Friday, July 26, 2013

murky but cool

last night's results... the yellow, orange and lime are now more earthy....remind me of moss and algae....thinking of making a Jean Cacicedo style vest.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Dyeing to sew

I machine washed and dried the wool/rayon boucle fabrics i bought at the Fabric Workshop hoping to felt them. I think they fulled enough to be totally stable. i then  sampled small pieces  in a dye bath of black Wilton food color...the black broke leaving  cool colors ( magentas and teals) in the wool with the rayon keeping much of its intrinsic colors.

So, last night they took the plunge. They started out as yellow, orange, and green....I put all three half yard pieces into an enamel pot and left them to dye till i get home and wash them tonight.  Interestingly, as i played with the pot of dye to check things this morning, my hands turned magenta and the plate i used as a weight was covered in teal ...heaven knows how the fabrics will look tonight.

I am feeling a kind of deconstructed/ artsy vibe with this  fabric ( so i also dropped in a few pieces of black and white houndstooth and glen plaid for accent patches, maybe). Shooting to create something akin to  these cool looks. if not the fabric be repurposed to something else i am sure.

on another front....
 if you follow knitting,  Skacel is hosting a design contest, much like their own project runway with 12 contestants.  I am one of the judges for the current challenge with the judging  in 2 weeks at our Stitches Midwest show. take a look i am a little perplexed at how this all will shake down...the other two judges are my boss Elaine, and our latest Author Laura Bryant of Prism Yarns.

Monday, July 22, 2013


Got home at midnight from Kansas, went to a workshop at the Sewing workshop with Linda Lee...I had met her in Puyallap Wa at the Sewing Expo back in February.  My pal, Elaine , insisted that I join her for this event....I call it an event because it was!!!!! 3 days of sewing which expanded to 4... We went through fitting, design and sewing instruction...we were enveloped by hundreds of finished samples and gloriously beautiful fabrics. 

I used to sew the majority of my wardrobe. Somehow, after Luke's death and my move I lost interest...but kept knitting. But since knitting is a work responsibility it no longer is a diversion from work stress...the quilting, and now garment sewing is soothing that need.

More about Kansas.....
I made 3 garments that I will use for work and special events.

Made a reversible Peony silk vest, a Pan Pacific shirt (with double color and hidden placket and double cuffs), and a color blocked t-shirt. The Pan Pacific is made in a fine-weight cotton with a motif that graduates from nothing to full blown pattern across its width. I still need to make the buttonholes and redo the collar as I made it a tad too tight for my neck.  And the t-shirt is linen knit combined with a stretch sequin in copper.   Can't wait to wear this under a blazer.

I brought home an Indian silk, wool gauze, python black on black wool print, wool/rayon blend in 3 colors for color blocking, and a Pucci print silk!!!!   We stopped in Kansas City,  shopped at Kaplans and got two stunning peices of fabric for  a couple more fun shirts.  I was a little conservative in the amount of  fabrics I bought, mainly because our Mini Coper was pretty packed when we I am alread living with regrets of purchases missed. Thanks heaven for mail order!!!!

I cannot say enough about Linda, Kathy and Erin....what a staff !!! I  felt so at home, being the only guy, and I think the first in one of these classes.....Linda warned the ladies I was coming and promised them I would move away into a corner when they wanted to try on clothing and while worked for the first morning, after that first morning there was  little problem for them to be changing as if I weren't there— bras and undies were seen by all.
I mentioned to Linda, " I think I am one of the girls, now."

Kathy sews the most impeccable garments and has a style and color sense rivaled by no one I have ever known, and Erin is a sweetheart with the GenX vibe, modern look, and  so much polish.

Anyway I will dress my mannequin tonight and post pictures....because I am thrilled with all the amazing things I now own.
I was fortunate to purchase 2 shirts from her, they will be well loved and used in the next month....Stitches and Wendi's Wedding arre coming up soon.....

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Still sewing...

Just finished a raglan t-shirt to wear with these. Shoes to dye for!!!????

