Sunday, January 31, 2010

Progress on Altered, Upscaled, Barkcloth Jacket

I sewed most of the jacket yesterday except for hemming the bottom or the sleeves because I'm still not sure what I want to do. After I had constructed the jacket I realized I had dyed a vintage slip that looks nice with it so I hung the jacket over the slip dress and liked it. I pinned the trim around the collar piece and then wondered if I want to add anymore to the jacket or just leave it as is. Maybe put this same trim around the sleeves and hem bottoms?

I took some of the fabrics I had chosen to go with and pinned them on as a skirt, experimenting with what it would look like. I have this set up in the corner of my studio so for the next day or two, or whenever it hits me, that "aha" moment of knowing, I'll ponder my choices and play with the design.

Look at this wonderful handmade button that I got from my friend Carol Hagen at the St. Louis Handweavers' Guild show. It is hand stitched ribbon embroidery and I think it looks nice with the barkcloth fabric. I plan to sew it on and have a loop of fabric or ribbon to connect with it. Although I wanted to keep this button and put it on something I could wear and as I stated in previous post this jacket is not going to fit me well. So I may decide not to use this button after all. We'll see. I wouldn't make a good candidate for "Project Runway" now would I what with all those deadlines!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Vintage Barkcloth Jacket to be "UpCycled"

I had a piece of vintage barkcloth I fell in like with. Now I'm ready to do something with it and have a plan.

This is the piece of barkcloth that was probably part of a curtain at one time. It has some worn places and some pulled threads but I feel it gives the fabric character and is part of it's story.

I found this pattern and thought it would be perfect as a foundation. I will add a skirt onto it and embellish it with lace and trims as I go. I had a plan to make this for myself. However, I haven't sewn with a pattern for a long time so I guessed at which size to make it. I am usually an 8 and that is the size pattern I would use even though the pattern measurements never correspond with what is real. So I decided to make this a size 10 and it should fit fine, I'd like it a little big. Unfortuanately, I have sewn the jacket part and it is a little small for me??? Sigh. I shoulda fit the pattern like my Home Ec teacher preached.

I gathered trims and fabrics I like to go with the barkcloth and today I will begin adding a skirt and applying the trims. If I don't like these trims believe me I have more to choose from. I'll post more pictures as I get close to finishing.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

New Hair Cut?

Would I look this cool if I got my bangs cut this short? I guess I'd need some collagen in my lips and maybe a nose job and ...... oh well I'm not going there. Love the haircut though and if I'm brave enough to change I may get the short bang look.

Friday, January 22, 2010

What's With All The Crazy Weather?

All week it's been pouring rain. We've had road closures due to mudslides and fallen trees bringing power lines down with them. More rain was predicted for today but not the snow we are getting. It does snow in the mountains so it's not unusual, it just doesn't snow often or stay for long. But this snow is falling fast and furious and it's sticking! When I walked outside it was crunchy under my feet, not like icy crunchy but that rubbery sound, cool. I know people who live in snowy climates are thinking "what's the big deal" but for people who don't see snow often it is amazing. Those who live "down the hill" don't get snow and often times they load the kids in the car to drive to the mountains to see the white powder and we'll see them pulled over on the side of the road making snow balls and sometimes even snowmen. But the last couple of years the sheriff's department has closed the road just below our house to prevent people from driving up and getting stuck.

The weather predicted for the weekend says we may get 12 or 13 hours of sun and then more rain. This is winter in Central California. Friends keep asking "are we okay?" and I appreciate this, we are, we are okay. We're prepared for the power outages and having to stay home if the roads close. We have a small generator to run a few things, we have wood heat, and stock up on food, we have Coleman lanterns if we can't run the generator for lights. It gives us that pioneer feeling and while at first it's interesting after days and days of it I go a little stir crazy and realize how much we rely on power.

The snow is still coming down.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Taking Pictures of Treasures on a Rainy Day

It's a chilly, blustery, look out at the fog and rain, rain, rainy day. The third day of rain and wind and it's not letting up. the power has been out since 6:00 this morning. We have a small generator that can run the fridge and a few lights (the computers of course or I wouldn't be writing this) but anything that heats up sucks the power, including the coffeemaker, so those items are at a limited use. The wood stove is cranking and the tea is on. I'll put a pot of chili on the gas stove top soon and make grilled cheese sandwiches to go with for supper. Since my studio has no power it's too cold to work in there and I was bored so decided to photograph a few of my treasures earlier today before the light began to fade into the mist.

