Summer haze in paint


Hazy summer on handpainted on bamboo silk

My last fabric order included some bamboo silk.  I’m planning to use some of this as a lining but this leaves me with spare fabric.  It’s very soft, flowing  material so I thought it might make a scarf.   The fabric is plain white so I decided to add colour and texture by painting it.   I normally use opaque fabric paint to paint on cotton and wasn’t sure if this would work well as there are specialist paints for silk but not for bamboo silk.  I decided to water down the fabric paint to try and keep the material’s softness.  I wanted the result to look like it flowed like the material does.

I decided on an abstract green, yellow and white design inspired by the long hot hazy days of the summer where the grass becomes patched with yellow in places.   I love that time of year with meadows of tall grass waving in the wind and fields of cut grass interspersed by splashes of yellow and white from daisies, buttercups and dandelions.   It reminds me of hours relaxing outside, maybe reading or making daisy chains or just lying on the grass in the sun.

The fabric had a slightly different texture when it was finished but it was only a little stiffer than before.  The painting came out really well, with spots of yellow and white and longer brush strokes of green on a diluted yellowy green background.  It reminds me of dreamy lazy hot days.

Fring of hand painted bamboo silk fabric

P. S. The fabric is very transparent so I had difficulties getting the colours/details of the painting to show as well as they do in reality.

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Stripes, dragons and judo art


Multicoloured draw string bag and judo painting

Multicoloured draw string bag and painting of judo for a bag

Yesterday afternoon I moved onto some different projects as there isn’t much I can do on my main project, a dress shirt, until next week after I’ve had another fitting.  I’ve been asked to make a set of drawstring bags to keep toys in and some of the fabric that arrived this week was for these.  The first bag is being made from an organic fair trade cotton and bamboo fabric which is woven in multi-coloured stripes.  The suppliers warn that this is liable to shrinkage so I spent some pleasant time in front of the television watching Cake Boss while sewing a hem on the fabric’s edge to prevent fraying in the washing machine.  I lost around 2cm on the piece I cut and washed, which is around the 2% shrinkage that the suppliers said it would be.  While I was ironing the stripy fabric I washed the piece of fabric for the second bag which is dark green organic cotton with red Welsh dragons printing across it.  I sewed the main parts of the stripy bag, created the draw string from the same fabric and attached it.  There are some finishing touches to add but this is very nearly finished.

As today is Saturday I don’t normally do any sewing but I said I’d make a small bag for my hubby to take to judo with him so he can keep his glass and small things safe while he’s training.  So to get started this morning I drew out an image of two judo people (apparently the term for them is judoka) doing a move called tomoe nage on some fabric.  I’d been sketching some pictures of judoka for another project so I based the picture on one of those.  I then painted the image in fabric paint using simple lines.  I’m trying to simplify the image as much as I can with a limited number of flowing lines to reflect the dynamic movement in the sport.  On the face of it it would seem easier to do a simple drawing rather then one that is detailed and photorealistic but knowing what can be left out and how to work with white space to still show the image you want is difficult.  The result I got this time isn’t quite there but I’m confident I now know how to improve it for my bigger project.  Once the image is dry I can make the pouch bag.

It’s a really nice day here so I’ll be outside enjoying the sunshine by the river for the rest of the day.  I might go to the cinema this evening and watch a film about prehistoric cave art.  It might give me more inspiration for creating art with simple lines.