Friday, February 28, 2014

One Day Wonder

Some times you just gotta sew something you know will work and have something to show at the end of the day.

I had just that kind of day last Sunday.  The weekend had been a total bust, fact, the last two weeks have been just that.  Starting projects that can't be finished for one reason or another.  Either it was my skill level, the pattern or just plain had no desire to work on the project.

So, on Sunday I decided to finally try M6607.   Margy from A Fool For Fabric gives it the TNT status and I saw her whip one out in about an hour a month ago.  This sleeveless tunic always looks so good on her I wanted to see if I could wear it, too.

I made it from a fabric that a friend gave me, thanks Sarah!  It's a black and reddish brown burnout, very drapy and I had lots of it...nothing to lose.

It worked!  This is such an easy pattern; fun to make and instant gratification.  It was so fast that I had more time so I pulled out a sheer stretch jacquard in a smaller black and brown print and made Christine Jonson's leggings to go underneath.  I can see why Margy loves this so much.  

I pulled the outfit together with a sheer stretch netting tunic I made a year ago.   I'll need to wear a black camy under that.  Cant wait to wear this new outfit!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

DOL Santa Barbara and neck bling

I just returned from Montecito where Diane Ericson and Kay Khan held forth on their latest textile ideas.

It was a great group of women.  Sixteen of us worked our way through ideas we brought and new ideas that Diane and Kay introduced.

This is going to be a long post so hang on!

Here's Diane Ericson demonstrating one of her techniques.  She's wearing her latest remade men's shirt creation.  Each one is more inspiring than the last.  She's a genius mix of left and right brain, engineer and artist.

We met Kay Khan, a Santa Fe fiber artist.  Her work is incredible.  Mostly constructed vessels and wall hangings but she also makes jewelry.  She brought several pieces to sell that were swooped up quickly.

Her work takes time...and lots of thread!  Very intricate pieced textiles with lots of wording.

She worked on a men's jacket while at the retreat.  Cutting it, sewing into it, really inspiring.

The holes she cuts in her pieces got a lot of us thinking!

A finished hole...or not.  She keeps working into her pieces so you never know if it's really finished.

These are two pieces she made out of sweatshirt hoodies.  Stand alone helmets that were so powerful both thematically and in their construction.

An example of her jewelry.

And then there's Helen Papke.  A long time DOL attendee.  Here she's working on a piece of her own boro.  Her inspiration...a shop in Venice California selling pieces of clothing made with the Japanese textiles.

Not yet finished piece she sewed to a men's shirt.

And then I got going on a piece inspired by Kay.  She was very kind to help me construct a collar/necklace from a 12X15" piece I made.  Here's the start.

And here's the finished piece.  It's big, it's kinda cartoon-y but I like it for my first attempt.

View of the side/back

View of the other side/back

And then here's the piece I bought from Kay.  So fun and wearable.

We ate one night at Los Agaves in Santa Barbara.  It's my new favorite Mexican restaurant hands down.  Great service, gorgeous presentation and terrific food.  Here is my Green Pozole, delish.

Now I'm done with the DOL recap.  Here's a few shots of other stuff I've been working on.

 I took a class in October from Sandy Ericson of The Center For Pattern Design on making paper beads that are folded, Swedish style, into little origami type beads.  I sort of stink at it...still...but love the process.  

I started the necklace with the beads in a single layer but realized it needed some depth.

So I restrung it.  I don't love the old covered wire I used, need to find another something to hang them on. 

Don't look to closely.  Sandy, if you are seeing this I'm sorry, they are NOTHING like yours.  I still have a long way to go in making them tight little square bundles.

Then I worked on a copy of a necklace my friend got overseas.  It's a mix of covered plastic curtain rings, painted wooden beads made of dowels and painted plastic rings.  I covered the rings with ribbon, vintage kimono cloth and yarn.

It was like reinventing the wheel but I love the outcome and I wear it a lot.

It gets crazier and crazier.  This is a scarf I knit from strips of vintage scarves.  I have hundreds that I've collected and want to use them.  It became a collar of sorts.  Doesn't look that good as a scarf but wound around my neck it's pretty interesting.

And warm!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Field Trip!

A few sewing pals met up last month to hit the San Jose area for a few sewing/design highlights.

First, we visited Fabrics R Us.  It's a whacky, stuffed to the rafters store with everything from Ice Capades costume fabric to cowboy flannels.  Needles to say, we found stuff we couldn't live without.

Here's a trunkload, just a few.

Here's a mermaid piece that Lisa found she couldn't live without.

And then, we all found this cool "Vegan Leather"...yeah, that's the new name for pleather!  Cut out, black, yep!  And on the way to the checkout we found this black garter strip.  I've decided I'm coming back as a dominatrix.  We'll see what everyone does with this stuff.

Then we ate, gotta eat!  Landed at a wonderful downtown Vietnamese restaurant named Vung Tau.  I highly recommend it.

After that we visited the San Jose Textile Museum for it's new show on the history of Wearable Art.  It's worth seeing.  Here are a few photos from the show.

Mandala-like sculptures by Isaac Amala and Liz Simpson made out of ties.

Here's Lisa enjoying a huge tent made of ties by the same artists.  Just amazing.

Another wall sculpture.

Copper wire knit into long garment sculptures by Laura Raboff.  The lighting created the most magical shadows that reminded me of the Ruth Asawa corridor at the deYoung Museum in San Francisco.

THEN, we just hadn't had enough so we went up to Mountain View to FabMo for a one day sale of 100+ bolts of designer fabrics.  We had to wait in line for about an hour.  We waited behind this cool gal.

She and her friend were dressed in their own creations that were mesmerizing.  We all had a blast.  Found lots of fabric at $1-3 a yard!  Even though we entered the warehouse about two hours after the sale opened we still found some great stuff.

I bought 5 yards of a green wool to make a Chanel-style altered jacket.  Will try to figure out how to make it look French while still looking edgy.

It was the best day.  Hanging out with my sewing design pals eating-looking-buying.  Doesn't get any better than that!

More posts to come soon.  I just returned from DOL Santa Barabara with Diane Ericson and Kay Khan.  Inspiring and productive, as always.  So that will be one post.  Another will be on some necklaces I've been making lately.  Talk to you soon!