Sunday, August 21, 2016

Hold onto your divine blush, your innate rosy magic, or end up brown.  Once you're brown, you'll find out you're blue.  As blue as indigo.  And you know what that means.  
Indigo, indigoing, indigone.

Tom Robbins, Jitterbug Perfume, 1984
One of my favorite books.

I've had indigo on my mind the last few months.  I took one class here in Santa Cruz last spring and saw a wonderful exhibit at the Seattle Art Museum called Mood Indigo.  The vest above is from this show.  It's well worth a trip and is showing until early October.  I also took an eco-dyeing class at MAIWA in the spring that had an indigo bath.

I'll be taking an eco-printing class in a few weeks that will have an indigo component that I didn't know about.  I'm happy about that.  I have some previously eco-printed cashmeres that can use a little brightening and indigo might just do the trick.  More on that class later in September.

So I've been getting the indigo bug slowly and without really going after it...it's coming after me I think!


 I purchases 3 yards of this gorgeous fabric from Marcia Derse at the Puyallup Expo last year.  I'm continuing to incorporate color into my wardrobe...one piece at a time.

Marcia was in her booth and what a lovely, fun and talented artist.  We had so much fun in her booth. We were there twice and spent a LONG time with her.  She designs all of her own fabrics and has them printed.  I couldn't decide which one I wanted, I wanted them ALL!  And the cotton is such a fine quality.  I didn't realize how lovely till I started sewing with it, and then wore it.  I want more!

This pattern is from the Bookends line and is called Cat's Cradle in "fig".  I wore it yesterday and everyone said, "Gayle, you have to wear this color more often."...ok.

This is a Vogue Lynn Mizono pattern that, thankfully, is still in print.  I've made it twice before and have just re-ordered it to cut a bit larger.  I love this pattern.  

The print worked out well for this pattern.  I think I've finally drilled into my brain the benefits of getting enough fabric so that I don't have to sweat whether I'll have enough or not.

I've been making these collars for several years now.  I used to sell them at a wonderful little shop in Carmel, Findings.  Do any of you remember it?  I mourn it's passing.

I make these by starting with a double thickness raw silk background. Then I drape fabrics around the base and stitch them on.   I have so many vintage scarves and bits of fabric I used in the re-made cashmeres I used to sell.  Now that I don't do those anymore I'm fishing around for ways to use these beautiful textiles, I'm not ready to give them up.

The little "puffs" are pieces of fabric, kimono fabric, cashmere, anything that works.  I stuffed them and then used Pearl cotton for the wraps.  

The little pinwheels are Dorset buttons made from curtain rings and various yarns.  I've given my pattern at the bottom of this post.  I taught it to my knitting guild many years ago.  I'm sorry I wasn't able to get my photo to copy here but if you look up Dorset buttons you will see many.  I didn't want to copy someone else's photo without their permission.

I was happy to finally finish the piece.  It's been in my UFO pile for about two years.

I'll wear this one, I think.  They are really comfortable.

The closure is offset, or I can wear it so that the button is center back and the front is offset.

Here's the pattern for the buttons, try them, they are so fun and easy to make.


                                               DORSET CROSSWHEEL BUTTON

These buttons are fun and easy to make. They are particularly cute for children’s
garments. They can be made any size depending on the size ring used. 
   

Materials needed:
Plastic or brass curtain rings to fit buttonhole
Darning needle
Strands of yarn in 3 colors (A, B and C)

Instructions

1)    Tie a strand of A on the ring.  Thread the needle with the strand.
2)    With the yarn positioned away from you on the ring, bring the needle up through the hole and then down and away from you between the loop of yarn on the outside of the ring.  Pull tight to form a buttonhole stitch.
3)    Continue around the ring, pushing the stitches tightly together as you go.  When all the way around the ring secure the first and last stitch. If this is the color of the body of the sweater, leave the tail long to sew button on.
4)    Push the stitches to the inside of the ring
5)    Join a strand of yarn B to the ring and make 8 spokes that have a front and back, evenly around ring, interlocking each spoke in the center.
6)    Make cross stitches in the center of the button that holds all the stitches together and makes a nice center.  Weave in loose ends.
7)    Join a strand of C at the back center and bring it through to the front.  Backstitch in a clockwise fashion, back over one spoke, then pass the needle under the next spoke, backstitch over that and so on to produce a spider’s web pattern.  Repeat as many times as necessary to produce a full center of the button. Weave in loose ends but leave a shank to attach the button to your garment or project.


And finally, a couple of photos from a fun visit I made with my pal, Julie, to the Gilroy Gardens to see their Illuminations show that is there till November, I think.




Enjoy the end of summer!

