And Even More Photos!

ffcoatphotoforestfirecoatforestfirecoatdetailThis coat/dress ensemble was made in 2007, and exhibited in the Tampa Convergence Fashion Show.   It is a colorful piece, and I especially love the Inkle Band I made, which wasn’t made to actually go with the coat, but happened to go with it, and made a lovely trim.  The dress is a raw silk that was sitting in my stash, courtesy of a student who passed on some leftover fabric.  The original photos had my daughter modeling the piece, but I wanted the photos I am submitting to the SDA Fashion Show to be consistent, so I took the opportunity to reshoot the piece.

I actually don’t like the way the piece fits me.  I made it using one of my jacket patterns, but did nothing to alter the pattern for my specific body.  I do that occasionally, just make the piece, I don’t care who it fits.  But now I’m sort of caring, because I really like the coat and dress, and as I was putting it on my dressform, I’m thinking that I might add to my list of projects a remake of the shoulder/armhole/sleeve area to actually work on my body.  What’s one more project in the pile?!?

But I’ve finished the photoshoot, and I’m going off to lunch with some girlfriends, this week we hit the sushi bar.  I’ll enter the show when I get back, and then start working on all the bills and paperwork due at the end of the month after I put my studio back together.

More Photographs

lbcoatfront1lbcoatdetaillbcoatback1lbcoatdetail2The coat was actually more difficult to shoot, because shadows appeared, and the dark quality of the fabric really absorbed the light.  But I am happy with the way it photographed, and I think this is a true rendition of the fabric/color.  The direct flash shots in previous posts were much too saturated, and really didn’t represent the subtelty of the coloration.  I love the details of the coat, and you can’t imagine how warm and wonderful the coat feels on the body.  I am truely sorry for anyone living in Florida or Texas, or the southwest, where you don’t get the opportunity to wrap yourself up in something like this wonderful fulled wool coat.  It makes all the driveway shoveling worth it!


It took the better part of the morning to move everything from the front half of my studio, that would be three looms and various weaving equipment, into another room, or pushed out of the way, so I could have the space to properly photograph the garments.  Since they are full size garments, it is more complicated to do a photo shoot set up, and I always dread it, because I hate when things are out of place.  As I suspected, this is a two day job.

I woke to about 5 inches of snow, and classes were canceled both at the college and the high school, so both my kids did what every self respecting teen would do, they slept in.  I’m talking after lunch.  So I went out to clear the front walk for the post woman, by myself, throw down some rock salt, bring in the garbage can so the plow wouldn’t run over it, and find the newspapers in the snow.  It started to rain by about 10am, and it rained the whole day, an icy rain, which made travel less than ideal but the trees were spectacular.  I still had to head out around 4:30 to take my daughter to volleyball practice, and it was hard making it up the little hill on my street.  The main roads were OK, but I was glad to have spent most of the day, tucked safely in my studio, even if I did tear it all apart.

frostedfloralsfrontlrafrostedfloralsbacklrafrostedfloralsdetaillrI wanted to use the graduated backdrop for both garments, it looks more professional, and I think more dramatic.  I used my dressform as a prop, unfortunately the graduated backdrop is only 67″ long, so to get the whole dress in, I had to do some creative Photoshop work erasing the base and pedestal.  But I’m really really happy with the results.  I think the dress is beautiful in the photo.  I’m very proud of it.  I’m working on the coat, have photos I like, but want to do one more round of shots to clean up some areas I still am on the fence about.  Little things like a ripple in the fabric I know shouldn’t be there that I can’t erase in Photoshop.

shoot I’m including a wide shot of the back of the dress so you can see the set up in the studio.  I’m also planning to reshoot something from last year, since I can enter three garments for the SDA show, and I want the photos to be consistent.

Project 1 Revisited

penBefore I get to the update on project 1, and 3, I wanted to follow up on last night’s ice cream adventure.  The key lime ice cream was wonderful.  Of course the kitchen was a salty mess, sort of looked like my driveway after an ice storm, but no matter, my daughter had fun, and we had ice cream.

After the ice cream adventure, she scampered off to her room, and with her endless supply of duct tape, she sat down and made a beautiful rose pen, which she’s made before many times, but this one she did in clear duct tape, with a silver stem (built over a Bic pen) and added rose buds.  She just gets these ideas and…  This afternoon she redid her trombone folder, completely in orange and green duct tape, with pockets and compartments.

collardetailI sat down this morning, determined to finish up all the critical handwork on the coat and on the dress from project 1, in preparation for the photo shoot.  I got all the critical work done on the coat, buttons sewn on, and when I went to couch the black yarn around the collar, I realized the zig-zag stitching would show through to the back where the felt was, so if I wanted to avoid that, I probably should hand couch it on.  That went pretty quickly, and the coat is basically ready for photographing.

