Distorting the Facts with Shirley Adams Sewing Connection


Piano Music Piano Music hello Shirley Adams here with the eighth
program in series three of the sewing connection. a viewer wrote to say she
liked the idea of applique on clothing or other items but it always came out
looking very childlike and that wasn’t her intent. fact of the matter is
appliques are just great on children’s clothing or in children’s rooms but to
add a little sophistication to a very simple theme, distort the facts. for
example this little fish down on the table has been appliquéd to what’s going
to be a child’s t-shirt so there I’ve got the fish in the Wiggly eyes and be
sure that they can’t come off if a small child is going to wear them and little
heart bubbles coming up and some neat decorative stitches you can do on your
machine naturally this is childlike it’s for a child but taking the same idea of
fish how can we distort the facts on that here’s how here’s my original fish
down here on this paper and I’m going to simplify it a lot anybody can do this
you don’t have to be an artist these things I’m going to show her for non
artists so it’s just a matter of drawing a little curvy line one way and a little
curvy line the other way and you have a fish close up the tail and if I would
further draw some little lines that make it maybe a little unfished like but make
it kind of interesting like this and then if I would trace all that on a
piece of that fusible web, the transfer sheet, I’ll make these lines a little bit
darker here but if I would get all that trace the same way very very simply and
then just fuse it to a piece of fabric. let’s see what can result with this so
I’ll get this all fused down you can do this either with an iron or on a press
I’ll do it both ways just to show you it works both ways very easily and I had
this all drawn on the rough side the fusible side of this so I can see
through I’m not sure that you can this fabric that I’m cutting up here
is something that I wore on an earlier show in this series it was a suit with
big abstract tulle they weren’t abstract they were just tapestry tulips but I it
occurred to me that the backside of this fabric had a very fishy look and so it
might do very nicely in a fishy theme. so here’s my simplified fish and I’m
actually just going to tear this backing off because it’s easier to tear when
it’s like this or you can go ahead and cut all those lines I’m tearing it off
though because can you see those lines kind of came off the paper and they
stayed on my fish so with those lines on the fish I would
cut out the different pieces and put it on the fabric that I have over here on
the press and I’d have to transpose all that to do it backwards so let’s get it
down here and let’s get it going so here’s the idea I am possibly not going
to do the same thing or the whole thing but I’ll do a little bit of it so that
you can see how it all comes about anyway you just keep placing them and as
I’m doing this as I’m taking them apart I’m stretching it out longer instead of
the size fish it was it would come out a big long one probably longer than this
piece of fabric I have so anyway this is the idea no artist no artistic ability
at all for this it’s just something anybody can do very
simply so you spread all these pieces out and by the time you get them all
fused in place just amazing what results for no talent whatsoever. I am really not
an artist but I do things like this frequently and then when I wear them
people exclaim about oh how terrific this or that is and it’s kind of fun
since you know that, gee, there was nothing involved. now what I’ve done here is lose
my place so that I’m not sure exactly how these go what that says to you is
that you better pay attention to what you’re doing and not be looking up and
down but anyway I’ll just put the rest of it down here to give you the idea
this fish is going to curve around in funny ways but anyway by the time we
have all the pieces placed in place wherever
they are and put the press down it would make a kind of an interesting picture
and it doesn’t look like the original perhaps by now but it doesn’t look like
the original fish I’ll give it a little shot of steam and just let it steam a
minute until it beeps but when that’s all finished once it’s steamed once it’s
pressed in place you come out looking something like this
this poor fish really got the hook he doesn’t look too wonderful since I
didn’t cut him apart and completely put him out but here I’ve done the same
thing on a sweater with a combination of ultra suede and just put this on a
sweater I didn’t make the sweater it’s a stock sweater I had but you can see that
no longer looks like the little child like fish so distorting the facts is
what adds a little sophistication to this another example that I have is this
one that’s hanging in back of the fish and I’ll just move this back here okay
this is another standard sweater that I had a cardigan in this case and the
discordant colors add a little sophistication too if you put the classy
the resonant colors that reverberate off each other as these do it’s a
combination of Rosie’s and orangie Reds and down into fuchsias and purples it
gives a little more sophisticated look perhaps so first I started by making
this willow branch on the machine and this is a matter of couching it on so
I’m doing it with a different color of thread so you can see what it looks like
but it’s simply couching it on any fabric sweater in that case it could be
on a wall hanging whatever is your intent and I’m using a blind hem stitch
here the one that goes several stitches straight and then goes over a zig zags
over and comes back again is what I’m using to couch this on and once it’s on
then we can get some leaves on that some willow leaves
well my first attempt was like this I started drawing willow leaves just very
