I cringed when I read the brief for September’s #portfolioclub “Folk Costume”, but illustration briefs aren’t always going to be something I’m jumping up and down to illustrate, so I ploughed on, trying to keep an open mind.
However I have enjoyed the exercise; probably because I decided to illustrate a costume based on my favourite things, the sun, nature and rainbows. If Inspire by Kim was a country this would be the costume, echoing the beauty of life.
This was an early drawing where I was developing the idea of the costume mirroring the environment.
I developed the idea whilst travelling so in black pen and then added colour digitally.
the Inktense version was less effective.
This concept then started to feel a little fluffy and idealistic and wasn’t saying enough about my causes. So I had a think about what the costume would be for this theme…
I might revisit this alternative concept but the first concept felt incomplete. I came to the conclusion that either way a folk costume should be illustrated using fabric.
So I free machine embroidered the design onto a shiny fabric from @sunnybankmills.
I then painted the design with fabric paints from @colourcraft.
Next stage was to hand sew and embellish the dress.
Here’s the completed work with embroidery silks, thread, metallic thread, glass beads and crystal organza.
Tiny lavender bouquet brought by bluebird, delivering relaxation and sweet slumbers.
Textile illustration using hand and machine stitch with appliqué.
First sketched as part of the #illustrationworkshop process before being made in paper, then fabric.
Inspired by the lavender at #dawnirelandtextileartist group
Poppy stages embroidery inspired by our morning walk.
Saw this pretty poppy on our walk yesterday morning so I decided that it would be my subject for an appliqué embroidery. It’s not quite finished, a little hand sewing to follow, please pop back to see the completed work.
Created at @dawnirelandtextileartist workshop at #stitchedupandfleeced
Now don’t get me wrong it’s not that I don’t like peppers. I find them deliciously tasty, but it took some years to pinpoint that being doubled over with severe stomach cramps, hot and cold sweats, three days when I couldn’t get out of bed, diahorrea until my system was empty, was due to eating bell peppers.
Give me a chilli and I’m happy and fine, but a fragment of bell pepper or a pinch of paprika and I loose the next few hours at least. Until my body has painfully fought the peppers and kicked them back out of my system.
It was suggested to me by a GP that it may be IBS, which is why I believe some people could be thinking and dealing with what they believe is IBS when they might just need to drop peppers from their diet.
Heatpressing hand painted peppers
Machine rendering after hand sewing
Now peppers are very nutritious for some people, but they can be anaphylaxic for some. However they are almost never listed on food menus and food packaging as allergens. Often they’re not written on food menus, despite them being part of the dish. Due to their colourfulness peppers are often used in ‘food on the go’ meals such as salads. Really helpfully they’re often finely chopped and written in minuscule font on the ingredients list on packaging.
So I just want to make people, you even, more aware of the possible reactions and physical responses to peppers. Maybe this work can take away someone’s pain or discomfort.
So I’m asking people to think before they eat and serve bell peppers and paprika, I’m asking food retailers to think before they add bell peppers and paprika and to make it as an allergen, and for restaurants to always state where bell peppers and paprika have been used in their dishes. And please use a different chopping board for peppers.
Thank you for reading to the end. Next time you eat peppers just observe in the time afterwards how you feel. If you have any of the symptoms listed in this article you might want to see if the symptoms clear up or cease.
Eat happy, be happy, consider pushing aside the peppers.
Free Download – I’ve created an illustrated download for those with Bell Pepper allergies and intolerances. This is for use in restaurants, hotels at home and abroad. Please feel free to print and/or share this with someone that it may help, and to raise awareness of this food allergy. Card size set to 9 x 13cm.
Related work: Work that relates to the techniques is at the following links. I often find that the work is stepping stones to the next creation, like a bright creative path where the next step is revealed upon completion of the present one. These creative projects led to this work.
My personal work at present is part sewing and textiles, and part illustration drawn and paperart. Here’s the highlights in stitch, fabric and sequins…
Experimenting using sparkles, metallic thread and embroidery silk in different pretty ways to embellish the lovely bicycles on the fabric, ‘Sweet Escape’ by Bethan Janine for Dashwood Studio. I’m making a box pleat skirt in this lovely fabric, as its another designer’s fabric it has felt more of a collaboration, and I’ve just seen that the fabric designer is also in Sheffield. How lovely, maybe I can show her the finished skirt 🙂
The box pleat design taught me a number of new skills and some pattern adjustments with my wonderful dressmaking tutor Tracey at Sheffield College helped me learn how to adjust a pattern for set measurements. Proud to add my sublimation printed label, created on a heat press machine.
Just a few final steps and the skirt will be completed. Watch this space.
A new toy is this Singer Overlocker which gives a professional finish and speeds through making this jersey top, which will be worn with the bicycles skirt. The jersey fabric is from wonderful Berwick Street in London and feels fabulous. I’m made the pattern from my favourite top.
(Above) The pink binding will be a striking edge to a bolster cushion in this delicious sweet treats themed teal, grey and pink fabric. More on that in the coming weeks…
I made the bean bag on the Singer Overlocker and finished the outer cover with a lovely twin needle stitch on my Bernina sewing machine, adding an Inspire by Kim label. I’m pleased with how the pretty fabric works and it holds the iPad nicely.
Ta da: I’m delighted to share the Inspire by Kim bear. Made from fabrics that I have designed using techniques including batik, tie dye, dry point printing.
When flicking through a magazine that my friend brought two years ago after my knee injury I saw a bear pattern that I just had to make in my fabrics.
Now I’m not naturally a recipe/ pattern/ instruction follower by nature, but my keenness to make the bear helped me follow the steps in the Craft Seller article, which surprised both me and my loved ones.
There was a little magic happened when I started making in fabrics that I have created myself. I chose contrasting fabrics ext to each other for a colourful, as you’d expect from me no doubt, cheery bear.
I used free machine embroidery to add a colourful heart and make his nose.
Loving the fabric colours meant that I loved the process. The making was also a great boot camp for my sewing techniques as the size of the bear made for small seam allowances which were sometimes fiddly.
The bear is intended to delight. He carries the messages ‘Be’ and ‘Light’ as a reminder not to take things too seriously, easier said than done. His ear has the Inspire by Kim brand and he has ‘Kim’ on his foot, a little nod to the Tou Story films with Buzz Lightyear and Woody each having ‘Andy’ on their foot.
I’m wondering about adding eyes, but I’m going to sleep on that as I’m liking him just as he is right now.
I’m excited to see where this latest make will lead to next. Watch this space and follow my blog if you’ve enjoyed this post. Related makes are: