CoCoVid Weekend

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It’s been a while since I updated my blog. Since the pandemic began, I lost my creative mojo. I’ve been trying to force myself over the last few months, but thats never the way is it?

However, I feel my creative mojo coming back with thanks to the CoCovid weekend that is currently going on on YouTube.

Every year there is a fabulous event called ‘Costume College‘ in California. I came across it watching YouTube videos of the event last year and I would love to attend at some point (if my confidence and anxiety will allow me). As this years was cancelled, members of CosTube have created an online event over this weekend. These CosTube members are uploading videos to their YouTube channels over these 4 days. I’m a little late to the party, but I believe the videos will be available for the next week or two at the very least (depending on the individual channel). They have also created a Discord server for people to interact with each other over the weekend.

At Costume College, you’re able to collect unique ribbons by attending events and classes, and CoCovid have given us the ability to collect badges by downloading a free Badgewallet app. I’ve already collected 3 (as I said, I’m late to the party!) and I’m looking forward to collecting more.

I’ve printed off the CoCovid programme and I’m looking forward to jumping into more videos in a minute, but I wanted to come on and post on here about it before the weekend is over. It’s making me so excited to start sewing again and perhaps even become a member of the CosTube community myself at some point.

You can find all the information on their Instagram page with links to all the good stuff:

https://www.instagram.com/costubeguide/

Digital Textile Design – Tutorial 2 – Creating Complex Colour Blends

Working in Illustrator, as well as Photoshop this time. This was a very confusing tutorial. A lot of the things it told me to do, I couldn’t do. Like copying in Illustrator and then pasting in Photoshop. The book is a few years old, so perhaps on earlier versions of Illustrator and Photoshop you were able to do this. I worked through the tutorial as best as I could, to create the same image that the book was telling me to do. It has taught me how to use the blend tool, which I didn’t know before (or at least couldn’t remember if I did).

I really didn’t like this tutorial and I certainly didn’t like the results. I think it’s important to do these tutorials to learn though. They teach you the basics so that you can then use that knowledge to create your own designs. After working through the book, it’ll be interesting to use different methods from each tutorial to combine them to create something of my taste.

Tutorial 2

 

New project – Butterick B5951 pattern

new project leopard print dress

This is the pattern for the first dress I ever made. I was supposed to pick an easy dress to take to a weekend class at a local college (in my defence it says it’s an easy pattern on the back of the pack). I don’t think the tutor was too impressed, but she helped me make it and it turned out ok. I took the pattern into my local Fabricland and asked their help explaining my situation. This was many many years ago, 2013 I think, before I knew anything about sewing and before I went to university. They weren’t particularly helpful in the shop (online they have given great customer service). The member of staff clearly was irritated that I didn’t really know anything, wasn’t sure what fabric to buy for the pattern, etc and it was obvious she just wanted to get rid of me. She ended up selling me a thick cotton twill fabric that was way too heavy for this pattern and my tutor wasn’t too happy, but it kind of ended up working, thanks to my tutor. I have to admit, I’ve never worn the dress, so that probably says everything about it really. It’s just bulky and not the most comfortable to wear. I’ll probably upcycle it into something else at some point.

Anyway, I have decided to give the pattern another go! I love the design and I am comfortable sewing now to a certain extent. I wanted to sew myself a dress in leopard print fabric and thought this design would work well (I’m sewing style C).

I bought the fabric from Pound Fabrics in May last year. I bought 10 metres for £10 (so I should have quite a lot left!) It’s a polyester fabric (which I would probably avoid now, but it was in my stash waiting to be used). It has a copyright printed on it saying ‘Copyright Gerry Weber Art – 70900 Season 2142-K4’ I have googled Gerry Weber and it is a clothing company, so I’m assuming this is left over fabric sold to the retailer to sell on?

I’m excited to get going with it!

The 15kg scrap challenge

£30 scrap challenge

This year I have set myself a bit of a challenge alongside trying to expand my general creative skills. Sustainability in fashion is something we all need to think about. The fashion industry is one of the most polluting industries in the world. With the rise of fast fashion, producing low quality items made by underpaid, badly treated people working in terrible conditions, we really need to think about where our clothing comes from and how it’s made. Thankfully this has received a lot of press over recent years and people are opening their eyes.

I am guilty of owning pieces of fast fashion. I think we probably all are. I try to make it last as long as possible, mending whenever I can. So I thought I would set myself this challenge. I saw that Minerva crafts had their 1kg bags of scrap fabric on sale for £2.99, so I bought 15 bags. I’m a member of their craft club, so I got a further 10% off. Therefore, I ended up paying £40.37 for 15kg of scrap fabric. I also got some stuffing and interfacing within the bags.

So I’ll be dipping into this throughout the year and seeing what I can produce. I’m thinking of selling some items on Etsy, depending on what I make. I’ll keep everyone updated on here and on my Instagram ❤️

DMC Cocker Spaniel Cross Stitch Kit

Golden Cocker Spaniel cross stitch

When I was a teenager, I really enjoyed cross stitch. I hadn’t done any in, probably over 20 years!, so I decided to buy a few kits back in May/June 2018 as I had a big operation looming and knew that I would require something that I could do curled up in bed or sat on the sofa to alternate with reading, as recovery was going to take a few months.

I took this kit into hospital with me, but didn’t get a chance to even take it out my bag. I ended up only staying in 2 nights and the first 24 hours I was on a lot of morphine, and it was then a couple of weeks before I could actually sit up comfortably for any length of time. I made a start on it, but then put it aside for a few months.

