Sunday, April 25, 2010

embellishing your work...


I know that you hear me talk about it a lot... but have you ever wondered what this EMBELLISHING thing is all about???

Essentially, it is DECORATING



But the big question is:


It's kind of hard to explain.

I know that doesn't help any, but it's kind of one of those thing where you just KNOW if what you're doing is right or not.

Which must be really frustrating if you are one of those people who doesn't jusk KNOW.

The good news is... that you can learn by experimenting.

That's how I taught myself.

It didn't just come naturally to me. In fact, I've only really learned to do it in the last few years.

In the past, I was always a pattern girl. There was no way that I would attempt ANYTHING without a pattern. Even if the pattern seemed to be wrong, I would still follow it. Because that's what the pattern said to do.

I wouldn't have embellished anything, unless the pattern said to.

And it would have to tell me EXACTLY what to do. Which shade of red felt I should use. What colour of cotton. Which size of sewing needle. Exactly what size of button, and where I should buy it from. How many stitches to work through the button eyes.

You get the picture.

Then, after my third child was born... I developed an interest in scrapbooking.

Which is basically cut and paste for grown ups.

I learned that I didn't need to know exactly what I was doing before I started.

I could change my mind as I went along.

I could experiment with different colours and textures and positions.

Nothing was set in stone. I could try an idea... and then change it if I didn't like it.

The novelty of scrapping wore off after a year or two... and I went back to my fibrecrafts.

But with a renewed vision.

I wanted to embellish everything!

Stuff the patterns... THIS IS MY WORK

I wanted to experiment with everything...

and I have...

(well almost)

Anyway... I've ventured off track a little, because this post was going to be a tutorial on embellishing.

But I'm not really sure how to teach it...

So, what I'm going to do is embellish a shabby hat... and show you the steps that I go through, mostly with photos

(the hat pattern is here if you haven't seen it yet)


so here's the hat to start with:

and I'm thinking a flower would look nice

I've chosen a cream felt

and cut out 5 teardrop shapes for the petals - they're not identical, but that's okay

join them together


and don't worry if the back is untidy

add a centre

and some french knots - just because I am obsessed with them at the moment



and some more french knots

and a few more, just for good measure

now for a background for the flower, just to give it some lift

trace around the flower (fabric is actually a really deep burgundy, but photographed very oddly)

cut it out, and pop it behind

stitch together - remember, it DOESN'T MATTER what the back looks like

and here it is


misha said...

Thank you for this post. I mean, really thank you. I was beginning to think I'm hopeless at embellishing, that I lack creativity and imagination and resourcefulness :( But if you, of all people, say that it didn't come to you naturally and that it can be learned, then there's hope for me. Or at least, this is how I feel after this post :)

Kyliie said...

Thank you! Oh and Kenzee wore her hat to Stitches South and got a billion comments!

MJ said...

Really delighted to hear about your epiphany! If only everybody could experience that sort of liberation and step outside the box.
Your embellishments really add such personality to the work. Do you ever take into consideration what happens to the embellishment with laundering? I have stuck with making my decorations with the same type of yarn that I make the product with partly because I don't want the giftee to be disappointed after he or she washes the item up. Some stuff just frazzles. Do you have any experience with that?

Kim said...

This is a wonderful post! I've been vainly attempting to embellish a purse I recently crocheted. Thank you!

Dana said...

I am such a pattern girl and this article has really helped me see that the thrifty side of a project makes it more beautiful. Thank you so much. You absolutly are an inspiration to other crafters!!!