Petal & Pins

Tag: textiles

The Last Days Of Summer

© Sandra Alcorn 2014

© Sandra Alcorn 2014

As summer draws to a close so too does the wedding season.

A bride picked up her dress yesterday for a wedding this weekend on Bruny Island and I’m finishing off another for a garden wedding next weekend.

With a slightly less hectic schedule, today I made time for some other creative pursuits.

It’s been a few weeks since my Garden Fairy’s Wardrobe gained something new so that was the first thing I did.

Already there are little signs of Autumn appearing when I look around the garden – the apples are almost ready to pick, there are rose hips and a blush of colour on the leaves of the lilac bushes.

Some of the geraniums I struck last year are coming into their own and it’s the flowers from one of these that I’ve combined with fuchsias for this Garden Fairy dress.

With a birthday party to go to tonight I then turned to making a present. I had decided earlier in the week to make a bag and came up with the idea of printing some of my ‘kaleidoscope’ photos onto the smooth underside of a heavy cotton drill.

I chose a different image for each side of the bag and finished it off with a pink zip closure and hot pink silk lining. The bag could be used as a clutch purse, to hold jewellery or a pencil case.

I’ve been wanting to play with those images on fabric since I took them and I’m pleased with how it’s turned out.

I’ll post some photos soon – for now it’s wrapped up ready to give to the birthday girl – I just have to write on a card – a Petal & Pins ‘Garden Fairy’s Wardrobe’ card of course!

Spilt Wine

© Sandra Alcorn 2014

© Sandra Alcorn 2014

My silk macaron project isn’t complete but it has progressed.

The Ladurée box I brought back from Paris that sparked the idea for the project had a little mishap with a glass of red wine.

By way of explanation, evenings in the winter months are usually when I work on projects like this – free of my work deadlines that fill summer and spring – a bit of fireside stitching and a glass of red are very complementary – as long as you don’t bump your glass!

© Sandra Alcorn 2014

© Sandra Alcorn 2014

I think La Belle Miette in Melbourne is the closest thing  to a Parisian macaron experience I have found in Australia and their boxes are just gorgeous so I’ve swapped to using one of theirs.

It’s a smaller box but I do have a larger one for when my collection – or should that be selection grows.

So when the last of this season’s brides is complete I’ll dive back into my silk scraps and boxes of beads….and be careful where I place my glass.

Treasure & Mermaids

© Sandra Alcorn 2013

© Sandra Alcorn 2013

Silk scraps are like treasure to me and even throwing out the tiniest piece is hard to do.

Occasionally I find a moment to create something whimsical with them – no planning just making something spontaneously and seeing what takes shape.

This mermaid is one such result – her face and hair machine embroidered and her tail hand stitched with sequin scales.

It reminds me of the old figureheads on ships as she has no arms. Perhaps she sings a siren song to the other characters in my cabinet of curios.

Underneath The Cherry Blossom

© Sandra Alcorn 2013

© Sandra Alcorn 2013

© Sandra Alcorn 2013

© Sandra Alcorn 2013

© Sandra Alcorn 2013

© Sandra Alcorn 2013

© Sandra Alcorn 2012

© Sandra Alcorn 2013

© Sandra Alcorn 2013

© Sandra Alcorn 2013

© Sandra Alcorn 2013

© Sandra Alcorn 2013

 

Embellish And Adorn

© Sandra Alcorn

© Sandra Alcorn 2013

In my last post The Beginnings Of A Dress I had embarked on dying the fabric and fitting the toile for my niece’s leavers dress. We’ve got a lot done in a week, including making and beading some of the flowers to embellish the dress.

We also made time to visit my friend Amanda – I made a Garden Fairy’s Dress out of Rhododendrons from her garden last October. This time she had baked a delicious tea cake soaked in a brandy syrup and adorned it with fresh flowers.

Despite the wintery temperatures, wind and rain this week – all the flowers – both real and silk have allowed Springs festive air to shine through.

