Friday, 31 March 2017

'House Style' - Exhibition at Chatsworth House

This exhibition has only just opened, exploring five centuries of fashion at Chatsworth House.  Not all of you will be interested in wearable fashion but the exhibition does include some fabulous textiles and embroidery.

There is a display of exquisite wedding dresses worn by ladies of the Cavendish family, and all the dresses were created by well known designers.

The items on display range from clothing worn by Bess of Hardwick to items worn by two of the Mitford sisters: Deborah Devonshire and her sister Nancy.  The late Duke's embroidered jumpers are also on display, including one embroidered with the motto: 'Never marry a Mitford'.

Here is a dress worn by a lady when attending a costumed ball at Chatsworth in the 19th century - look at the size of her waist!!!  And here are a couple of close-ups of some of the embroidery:

With such heavy embroidery, including pearls, sequins and glass, the dresses must have been very heavy to wear.

This is a beautifully embroidered lady's dress, adorned with slips worked in satin stitch. 

Slips have existed for centuries - the design generally represents a plant, usually flowers or fruit on a stem.  The design would be sewn onto a fabric, then cut out and applied to a garment.

When the garment is no longer worn the slips are removed and appliqued to a different garment.  Recycling!

You will notice the butterflies at each cuff - inspiration for a piece of work for our National Day of Stitch in August?

Combining this exhibition with a visit to Chatsworth's Carriage House restaurant, where Glossop's Capability Brown exhibition is on display, would make an excellent day out.

Thursday, 30 March 2017

March meeting: Consequences

A busy, friendly meeting with a range of activities and interests to choose from.

'Consequences' describes a way of starting to stitch on blank fabric.  We were all given a piece of hand-dyed fabric with six squares drawn on to it.  We had 15 mins (yes, fifteen minutes!) to work chain stitch into the first square.  Fifteen minutes isn't very long when you are having trouble in threading your needle .....

Then the alarm rang and we were instructed to work blanket stitch or buttonhole stitch into the second square - the member in the photo above has used this stitch as an opportunity to add a shisha mirror.  After fifteen minutes the alarm rang again.

We were then given fifteen minutes to work fly stitch into the next square, changing to herringbone stitch for the fourth square, leaving the remaining two squares to be worked at home.

In the work in the right-hand photograph, chain stitch has been worked in the shape of a flower.

Members also brought in their embroideries for the Harry Ousey collective work - they all looked very impressive, even before they are stitched together as in the original painting.

Those members who attended the recent Felting workshop also brought in their completed felts, and there was a good selection of Travelling Books to choose from - for those who wished to contribute there was a good range of subjects.

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Felting Workshop at The Sewing Box

Last week Liz Smith held an amazing wet felting workshop in the workroom at The Sewing Box in Glossop.  She explained how the felting process works and then helped everyone to lay the felt tops and work them into a felted piece.

Here is some of the work:-


After the lunch break, whilst the felts were drying, Liz demonstrated how to make felted beads from wool tops, so look out for members wearing felted bead jewellery at the next meeting!