So that brings me to the dress.  I put it on the dress form, and really looked at the front, as much as I loved the way it draped over the bustline, and the way the colors all came together, there was something missing.  The center front seam looked kind of naked.

I had briefly played around with some strips of fabric, making some kinds of medallions, with beads, and I kept thinking it was looking like a craft project.  Back in the summer, when I roomed at Convergence with Robyn Spady, a fabulous weaver/teacher from the Seattle area, we curled up one night with a bottle of wine, and some black chenille stems, and some funky chenilleknitting yarn.  We wrapped the chenille stems with the yarn, barber pole style, with very little of the black chenille showing through, and then bent the stem into all sorts of shapes and buttons.  It was really a fun night.  The little spiral I had done was sitting in bowl of oddities on the edge of my cutting table, by the dress form.  I grabbed it and loved the look of the spiral, if only I had extra yarn from the dress…

inkleI had used the leftover dyed warp from the dress on the inkle loom, for a pretty complex wide band, which you can see in the photo.  I started poking around the studio, looking in odd baskets and containers, and you won’t believe it, it is like the universe just handed me a single warp thread, curled up in a basket with some beads, I don’t know why one 8 yard warp thread was hanging all by itself in a basket with beads, but I don’t question those gifts from the universe, they just are meant to be…

I grabbed a couple of chenille stems, and doubled the rayon bouclé warp thread and started wrapping.  I wrapped three chenille stems, end on end, and then started coiling and shaping the chenille into spirals and a viney sort of shape up the dress.  I’m really liking the effect.  In the basket along with the warp thread, was a funky beaded something that I cut up and I used the glass beads, dressdetailall in the colors I needed, to place strategically around the vine, which really played on the whole Floral theme of the dress.  I pinned everything into the dress form, but I needed to permanently attach everything with a needle and thread before I actually photographed the dress.  The wire in the chenille stems acted like a boning on the front, and gave it some nice support.

dressdetail2So the photoshoot was pushed off to tomorrow, while I get this all tacked and secured.  Stay tuned…

The Home Stretch

My house with two teenagers is a frenetic mix of hormones, raw talent, drama, and curiousity.  I had a lovely dinner tonight with both of my teens, my almost 19 year old (ten days to go), has an audition tomorrow night for the spring musical at the college.  So in his deep baritone voice, he sang all through dinner, practicing his audition piece, it was dinner theatre at its best!  And my daughter, when she could get a word in edge wise, regaled us with her latest passion of the moment, political humor.  She has discovered The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and the Colbert Report and as she listens to the shows on her computer in her room, peals of teenage laughter waft through the halls.

icecreamballBrianna came home tonight from her Girl Scout meeting, with her prize for selling an obscene amount of magazines, (all of which we bought, hence the Martha Stewart Living with all the recipes she has been trying).  It looked like the plastic balls we use to let the hamsters run around in, I’m sure that’s what it is.  But she claims it is an ice cream ball, that you fill the cylinder inside with cream and sugar and vanilla (of course she had to do a more advance flavor, key lime), fill the ball with ice and rock salt (the coarse sea salt in the cabinet will have to do) and you just shake.  For 20 minutes.  She is sitting about three feet away from me, shaking this ball with ice cubes and salt jostling around.  Yes, I will miss my children when they are grown up and gone…interlining

liningWe are coming down the home stretch!  I am getting really excited, the lining is all pinned in, and I can’t be happier with the coat.  I had a silk sari from one of my husband’s previous trips to India, (he told me he picked up 10 more yesterday at one of the shopping malls in Mumbai, yippee!) and used it for the lining, it was a beautiful cherry/wine red with small gold circles woven in, and I thought it would be a beautiful surprise inside the coat.  I woke up this morning thinking I should interline the coat after all,  There was plenty of room in the sleeves when I tried it on, and the lining was very soft and slippery, almost too soft and fine for the bulk of the coat, and the interlining would help bulk up the lining.  So I mounted a needlepunched fleece from HTCW onto the back of the lining, which took the better part of the day, assembled the lining, and inserted it into the coat.  Now I have an enormous amount of handwork.  I can actually baste the lining in, which I will probably do tonight, and the coat can be photographed, I can do the handwork later, while I watch my daughter practice volleyball, or watch TV.  I recorded both episodes of Masterpiece Theatre’s Wuthering Heights.  That would be great to sew to…