Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Matisse art course at the Tate Modern

I am half way through a six-week art workshop at the Tate Modern that is based on the current Henri Matisse Cut Outs exhibition. During the first session we (30 fellow Matisse lovers on the course) pretty much had the full exhibition to ourselves to look at the amazing collage work of Matisse's later career.

We were then set the challenge of creating a collage of our own using three colours based on image that we had been given. I selected the bird-in-flight image below left.

For homework we were given a list of themes to work from and as I had selected the bird image in the first session I chose to continue with the bird theme and produced the collage below using five colours this time.

We have been encouraged by our tutor Sarah to ONLY use scissors to create the collaged images. Not having to use a pencil has been quite liberating and I have found I am being more accepting about the shapes and textures I have created.

The following week we worked into our sketchbooks building on the images, shapes, colours and motifs from our previous works and I explored a range of quick 10 - 15 minute collages below.

On Monday we got another change to look around the Matisse exhibition to specifically engage with the larger pieces of work he produced to get ideas and inspiration for a large scale group piece based on the word 'cornicopia'.

I was initially a bit retiscent about working with others because I had really got into my own artwork, but I need not have worried because it was lots of fun working with the group that included cool chaps like Bryan, bubbly Robyn, Jessica, (another) Caroline and Juliette.

Below is the large scale artwork we created - to get an idea of the size, the top of the paper was about 6 feet from the floor! To get our creative juices flowing and to share out the work load we swapped sketchbooks to see what motifs, shapes and images we liked in each others work. We came to a general consensus so that each of us had an equal share of the images. We all agreed on the blue background fairly quickly. So onto the artwork....

 Who did what?

In three weeks time we will all exhibit our work in the Cloires Studio at the Tate Modern and we can invite guests along! I can't wait. 

What do you think?
Do you like Matisse's work?

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Tulip skirts sew completed!

Yahoooo, I completed my 'Sew Over It' Tulip skirts this weekend. I attended the second workshop session on the 4th June and this weekend was the first chance I have had to finish them!
As I mentioned in my first 'Sew Over It' post I decided to cut out and sew two skirts at the same time - which I pretty much managed to do over the two evening sewing sessions. All I needed to do was to hem both the blue and green skirts and atttach the blue skirt to the lining and hand sew the lining to the zip.

Here are the finished garments:

Enjoying the John Lewis rooftop garden in my newly completed Tulip Skirt
Checking out the lovely fabrics at Liberty's Haberdashery department  
The fit of the skirts are good - although I will need to get used to the fullness on the hip area. I was very happy with the concealed zip on both of the skirts and used some contrasting stash fabrics for the waistband linings.

What do you think?

Sunday, 8 June 2014

The seven year shift or Simplicity 9620

I realised during Me-Made-May that I wear seperates a lot! They are more versatile for my day-job and I enjoy mixing things up with different combinations too.

I do like a nice dress though and in April, as the realisation of MMM loomed closer I figured that I did need to mix things up a bit. Enter Simplicity 9620 in black and white plaid.

This was not a conscious choice of pattern but happened to be a UFO that had sat in my stash pile for about seven years! It had moved house in this unfinished state two times - can you believe that!?

Anyway, back to the pattern.
It is a very easy make. A simple cut on fold for both the front and back (you heard it! NO fastenings) with bust darts and back darts with facings for the neckline and armholes.

The main body of the dress had already been sewn together (seven years ago) so the only thing that I needed to finish on the plaid shift was the facings and hem. I had the neck-facings already cut out but only one armhole facing; and with no extra plaid fabric I had to free-style the finish on the armholes with a rolled hem (machined on the first roll, then hand-stitched on the second).

It didn't take me very long to finish this little cutie and made me wonder why it was abandoned in the first place. The only issue I have with my finished garment is the placing of the plaid. I obviously was not as detail focussed when I originally cut this shift out seven years ago; if I had the chance to re-do it I would make sure the prominent white line in the plaid was centralised in the middle of the dress. I would also aim to match the side seams better too.

At least it shows with extra practise and the help of fellow bloggers like Andrea,  Katie,  Tilly, Winnie and Jen I have improved my eye for detail and my knowledge of garment sewing. Yeah!

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Tilly and the Makegood Festival

I met Tilly today from Tilly and the Buttons fame at the rather fabulous Makegood Festival that was held at the Old Selfridges Hotel in London this weekend. I bought tickets for the event for myself and my lovely friend Natalie after reading about it on Tilly's blog and subsequently reading about it in last Tuesday's Metro!

It looks a bit gloomy but inside this building was lots of fun!
Last summer I took Tilly's Mathilde Blouse weekend workshop at Ray Stitch in Islington and was pleasantly surprised that she remembered my name as she wrote a message in a copy of her new book Love at First Stitch.

Tilly wanted me to model the new stylish T&tB bag to promote her new book Love at First Stitch
I bought Tilly's new book and the much blogged about Coco top too, which meant I received a fab new bag to put everything in. What a lovely lady!

OK, I know I didn't really 'need' a new sewing pattern considering my purchases on Friday but hey a girl has to treat herself every now and then.... I just got a new job.... my toe is still broken.... erm I'm running out of excuses... help me out here girls!

Makegood Festival goodies. And VERY good they are too!