What a joy it was to spend the day building animals at the Plaster Cloth Animal Workshop at Spring Bird's Cottage. This workshop was part of the A Season To Make Workshop Series , which seeks to connect community with creativity and nature.
We began by choosing an Animal Card from the Medicine Card Deck by Jamie Sams, as a means to connect more deeply and spiritually with the animal world and the animal in us.
Then, we dove in to the mess of making armatures and slapping plastercloth onto our sculptures. We giggled and laughed through the lumps and bumps.
Making art can often lead to our feeling out of control, but we must trust the process. It will be okay. It might not be what we expected, but it will be something we needed. That is what this workshop reminded me about artmaking.
I was so grateful to the four women who participated and trusted me to lead them through the plaster cloth process. Some of our animal friends are still works in process. So, I will hopefully be sharing updated pics when I receive them!!!!!
The Workshop Process
Join us for the next Workshop
Some of my first sewing projects involved making small purses. (I love a good bag. So much to carry).
Nowadays, I consider my textile endeavors to be devotional objects, especially when there is a lot of hand stitching, embroidery, and applique' involved.
I got inspired by Gudrun Sjoden's neck pouches and wanted to try making my own.
I decided on three approaches, but I am sure there are limitless possibilities here.
These tiny pouches are meant to be worn like a necklace, but they could also be wall art -maybe a spot to tuck away tiny treasures.
Check out photos below to see all four pouches in detail.
Below the photos are instructions for making your own quilted version!
What do you think about them? Which one do you like best?
Applique and Embroidery
Pieced Denim with Dyed Yarn Quilting
Instructions for Sewing
When I came across a Spoonflower Magazine (Spoonflower is the company the prints fabric, wallpaper, and wrapping paper designed by artists), that offered a free pattern for making baby hats, I was tempted. Then, some friends having babies, further encouraged me to get sewing.
So, I went to work on some tiny designs for baby hat fabric. Now that I am learning to draw digitally on an iPad Pro with Procreate and Apple Pencil, I was able to learn how to make a repeating pattern digitally. So exciting! Fortunately, Spoonflower's magazine had instructions on how to do this, too! So helpful!
While designing, I decided to make some non-baby fabric patterns for t-shirts for me. :)
I have a favorite t-shirt from Uniqlo that has unfortunately shrunk, while I have simultaneously grown larger. In analyzing the garment, I noticed that it was fairly simply constructed and decided that I could try to copy it.
Until now, I have only made dresses from patterns, which some other brilliant sewist designed.
I entered into this project with that feeling of not knowing how much I didn't know, but as usual I just jump in with fingers crosses.
Below, I show the process of making the hat and a little tale of making the shirt.
I then made more in various prints. See them below. Which one is your favorite?
To make my pattern, I folded my Uniqlo shirt in half length-wise. I traced the permiter of the folded shirt onto pattern paper.
I decided to use 1/2" seams and also added 2" to the width and 2" to the length. So since the pattern represents the shirt folded in half, I added 1 1/2" to the side, 2" to the bottom, and 1/2" to the sleeves, shoulder, and neck.
I cut my pattern twice (one front, one back), and I notched the front pattern to create a slight scoop of a neckline.
I also cut two tiny slivers of patterns for reinforcing the neckline.
After I made the first shirt, I created the remaining three in an assembly line fashion.
The Fashion Show
- The striped jersey had more stretch to it, making it a little more tricky to sew with.
- Something happened with my neckline that made it too tight to pull over my head. So, I had to take out some stitches and make a custom, notched collar.
- Next time I will order more than a yard of fabric for this project. I did not have enough fabric to allow for the print to line up. For instance, for the eye fabric, I was able to run the eyes horizontal on the front, but I had to align them vertically on the back. You can kind of see this in the photo.
Wow! What a great start to the 2019 “A Season To Make” Workshop Series!
We kicked off the series with learning to make Rug Hooked Pillows. Both days were realizations of my dream of creating opportunities to make in community and in nature, at the cottage.
I have had such powerful and creative experiences at Spring Bird’s Cottage, and this workshop series is one way to share that with guests and participants.
We laughed, created, and had so many great conversations - even confessions! (But those are not for this blog!)
Check out the photos below to see our creations and check out future workshops here!
Anna Lentz, artist, writer, and creativity coach who blogs about making a creative life connected with nature at Spring Bird.
Adventures In Natural Dyeing
A Season To Make
Creativity Tools And Books
Make And Do Art
Philosophy Of Creativity