Tag Archives | screenprinting

Great British Sewing Bee and some upcycling fun!

I hinted in earlier posts that I’d been doing more dressmaking and upcycling than quilting and dyeing recently, so I thought I’d tell you what I have been up to.

I bought a secondhand Harris Tweed men’s jacket on Ebay very cheaply and altered it. 

harris tweed jacket 

I can’t find any ‘before’ photos but this is it when I had just started and was auditioning that orange silk fabric with it.   First of all I unpicked the lining from the main jacket from about halfway up the front and along most of the bottom edge apart from the back vents where it was too firmly stitched on!   Then I took out the shoulder pads and restitched the top of the shoulders to make them a bit narrower, more rounded and less military-looking.   I then stitched more darts to shape the waistline. 

altered harris tweed jacket  

Here it is just pinned.  I had to be a bit careful not to pull the pocket flap out of shape.  I also made the bottom of the armhole a bit smaller and stitched more tucks in the upper back to take out some nasty puckers that had developed.  Once I was happy with the fit, I restitched the lining and then added a few embellishments.

detail of pocket trim   

This is some of my printed fabric which I stitched on to the top pocket.  I also stitched some narrow burgundy ribbon along the piped top of the bottom pockets and replaced all the buttons with dusky pink ones to make it clear that this was now a woman’s jacket!  I thought I took a photo at this stage but the only one I can find is the one below.  The buttons on the sleeve are pink too.

upcycled polo neck 

The Great British Sewing Bee started last week and inspired me to do a bit of my own!   This pinky mauve top started life as a Landsend polo neck top and after a while I decided I didn’t like to wear polo necks anymore but I still liked the top and didn’t just want to chuck it.  So I took the neckline off and stitched that burgundy satin bias binding around the raw edges.  I also wanted it longer so I thought I’d put a flounce on the bottom.  I wasn’t sure about mixing stretchy knitted fabric and woven cotton, but I thought my hand printed fabric which I made with the wisteria screen shown at the bottom of this page of my blog matched the colour well so decided to give it a go.  I found a webpage on How to make a pixie skirt and it was incredibly easy – this piece is just a square piece of fabric with a circular hole cut in the middle.   A couple of lines of topstitching with a triple straight stitch finished it off and I’m wearing it as I type!

top with jacket 

Here it is with the finished jacket.

  another view of top

Not sure whether to sew this flower on or not…

Screenprinting results – first layers

Here are some of the results of my first lot of screenprinting.  The sessions have been a bit here and there because I’ve been busy with other things and have had to pop in and out of my studio a lot, doing preparation and then leaving and popping back later to do the actual printing.  So at present I’ve only actually rinsed out the following green and blue fabric, the rest is waiting its turn!  But DS1 goes off to university in Warwick on Saturday and so hopefully next week I’ll have a bit more time.

I printed this piece using a screen which had thin masking tape stuck to it in parallel lines.  I heavily overprinted it in yellows, blues and greens and I like the effect.  It might just turn into a reeds piece eventually.  I’m definitely going to do more to these pieces of fabric.

green screenprinted fabric

This is a detail of a bit of it.

green screenprinted fabric - detail

The sun was shining when I took the next piece so there’s a shadow across it!  I used two thermofax screens.  The first, with the smaller prints, was originally a rubber (eraser) which I carved into a grid design.  I then used the stamp repeatedly on a piece of paper, scanned it into the computer and made a screen from it.  Then I enlarged a section  of the single stamped design (actually enlarged several), made another screen from my favourite, and the larger overprint is that one.  Now it’s hanging up on my design wall while I decide what to do with it next.

blue screenprinted fabric

This piece of fabric hasn’t been rinsed out yet and has been batching for about 5 days now just because I haven’t got round to it!  Slow fabric…  I ‘wrote’ a random design on a blank screen with thickened black dye and let it dry (this is breakdown printing) and then printed the screen with blue dye paint and clear print paste in a variety of values.  It broke down to the dotty design and then broke down completely and I filled up the remaining white areas with the empty screen using blue dye paint to which I gradually added black.  It’ll be interesting to see what it is like when it is rinsed.

blue screenprinted fabric before rinsing

This is another piece that hasn’t been rinsed yet.  I was trying to make a design which would reflect the diagonals of the reeds in the last couple of months’ reeds photos but our laser printer had broken so I had to do it using charcoal and gocco pens.  But for some reason the screen only partly imaged so the lines were very fine.  Maybe I need to run it through at a lower speed.  Anyway, I overprinted and overprinted this in a variety of shades of yellow and green and almost to brown so I’ll see how it turns out when it is rinsed.  It looks as though it’ll make a great background design anyway.  We’ve now bought a new laser printer so I will try again and photograph my drawings and print them out.  The fabric is very stiff at the moment with the print paste as you can see from the photo but this will wash out.

green fabric before rinsing

I painted this reeds design (which is vaguely what the above screen was meant to look like but without the dots) using screen filler and screen drawing fluid and haven’t tried it yet but I thought the shadow cast when it was standing upright looked very effective.  I may use it to overprint the above fabric or discharge it.

reeds screen shadowed

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Another reeds piece, finally!

I’ve been a bit in the doldrums regarding creativity recently, or at least the textile sort.  So I had to force myself to get down to printing the next in the reeds series and it was a slow start.  But now I think I’m getting into it!  

Here is the sample piece I produced for what I want to do.  I’m trying to capture a grey, glowering sky with the dirty-gold reeds against it.  This is just a practice piece to help me see how the lighter colours of the yellow-gold will show up against the grey.

sample for reeds fabric

It is going to consist of many layers.  Here are the first two, not looking too promising yet…

stamps and brushing

Next I started with one thermofax screen.

stamped, brushed and screened! 

And then another….

stamped, brushed and screened twice!

At least another 5 layers to go… This is a slow process, as I have to wait for each layer to dry before I add the next.  I’m using fabric paints.  But it fits in with my routine at the moment: lots of cooking food for teenagers and countless household tasks, packaging up Gocco machines (only three left now, the pile is going down!), and my least favourite, juggling with figures for the tax return.  Not so many visits to quilt shows or textile museums, though I did manage my first ever visit to Ikea now that DS1 has passed his driving test! And lots of family tree research, and I’m plotting a visit to the National Archives in London….

So, to conclude this post, here is my design board at the moment:

design board

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