|Thursday, December 8, 2011
Cozied up by the wood stove in the early morning with a pot of tea and my computer, one of my favorite 'sweet spots' chez moi! Alex and Carrie Marie came to visit, and CM caught me with my feet up, in my jammies hunkered down by the fire along with the dogs. We enjoyed each other's company, had great conversations, delicious meals and we hit the studio to sew. Perfect!
Alex always comes up with innovative design ideas that I never would dream of. She cut swatches of our 3 cashmere blends and tossed them in the washer/drier to see what might happen as she is dreaming of the ultimate cozy casual but elegant little black dress....Luxe silk and cashmere blend (on sale in our Buy of the Week right now), won out as the best option for a dress, it got just a bit more dense, but kept the right dress weight and drape for a soft tunic-y style. All 3 cashmeres worked beautifully when washed & dried.
|The gauntlet that started it....and look GREAT worn with it, a bonus!|
Inspired to make something to wear right now, a sweater jacket to wear outdoors here in Oregon, but that will work indoors when I go to Minnesota for Christmas...AND, to use a current pattern and fabric we have in stock AND to make something that will work in with my current wardrobe. I knew that our collection of Marc Jacobs wool knits made in Uraguay are pretty fabulous, but when I sewed up gauntlet gloves I had a BIG YES aha moment. The fabric is a dream to work with and has a beautiful quality and drape.
|4 Fabrics, 2 Patterns: Started by cutting 1 yard each of 4 different fabrics without a clear plan for how to proceed. My favorite way to sew...without attachment to the outcome.|
Having 4 yards of fabric was just right....I could cut (and allow for mistakes), use selvedges and generally feel a sense of spaciousness about the project. I do have some scraps, but they will go into a pullover sweater or maybe a vest. The collar and pockets took time. Took me 3 days of sewing/deciding/taking breaks to finish it. At one point I nearly gave up...that often happens when a project is not coalescing and a good indication to take a break.
Cut the back 2 1/2" longer than the front.
Cut the sleeves on the cross grain, using 2 different stripes, a detail I saw used in Paris clothes.
Used cut edges and a strip of selvedge at the hems.
Ended up making the neck opening larger and lower in the front...just kept trying it on and cutting bigger in small increments until it felt right.
Spent a fair amount of time pfutzing to make the collar adjusted to the neck opening.
Then more sewing and pfutzing to make the pockets...by this time was down to smaller amounts of selvedges and wanted to use those, so re-did the pockets a few times.
Added little dashes of a striped cotton knit at the last minute. Like the effect, now will make a top out of that fabric.
|Making it easy for you....
Available as a Cool Combo, one yard of each of the 4 Marc Jacobs wool knits plus a black and silver separating zipper. Marcy used a zipper from her stash.
Marc Jacobs Knits: 1 yard each of 4 different fabrics + Black & Silver Zipper
|Saturday, December 3, 2011
This weekend I'm heading into the studio for a new project: working on a handbag prototype for an upcoming Vogue pattern. Gearing up for working with leather, I headed over the hill to get supplies and do some holiday shopping. I hit my well stocked local Bernina store (thanks to Karen and Jonothan for being open just past closing), to pick up a teflon foot and roller foot. After seeing the uses for leather/suede in Paris, I'm inspired to do some leather clothes too. Stay tuned.
In the meantime.....more texting gloves. Joan Krebs was inspired to whip up some texting gloves and e-mailed me these photos which I thought you'd enjoy seeing. I'm impressed with the quality of the shots, taken with her iPhone....and appreciate the simple white background.
I LOVE getting photos of your work, and will post and share on the site as long as the overall look is good.
|Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Throwing down the gauntlet.....
|Left to right:
Wool jersey (the pair I took to Paris and wore almost every day).
Cotton/lycra with stencils, made by Shelley.
Cotton double knit using selvedge trim, made by Shelley.
What a pleasure to go back into the studio yesterday. Double pleasure because the space was cleared and welcoming after the BIG October re-organizing. I knew I wanted to come back to a space that had a renewed and different energy. One of my personal creative goals is to cultivate and appreciate spaciousness so that every action and design decision originates from a centered, intuitive and organic feeling (AKA the BIG YES).
Starting small and inspired by Paris, for the next couple of days I'm going to take a chunk of time each day and play with making gifts and playing without any attachment to outcome. For now, the focus is texting gloves/gauntlets. Shelley brought in some she has been making too.
VERY fun. Fast too. A great little blank canvas.
Make sure the stretch goes a-r-o-u-n-d the hand. Differing fabrics result in differing sizes.
|Wool faced polarfleece made by Marcy. The ribbon trim is elastic...important to consider!|
|Whipped together by Marcy using a sweater knit and knit ribbon trim...sometimes it is a good thing to have a stash, love how the patterns work together. |
|Shelley did this pair which have a vintage/distressed slightly crumpled air, which I saw again and again in expensive shops in Paris. Imperfection is chic! The fabric is a soft light knit...a good weight to wear indoors or in a warmer climate.|
|Sunday, November 27, 2011
I always love to bring home a taste of Paris. One of the things I made and brought along with me and wore nearly every day was a pair of fingerless gloves (AKA 'texting gloves'). Even though all month long the weather was perfect: sunny, no rain, some days almost balmy, and ideal for sitting outdoors in a sidewalk cafe, at the end of the short November days, it got cool. I was so happy I had tucked in a pair of fingerless gloves. To buy the Parisian versions is expensive....the ones I coveted were always in the 65 euro ($100) price range.
They are ridiculously easy, fast and fun to sew. This is my studio re-entry project, and will be my go-to gift for friends and family this season. Any knit works...make sure the stretch goes around the hand. Make sure the trim has a bit of stretch too. Use wool knits, polar fleece, or any stretch knit or mesh.
Shelley has been making lighter weight versions in cotton/lycra to wear indoors as the office can be cool and drafty (hers are 'typing gloves'!). On the pattern envelope detail shown here, I used polar fleece, crushed stretch velvet and lace.
Vogue 8703 has it all worked out for you! ....and the padded pocket scarf is another fabulous gift for men or women. The ideal combo is to use silk for the outer layer and wool batting, but it is great unpadded in fleece or washed wool or.....
I'll post the results as they emerge! DO share your versions too, e-mail me a photo and I'll post either here or on FaceBook.
|Link to Vogue 8703|
|Parisian Texting Gloves|