A Victorian dress bodice I picked up from an antique shop in Missouri of brown moire silk and seafoam velvet with whiskey brown metallic glass beadwork and sweet little hand sewn French knots of metallic thread. I'm sure there was beading around the collar that has been stripped and there is only a part of it around the back neck edge. I am guessing it is from the Victorian era because of the structure sewn into it and also the size, the waist is 23" as women used to actually have a waist that size.

I don't remember where I got the little tattered handmade book with the innocent looking girl on the cover that someone filled with cloth pages and hand sewed crocheted lace pieces onto.

An old cardboard picture frame from a vintage album, gold embossed flowering vines line the cutout to place the photo.

And three "wayward angels" my sister created from old spoons and jewelry pieces I received for my birthday.

I thought the colors and the old timey, nostalgic, feeling of these item all went together.

I'm going to post several pictures of the dress bodice to show the intricate details of how it was made. Look at all the boning and stays, the hook & eye closure, and the handwork involved.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Upscaled, Reconstructed, Altered Vintage Clothing?

When my friend Jennifer and I began taking vintage slips and bedjackets and "doodadding" them up I wasn't sure how far I would go with it. Now I am taking old linen jackets to recreate as well as interesting shirts as you see in the photos. I am still not happy with my options to photograph without a model. I laid this on the floor and I think this method has potential if I get a neat piece of cloth to lay it on (not the wrinkled sheet I used, geez)! I am also going to start making a plaster cast that I will be able to use to drape clothing on.

Now I'm seeing other people who are reconstructing vintage and old clothing who are calling it many things ~ altered, upscaled, reconstructed, recycled, redesigned, eco-friendly, and restyled. I have never known which I prefer that conveys what the garments are. I know the term "doodad" is not professional but I always felt like that says what is being done. Here's what Mawed Recycled Fashions says "It’s a fashion trend that has been labled Eco Couture / Cast-Off Couture or Trashion. It’s SUSTAINABLE STYLE – and it makes a statement."

I do have a name for my line of clothing and sewn stoles which is "wayward threads" but to elaborate on what they are calls for more terminology. So which term do you prefer?

Friday, January 15, 2010

Margaret Harwell Art Museum in Poplar Bluff, Mo.

The reception given for my friend Sharon and I at the Margaret Harwell Art Museum in my hometown was a hoot! Tina Magill the director displayed all our garments in such a delightful manner. We were so thrilled! Tina also made all the yummy food and made sure the show was well advertised. I saw lots of old familiar faces and was a little overwhelmed since I hadn't seen some of them in over 30 years! I wanted to be able to visit with several of these old friends but my visit was short and I spent most of the time with my parents. I'll go back in Nov. for another visit and possibly give a workshop through the museum.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

OOAK necklaces from friends

When the mail came and there was a box for me from my friend Jennifer I knew it was a birthday present. When I opened the USPS cardboard flat rate box and saw this lovely wrapped package I knew it would be something fabulous but what?

After opening and discovering it was a necklace of a feather carved from pipestone I purchased at Taos Pueblo this summer I had to smile. I had sent the feather to her a while back and asked her to make me a necklace from it someday and then sort of forgot about it. She has done all the wire work by hand, connecting the beads with loops of copper wire and even the closure is so perfectly done by hand. She has included some of my dyed ribbon and the colors are perfect for me. Thank you my friend!

Night Bird ~ Taos Pueblo

Another gift I received from Connie when I was in Kauai last month was another labor of love (or determination?). She has been experimenting with PMC and this time she tried brass clay, instead of the usual silver, which turned out to be difficult in the firing process. She had some successful pieces though and I am the proud owner of one of them!

Here is a final piece I cherish that I got from Lisa Call when we roomed together in Portland in Oct. for Art & Soul. I have always had an attraction for acorns. Why is unknown, maybe it's just the simpleness of their shape. I collect them from all sorts of oaks and have acorn buttons and other adornments. Lisa made this little acorn from PMC and she also made the little flat palque which she stamped related words on.

"acorn ~ fruit of an oak ~ seeded"

I treasure my artist made jewelry pieces from my dear friends most. I am fortunate to run in circles with so many talented people who become friends and inspirations for me.

I have to pack now, wrap my scarves and garments for the trunk show in Missouri in tissue paper, pack very warm clothing for the frigid temperatures there now, and worry about the weather and the security screening at the airport. I'm told to be sure and where nice underwear??? LOL! Oh boy what next?