Nips and Tucks

One aspect of my translucent fabrics workshop I haven’t done much with is fabric manipulation. I decided to remedy that by taking out some library books on fabric folding.

As I endeavored to follow the illustrated directions I had a flashback to a childhood Christmas present – a pack of origami paper with a book of directions. I lusted after that crane and loved the brightly colored paper squares with the one white side. Despite all my efforts at careful measuring and folding, my results resembled nothing more than fun house mirror versions of the crane, the swan, etc. I couldn’t even make a good pinwheel.

Some things don’t change. That includes my ability to follow directions for careful folding and tucking. I’d start out fine and get to step 3, where I was to rotate my piece 90 degrees. Then, the illustration would show a triangle that wasn’t mentioned in the written directions. What? To add to the confusion, the photographs used dark purple batik fabric where I couldn’t tell the right from the wrong side.

The only book I was able to follow, probably because no rotation was involved, was Rami Kim’s Folded Fabric Elegance. Kim works mostly with silk and makes intricately detailed clothing with all sorts of cunning pleats and folds. It’s not to my taste but I admire the amount of work that went into the creations.

Book coverIt turns out I’m capable of folds and tucks. My continuous prairie points turned out almost like those in the book.

Prairie points with instructions 2And I do like the effect of harlequin tucks.

This panel could find its way into a bag or a dimensional quilt. Who knows, maybe someday I can achieve 3D effects like June Barnes does.

6 Comments

Filed under Project Ideas, Techniques

6 responses to “Nips and Tucks

  1. The fault for some of your frustration definitely lies with the books and poor directions! I like the prairie points a lot!

    • The prairie points were actually kind of fun to make. Thanks for taking me off the hook! As I tried to follow the books’ instructions I kept thinking of that writing exercise where you describe how to make a PB and J sandwich. Then someone else has to follow your instructions exactly. This can lead to the jar of PB being applied to the bread.

  2. Ooohhhh that book looks wonderful! It’s funny, I really like books about fabric folding/manipulation, but I haven’t experimented too much with those techniques. I should revisit my books by Rebecca Watt, Kumiko Sudo and Jennie Rayment and play around.

    Your harlequin tucks look gorgeous, that’s my kind of fabric! The cover photo reminds me of Caryl Bryer Fallert’s ‘high tech tucks’ series. I can see these techniques working really well in silk, the light reflection would be amazing.

    • I can’t wait to use the tuck technique in the cover photo from that book. And I’m totally with you about the light reflections off silk fabric. Funny, I think Rebecca Watt wrote one of the books I just couldn’t follow.

  3. Beautiful! What an interesting and innovative idea. I love how the tucks change the way the light hits the fabric. will see if this can inspire me to additional ways to manipulate fabric in my projects. Thanks for the inspiration!

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