Sunday, May 17, 2020

Weekend Review: Fabricate

Fabricate / Susan Wasinger
Interweave Press, c2009
128 p.
This little book has been on my shelf for a long time and there are some really neat ideas in it. There are 17 projects in this book, each featuring a different kind of fabric manipulation and/or surface decoration idea. The projects are really neither here nor there, in my view -- it's the techniques that are most interesting.

Take the cover -- I won't make a clutch purse like that, but I most definitely will try felting up some floral decor for another project more likely to be used by me. Other items in the book include rugs, pillows, bags, throws, wraps, scarves etc. Lots of fun ways to make something really original here. 

Techniques range from chenille or felting to shibori and fabric etching. There is discussion of laminates, or repeat surface design via notions like ric-rac or zippers; there is pleating, puckering, applique and more. Actually for such a small book with only 17 projects, there are many ideas you can run with in your own way. 

What she calls nonstitch embroidery -- scraps fused to
a skirt under a translucent fusible interfacing as a feature!
One of the unusual ideas that caught my attention when I first had this book was the concept of ironing -- or fusing -- plastic sheets together. Using shopping bags, she irons them into heavier sheets to make bigger bags or plastic material.

I used this idea to fuse the thin blue bags that newspapers are wrapped in into largeish sheets that I am using for a series of ocean themed embroideries. The first one features coral!

french knot embroidery of a coral branch on fused plastic
French knots on blue plastic :)

There's a mix of accessory and clothing projects in the book, but many of the ideas can be adapted for garments. From the unusual to the usual and classic pleating/tucking ideas, there are so many pretty and intriguing ideas here to fancy up and personalize a project. 

The instructions for the projects are brief but clear, and the photos are all lovely and detailed. Recommended even if just for browsing through for enjoyment!


  1. I *love* your blue plastic bag idea! How cool!

  2. Oops, that comment above was me, not signed in properly. ;)

    1. :) I have a few more designs planned if I can ever finish them.


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