Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Step Fourteen: Kanzashi flower folding

Hi Sylwi

How are things with you? It's all a bit rushed and crazy again this week, but at least this time, I got around to exploring something new! :-)

This week, I thought I was going to be using paper again. I wanted to try some origami flowers, but as I got going, I decided to switch to material. I have a stack of fabric scraps and was curious to see how the paper folding technique would translate to material.

Whilst researching paper flowers, I actually came across fabric flowers used for hair accessories in traditional Japanese hairstyles called 'Tsumami Kanzashi'. The name, literally translated, means 'folded fabric hair ornament'. Tiny squares of silk are folded into individual petal shapes and then, flowers can be made from sewing a string of these petals together.

I decided to give it a go and found great instructions for making the petals, here on Akura's Flickr photostream.

I used old jersey material from a T-shirt and a stretchy faux leather fabric. Both were very easy to work with and once I had folded the petals, I sewed them together to make flowers. To hide my stitches in the centre of the flowers, I messed around creating little strings of beads and also used buttons. I'd like to have spent more time choosing designs (I wasn't that happy with what I came up with here), but that will have to wait for another day!

I really wanted to create a finished product this week, after last week's disaster, but ran out of time again.  This week and last week are a write off time-wise for me, but I'm looking forward to next week when things will hopefully slow down a bit! :-)

I'm beginning to realise that coming up with an idea, exploring it and creating a finished product that I'm happy with, would take longer than a week anyway... and I'm only giving myself a day at the moment, as time is so short. It's funny, as when I began 52 Steps, I remember thinking that a week was more than enough time to explore one subject! :-)

I had an idea in my head that the flowers might be fun on a funky necklace, so just to see what it looked like, I pinned them onto a cord I made, secured with ribbon at either end. I don't like the buttons... and I'm not that keen on the flower designs I chose, but I love the cord, the little leather bow, the ribbon ties and the idea for the flowers. I'm not sure it's the sort of thing I'd wear ever (ha!) but I'd quite like to spend more time on this sort of design!

Btw, I knitted the cord using the 'Idiot Cord' technique. I used large needles and some black bungee rope from the local marine supplies shop! :-)

Got to dash, sweetpea. Sorry this is so rushed - but from the end of this week, I'm hoping to have a bit of time to myself and will be in touch properly. Hope everything's ok with you? Catch up soon.

Lots of love

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