simple ones and then it occurred to me that’s not the best way to do it it
would really be much more sensible if I would save suede or whatever fabric I’m
working with if I’d run them all together so here was my more sensible
attempt same willow leaves but because there are the
same at both ends it’s very simple to add just leaves here and there and I
probably can’t do this because it doesn’t write very easily yes it is it’s
writing on this paper but this is how you can see how simple it is to add
these willow leaves and nothing has to be cut out between each leaf they just
all run together so then what you would do with this I’ll remove a little bit of
it that I didn’t use what you would do if this is press it and I’m pressing
this on the wrong side the suede side of a leather like fabric so that we have a
little interesting contrast of textures when we finish up I’ll just cut out a
few of these and show you what they look like so here it is and the easy way to
cut these in fact is just cut one wavy line and then cut them apart perhaps so
it makes a really quick job and after you have a bunch of these leaves cut out
you arrange them on your willow branch and get them fused in place and then
depending on what the fabric is that you’re using in the background you
possibly can just stitch them on or maybe instead straight stitch them on or
maybe instead you’re going to need to on this satin stitch them if it’s a Ravel e
fabric this one wrinkled a little bit so I’ll give it a slight press while I cut
out another leaf or two and then we’ll peel off the backing and put them on now
this is just arranging them however the arrangement appeals to you I’ll put it
up here and isn’t this simple really non artist everybody can do it
so you arrange these so that they kind of are coming off that now what you
maybe can’t see too well is the fact that this is a combination of shiny and
dull but the interesting texture combination also gives a little look of
sophistication to it instead of being too blatantly obvious so I’ll just put a
couple few of them on here and then go ahead and fuse it so you can see what it
looks like this could though as I said be done just as well on the iron so it’s
whichever you have a preference for I’m ripping the paper a little bit to get it
off more easily a great deal of static in this
paper so it wants to cling to my hand I’ll just let it and I’ll go ahead and
put that down and I cuz I always add some more to it later I think it’s fused
without letting it whistle but it makes a little interesting contrast of
textures here as you can see the fact that those leaves are shiny and the
background is the dull suede look and so very quick very easy something everybody
can do very nicely I made several rows here on the sweater and this really just
took minutes to to cut out and fuse all of these leaves in place on the sweater
what did take a few more minutes then is to stitch them and I didn’t stitch all
around these they are fused in place they’re going to stay even if I put this
through them well I won’t on this sweater I’ll hand
wash it and spread it out to dry but what I did then to stitch it on is not
stitch all our way around the edge that would make it harder I just have one
little vein the way a vein of a leaf would be right down the center of each
leaf so that made it very quick to stitch it on in place even though some
of this is out in the sleeve it’s still just as easy to get even a more or even
easier for some of you non artists to do think about an abstraction of that same
thing instead of having something that looks completely natural you could do
something that is just completely abstract
here’s another sweater I seem to have an abundance of purple sweaters so they’re
all getting embellished today or a good bunch of them are so I’m putting this
one on the press and what I have here is just a bunch of these pieces of suede
and they are all in those discordant colors the Reds and the oranges and the
fuchsias and purples all mingled together because it does make an
interesting combination and I do have a fusible on the back of all this there’s
a fusible web but I’ve already peeled the paper off most of these pieces
here’s the paper still on this and I left it there because I might cut this
one up and make different stripes different sizes what I’m going to do
with this is just build a picture and or may not be wonderful I suspect it
won’t be wonderful but everybody can do something of this sort I’ll put one not
quite down the middle but a little off-center and I’d put some going
different ways maybe one over here and just kind of build on this play around
with it until you get what you consider a really interesting arrangement weave
them in and out perhaps do whatever pleases you give a little square over
here put a little accent up near the face here I’ll put another one down this
way and maybe weave it under this another one over here perhaps but you
get the idea you can arrange these in whatever way you like they don’t have to
be wonderful they don’t have to be anything artistic everybody can do this
you simply place them and there isn’t really too much there this isn’t great
but it isn’t all that bad and so I might just put the press right down on it if I
want to but that what this was here to remind me of I drew some straight lines
across that is because sometimes it’s interesting to just have a whole lot of
shapes to repeat themselves somewhere if for instance I cut a few pieces down
here in increasing sizes as each one goes down let’s just fuse the whole
thing and see what it looks like and if it doesn’t come out right it was
a throwaway sweater anyway I haven’t lost anything but if it does come out to
be something fun then terrific instead of throwing it away you go ahead and
wear it so I’ll get these all straight everything is sort of either
perpendicular or parallel to each other but you’re the artist you do as you
