Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Are decorative waistcoats in fashion or not?

Are decorative waistcoats in fashion or not?

Its a question I have been pondering for the last few months.  

Looking back to 1992 which was pre-internet my waistcoats were sold direct from my public studio at Cockington Court, in upmarket art galleries, shops or by attending large craft events.  In those days my garments sold for £35.00 - £70.00 each.  I would be disappointed if I did not sell two/three garments a week, and it became a reliable income.

Moving on to the mid 1990's, circumstances changed and I began working from my studio at home.   I missed the company of other craftspeople and public feedback, but the advantages outweighed.  I could develop new ideas in peace and work flexible hours.  I continued to sell at shows/events and at Brigid Foley's lovely shop in Tavistock.  Garments were selling from £75.00 to £150.00 each, at looking back at my records I did well.   Getting out to shows I was able to communicate directly with people and sell.    The quality of my work could be seen and appreciated.  

This was the first photograph I put online
back in 1998.
Then came the internet  around 1998.  I saw it as a massive worldwide opportunity and immediately paid for a website to be created.  It was a basic website with no shopping cart, just a few images and words with my telephone number and email address.   To my great delight I began getting enquires and commissions from UK and further afield.   Wow, this is easy and decided to focus on the internet rather than bother with getting out to shows and meeting people.  Looking back this was probably a mistake.

Moving to around 2002 and I created my own website with 1&  but unfortunately lost my original domain name.  Did not affect sales and enquiries.   In those days I could put a search out for my garments and they would appear at the top of the listings.  All good news.   The bad news was that sales on the internet and from Brigid made me complacent and I relaxed.     The internet and technology moves so fast that if you do not keep up with it then you sink.  

Waistcoat ref: 04 for sale

I remember the internet before google, before big names had websites.  Unfortunately my tech intelligence will never catch up and I cannot compete with the speed and sophistication of these wonderful websites selling beautiful clothing and reaching people.

This brings me back to the title of this post:  Are decorative waistcoats in fashion or not.   The answer is probably yes.   Unfortunately technology has surpassed me and I am lost in the depths of the internet revolution.  Its time to rethink.

Waistcoat ref: 137 for sale

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Silk Hexagon Patchwork Revisited. Small Hexagons

Silk Hexagon Patchwork Revisited.   Small Hexagons

I was sorting through my fabric boxes the other day and came across a Ferrero Rocher container full of silk covered hexagons and with great glee I turned the contents out onto my ironing board and sifted through the memories. Several hundred silk covered hexagons begging to be sewn together to form a useful item.    The project started back in the 1980's with a small silk sample book of bright colours, and some striped silk that I had some quantity of.

The coloured silk samples were very small and suitable to create  just four 34mm hexagons (17mm each side), per piece.    Some  of the unused silk had been pressed and included in the abandoned container, ready for use.

Striped material is wonderful in patchwork as it can be used to create extra shapes and patterns within your work.   I am able to demonstrate this below.

Experiment by placing hexagons in different directions on the fabric,  vertically or horizontally ensuring the stripe in the fabric corresponds with the points on the hexagons.  If you are creating a column of hexagons try to match the medallions so the stripe continues through the pattern.

Unfortunately I only have this small amount of striped silk to demonstrate.

  Below shows how rectangles and triangles can be created within the hexagon patchwork.   See how the cerise silk hexagon on right below has been surrounded by the striped silk, matching all lines for maximum effect.

Sadly silk does deteriorate and this can be seen in the centre yellow/orange hexagon below, the silk is just beginning to show threadbare signs.   This is despite the fact this work has been keep away from the sunlight and has not been used for any purpose.

Below is an image of the piece as it is today.  Unfinished.  The silk hexagons created from the sample book work so well with the striped fabric.    Should I use the hundred or so hexagons planned for the project or should I leave it be.......perhaps it was never meant to be finished.   I am tempted to place under glass on my dressing table as it is.