It is grey cotton tricot with embossed silver stars...felt I needed a little blue accent and dip dyed the finished  piece in teal, advancing the fabric every half hour to create a gradient of color. Like what I have seen on pinterest, although I went for pale colors.   Looks great with my white linen slacks....dark jeans....or my grey wool slacks and a blazer.


Today I am cutting out my velvet leopard is a jade and black combo,--pretty unexpected--but should be a fun piece for a jacket for  one of the evening events I host at Stitches.  I decided to keep it pretty casual and make it a raglan bomber with elasticized waist and cuffs. I found a great NEW LOOK pattern a few years back (is 15 years a few?) and finally have time to do something with it....did I tell you I am going to SEW KANSAS this week, and hope to get a vest and jacket made...

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Still high from the fumes....

I am shocked at how fast i can finish a sewn garment...i am so accustomed to knitting a garment that takes 20+ hours, that i forgot how gratifying sewing something in a few hours can be...and hand-finishing is a breeze. i think i might just be wrapped in sewn threads until the weather changes.

Made a raglan pattern for a T-shirt night before last, it was taken from a Tommy Hilfiger T-shirt I bought about 10 years ago. It took all of 20 minutes to get it to work as i knew I just wanted a sliver more room in the body.

I cut it out and had it done in a couple hours and wore it to work yesterday. It is black with beige tiny  polka dots in front, solid black short sleeves, and a striped back. The back is  Ponte so i used the wrong side for the back so a triplet of smaller lines make up each stripe...stripes also in the collar.

Not only does it look cool, it is really cool to wear— which works well when i get overheated. and that happens more than i like these days. Gotta balance the blood pressure...keep calm and bite your tongue!

I am now up to 5 fun shirts from this class, tonight i am  cutting out a new fabric i bought at SR HARRIS in the Twin Cities. it is grey with silver embossed stars.  it willl be dip dyed to match my new Donald Pliner Ponts....hoping it turns out cool enough to wear at STITCHES, otherwise it will be  back to old standbys...or a trip to Nordstrom when i hit Chicago.

Also ordered a pair of Donald Pliner Sandals, yesterday....with their sale and my 30% off coupon they were really reasonable, and the black with red soles...will be perfect for my trip next week to Kansas....going to The Sewing Workshop for a sewing class with Linda Lee.  I think it will be a challenge for her in that she wasn't expecting a man, and i will have to bring my own pattern and ideas....i am thinking either a red dupioni silk jacket (like a jean jacket) or a raglan jacket in a green animal print. Either way these babies are destined for the Fashion Show at Stitches Midwest.
made in the class with Katherine Tilton.... high-lighted with gold foil, shiva stick and jaquard just played with tucks, added the long sleeves as side panels and wore it over a dress shirt in black and white blocks

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Week End of Stitching!

OK now!

i have received a real kick in the pants, and am deciding to share here more regularly.

Just returned from a sewing workshop with Katherine Tilton in Minneapolis, The "Arty T" was a real blast. I went with my boss, Elaine, and her cousin Sarah from Brooklyn, and besides eating like there is no tomorrow, and shopping, we accomplished our goals.

A little history, Elaine and I went to the Sew Expo in Puyallup, WA last February after our weekend at Stitches. The whirlwind of 3 days in Seattle/Tacoma included fabric, pattern and surface design shopping along with a series of mini workshops. We made time also for  the glass workshop, the Murano hotel.( i wanted to visit the space needles but maybe next year, my parents went to the worlds fair when i was a kid)

The  Sew Expo highlights were meeting a few "sewing" stars. Amongst them were Marci and Katherine Tilton and shopping their booth was  just what i needed to get back to sewing my clithing. Katherine told us about the Arty T  workshop and we decided right then to go for it!

So this past weekend was a room full of sewing machines, knit tricot, stencils, paints, 15 women and me. we all worked on our own individual projects and had a blast. i made 2 pieces in 2 days. helped draft a pattern for the husband of one of my classmates. And refined a pattern with Elaine.  i also pushed Sarah, into purchasing stuff to keep sewing at home.

i will post pictures of my two pieces is in the wash as it is full of dog hair from Mr.B and my visit to pick up Pucci last night. the other is hanging ready for an occassion!