Marjorie Taylor and Dr. Karen Norberg are textile artists, writers and academics that make amazingly beautiful textile art, including art that features that magnificent organ, the brain. Inspired by scientific research, their stunning work is automatically correct, and includes techniques such as rug hooking, quilting, appliqué, embroidery, beadwork, knitting, and crocheting. Materials include fabric, yarn, metallic threads, electronic components such as magnetic core memory, and wire, zippers, and beads. I am practically enamored with Ms. Taylor’s piece, “Velvet Cortex” (2006). The soft folds of the midnight blue velvet holds incredible and mysterious depths. Their work is featured in The Museum of Scientifically Accurate Fabric Brain Art.
Sharon Rose posted this free pattern for knitted knee-high socks on the notoriously amazing Knitty.com. We love the ribs and diamonds that traverse the shins, and the heavily cabled cuff that folds over to hide garters. These hose will also remain up on their own. She made them specifically to don with kilts, so that both the pattern and wearer’s gams could shine. They are sized for men’s shoe size 11.5, and calf 15” circumference, and she has included notes to modify them to fit other sizes. We predict that there be an influx of strutting kilt-wearers lusting for this snappy and glamorous hosiery!
Natalie at Craftzine has posted beautiful instructions on how to make a hand-sewn hem. In her example, she mends a skirt whose hem has come partially unraveled, but you could also use this technique to shorten or lengthen sleeves, pants, dresses, or skirts. If the hem edge isn’t neatened up with a zig-zag finish or folded under, then you will need to prevent unsightly fraying by folding it under a very small amount prior to pinning.
Sewing garments and home articles can be a creative, thrifty, and productive skill. Are you thinking of taking up sewing, and need to buy a basic sewing machine? Or perhaps you want to upgrade to a new sewing machine with more whistles and bells (like an automatic buttonholer!), or maybe it is time to add a serger to your tool collection. Folks from around the world have reviewed sewing machines in the PatternReview.com forums. There are over 3,000 personal reviews from beginning sewers and professional sewers. The reviews are conveniently organized by machine brand. Another great resource is your local library. Many public libraries grant free online access to back issues of consumer review buying journals including Consumer Reports magazine; the Consumer Reports March 2009 issue rates several mechanical, electronics and embroidery sewing machines. Buy a sewing machine and before you know it you’ll be making cherry-adorned tea cozies, vintage-look skirts, and rustically glamorous linen drapes.
Sally Muir and Jo Osborne wrote the book, Best in Show: Knit your own dog, and this wee Jack Russell woofer is taken from that book. Here are directions for knitting your very own Jack Russell, a big dog in a small dog’s body. I can imagine a pack of these barky creatures as tree ornaments, or perhaps doggishly prancing on a fireplace mantle!
Here is a free All Hallows Eve cross-stitch pattern from the folks at Frimousse. We want to take these Halloween pixies and carry them around with us tucked into the brim of our fedora! They are so adorable and magical as they cook up a batch of autumn soup, while a wee black kitten assists. These would be extra fabulous embroidered on a bib or a bread-warmer. Aida cloth is available on Britex Fabrics’ 4th floor, and needles and floss is available on our 3rd floor.
The changing of the seasons is always a great time to reevaluate your wardrobe and plow through your mending basket. Many times something that is boringly dull can be livened up with new brass fouled anchor buttons, a contrasting striped pocket, or a length of soft, narrow velvet trim. Other times, the fix is more challenging and a seam ripper, a generous dollop of patience, a cup of hot spiced tea, and a new zipper is required to make a garment wearable again. Many shy away from zipper replacement, but Jennifer from J. Stern Designs posted this illustrated tutorial on replacing a front fly zipper, and Tasia from Sewaholic posted directions on replacing the zipper in a vintage leather jacket. Yeah! It is almost like having new garments.
Britex has posted a slew of links to super-cute transfer embroidery patterns, but have neglected to post any directions on how to transfer these fabulous drawings to fabric, and then how to make the stitches that transforms your fabric into hand-decorated pillowcases, wall art, tablecloths, dishtowels and other household accouterments! Amy at SublimeStitching gives us three different easy-to-understand methods for transferring designs onto fabric, and then Jenny presents a plethora of stitches for both left-handed and right-handed seamstresses.
From the talented artist Andrea at Badbirds: Musings of a small angry bird, are two free and charming embroidery transfers for Halloween….Pumkin Girl in striped socks and Bat Boy in little horns. These playful youngsters would be devil-icious embroidered on either end of a special All Hallows Eve table-runner!
Yeah…..Craft Bar is one year old! While they aren’t baking cupcakes with sprinkles, they’re celebrating with lots of projects from Etsy Labs. Student night returns, and everyone can enjoy prizes, music, and refreshments from Lavash Restaurant. Resident Crafters instruct the making of cozy sock skeletons, traditional Mexican pictograph stamps, and pumpkin plushies from recycled sweaters. Visiting artists Meighan O’Toole, author of the blog My Love for You is a Stampede of Horses, will be making Gods-Eyes and Katy Kristin will show you how to sew cuddly plushies. For those who prefer a less-structured crafting experience, perfect your knitting and crocheting skills in our free-form Stitch ‘n Bitch area. $5 admission to the gallery includes materials and instruction for all crafts, and students are free. Museum of Craft and Folk Art, 51 Yerba Buena Lane, SF, Ca 94103 6-9pm