Entry 020: Beginning Sampling

As I continue to work on my visualisations on the mannequin, which I feel are still really helping me to move forward; my plan is to keep moving away from paper and progress more and more into fabric samples/trials. For today's entry I wanted to show my first trial of some digital embroidery for this project and a few little beading ideas!

I feel like its taken a long time for my sampling to begin, but I do feel that I needed all my paper explorations first to get to this point. Although this sample isn't quite as polished as I wanted it to be, I really love the idea and can really see the potential in it. The idea of using digitally embroidered shapes to create 3 dimensional forms has been in my head since the start of the project, so I'm so pleased I've finally tried it and it has actually worked in the way I wanted it to. For the central flower in this composition, I stitched out lots of black embroidered petals in a mixture of satin stitch and tatami in a variety of scales. I stitched them onto a white sheer organza fabric- the light weight quality of this fabric really helped me to manipulate and sculpt the petals. I also do quite like the small frayed pale edge that is left after cutting all the shapes out. I simply started to pinch and fold the petals in different places and pinned them. Then I started layering them up to create a large flower composition, that had a similar feel to one of the paper pieces I had made in one of my 3d drawings. Taking it into the studio, I created a new composition based on my of my previous ideas that incorporated the large flower as the central component , pinned directly onto the mannequin. 

This could really easily be secured down with hand stitches onto a base fabric and still retain its 3d quality. On reflection I've definitely realised just how many petals/components I'm going to need to make these pieces really stand up and feel very 3 dimensional - its definitely more that I thought! Another aspect I am really going to have to consider in future trials is the backing, which shows up a lots when the petals are folded and manipulated. Bobbins for digital embroidery machine come pre-wound, in only black or white, which does create a slight limitation. For this piece it didn't matter as the top thread was black, but for other pieces this could really take away from the design. It may be that in future, I might have to try bonding down petals/ other shapes so that the underside is in a different colour/ fabric.

I have also included some images of some small beading ideas that ive tested. So far these are all just tiny sample, but this has really just been an exercise to get back into it and start thinking about the different ways that I can stack the beads and sequins to create different 3d compositions.