Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Doctor Who?

Sadly, I was asking that question just a few months ago. My mom was saying how much she loved the show and I had no idea what she was talking about. Considering what a huge sci-fi geek I am, I can't believe I didn't hear of it sooner. I caught an episode on the BBC America (one with David Tennant), and I was instantly hooked. I love the Doctor!

I'm really intrigued by the character of River Song (like most of the rest of you fans) and, being a bookbinder, also by that journal of hers. I didn't want to recreate the journal exactly... I wanted to make it in my own style. I love making leather journals with a soft, wrap-style cover...it really lets the paper shine, and you are always aware of the block of pages, rather than just the cover. I've made a few pieces of free-motion, machine-quilted fabric (for various applications), and I figured it should work just as well for a book cover as a strip of leather does. It does. Though, fabric covers offer their own unique challenges. I'll be expanding on this concept in the very near future. But, what's simpler than stitching in straight lines? You'd be surprised. Maybe it's fitting that my lines are a bit wibbly-wobbly.

I found the most perfect fabric for the lining...it's like a view from inside the TARDIS! I had a few other ideas, but couldn't find the right fabrics to pull them off.

This is probably the biggest journal I have ever made at 8 inches tall, 6 wide and 2 deep. I stuffed it full of paper. =)

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Elf Rhianon

Oh, my...where do I start? This doll had been in-progress for about six months as a I pieced together her clothes. It's a bit of a relief to be finished with her.

Her costume took shape around the jacket. It's cut from fabric that I pieced together from vintage lace, silk, satin and chiffon. The fabric is covered with a pebble motif in free-motion machine embroidery. Cut to have tails, like an antique tuxedo, the fitted jacket is trimmed in more vintage lace.

The leather belt laces up the back through brass rings that are stamped with a floral design. The belt pouch is fully functional, closing with a mother-of-pearl button, and cut from the edge of the leather hide to preserve natural texture.

The dress that Rhianon wears under the jacket was created using the draping method. The bodice is constructed mainly of silk and lace; the full-circle skirt is wool tweed in a herringbone pattern, trimmed in vintage laces. She wears eyelet lace bloomers under the skirt.

Her little leather slippers match her belt and pouch and are laced with linen thread.

I dyed the wool for her hair to match her eyes. She stands 17.75 inches (45 cm) tall and has pose-able arms, legs and fingers.

I lost track of how many hours I worked on her, but I remember that the shoes took an entire afternoon. I always remember the shoes. Those tricky little things with no margin for error. It has to fit perfectly or it will just fall off. =P So frustrating, but SO rewarding!

On another note: I have a cute little crochet shrug to block and photograph and share. =)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Saving Grays

My favorite long-sleeved tee was ruined, recently, in a cooking incident. Boo! It got splashed by a bit of grease and the stain really stood out. Of course, it didn't help that it was positioned over my chest.

I'm getting better about wearing an apron, now. I decided to disguise the spot with a stencil. (Liked it so much I did the back, too.) This doodle had been hiding in my sketchbook, unloved for weeks, until it found a purpose in saving my gray tee. There are six flowers because that's my lucky number.

This is such an easy fix for clothes that have been made unwearable by little spots or stains. Once you have your design, transfer it onto freezer paper (paper backed with a bit of plastic) and use a craft blade to cut it out. My shirt was a cotton-modal blend, so I wasn't sure how much heat it could take...I set my iron to low and pressed the freezer paper stencil to my shirt...go over the little edges until they're well sealed to the fabric. Slide some cardboard into the garment to prevent the paint from seeping through to the other side. Mix your paint (if you're using acrylic with fabric medium) or not (if you're using paint just for fabrics), then dab it over your stencil with a sponge...dab, don't wipe...wiping can cause your paint to squish under the edges of your stencil. When the paint is dry, peel off the stencil. (If you used acrylic paint with fabric medium, use your iron to heat-set the paint.) Wash garment as usual. Wear. =)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Something Old Gets Something New

Lilwen was originally a brunette. But, turquoise hair is cooler. =)