Like many of my creative friends, finding time for personal projects is a constant challenge. But with an upcoming trip requiring airline travel, I carved out a few hours to cobble up this carry-on container. Part of the puzzle was using only materials I had on hand, including leather remnants and parts from what I call the "weird projects graveyard".
Back Pack or Shoulder Bag
This last photo is my favorite because my reflection is captured in the shiny snap. A great metaphor for pouring heart and soul into work . I can't wait to try this design in my travels and think about the next iteration.
What are you designing that reflects your life?
Finally the linen and lace jacket I began back in the fall in Susan Khalje's Couture School is completed. Just in time for Easter! It's always nice to have new spring clothes and a special treat to have something custom made. It seems like such a gift to be able to carve out time to create a one-of-a-kind outfit. I hope to continue to find time to make dresses, and I always say, dresses and slipcovers are kissing cousins!
The inspiration for my jacket came from this Easter outfit my mother designed and created for me. This must have been around the early 70's. Mama loved dressing me in aqua and it is still my favorite color. I am so grateful to have Mama in my life and glad that I can still show up for Easter dinner with family in our home in Tarboro.
Fun photo shoot with Katherine.
Last week I wished for a few cold winter's nights so I could get back to finishing a couture project, and this week I got snowed in on Snowden.
Night time temps have been single digits in Raleigh. Be careful what you wish for!
Last night I worked on hemming my couture jacket. I couldn't find a good match in hem tape, but Joann's Fabrics had three colors of this lace. One was the perfect match. I used pins I purchased from Susan Khalje to hold the lace in place for hand stitching They are so sharp and have glass heads which can be ironed over and are great for delicate laces and fine fashion fabrics like the silk organza underlining. You can purchase the pins and the silk organza here: Susan Khalje Store
Once the bottom of the lace was stitched to the folded up hem, I pressed the lace with just enough steam to shape it to the curve of the bottom edge of the jacket. Malleable materials that can be molded together feel like clay in a potter's hands to me. The fabric I chose for the jacket is 100% linen from Brazil, in color celestial, and reacts wonderfully to just a bit of steam.
At the top of the lace I am using a catch stitch. Working from left to right, I first catch the lace and then catch the silk organza interlining. That way there are not any pick stitches showing on the outside of the garment. Well maybe a few misses. But only a few.
Looks like celestial snowflakes to me. Melting on celestial linen. Too bad this is only the hem on the inside and will not show. But that is the beauty of couture inside and out. Rumors of more snow always welcome. I'm ready for another late night of fabric play.
So glad it's snowing tonight! Cold winter nights are super for late night sewing, and it's time to take my couture school project off the back burner.
I finished the linen exterior in class, but I still need to insert the silk lining. And finish hand stitching beads on the lace. Oh and the buttons, alledged to be Chanel. Here are some scenes from the beginnings of making this jacket at Susan Khalje's Couture School back in October. Yes that was months ago. I know, it's time to finish.
Loved receiving this card in the mail from my neice Kari, who is a textile student at NC State University. It has cute little pattern pieces all over, and I have been knee deep in patterns this week.
REBOOT week four has me finalizing my couture project for Susan Khalje's Couture School next week in Baltimore. Our homework assignment was to make and fit a muslin, or toile, which is the essential first step for any couture project. I am working on a jacket pattern and I'm a little frantic trying to get everything all packed up. But luckily my Mom helped me baste the muslin together.
Hey this is me in my new upCdooZ!
So what's an upCdooZ? Altered upcycled clothing for artfully dressed women and children. One of my friends from design school, Camille Thornton, along with Susan Thornton, launched this business in Charlotte, NC. This dress is so comfy I want to wear it all the time. Click on the link below for more info.
Organic cotton laces are my favorite and the one in this photo is from Near Sea Naturals. I don't think the butterflies are available any more. Probably because I stitched them to so many cotton and linen slipcovers. But another favorite is the Brontosaurus lace which can be found on the link below. I used both the Butterfly and the Brontosaurus lace recently on a pair of straightleg levis so I could get them over my red cowgirl boots. www.nearseanaturals.com
Wish I had a nickel for every time I heard my mother say "quit prissin' your fanny and be still so I can pin this hem level". Mama is a woman of few words, but she knows just the right ones to say and how to say 'em so you know exactly what she means. And I learned to be still from Mama. As Mother's Day approaches, I am grateful for my mother who dressed me like a doll in her beautiful creations and instilled in me an appreciation for the art of the custom fitting. Happy Mother's Day to you Mom.
Sometimes life has a way of resetting our priority buttons for us, and I did not make it to the Art to Wear Design Showcase after all. But I am proud to have been able to sponsor this collaboration between talented students of the College of Design and College of Textiles. Check out the talent at ART TO WEAR ROCKS REYNOLDS. More photos at News & Observer.
But for some things there is a next time, and when the time comes, I will be ready.
I've always known that slipcovers and dresses were kissing cousins. So I finally decided to give dress making a try, and stitched up an outfit to coordinate with my parson's chair slipcover. What I learned is I have a lot to learn about dressmaking. And it's pretty tricky to pin-fit to your own body. I can see why a dress form would be a good investment, and I now have a new appreciation for my mother, who for a very long time sewed all of her own wardrobe and looked just fabulous on Sunday mornings. I've sparked a new passion for sewing fashion and I have already worn my new dress in High Point, and on Easter Sunday, and I'll wear it to my neice's wedding this Saturday. Although my daughter has banned my teal tights.
Next week I will show off my dress and slipcover at the Art to Wear Design Showcase in Reynolds Coliseum at North Carolina State Univeristy. Art to Wear is an educational event put on by the College of Design and College of Textiles students and attracts approximately 4000 attendees. The Design Showcase is an opportunity for students and alumni to showcase their work. For more information visit http://www.ncsu.edu/project/design-projects/art2wear/about/