This week I spent some time in the stitch workshop developing some samples. I wanted to have a go at personifying the bears that I drew previously.
To begin with, I chose some threads which were a little bit darker than I had used in my collection of 12.


I used a more pastel range last time and from the beginning of this project I knew that I wanted to move away from the traditional pastel colour palette used in most children’s clothing. I will still be using the lighter colours but alongside some darker ones.


I stitched out these two outlines, which is something I haven’t really done yet without appliqué. I really like the navy blue instead of black. One thing that Sally wrote in my last feedback was that the bears in my final croquis lacked clarity compared to my drawings. I am really pleased with these ones, which I feel keep that sketchy sort of line that I really liked about my drawings. On the first I added a crown which was supposed to be hanging off his ear. Apart from the positioning being a bit off, I do like it. I think I will try it again as appliqué so that the crown will be more obvious. I could possibly add some jewels/sparkle with some beads or something. Embellishing my samples was something that I wanted to try in this third part of the project.
On the second I tried to make it look like it was wearing a tutu. I stitched the arm on top of it to make it look more realistic. I’m quite happy with how it has turned out but I do think it could be developed further.


I then had a look at the appliqué strip pieces that I created last time and the comments that I got about them. I tried to get them a bit thinner than last time because although I did actually really like the thickness, it wasn’t going to be practical on children’s clothing. I made one large sample, and used a range of blue, silver, purple and pink fabrics and also used some threads in similar colours. I’m really happy with it, especially when focusing on a certain smaller area.
I have started to think  about what this could be used for, and I as thinking either a thick a-line skirt (but this isn’t really something you would see for sale in Zara), or as a cuff on a jacket. It could also work as a pleated skirt.
The texture of these pieces would be really stimulating for babies to touch, I’ve been doing a bit of research about the sense of touch and how it develops.
At five months old, babies will “still use his mouth to feel textures.” At six months, “your baby’s sense of touch is improving. He’s learning to reach out and grasp objects with both hands, often passing them from hand to hand. He’ll enjoy toys he can touch and interact with.”
By eleven months to a year, it will “be exploring all sorts of textures – hard, soft, cold, wet, sticky and squishy[…] and will have a far better ability to use his hands to touch and play with objects.”


(Invisible marker is still visible in the mushrooms in this photo)

I’ve started playing around with the idea of combining the bear imagery and the mushroom. I did this with the digital designs but wanted to have a go with stitch. I really like this arrangement to go on the front of a t shirt as a motif.


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