please on this so we’ll just put the top down and give it a little fusing and see
what happens I’ll give it a shot whoops I didn’t close it all the way there with a shot of C steam and we’ll
just wait for it to beep to tell us it’s finished and then take it up and see
what we have so wasn’t maybe too bad just to place it
there and do such a quick job okay after this Oh had I looked at it more
carefully but I really did do that in about half a minute had I done it more
carefully it would have come out looking a little bit nicer than this now even
though we’re putting these on sweaters finished projects you still can sew them
on very easily whether it’s a satin stitch or whether it’s going to be just
a straight stitch it still is not at all a problem to sew them on because we can
work ourselves down into the sleeves I’m going to show you another one here that
would be easy to work with and this one was another sweater that I put some of
those same purpley pinky blue colors on and I stitched some of them down
somewhere I did not stitch it down it doesn’t matter whether I’ve stitched or
not what I’m going to do is just come down into the sleeve here to show you
how it can be manipulated quite easily on your machine so now this is just
straight stitch because this is a suede fabric so there’s not going to be any
raveling so it’s not a problem therefore we’ll get a little stitching in here I’m
going to go down in the sleeve where you think oh but you can’t do that those of
you who bought a free arm machine just so that you could do this it doesn’t
work that way unless you go that direction
I’m not I’m having to use mine going this way so the free arm doesn’t help me
if you have a flatbed machine that’s alright too so here I’m going to be
doing a little stitching on this and as I get down into the sleeve it’s just a
matter of stopping and manipulating it whenever I need to I’m going to make
rather large stitches on this because frankly I’m in a contrasting color so
that you can see it and I’ll probably take these stitches out and put it in
the right color later therefore they’re large but you can see that every time
you need to you just manipulate your sweater
and you can get way down into a small wrist by doing this if you just keep
manipulating it as you move along now in the body of the sweater where you’re
more likely to put all this decor then on the sleeve it’s going to be easier
still when you don’t have to work down into it but you can see this is not
difficult you can get down into that way down to the wrist I have the needle in
the down position and do remember to do that so that every time you stop and
readjust everything on the machine that it will hold your fabric in place so
that it won’t come up and move on you anyway I’m almost at the wrist so you
can see it is possible you can do that without a whole lot of trouble
so let me cut this off and we’ll move onto something else
there’s this kind of fun now this is really an abstraction of that abstract
that I did I guess because I have simplified this so much from first of
all using pretty much the same colors from the willow leaves on the sweater
hanging up to the abstract sweater that I have down here to merely stripes
so very simple stripes here and stripes are an easy type designed to work with
everyone can do that and I did work here around the design that’s already in the
sweater there were some cable knit stripes going down here so I’ve kind of
bordered those cables as I put these suede stripes on because for a non
artist this is an easy way to do it work with what you have and whatever is
indicated down here then perhaps go with it and do something simple because of
what you see there besides going from more complicated to kind of nature signs
there are nature patterns designs besides going from them into the more
abstract and into the simple and besides simplifying that fish to something very
simple until it’s almost unrecognizable as a fish you might
do something different with textures now I did here with these willow leaves as I
was putting the leather and suede together the shiny and the doll together
here is sort of a combination that makes it a little bit more interesting maybe a
little more sophisticated then for instance putting black leaves on a red
sweater anything that blatant is probably not as easy to wear as
something that’s a little more subtle like this and it would just be a little
bit simpler to do this now these aren’t really going to Ravel either so this
could be straight stitched on but if you did have this in a fabric that was Ravel
let’s just put it on a satin stitch here and see what happens see if that works
out nicely now you are going to see this very definitely because I’m doing this
satin stitch with the wrong foot I should have one that has a groove
underneath for a satin stitch and I just realized I do not I have one that’s flat
on the bottom so that’s why I’m kind of helping it along here but a satin stitch for any radley fabric
will hold it down very well and then it can be either dry cleaned or washed
either one would work beautifully in fact with any of those designs that I do
in suede I very likely if I’m in a hurry to wear it I just might go ahead and
wear it a time or two and then when it needs to be washed
I might then go ahead and do the stitching rather than in advance just if
I’m a little impatient to get it all done okay we have this sleep done so
there we are will cut off the threads and you can see we’ve got a willow leaf
here again it would be prettier done maybe in a shiny thread of a similar hue
instead of in a white a complete contrast this way so think it through
try it out on scraps as I always say to do before you actually put it on
garments another interesting type combination is to combine patterned
fabrics here I have a very childlike theme on these pillows and yet even
