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Designing Textiles From Scratch Textile Designer

Designing textiles from scratch is not always as easy as you might think. Not only do you need a great idea, you need to be able to follow it through to a finished object or even a series.

You need to know how to transfer your ideas from your head or from sketches on paper to something concrete and practical or decorative.

There are many techniques, many fabrics that you can use, so sometimes it is hard to make a start. Often we start and get stuck.

My design ecourses can help you negotiate your way through design, this one is on textiles

Moving Through Mud

Designing textiles from scratch is sometimes like moving through mud. You can get bogged down with indecision, stuck with an idea that will not flow or find it impossible to bring things to fruition.

However if you are like me, I only get stuck when I am faced with a decision on how to proceed, usually based on a lack of technique. So it was with my current jacket project. I had started fine and sat and stitched each evening until I had made 80 hand stitched diamonds. Joined them together in rows.

Then came the crunch: What comes next?

Decisions, decisions

I am not bad at decisions, I usually sort things fairly quickly. However, for every designer there comes a time when they get truly stuck. Was this the right decision? Would that have been better? Will this work? Is my technique bad?

I made a decision to use a type of folded patchwork around the edge, I have not got there yet, and might never. First I started on a central panel for the back to liven things up a bit.

I cut enough pieces for five different patchwork shapes. Then I lost a piece, stitched a piece a bit off centre and lost interest. All along there was a nagging doubt. Was it what I wanted?

Having finished another project, I returned to this design problem yesterday. I laid out the pieces and thought does it look right? Part of me said yes, part said no. No decision there. Then I thought once more, what else can I do? I could stitch some more diamonds but that was not what I wanted. I stared at it for a few minutes and decided it was worth finishing.

Designing textiles from scratch
Designing Textiles from scratch

The pieces are all just about stitched in place now. Of course I need odd shapes to attach in between them at the sides. I draw my own templates. Then I still have to make a decision on what goes around the edge, not to mention quilting it.

It might take a while yet, but I am on the move. Meantime I cut the fabric for jacket number three.

African fabrics
Designing textiles from scratch

Knitting

Designing textiles from scratch
Designing textiles from scratch

I also finished a sleeveless top. I was hoping to have the pattern uploaded to Ravelry today, but it will still take a day or two. It will be my 10th knitting pattern on there.

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2021

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Wearable Art Textiles Jackets and Coats 2021

Wearable Art is my main theme for the year. This is my first blog post of the year 2021. Why on the 11th January 2021 you might well ask; truth is I forgot to do it last Monday 🙂

Wearable art is such a fun past-time and can mean so many things. For me it is about creating unique wearable items.

Yes, well it is lockdown, but I don’t see why that should mean life is at a standstill. Keeping busy is a great way to get through. So I shall use this first blog post of the year 2021 to tell you what I have been up to so far and what you can expect in 2021.

wearable art
hand stitched wearable art

Clearout

It is always good to have a jolly good clearout and mine has been largely a computer one. Yes I regularly have a turf out and discover files that I had completely forgotten about. It also gives me an opportunity to find things that need completing. Remember to regularly back up your work too, you don’t want to lose it.

Roses

In this way I discovered the roses file. In fact there were three. What’s in those I thought. There is only one way to find out and that’s to open them. Then I remembered that one file was for a book on roses and I had done over 100 photos and then just forgotten about the whole thing.

So I am pleased to say that I have now cropped and sized over 500 photos and I am still going. I also created a book cover as you can see below. This kind of exercise gives me the chance to reduce the number of images I keep as large files so it has a purpose in that sense. Of course, the real object is to share the photos with you and give readers of the book the opportunity to just adore roses (they are so adorable) and to paint them or use them for textiles. Of course, it stands as a largely pictorial gardening book too.

Roses book cover
Roses Book Cover

Wearable Art

Which brings me nicely on to the next topic and what to expect in 2021. I have already created almost two wearable art quilted jackets. They are both created with patchwork, with a lot of hand stitching. The next one will be using some of my images and be more arty. So I am very excited about wearable art, stay tuned. There will be an accompanying book on Wearable Art.

wearable art
hand stitched jacket

This is a major undertaking to look at clothing and fashion throughout the ages and create wearable art, patterns and resources for style and more. I have started with the medieval period. I find period dress very fascinating. If you have a penchant for traditional dress following the link for the ebook on Tunisia.

wearable art
Traditional Dress of Tunisia

Textile Inspirations

Of course, I am still providing plenty of inspiration in my current series, working on The Egyptians, having launched Prehistoric and Mesopotamia last year.

textile inspirations
Textile Inspirations Prehistoric
Textile Inspirations
Textile Inspirations Mesopotamia

All the ebooks can be found here

Time to get back to work.

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2021.