Monday, 24 April 2017

Fashion & Embroidery Show 2017

After blogging about the Cardigan for Cardigan in my last post I said I would show you some of the fabulous textile pieces I found at the Fashion & Embroidery Show at the NEC last month. Combined with Sewing for Pleasure it really is a great showcase for the very best textile art around. Here are just a few of the ones that particularly caught my eye: 

I love the patchwork jackets of textile artist Maria Thomas.  Maria creates these jackets from found materials such as this one made from a vintage linen tablecloth combined with food packaging. Her work is inspired by memories and experiences of family life and domestic chores. 

Loving the use in this one of an old paper sewing pattern and tape measure.

A jacket made from vintage denim jeans.  Another idea perhaps for all my old pairs of jeans.

And I loved this piece she made using old bottle tops and sweet wrappers. Maria will be Solihull Embroiderers guest speaker on 2 May talking about her journey through stitch and displaying her work so please come along if you can. Visit Solihull Embroiderers Facebook page for details of the event. 

Who remembers wearing cute little smocked dresses such as these? 

Girls will be Girls is a celebration of exquisite dresses that butter wouldn't melt little girls used to wear. A unique collection of heirloom-sewn dresses created by Wendy Hickson, textile conservator at the National Needlework Archive. 

For fans of Game of Thrones this amazing embroidery was created by members of the Embroiderers' Guild and consists of 4 panels butted together to make one vast embroidery 5.5m long and 3.8m high. To celebrate Game of Thrones Series 5 HBO commissioned the Embroiderers' Guild to create a special artwork featuring a 'White Walker' from the series.  

I have never got round to seeing Game of Thrones (late in coming to the party again but am hinting to DH for the box set) but this really was a sight to behold and the work that has gone into this piece is stunning. Along with the Royal School of Needlework, members of the EG from all over the country took part including Deborah Philpott from my own Solihull branch of the EG. It has since become known as the 'Hardhome Embroidery' after the battle that took place in GoT. Who said embroidery was dull?

Oh to have a waist like this but the poor women who had to wear this style of dress back in the day must have suffered dreadfully.  

All of these historical French costumes formed part of an exhibition called French Dressing and were created by Olivier Henry from Ecole Duperre in Paris. 

The High Street Stitch-Up - Crickhowell in Stitches - Two panels, one depicting the East and the other the West side of the High Street of Crickhowell in South Wales and the result of a commission from Arts Alive Wales.  

Over 600 people took part in the community art project with many of the  participants depicting themselves and their own shops and trades. 

Always enjoy browsing the trade stands so treated myself to a Merchant & Mills paper pattern which I am going to make up in linen. 

And a little bit of whimsy to end on. Couldn't resist this dapper little hare in his tweed suit.

Monday, 10 April 2017

A Cardigan for Cardigan

Last  month I made my usual visit to The Fashion & Embroidery Show at the NEC.  We are lucky living in Birmingham to be so near to the big sewing shows and festivals.  This one is one of my favourites as it showcases textile arts, embroidery, experimental stitching, knitting, mixed media and fashion design. Now as the title of this blog suggests, I do love a good cardigan so was delighted to come across this beauty.

The Aberteifi Cardigan was designed by artist Lisa Hellier whose idea was to bring together the townsfolk of Cardigan to create a huge 5 metre cardigan to celebrate 900 years of the town's heritage. Funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund over 300 people of all ages and walks of life in the local community knitted pieces to make up the cardigan.  The knitters had free reign to create their own patterns and shapes, meeting every Sunday and listening to talks about their town's history as they knitted. All in all the cardigan took 9 months to knit and a further 6 weeks to sew it all together. 

Lisa works as an illustrative map maker and graphic designer and designed the cardigan as a knitted map of the town of Cardigan and the coastline. This really was the mother of all cardigans.  Just one of the highlights at a fantastic show which is heaven to me and all who are interested in textiles.  More to follow about the show in my next blog.