and I am very interested in it. Have a super day.

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    1. The fabric is a very stable knit but other than that I don't know the content. The circle design is from dianeericson.com. I love it too. The paint is Lumiere by Jacquard. It's a bit stiff at first but softens with laundering. You heat set it with the iron. I don't mind the questions at all. That's how we learn. How do you see my work changing? That's an interesting observation.

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    2. Good to read and see what you've done and where you are headed.
      I used to teach in an art-based preschool. We often put printing on our lesson plans.
      We used a wire whisk which we referred to as an "oingy-boingy". It was a spiral shaped whisk which was shaped like a spring and compressed the same way. It makes the same type of print as your circle stencil does.
      Hence the nickname of "oingy-boingy"! :)
      We would also put out potato masher utensils. The possibilities are endless when printing.

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  2. I would call this a win. In my opinion it looks unique and "you," not like just anything you'd see in any store. It draws me in.

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    1. Thank you - that's exactly the result I was going for. How nice to hear that I achieved it... especially as I struggle with the second piece.

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  3. You're making a lot of good progress! Thanks for sharing. I wonder of you have experimented with a little color variation within the stencil. For example, the flowers might be shades of grey. Something like the background here-
    http://barbaragrayblog.blogspot.co.uk/2015/09/stencils-and-snow.html

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    1. Great link. Thanks. I was working on getting gradation within the elements of each stencil and I think I achieved that with the floral element although there is still - always - room for improvement. Next I want to work in the direction shown in the link and add more white or black to the base colour to get different tints and tones. Bit by bit I'm getting there. Thanks for the encouragement.

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    2. Oh! Good! The variation isn't showing up on my screen. Sorry I didn't notice your efforts.

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    3. LOL - they are fledgling efforts so I'm not surprised if they don't show up with great variation. The large singular flower on the back shows it the best. I'm improving but it's definitely a skill that takes practice.

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  4. I love your pastry cutter as painting tool, very neat effect. And to block off part of the impression, a bit of delight to me.

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    1. LOL - isn't it fun. The pastry blender and other "kitchen tools" make great mark makers and they're quite inexpensive to get at the dollar store and use just for painting. I also like the kitchen scrubber that comes on a handle. It makes some great marks.

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  5. Hi Myrna, Have you heard of Alabama Chanin, if you want inspiration please look at her website. Her garments are stencilled and then embroidered and appliqued. I think you would love the ideas. Cynthia in Uk

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    1. I have heard of her and I do love her work. I tend toward plainer fabrics and I'm finding that's a consideration even with the painting - how much is fun and how much is too much and where can I place it that works and where could I place it that would be uncomfortable. It's an interesting journey.

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  6. Your pattern choices are very interesting to me; in this case I have thought since this came out that the front of AB "went" better with the CD back and vice versa.....and here you are making it up that way!

    Looking forward to the next project!

    ceci

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    1. And now you know it works. YES YES!

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  7. Your project looks great! I find it interesting that the dark background seems more difficult to achieve what you want. Maybe because any color you add is just too much contrast? Looking forward to seeing what you come up, it's always inspiring to see your work.

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    1. Thanks. I came to a similar conclusion about contrast this morning. I don't mind the contrast of black and white which is interesting since that's about as extreme as you can get but after that, my preference is away from too much contrast and toward texture and details. That's something for me to think about in terms of how I'll use painted elements.

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  8. Great job and clever choices, except maybe ironing the stencil! LOL. I had a friend who was a hairdresser and she never wore smocks when she bleached or colored someone's hair. And she wore her normal nice clothes to work, like silk blouses. She must have thought I was magic because she showed up with bleach spots all over the bodice of a purple, silk-striped blouse which she wanted me to fix. I had no idea. However, I found those sponge stamps for use with fabric paint, and with shaking hands, applied a random ivy vine to cover the bleached areas. While it worked, and looked custom, it certainly did not look as elegant and professional as your version. Just fabulous-great result. Happy Thanksgiving and thanks for all the inspiration through the year.

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    1. Love your story. What fun. Thanks for enjoying my inspiration and sharing the journey with me. I love the company.

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Thanks for commenting. I appreciate the feedback and the creative conversation.