though this little raccoon that I have there on the three different pillows
even though it’s very childish it’s for children’s rooms is why it is but
despite that the fact that it’s in a whole lot of different prints makes it a
little bit more interesting instead of having just plain solid colors and even
though all three of those are exactly the same because they are done in
different prints and different colors they look a whole lot different so here
you can combine stripes and little prints and large prints anything
imaginable it all works out beautifully as long as you stay in the same color
families here you don’t have to worry about having an artist sense of color it
looks just fine if you will stay in the same color family keep all the fabrics
very similar very much related and it works out very well these buttons by the
way are very very securely stitched on by machines so they cannot be pulled off
make sure that once again anytime you work with children’s things that they’re
going to play with or wear or whatever it is so
combination of patterns of designs in the fabric might be another type
distortion that you do in that it makes a more interesting design so there is
another one here’s a combination of textures and I think when we have this
facing the camera you can see because of the way the light hits it that it makes
kind of an interesting thing what I have done here with these tulips is this is
all the same piece of fabric those stems are in a different color there are
purple stems but the tulips in the background are the same piece of ultra
suede but what’s different is that I have cut the tulips upside down so right
now you are probably seeing it with a lighter background and darker tulips if
I turn it around you’d see the reverse you’d see lighter tulips and darker
background I think if that’s the way the lights hitting it right now but it makes
an interesting picture also so think of doing something like this last segment I
did something about altering ultra suede this is kind of the idea if you have the
same color you might if you’re altering it letting some seams out do some sort
of a picture like this on it so that you can cover up and enlarge it somewhat
well here’s really an abstraction what you see over here is simply a circle
I’ll move some of these things out of the way here so with this circle that I
have and where I got my circle was from a little paper plate china paper doesn’t
really matter whatever you have that’s round if you don’t want to bother to
draw a circle and if you don’t want to find any devices to do it just get a
plate so I’ve drawn a circle with a plate and where I would draw this circle
is on some of the fusible web the transfer sheet the pull off paper I
would draw around that so that I’d have my circle and then after you have that
circle done think of what you can do that makes it interesting so it doesn’t
look just like a circle because I doubt that on a sweater or on a t-shirt you
want to just plunk a circle right in the middle of it you’d probably rather do
something a little more interest so here’s how we can get slightly more
interesting with this circle we can draw lines in it maybe get a ruler or
whatever and draw nice straight lines all across it straighter ones that I’m
doing I’m doing these kind of quickly here but draw a whole lot of lines and
then an interesting design that you can make out of this circle by just cutting
this all apart and arranging it on your fabric here’s the original just circles
that’s not too interesting as you can see just a circle doesn’t do much for
you but if you would cut that circle up the way I had all those little lines
drawn and arrange them in a different way on your fabric like this it would
make a lot more interesting look of that circle you could do the same thing not
only with the circle but possibly with any simple shape take a heart or a
little animal or whatever and cut them up all in different ways like that and
arrange them a distortion like that makes such an interesting little
difference a little combination if besides having that circle if I would
just shave off a little bit of the outline of it as I have here this makes
kind of an interesting idea also let’s turn this circle into a ball and let’s
say it’s basketball season so we needed some hoops around it so here we have
hoops as we have these semi circles going around it and it’s much more
interesting than that basic circle in the first place or if it’s getting into
the right season then let’s say we are going to do a little golfing so here I
have the same circle all I have done is taken a paper punch and punched a bunch
of holes in it so that it looks sort of like the
dimples in a golf ball but also this is more interesting than just that basic
circle by putting a little depth in it like this by putting a little more
interest in we have something that might be kind of fun or moving around the year
what comes after golf is probably baseball season comes next spring
practice and golf begin I guess about at the same time but what I’ve done here
with this ball is add to it some bats if it’s going to be baseball season we have
to have a bat to go with the ball so I’ve drawn some different sized bats
here by the time all these were cut out and placed on this fabric it
makes quite a difference from the original circle and just arranging them
different ways and then fusing them down in place everyone can do this it doesn’t
take any talent whatsoever so to promote a little bit of sophistication in
appliques go simple to complex natural to abstract print mixture to make less
obvious or a contrast of textures but lend a little subtlety by distorting the
facts. another change that sometimes needed is in adding a pattern piece that
isn’t there. come join me next time and for a jewel
neck blouse, we’ll create a collar. Piano Music

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