24 comments:

  1. I am pleased as punch to read that you are still pursuing ecoprinting ... makes my heart so, so glad!! AND, I do want to say I think you have some sort of *sewing genius* in your genetics for your clothes/jewelry are truly a delight .... quirky, fun, original in their details, with style up the wahzoo. Oh, and one more thing .... did you make those button toppers for your dress forms? Those "ladies" I had at the workshop are all missing their top-knots so I'm thinking it might be fun to create something button-like for them.....
    As always, so much wonderful inspiration over here, Gayle. Howdy from up north!!
    Christi

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    1. So great to hear from you, Christi. I follow your work as well and love what you are doing with beads. Yes, eco-printing still has a hold on me! Thank you for the nice words. I think of my time on Lopez fondly.
      The buttons on top of my dress form are three bracelets my mom made 50 years ago. They are fun to make and loop over my form nicely.

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  2. I, too, miss Findings. I visited frequently for fabrics, buttons, unique notions or just to chat with Nancy.
    Mila

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  3. Love Marcia Derse fabrics. They have a soft hand and are easy to work with. Wish more sewists would catch on to her great lines and colors. Indigo dyeing gets such beautiful results and who can NOT like that shade of blue. Hope you get some great results in your next class.

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    1. Thanks, Ann. You never know with indigo but I'm hoping the previously dyed cashmeres will produce something good. Thanks!

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  4. Lovely work, Gail. Who are you taking your next eco printing working with? I just took a fabulous one with Pia Best from Germany. The results from this workshop were the best I have had. We worked both with indigo and without, just using plants.

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    1. Yes, yes, it's with Pia! I'm so looking forward to it. I'm so pleased to hear it was that great. Thanks so much!

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  5. I swear, you are one of the most talented, artistic people on earth! Everything you make is just breathtaking!

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    1. Wow, I'm so honored to hear that. Thank you for such a kind comment. I was lucky to have a mom who never stopped me from creating. Her encouragement has made me fearless in my adulthood!

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  6. Gayle - both pieces are just wonderful! I am a (new) devotee of Marcia Derse. I totally agree with you about the quality of her cotton prints. I am usually leery of prints but hers are worthy of your garment. And the necklace - so charming. Thanks for sharing details. I plan to try my hand at some of these puffs tonight.

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  7. I'd love to see the results of the puffs. I've seen them on Pinterest in various necklaces. You could look on my Pinterest Jewelry board to see more. Good luck and thanks!

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  8. Marcia had a booth at the Houston Quilt show for several years, back before she had any fabric lines. She sold her original hand-dyed fabric. I bought as much as I could afford and I treasure the few scraps I have left. I try to put one in every art quilt I make. I use her yardage for garments and I love it, but i sure do miss those originals. I miss Findings also.

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    1. Oh, I wish I could even see some of her hand-dyed fabrics. I've heard about them!

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    2. On my website janetwindsor.com under early work, check out Sticks II. It has lots of Marcia's hand dyes. Love them!

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    3. You've used her pieces in a great way. Thanks for sharing your work!

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  9. Hi Gayle - your blog astounds me!! such fun and beautiful examples of your work. I made some puffs for a necklace using kimono pieces. I used one of those yoyo makers and pushed some fiberfill inside. Then added perle cotton an a bead. Any way they were fun, but I struggled with keeping them right side up. They would work well on the collar style necklace that has a back. Anyway, I am planning to try Marcy's 9193 top and wondered if you have tried mixing knits (on the top) with woven on the bottom. Anyway, thanks for all you share.

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    1. I have only tried mixing knits and woven once. The results were just ok. I think you really have to be extra careful about the weight and drape of both fabrics. The woven can't be too stiff or heavy.
      Thank you for your kind comments, you're right, sewing the little puffs onto a background allows for stability, otherwise they flop around!

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  10. The pink and black print is just wonderful.

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  11. It's actually pink and eggplant which is really wonderful!

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  12. The Indigo show at the Seattle Asian Art Museum (the original building in Volunteer Park) is really worth a trip. It's 'about' the use of indigo around the world, but it's a grand excuse for the museum to dig out some of it's best textiles and give them some greater context. Plus the building is a real art deco treasure.
    The necklace is wonderful (and a boon to those of us who can no longer wear metals). Such beauty!

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    1. So well put! That is exactly what that show and building are. I hope you have spurred more people to go.
      Another material for metal-sensitive people is rubber from bicycle inner tubes. Very fun to work with! Thanks for your comments.

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  13. HEAVENLY!!!!!!!!
    A! A! A!
    When and where is the eco-print workshop?????

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    1. Oh thank you! The workshops that I took are all over now but you could go on site for India Flint and locate Pia Best's facebook page to find future classes. Best of luck.

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