© Sandra Alcorn 2013

© Sandra Alcorn 2013

The Beginnings Of A Dress

© Sandra Alcorn 2013

© Sandra Alcorn 2013

In my post ‘An Elf In My Letterbox’ back in June I mentioned one of my nieces  would be visiting in September so I could create her school leavers dress.

We’ve been planning and plotting for several months with idea and sketches going to and fro and Marinella Rauso’s stylish blog I Love Green Inspiration provided some inspiration.

I had already chosen the fabrics and ordered a selection of beads and sequins in preparation. Last Wednesday she arrived and Friday we embarked on stage 1 – dye the fabric. The first attempt gave a pretty result but wasn’t colour fast so we re-dyed and now it’s a richer colour.

© Sandra Alcorn

© Sandra Alcorn 2013

Yesterday I saw a picture of Diane Kruger in a Valentino ‘poudre’ tulle illusions gown from the Resort 2014 collection – the colour and ‘feel’ is similar to what we’re creating.

Of course it hasn’t been all work and no play! – Saturday we went to Salamanca Markets and found a gorgeous cocktail ring and earrings to go with the dress and on Sunday we went to MONA and ‘feasted’ on fabulous art.

But today it’s back to ‘The Dress’!

© Sandra Alcorn 2013

© Sandra Alcorn 2013

A Lingering Reminder

Venice Fabric

This morning it was raining.

When it rains in the morning it often takes me back to the last day of my first visit to Venice. It was one of the few days it rained on that holiday, and opening the shutters I looked out the window to a steady stream of coloured umbrellas heading over the Ponte Chiodo bridge below.

As everyone scurried to where ever they were heading I lingered at the window watching and promised myself I’d be back. I bought a length of fabric on that trip from a shop on Strada Nova in the Cannaregio district – it now hangs on my wall, a daily reminder of a few days spent in  a city I fell in love with.

Last year I made good on my promise and returned to Venice. Again I bought some fabric, this time from the Fortuny workshop on the island of Guidecca. I made another promise to myself and in the meantime the fabrics are a reminder of happy holidays – and rainy mornings when you’ve time to linger.

Fortuny Fabric

Take Another Look In The Window

© Sandra Alcorn

© Sandra Alcorn

A stroll back in time, another stroll past my window.

Window Dressing

Window Dressing

When I closed my shop front and moved my studio home people would often remark ‘I miss your windows’. Being in a street dominated by restaurants and open exclusively by appointment had given it an aura of otherness in a town like Hobart.

I enjoyed dressing the window in the same way I now enjoy making my Garden Fairy’s Wardrobe designs – a chance to play with ideas (or simply a chance to play) by draping fabric lengths on a dress stand.

Over the years I was there I had some interesting conversations with people who regularly went past to see what was in the window and they stopped in to express their enjoyment even if they were not likely to become a client.

One was a woman who said her mother had been visiting from interstate and on returning home asked her daughter to describe the latest ‘gown’ in the window when ever she wrote to her – how I’d love to read those letters.

Another was a man who had a weekend ritual of strolling to get the newspaper and stopping to photograph my window. He enjoyed the challenge of taking an image through glass without reflection and the dress stand and fabrics reminded him of his mother who had been a seamstress.

I thought I’d add some ‘window dressing’ pictures to the Petal & Pins mix so you can travel back in time and stroll past my window too.

Montmartre Memento

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I have just made a shirt for Mr Petal & Pins from fabric bought on last years trip to Paris.
He has several shirts made from fabric bought on our travels – they make a great memento and back home when I start cutting the cloth i’m taken back to that place and time.

The ‘Paris’ shirt is in a pure cotton from Tissus Reine in Montmartre
and the print reminds me of the tin paint boxes I had as a child.

paintbox

The colours remind me of Chagall’s painting on the Palais Garnier ceiling.

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I’ll enjoy seeing Mr Petal & Pins wearing the ‘Paris’ shirt and reminiscing about strolling around Montmartre stopping for lunch at Le Gascon and drinks at our (temporary) local – Le Refuge.

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I also bought these Eiffel Tower scissors – aren’t they cute!

scissors

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