Monday, 26 September 2011

making bags

I started a 12-week course about sewing bags 2 weeks ago, at Morley College in Waterloo, because I want to make the fabric that I print into small bags and pouches. Here are some sketches for bag designs that I drew in the last class:

I'm going to use material that I printed previously.  Here are 2 photos of a make-up bag that I made 2 years ago, using fabric that I printed with an autumn leaves design, using screenprinting and discharge binder to print the lighter mustardy colour of the leaves onto the dark blue linen.

I only made two of these pouches 2 years ago - one for myself and one for my mum.  Now I'm doing this bag-sewing course to learn to sew and finish the projects properly.  I just taught myself how to make this make-up pouch, using a pattern from the internet, and although it came out well, you can see that the zip insert and the lining could be done more beautifully.

I also have some of this block-printed shell-pattern fabric left (not as much as in the photo) that I printed 2 years ago, and sewed up into a simple tote bag as a present for a friend:

I have used up almost all of both the autumn leaves and the shell fabric, so I need to print some more to make into the new bags.  The shell print is simpler to make, as I can do it at home with the lino blocks, so I will start with that first of all, and hope to make up some lovely professionally finshed bags soon!

Friday, 2 September 2011

tobias and the angel

Last June (2010) I went on a great block printing one-day workshop at Tobias and the Angel's workshop in Surrey.  They have a massive range of print blocks which they purchased from Yately industries for the disabled, and they now use to print their own hand block-printed cloth and products, and to teach workshops with.

On the day, the workshop participants chose a dye colour and we were shown how to brush it onto a felt-topped dye pad, stamp the block onto the dye-pad and print it on the cloth using a mallet to hit the back of the block with pressure.

We also used a weight on the fabric, to start printing at one edge of the fabric and move it away from us as we printed, ensuring the inky area wasn't touching the printer and the fabric didn't slip off the table.

The blocks I used had repeat designs that connected end to end, and I was shown how to mitre the pattern at the corners using a folded piece of paper to block off the print in the correct place in the corner.

I really recommend a workshop at Tobias and the Angel.  I was very satisfied with the print I made and the learning process, and the workshop is in beautiful surroundings with inspiring equipment and people.