Monday, 30 August 2010

Super Busy.... here's some embroidery!

Peacock Shirt 1

So I've been super busy at work changing over casts and revamping shows.... I'll tell you more about that soon. But for now, here's some embroidery for you...

Peacock Shirt 3

My Peacock shirt was inspired by the decorations around my current ship. The stage curtain in the theatre has a huge peacock appliquéd on to it and there are many paintings of peacocks dotted around the ship. There is one outside on the promenade deck that has it’s feathers shaped like hearts, which I really liked and decided to incorporate into my own design.

Peacock Shirt 2

The blue shirt that I hand embroidered on to was given to me by one of my dancers, so I have given it a new lease of life with my design. I hand drew the design first, then marked the outline on the shirt using dressmakers carbon paper. I chose my colour scheme based on the colours you see on peacocks and that I thought brought out the blue of the shirt. Once I had finished the embroidery I added a few sequins to bring a little sparkle to the piece.

Peacock Shirt 4

I think this is a simple but elegant piece that could be worn during the day with jeans, or dressed up with some accessories.

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Ooh, That's Sublime!

Sublime Stitching 1

Jenny Hart’s website,
Sublime Stitching is having a contest called the Combo Contest. The object is to combine three of her patterns in an interesting way and produce an embroidered piece.

I have always liked Jenny’s designs and have both of her books, but have not had an opportunity to use them. This was the perfect time! Now, my embroidered piece may not be the most innovative, but it will be the springboard for something much bigger.

I chose to use the patterns Country Cool, Pinups by Gil Elvgrin and the book Embroidered Effects. I chose a cowgirl, a sailor pinup and the feather girl from the book (which I have wanted to stitch for a long time). I put them together on a 20" by 20" square with the quote ‘Well-behaved women rarely make history’. Each woman represents an aspect of myself.

Sublime Stitching 2

The sailor pinup represents my love of nature and water and that I have been working on the sea for almost 4 years.

Sublime Stitching 3

The feather girl represents my showgirl side, the entertainment industry that I work in and love, and the extrovert in me.

Sublime Stitching 4

Finally, the cowgirl represents my hardworking side and my confidence.

I have decided to use this piece as the central square of an embroidered quilt that I plan to make. I need to create 20 more 10” by 10” squares all around the theme ‘Feminist Statement’. I want it to show the women and words that have influenced me throughout my life… so keep an eye out for the squares as I make them!

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Beer Adventures...

Beer Cap Belt 5_finished 2_small

Until about two years ago I didn't drink beer. I didn't like the stuff, you couldn't make me! Then, as with many things in life, I met a guy and that changed! He refused to buy me fruity drinks in the crew bar of our ship and introduced me to San Adams... and my love affair with beer began!

On my travels I have had the chance to try a lit of good and not so good beers. The New England/Canada run is the best for this, having been dubbed the Beer Adventure Run by my friends and I. To commemorate my achievements in beer drinking I wanted to make something that showed off all the beers I had tried.... and so the Beer Cap Belt was born!

I've been collecting beer caps since last October and I think I still need some more. This is going to be a continual work in progress as I find more beers that I like and want to show off the caps!

Beer Cap Belt 1_Materials_small

I started by laying out the caps in the order that I wanted to sew them. I cut out a strip of black denim, rescued from a pair of jeans I had used for another project.

Once I had an order I liked I used pliers to fold out the edges of the caps so I had something to Shisha around to attach them to the belt... yes, I shisha stitched every one!

Beer Cap Belt 2_layout 1_small

Shisha stitching however pulled the fabric in more than I had planned so I may have to add another section... but that just means I have room for more caps!

Beer Cap Belt 8_finished 5_small

The fastening is a button and a piece of chain currently, but I'm on the look out for something different... I just haven't found what I like yet...

Beer Cap Belt 9_finished 6_small

And so, here it is! My beer cap belt! I love it!!!

Beer Cap Belt 4_finished 1_small

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Ashamed to Kiss

Oh dear.... Well, things have been a bit busy around here so my blogging has fallen behind... sorry!

But to make up for it here is a little preview of what I have been working on.

I was asked to design the costumes for a production by the English Theatre Company
Theatre Nomad. They are doing a 30 minute version of Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew called Ashamed to Kiss with three actors. I was given a burlesque/pantomime style brief and got going on ideas:

ATK Mood Boards

After the mood boards helped to to solidify my ideas I drew out some designs and sent them to Luke the Artistic Director for approval:

ATK Designs

Luke loved them and I got to work on making them. Petruchio (the male character) and Katarina were already cast, Bianca hadn't been found yet so I just worked on the two costumes. As with theatre, Bianca has currently been cut from the production, so only two costumes were eventually produced:

ATK Finished

I am very happy with the way the costumes have turned out. I think they look exactly like my designs! Luke is very happy with them as are the actors.

There will be three performances of
Ashamed to Kiss in London in February so go take a look if you're in the area... more details soon!