AN EMBROIDERED PORTRAIT ON BLACK FABRIC.

For this week’s experimental portrait, I wanted to try something different by using black fabric. I thought that someone with light colored hair would really ‘pop’ off of a black background. I was contemplating people I really admire and I thought of the PERFECT subject, Iris Apfel!

If you are not familiar with her, I highly recommend the documentary about her life simply called IRIS. She is an artist and fashion icon well into her 90’s, a ‘geriatric startlet’ in her own words. If you google some images , you may even recognize her. She has a distinctive look, with oversized round glasses, chunky colorful jewelry, and fabulous clothing. What a delight to sew!

To get started, I printed a colorful picture of Iris on a light piece of fabric (cotton muslin).

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Next I cut closely around her face and shoulders to see what she would look like on black fabric. I size my portraits to be framed in a six inch hoop.

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Next I adhere Iris to the black fabric using heat and bond.

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To apply the heat n bond, I cut a piece of the heat n bond to match the Iris piece of fabric. I matched the back side of the Iris piece to the shiny side of the heat n bond (not the paper side).

I ironed it on low to medium heat until they were bonded together. I peeled off the paper and there was a bondable surface which could be adhered to fabric.

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I used the interfacing for the back of the black piece of fabric to add stability. I faced the textured side of the interfacing to the ‘wrong’ side of the fabric and ironed to bond them together.

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I really loved tackling both her hair and the eye shadow. I knew the jewelry would drive me bananas but would also be so rewarding!

I really loved tackling both her hair and the eye shadow. I knew the jewelry would drive me bananas but would also be so rewarding!

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I had to really think about how to tackle her shirt. It was black with a blue sparkly pattern so I used my DMC etoile thread. I used one strand of light blue and one strand of dark blue to create the pattern in her shirt.

I had to really think about how to tackle her shirt. It was black with a blue sparkly pattern so I used my DMC etoile thread. I used one strand of light blue and one strand of dark blue to create the pattern in her shirt.

I still have a little work to do around the neck and underneath some of the jewelry. A bright red shadow box frame would be perfect for this if I can find one!

I still have a little work to do around the neck and underneath some of the jewelry. A bright red shadow box frame would be perfect for this if I can find one!

Isn’t she fabulous! If this inspires you to watch her documentary, you won’t be disappointed. Her life is every bit as interesting as her look. A unique an wonderful human who carved her own path and still is. I want to be her when I grow up…..or how about now!

What a delight!

Thanks for stopping by!

Warmly,

Pam