Thursday, March 27, 2014

Radiant Orchid, Corsage HDT, Concinnity projects

Radiant Orchid

Getting my costume ready for Concinnity 2014, using some of my new hand dyed thread in Radiant Orchid. This solid is the Pantone color of the year 2014, and makes a nice accompaniment to my multicolored dye batch, "Corsage". The cool bow tie is for my dear husband to wear - he'll be assisting me at my vendor's table this year. The bow tie was easy to make following the instructions that I found at A Beautiful Mess.

I'm tatting a belt (using design from the previous post) to accessorize my black steampunk outfit. I'll also add a plum color "airship jacket" that I purchased on Etsy, and am in the process of tatting a coordinating large flower for my hair.
You can see in the photo below, where I'm posing with a very tall "alien" in a striped suit, the basic black outfit that I'll be wearing. The plum jacket and my Radiant Orchid tatted accessories will really improve it, I think.

In addition to steampunk, Concinnity is sci-fi, gaming, fantasy of all sorts. It is an incredibly fun experience! I'm really looking forward to it, on April 5 at the Milwaukee School of Engineering.

An "alien" buddy from another world, and me!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Steampunk tatted belt

Size 3 thread makes big, bold tatting
 Motivated by a desire to wow the visitors to my vendor's booth at the Concinnity Convention, April 5, 2014, I have come up with a tatted belt. I used size 3 Lizbeth thread, and worked at the design until I was satisfied that it was sturdy enough. I used metal beads, antiqued copper wheel buttons, and satin ribbon lacing in the front for my little attempt at steampunk detailing. The belt ties like a sash with ribbon in the back. The ribbon end feature saves the work of tatting an entire length of a belt, and also makes it one size fits all.

First attempt had a structural flaw... folded when pulled - not good for a belt!
My first attempt didn't turn out, so I had to cut it apart and do over - yes, that happens a lot when designing! You don't want your belt to fold over or curl while you're wearing it. So, I changed how I added the beads. Instead of putting them over picots in the exact center, I moved them to picots set at an angle. I got the idea from a TV show that was explaining architecture. The strongest structural shape is a triangle. So, I added picots at an angle for joining the chains, thereby forming a sort of triangle. It works! The belt is nice and sturdy now.

I used big shuttles to tat the belt with, since size 3 thread gets used up very quickly. I wouldn't recommend working with size 3 for beginners, other than for when they need something big to see how the double stitch is made when they're first learning. Size 3 requires more physical effort to work with. But, I feel up to the challenge and wanted to design something suitable for the bold look of big tatting.

I sometimes get asked about needle tatting. Well, I do know how, but I like the firm product produced by shuttle tatting, since most of the time I don't need to bother with any stiffening. I also just simply enjoy the process of shuttle tatting and I appreciate its Victorian roots. If time allows in the future, I may design something specifically for needle tatting, but for sure it won't be anything conventional and won't be shuttle tatting convertible.

Need to figure out a bow tie next....

The finished belt shown on black

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The Winners!

The winners of my Extremely Very Early Spring Giveaway are Chiara Milleidee and Sara of Saras handarbetsgomma blog. Congratulations to the lucky winners!

Thank you to everyone for your wonderful comments, I enjoyed reading them so much! Truly tatters are some of the nicest people in the world! I wish it were possible to give everyone a prize :)
Oh, I guess I could point out my free patterns page for that. If you didn't notice the "Free Patterns" tab at the top of my blog, here's the link:

By the way, the photo of the snow was taken this morning, showing that as of today, still very little sign of spring here in Southeastern Wisconsin. The winners were chosen using a random number generator after I deleted some duplicate comments. Morning temperature here was 16 degrees Fahrenheit.