Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Shibori Dyeing at Nonpareil

Shibori is the Japanese word for a variety of ways of embellishing textiles by shaping cloth and securing it before dyeing. Rather than treating cloth as a two-dimensional surface, with shibori it is given a three-dimensional form by folding, crumpling, stitching, plaiting, or twisting. The special characteristic of shibori resist is a soft, blurry-edged pattern.

Sewing, sewing, sewing

I'm usually furiously sewig all day long, and tend to forget to photograph pieces that I'm working on.
I did manage to remember to photograph these before delivering them to a client.  The pieces are too large for the form, but they fit the client beautifully!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Good Day, Good Publicity

Today has been a good day!  Read a nice little blurb on page 46 in the new October issue of the Ann Arbor Observer about my move, and also found out that one of my images is on the new Art Walk postcard!
Jacket and scarf- second photo from the left.  Woo-hoo!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Why is your work so expensive?

Here's a very good explanation on why hand made costs what it does.  This also applies to alterations- I sometimes can't tailor a garment for the price it cost originally!  Labor costs in the US can't compete with China.  Everyone knows this, but some people just don't realize how it effects people like me (and her!)


Monday, August 1, 2011

Locavore Fashion?

One of the wonderful things about Ann Arbor is the thriving farmer's market.  Residents here really appreciate locally raised produce, and some of the downtown restaurants advertise that they use locally raised produce and meat.

But it makes me wonder, with all this emphasis on food and it's provenance, is there ever any thought about another basic need of the population- clothing?  Does anyone really care about where their clothing comes from, and it's effect on the environment?  Or are we just consumed with getting the best deal?

In order to sell cheap goods, companies need cheap labor, which keeps wages low.  Inexpensive products may be made in foreign countries with very unethical labor practices.  Does buying these goods mean we approve of these practices? Why do we feel so passionately about local food, but don't have those feelings about other necessities?

Have a better relationship with your clothes- learn how to sew. Discover how good it feels to handcraft your own garments.  Mend them, alter them, or make them from scratch.  I'll teach you how. You won't look at cheap, ready-made clothes the same way again.

Handmade cotton gingham dress

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The 30 Minute Skirt

I love a knee length skirt in the summer, and they look cute with flats or heels.  Digging through my fabric stash, I found quite a few bright prints that I thought would make a great skirt.

I used my own personal sloper as a pattern, and cut out and sewed one every day for 5 days.  Timing myself, I found that I could finish it in 30 minutes flat!  They were blind hemmed on a machine- it would have taken me longer if I had hand hemmed them!  There are 4 pattern pieces- front, back, front waist facing, and back waist facing.  They have a side invisible zipper, and no vent or slit because they are a-line.

The class titled "Beginning Fitted Garment Construction" teaches how to construct a basic skirt such as this to sewists who are beginner to intermediate.  But I can't guarantee that you'll be able to make it in 30 minutes!
The 30 minute skirt

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Nonpareil Studio is Expanding!

Nonpareil is thrilled to be taking over the second floor of the vintage home where we are located, which will be used exclusively for sewing and other fiber art classes.  A full schedule of classes will be offered along with some new additions.  There will be permanent counter-height cutting tables,  room for eight sewing stations, and hopefully, a dyeing studio.  Stay tuned for further updates!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Scarf featured in Styleline magazine

I was reading the newest issue of Style magazine, and on page 34 I see the name "Nonpareil" in a fashion layout!  One of my scarves!  How cool is that?

Monday, February 7, 2011

Beadweaving workshop by Jenny Schu

Master beadweaver Jenny Schu was at Nonpareil Studio yesterday giving a workshop. The attendees all wanted more!  We may have to do Beadweaving pt.2- there is so much to learn!