Saturday, November 1, 2014

Custom Sportcoat

I made my boyfriend a sport coat for Christmas last year out of a beautiful navy camel hair fabric with a herringbone weave.

Here's a few photos showing the interior construction:
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This is the front lapel, showing the pad stitching on hair canvas, taped edges and roll line.

Outside chest pocket
pocket flap
purple lining under flap

inside besom pocket

finished coat!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

New Wearable Art

The Ann Arbor Fiber Guild's annual Fiber Feast is April 14, and it is a wearable art fashion show, sit-down lunch, and fiber art sale.  I try to have a few new pieces in the fashion show, as well as someyhing on the sales floor.  I have a large roll of a fabulous thick basketweave silk from India, and am making skirts and jackets from it. It dyes beautifully!
The skirts are cut on the bias, but seamed on grain, with elastic in the waist for easy fitting.

The first sample:
There are 6 gores for flare, and the edges of the gores and the hem are fringed. Hopefully, I can take some to Long Beach to sell at Convergence, the conference organized by the Hand Weavers Guild of America.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Dress For HGA Convergence Fashion Show- part III

The dress base is constructed!  It is only pinned together at the center back, and the side seams are not pressed, for I need to take the stitching out in order to be able to do the next several steps- embellishing with the hand dyed organza, and beads!  It's got a long way to go before it's finished.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Wedding Gown Remake

A client brought me her wedding gown and told me she wanted to remake into an evening dress to wear to the Auto Show Charity Preview in Detroit.   Hmmmm.  Can this be successful?  It's cream satin and has lace that is beaded with sequins and pearls.   Was I up for this challenge?  Of course!

First thing was to remove the huge portrait collar, which kept her from raising her arms on her wedding day.  Also, there was a small stain on the lower portion of the dress, close to the hem.
Below, the bride on her wedding day almost 20 years ago.

We decided to add chiffon to lighten up the satin, and to make it asymetrical on top with a chiffon drape over her shoulders, and cut the dress on an angle around her knees and add a bias "circular" dress bottom.

Thin spaghetti straps were needed, and were constructed from the satin cut off the bottom. 

The finished dress!  Success!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Dress #1 For HGA Convergence Fashion Show- Part II

I made a muslin of the dress so I could perfect the fit.  Of course, I don't know the measurements of the model who may wear it in the show (if it is accepted by the jury!), so I make it fit myself.  I'm about a solid size 8- pretty average. The dress form is very similar in size to me (size 12 form-ugh!)  It looks pretty dull in muslin, but I think it will be spectacular in the dyed silk.

The dyed silk satin was stitched by hand with running stitches, which were then pulled tightly.  The dye will be applied , and fabric which is not exposed will not absorb any dye.

Dye was applied with sqeeze bottles- 6 different colors of blue, green, teal, and turquoise.

Finished fabric!  The photo doesn't capture all the nuance of the colors.  I'm quite pleased!
Lastly, all the silk chiffon and organza was dyed also-  a very busy day, and my fingers are blue!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Dress for Wearable Art Fashion Show- take one

I have 5 weeks to make three major pieces for a wearable art fashion show which will take place at a conference I'm teaching at in July.  Even though the show isn't until July, the deadline for jurying is mid February.  I'm having a lot of anxiety about this- wondering how I'll fit all this work in while doing the regular tailoring that pays the bills.

My first dress will be a long fitted mermaid gown in shades of blue and green- water colors.

This is the base color of the satin (still wet), which will then be hand stitched with parallel running stitches, the stitches will be gathered tightly, then dyed again in deeper shades of blue and green.
The satin will be cut and stitched into the dress shape, and then covered with hand- dyed gathered strips of bias-cut silk chiffon and organza.  Below is a small sample, but I think I'm going to make the colors pale at the top of the dress, and get deeper as they progress toward the hem.

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.