Detour Day

I love days when you have something planned, and everything else happens.  I started the morning, catching up on paperwork, the deadline for HGA’s Small Expressions is Friday, so I got my application in.  I’ve never been accepted to Small Expressions, but yet I keep trying.  And I got the financial disclosure forms done, (my husband is an elected town official), and my sales tax reported.  All those annoying deadlines, it was great to cross off a number of things on my to-do list.

I had a number of events scheduled today, all of them were canceled for the weather, which remained icy and dangerous.  That meant the guild meeting was canceled, and all of my daughter’s baking will now sit and stare at me until I eat every cookie…  My only deterrent is that if I eat every cookie, I won’t fit in the muslin for the dress I’m about to make…

So I got the gift of an extra few hours today.  And I chose to spend it watching a PBS special Great Performances, a filming of the Broadway production of Cyrano de Bergerac, which I actually saw on Broadway last year, an unbelievable preformance with Kevin Kline, and Jennifer Garner.  It was such a treat to see it again, and to really see the characters faces up close.  What an amazing production.

Before the show started, I was checking a few things on the blog, and realized that when I cut and pasted so cleverly, the information from the other site, that the images were not coming up, that they had to load through the eBlogger site, and were mostly coming up blank.  So I reloaded all the images to this site directly, and in the process found a way to install the images as thumbnails, and then be able to click on them to make them bigger.  So now that I’ve figured out how to do that, future images will be able to load quicker and be viewed bigger with a click.  Bear with me while I learn this new technology kicking and screaming all the way…

Project One Update Pt. 4


I just returned from a yoga class, much needed, with all the holidays and the celebrations, I haven’t been to class in a month, and sitting all day at the computer and the sewing machine is taking its toll.  I feel three inches taller and my posture is so much more upright after a workout.  Sadly the roads are treacherous.  We are in the middle of an ice storm.  My daughter is overjoyed as there is a two hour delay tomorrow morning for school.

Meanwhile, our weaver’s guild meeting is tomorrow night, and my daughter and I are both down for bringing snacks to the meeting.  She jumped on that and is in the middle of making ginger molasses cookies, and spent all day Sunday making 8 more batches of her flavored hard candy.  You can read about the original adventure in the blog titled ‘Making Candy’, December 21st.  She lined up all the flavors, and this time, rum was among them, along with coconut (which oddly enough is my favorite), and she worked all afternoon.  She needed something to put them in to take them to the guild meeting, so last night, she rescaled the pattern for the box she made, (see blog from December 19, Snow Day) and made a huge container, lined with plastic, to hold her 20 pounds of candy. The tie dyed cotton was a sample I did in a pre-conference class at Convergence with Irene Munroe, once my daughter spied it in my stash, there was no other fabric suitable for this box…

dress3muslin2dress3muslin2backAnd now for the update on Project 4.  I went ahead and drafted a pattern based on the muslin I draped on the form.  It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be with all the pinning and the gathering and the pleating.  I just transferred all the marks with chalk, and then opened the muslin out flat, and worked a pattern off of it.  I cut the pattern out of a new piece of fabric, and sewed it up to check the engineering and the fit.  I didn’t put a zipper in the back, just had my daughter pin me into it, and I love the dress.  I just have to see if I will be able to get the patterns out of the fabric, and have it match reasonably well across the front and back.  Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, I am heading in NYC on Thursday night, weather permitting for an opening of a show titled ‘Economies of Scale’ at the Phoenix Gallery down in Chelsea.  I have work in a miniatures show there, sponsored by the Textile Study Group of NY.  You can read more about the show and see images of the two post card size pieces I have in the show, under events over in the boxes on the right. If you are in the NYC area, the show is up through the month of January.

Project One Update Pt.3

tn_compdaryljacket1I have posted a notice of the upcoming Association of Southern California Handweavers Conference, under ‘Upcoming Events’, over in the side menus.  I am teaching a jacket workshop, from your handwoven fabric, though it isn’t necessary to have handwoven fabric to take the workshop.  I’ve had students raid the linen closet and bring in an old blanket at the last minute.  So if you are in the Southern California area, or are planning to be in March, check out the conference and my workshop, if you want to sew, especially handwoven fabrics, this is a terrific beginner class to get you on your way.  I’ve updated the look of the pattern a bit, and included a closure by interrupting the piping to make button loops!