I eventually finished it last year and love it! The reason I chose this cross stitch is because of my gorgeous golden cocker spaniel, Ziggy, who was the light and laughter in my recovery. In 2019 we were lucky enough to be able to give a home to his twin sister and litter mate, Luna. It’d be great to create a cross stitch of the two of them. I know you can get photographs converted into cross stitch charts, so I’ll have to look into that at some point!

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Digital Textile Design – Tutorial 1 – Using Filters in Photoshop

Hi everyone, I’ve been in a bit of a creative slump recently, but have been throwing myself into books. This caused me to pick up an old book that I had from university, called ‘Digital Textile Design’ by Melanie Bowles and Ceri Isaac.

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I’ve decided to see if I can work through it, which in turn, I’m hoping will inspire me to do the same with the other creative books I have.

The first tutorial is ‘Using Filters in Photoshop’. I’ve decided to use roses that I have photographed for this task, just as the example shows, and so that I can easily compare my work to the work in the book.

First thing I did was open 5 different photographs of roses that I have taken, then I created a new page in Photoshop to create a collage. I selected the size as A3 (as we were always taught to use that size at university) and rotated it to landscape. I then cut out roses from the 5 separate photographs using the lasso tool and then selecting ‘cut’ from the edit menu and pasted them individually on my A3 page, resizing and adjusting as required.

My finished collage:

Rose collage

The first filter we are asked to look at is the ‘Cut Out‘ filter. You can adjust the settings on the filters by using the sliding scales to see which you feel work better for your image. For the Cut Out filter, I used:

Number of levels – 7
Edge simplicity – 4
Edge fidelity – 3

Cut out filter

The next filter we are asked to look at is the ‘Coloured Pencil‘ filter.

The settings I used for this were:

Pencil width – 3
Stroke pressure – 11
Paper brightness – 44

Coloured pencil

The third filter we look at is the ‘Soft‘ (on my version of Photoshop its called ‘Smart Blur’) filter, allowing you to soften the edges of your collage. This didn’t make a huge difference to my image, so I had to crank the slider right up to see any effect really, however slight it is…

The settings I used for this were:

Radius – 88.8
Threshold – 100.0
Quality – High
Mode – Normal

Soft

The fourth filter we look at is the ‘Vintage‘ filter. We do this by adding a grain texture. Again, I struggled to make much difference, so had to increase the intensity and contrast quite high.

The settings I used for this were:

Intensity – 100
Contrast – 77
Grain type – Regular

grain

The fifth filter is ‘Pop Art‘, which we create by using the ‘Colour halftone’ filter found in Pixelate filters. Unfortunately we don’t get a preview of what it will look like, there isn’t a slider to adjust for this filter, so I just randomly typed in the numbers below.

The settings I used for this are:

Max Radius – 6 (Pixels)
Screen angles (degrees)
Channel 1 – 111
Channel 2 – 140
Channel 3 – 99
Channel 4 – 333

pop art

The sixth filter is ‘Pixelate‘. I quite like this effect. I’ll probably play about with this filter and other designs in the future.

The settings I used for this are:

Cell size – 44

Pixelate

The seventh filter is ‘Embroidered Effects‘. This is created by using the ‘Stained Glass’ filter in ‘Textures’.

The settings I used are:

Cell size – 36
Border thickness – 6
Light intensity – 2

Stained glass

The eighth filter is ‘Abstract Distortion‘. Which can be created by using the ‘Wave’ filter in the distort section.

The settings I used for this are:

Number of generators – 11
Wave length
Min – 120 Max – 279
Amplitude
Min – 1 Max – 160
Scale
Horizontal – 21% Vertical – 76%

Abstract distortion

The ninth and final filter is ‘Silk-Screen Effect’. Which you create by using ‘Posterize’.

The settings I used are:

Levels – 3

Silk-screen effect

What did I think? I particularly like the ‘Pixelate’ filter, and the ‘Cut Out’ filter. I was disappointed with the results of a few of the filters that didn’t show much difference, but I believe that was probably because of the colours of the roses that I chose were quite similar. I imagine a vast array of colours will produce a more dramatic effect.

 

#FallForCostume on Instagram

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Hello, I saw this #FallForCostume challenge on Instagram, posted by @redthreaded and have decided to give it a go! I’m hoping it will restore my social media and blogging mojo…

It all starts tomorrow! October 1st-31st. Can you believe it’s October already?! Where has 2019 gone??

If you want to follow along on Instagram, you can follow along with the hashtag #FallForCostume My Instagram is @TheLionsTheWitchAndTheWardrobe If you’re also posting, let me know, I’d love to see!

 

Geometric Kate Bush using Adobe Illustrator

KATE BUSH FINAL

Back in 2016, when I was on a summer break from university, I decided to try and expand my Adobe Illustrator skills. YouTube has been a great source of information for sewing for me, so I decided to search what Illustrator videos were on there and came across this one to create a geometric picture.

I just sat in front of the TV with my laptop and played about with a Kate Bush photograph that I got from google. I didn’t intend to spend so much time on it and make it so detailed, it just kind of went that way. I wanted it to be more blocky from the outer edges and make her face more detailed. I love how it turned out and got a massive print out of it to frame and put on a wall at home.

Do you have Illustrator? Have you followed this tutorial? I’d love to see what you’ve created! Please post below any artwork you have created, or any tutorials you swear by =)

Hello, and welcome to my blog

sewing

Hi, my name is Kate and as my ‘About Me‘ page explains, I have always been a creative person, my main focus being fashion and costume. I really enjoy experimenting with different mediums, and have also dabbled with jewellery making and leatherwork.

Over the next few weeks, I will share previous work that I have created. I am also planning to write about costume on film, especially with the final series of Game of Thrones starting next week! On top of this, I am planning to try out various patterns and write about how I find them, as well as any other creative endeavours.

I hope you enjoy my little creative outlet on the internet.

Kate xx