Following the arrival of the images from T, I was keen to get into the print-room as quickly as possible to keep the momentum of the project going. The images look great in ‘real life’ and the stitched elements are particularly effective.
Using some of T’s ‘title’ ideas plus some of my own I was able to plan two or three pages at a time, printing in colour batches, so that I didn’t have to keep cleaning the printing press!
The page size is quite restrictive and means that only certain type could be considered for use. I used two wood-type fonts and two hot metal fonts in various combinations and
followed T’s lead, using predominately red and blue ink, to match her thread colours, plus pink. The image placement on each cover also dictated the size and positioning of the type, but this was an interesting challenge, and by day two I started to introduce decorative elements to accompany the text matter.
Having made twelve backgrounds by photocopying found found surfaces onto cartridge paper, I have produced a second layer of shapes using machine stitch onto tracing paper. Exploring the linear quality of machine stitch I have made use of red and blue thread to reference sewing markings used in dress making. These second layers will be photocopied onto the first layer prior to letterpress text being added by P.
Photocopying the tracing paper stitched patterns onto the cartridge paper first backgrounds worked well. Slight adjustments were made in the printing to heighten the colour of the thread by using the colour management settings and two backgrounds were amended to lighten the tone of the first background in order for the machine stitched line to be seen clearly.
The need to postpone an arranged making day due to work commitments resulted in FaceTime decision making this morning. Swift decisions were made within the limited time frame in order to move the project forward around the illustrations and text. Determining the order of production led to jobs being shared between us in order to construct the book within the given deadline.
Both P and I are keen to build on the style of working we established during Meeting in the Middle and share the production of both text and image. This is being realised by P adding letterpress text on top of initial backgrounds and both of us typing the selected stories. Both of us will use a blue ribbon and decorative elements in order to draw upon sewing conventions seen in dressmaking patterns.
Whilst I finish the backgrounds, P will edit each story and produce a template to work to. P will then add letterpress text whilst I construct new backgrounds for additional individual stories. Each of us will have 2 weeks to type the stories and add any final embellishment which is still to be decided but may include stitched details and bias binding trims.
Following the FaceTime conversation, my first job is to send P the sewing story I am contributing to the book. Reflecting upon my first sewing projects at secondary school led me to old school reports and reading around Needlecraft and Housecraft education in the 1970’s.
Having selected which stories to include, I have begun to gather found surfaces and imagery to make use of within each of the 12 illustrations. Working systamatically I have once again made use of the photocopier to alter scale and colour and plan to put these back through the photocopier to overprint stitched line drawings.
Having individually explored different aspects of Sewing Secrets through the design process, we had reached a point where we needed to share and confirm thoughts and ideas. Facetime is an immediate and effective medium, and in this instance it enabled us to verify the number of stories for the book; by discussing the merits of each one we agreed to a total of 12. I am now able to start stitching and progressing the envelopes in time for our next making day. We also resolved thread colours (any colour referenced within the 12 stories has given us our colour palette), choice of typewriter ribbon and discussed T’s image-making and production details – and all within an hour!
Drawing upon working methods developed in our last project, I have begun to gather a collection of found surfaces, fabrics and imagery to illustrate the stories we have been given. Original garments have been photocopied to be used as backgrounds to linear outlines of overlapping pattern pieces, hand stitching and embellishment. I have begun to group the donated stories in order to find links between them to inform the illustrations. I am interested in making use of the language found within dress making patterns and school text books alongside sewing conventions such as notches, centre lines and stitch lines and objects connected with sewing and stitch. I plan to explore the use of a machine stitch outline to draw objects and hand stitching to embellish each page on bias binding which could be added to the edge of the illustrations.