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MM20: Working With Fabric

w/ Gail Vaughn


video sleeve image

$29.95 + S&H

Table of Contents:

Tools and Materials
The Controlled Look
A Looser Look
Window Toppers & Cording
Cafe Curtains

Approx. Running Time: 89 minutes

Zen and The Art Of Fabrics

When Gail Vaughn teaches her students to work with fabrics for their miniature projects, she elevates her lessons to a level that goes beyond simple explanations.

Her teaching is peppered with phrases like "conquering" and "taming" fabric so that it doesn't "get the better of you." To her, fabric isn't the inanimate object it appears to be. It's got a life of its own which you must understand and triumph over before you can work with it.

You can experience Gail's teaching methods, and learn her techniques for conquering and taming fabric, in "Working With Fabric," Volume 20 of the multi-part Master Miniaturists Video Instructional Series. Gail's work has been featured in leading miniature magazines, as well as in Hobby Builder's Supply catalog.

Gail begins her lessons by telling the story of making her first dollhouse and finding that the fabric "just wouldn't cooperate."

"I was highly insulted those little bitty pieces of fabric could get the best of me," she says. And so she developed techniques that would let her defeat them every time... techniques she shares freely in this video.

"I want you to relax and enjoy fabrics," says Gail. "They aren't your enemy." These are words you'd expect to hear at a meditation class, not from a Master Miniaturist. But Gail loves her work, and she wants you to love it too. And through this Zen-like approach to teaching, she encourages you to "open your mind." Why is this approach so effective in mastering her teachings? Because, as Gail says, "there's no right or wrong way to work with fabric. There's only the way that works for you."

As in past volumes of The Master Miniaturists Video Instructional Series, "Working With Fabric" begins with a detailed look at the tools and materials you'll need to create all the projects demonstrated. Included is a technique for using wallpaper and fabric from your own living room to make a miniaturized version of it. You'll also learn how to choose fabrics and what to look for when choosing colors.

The first technique you'll learn is called the Controlled Look. Here you'll create draperies and bed ruffles using Pretty Pleaters. Learn how to make drapes look natural, as though gravity, dirt, and dust controlled their fall.

Next you'll learn how to make drapes without the guides for a looser look. It's here that Gail helps you answer the question that most miniaturists ask at one time or another: "To glue or not to glue?" In other words, should you glue, or sew your fabric together? She'll help you make that decision, and if you decide to sew, will help you determine whether to hand-sew or use a sewing machine.

From here you'll move on to Window Toppers and Cording... the part Gail says is "the most fun." This is where your creativity comes in. In this section Gail shares information on how to use existing patterns in "How-To" books to help you design your drapes. This bit of knowledge will "free your mind," she says, so you can apply your creativity freely.

Step-by-step instructions from cutting, to pinning, shaping, and setting the folds into place with a steam iron are covered in detail.

But by far the most unique section of this video comes during the lesson on creating Bolsters. It's here that Gail uses a most unusual object to teach you what she calls "a fun way to create a Bolster." We won't give it away by telling you what that object is, but you'll never look at that most common object in the same way ever again!

Gail follows with detailed instructions for creating pillows, including a technique that simulates someone having sat in a chair and recently having stood up. You'll learn how to construct and cover a valance, and all about puddling, a technique where the drapes fall out and spread onto the floor.

You'll also learn how to drape fabric over a chair, create Caf˙ Curtains, Fringing, and how to work with synthetics and fabrics you couldn't normally work with.

Gail concludes her teaching with illustrations of all the finished projects demonstrated on the video. And she ends with this very enlightening statement: "There is no fabric god out there telling you 'no, no, no.' You're only limited by your imagination.

So, what are you waiting for? Meditation time is over! It's time to "Work With Fabric!"