Monday, July 16, 2012

Crafty Couture

Urban Doodles by Lorine Mason

I am getting set to head out to Chicago first thing Saturday morning. I have decided that I will not, for the second time only in my career as a free-lance designer, to have a showcase of my work displayed at the trade show. I have decided instead to focus on my Crafty Couture entry. The Crafty Couture display will have a central location on the trade show floor at the convention center in Chicago and will contain 20 dress forms featuring the design work of CHA designer members. This is a wonderful opportunity to have your work in the middle of everything.
How did I decide where my focus would be directed?
I have been doodling forever but have refined my style over the past few years and this is a perfect example of what I can do with a black ink pen and some dye or paint. With my first love being all things fabric it made the decision of what to create so much easier. I chose a simple boat neck sleeveless dress design and an idea of what it might look like when I was finished. I am not one to sketch out designs, I tend to envision the possibilities and set to work. It always changes somewhat and that is what makes it fun.
I used a dye called S.E.I Tumble Dye™ and a series of paintbrushes to 'paint' my dress. I am thrilled and only one thing could make it better. I wish I could actually wear the dress but alas the dress form and I are not the same size. My model is a dear family friend and she stepped right up and I love her for that. Thank you Jana, you are the best!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Strip Tees - is the name too much?

Thinking of what to name a new product line can be fun and it can be a lot of work. I love the name Strip Tees as it perfectly describes what the product is; strips of T shirts that I use to create fun jewelry, hair accessories and home decor items. Stay tuned I might back down from the name and go simply with Tees, we'll see after the class I will be teaching with Ann Butler at CHA next week. I intend to ask the students their opinion, is it too much?

CHA Class Project by Lorine Mason

Here is the class project that I will be teaching at CHA. It will be fun to watch everyone create a version of my design. I hope to have lots of photos and will post some when I return. I will also be leading a MITI in the Westcott booth at the show. Lots of Strip Tees going on it seems. Now that I think of it, I smile each time I say the name - but am I smiling because I love it?

Friday, July 6, 2012

Teaching our children to sew

Sew Fun Tote Box
I feel the ability to sew is part of my personality - I am creative and I love fabric! It saddens me to think the art of sewing might be lost if schools do not continue offering classes to their students. Not every household has a sewing machine and in some cases they might have the machine but no interest  or the time to teach the children of the household. This is where the school system or the community can step up to the plate so to speak. If you love sewing, why not offer a class at your neighborhood sewing store, in your church basement or perhaps even in your home, keeping the class to one or two interested children.

I recently wrote an article for the Sewing Savvy e-newsletter about sewing with your tweens and teens.I created a quick Tote project that I thought might be a great starting point for new sewers as it is made from two fat quarters of fabric and involves a number of basic sewing skills that they can practice while completing a wonderful project to take home. The base of the tote is created from a cereal box which adds wonderful stability and can be changed out whenever you feel it is necessary. Sewing can be fun but to keep it fun, it really is all about the fabric and the finished project. If it is not visually interesting you have lost most teens before they have even started. To check out the project above along with full instructions read my latest Sewing Savvy e-newsletter. The instructions and pattern diagrams can be printed direct from the newsletter, making it sew easy. I would love to hear your comments.


Monday, July 2, 2012

Duetica & House Warming Gift

Finished Design

I recently acquired the membership to the Duetica Lettering Arts Studio which was recommended to me by my good friend, Eileen Hull. After talking with Mark and Adrienne at Duetica I was sold on the concept and will become one of their guest bloggers as I like the system enough to recommend it on my own. The Duetica Lettering Arts Studio provides for a very low cost access to numerous custom designed fonts and the ability to work between not only different fonts and sizes but each font comes in a variety of combinations that all seamless fit together.
This is the first project I created using the system the first time out of the gate so to speak. Here is how I created this fun pillow which I intend to give a housewarming gift to my daughter .

Tracing the Design onto your fabric.
I started by choosing what I wanted to transfer onto the pillow front. I chose to use their initials as the kMn & kNm were kind of unusual. I selected the Woodwinds font and quickly tabbed through multiple versions of lettering styles within the system. I enlarged the font to 230 and printed out the 3 sheets of paper. I then used a light table to trace the lettering onto my fabric using a pencil.
Adding weight to the Linework
 The next step was to use a Sharpie fine marker and trace around the lettering filling in the lines here and there and varying the width of the stroke. I used a piece of copy paper which I laid over the ink and pressed using a hot iron with no steam. The ink is now set.
Painting in Designs
The next step is to paint in the center of the letters. I used Tumble Dye by S.E.I to paint in the letters. I combined fuchsia, pink and yellow to achieve the coloring you see on the pillow front. While the ink does not act as a full resist, I found that I could carefully brush in the paint right next to the ink allowing only a small space for the ink to flow and had no problems. S.E.I. has a great tutorial on their website, check it out.

Once you have completed your line work, painting and have heat set the inks and dyes it is time to create your pillow. There are many ways to make a pillow and sometimes simple is the way to go. For a detailed explanation of making your own pillow I suggest to go over to the Fairfield site as I have instructions along with some other great designers on exactly where to start and how to finish your own pillow.
Thanks for dropping by and be sure to check out Duetica, Fairfield and S.E.I to see what you can do.