Thanks for all the comments I’ve received so far.  Some of you have been too timid to actually post one for all to read, but I appreciate the private comments as well, and yes, I agree with all of you that the two choices I’ve posted so far, for the Frosted Florals fabric, are not quite there.  They don’t play off the wonderful drape or celebrate the gorgeous colorways and striping of the handwoven fabric.  So, thrilled to have such great critical feedback, I spent the morning, redraping the fabric, playing around with other options, and feeling like I have Tim Gunn standing over me saying, “Make it work!”, I am jumping in with both feet into my own design.


When I turned the handwoven fabric upside down to drape the left half of the garment, (without cutting into the fabric) I couldn’t believe how well the colors blended across the two halves.  I think this can work, even though the two halves aren’t mirror images of themselves.  The bodice needs to be bias, in order to drape, but the lower skirt would be cut in one piece from the center back around to the center front, with darts and tucks to maintain grainlines and shaping.

Now to draft a pattern, test it out in two halves, and see if it fits on the fabric I have.   Stay tuned…

Project One Update pt. 2


Here are the images of the second style of dress I am contemplating for the Frosted Florals Rayon fabric.   Again, I made up the dress in a fabric on my shelf to see if I liked it on me.  This one is a soft gather over one shoulder, with pleating at the waist, which is beautiful with the stripes in the woven fabric.  This garment fits better on the fabric, and I like that the division line is closer to the waist instead of up under the bust, which means I’ll have an easier time matching the horizontal color bands at the side seams.  My only hesitation with this style, is when the bodice is gathered into the one shouldered look, it throws the vertical lines of the stripe visually off balanced, and I’m not sure I will like that.  I have to play with it more…  This style will use up more of the fabric, and that is a good thing.

Feel free to comment if you have an opinion one way or another on the choice of styles.  To comment, click on the title of this post, and a comments dialogue box will open up for viewing.  You do not have to be registered to leave a comment. (Which is one of the reasons I switched to WordPress for my blogging page.)

FYI, the fabric on the dress form is actually draped and pinned to simulate the look of the finished pattern.  I do this a lot.  There is nothing cut from the yardage, and nothing sewn or refined.  It helps to get a general idea of where color areas might be placed.  I threw a piece of hem tape around the middle to give an idea of the waist placement.

Project One Update

I laid out this project back in December, you can reread the project in the archives.  The deadline for submission for the fashion show at the Surface Design Association’s Conference, Off the Grid in Kansas City, MO May28-May31, 2009 is coming up fast.  I believe it is Feb 1, 2009. Looking back over the projects I’ve outlined so far, I want to work on the ones that most fit the fashion show theme for a surface design conference, rather than a handweaver’s conference.  Project one, the frosted florals fabric involves hand dyed warps and some textural weaving in the structure choice, and I think would be dynamic on the runway and in photographs.  So for now I’ll concentrate on that one.  I do my best work, or rather my most productive output under deadlines…

I have two possibilities for this project.  The December 2008 Burda had some gorgeous dresses involving draping and pleating, two would be effective with this slinky rayon fabric, and the unbroken length of the dyed fabric down the front would be stunning.  So I’ve done a sketch, and made the pattern up into an actual dress to really see which I like on my body, and then I’ve done a preliminary layout for each of the two designs I’m contemplating.  The styling may be wonderful, but if the patterns don’t fit on the narrow fabric, no sense pursuing it.


This is the first choice, and I love the soft pleating and drape which really shows off the fabric striping.  The pattern is a bit wider than the fabric, but not by much, and I can always do my famous cheat, where I find a narrow piece of the fabric on the selvedge, that continues the coloration of the area where the fabric is missing, and butt the two selvedges together, making just that area wide enough for the pattern piece.  I do it all the time, and it is really invisible, I will hand stitch, or machine stitch with a very very narrow zig zag, catching the two selvedges.dress1layoutdetlr1

I’ll follow up with the second choice tomorrow.  Stay tuned…