Tag Archives: fabric

Other people’s intentions

13 May

One of the outcomes of this project, so far, is that people have started to give me their own fabric–some very generous gifts, most often pieces they acquired for projects they intended to make, themselves, or are passing on from someone else they inherited it from. All of these, so far, have been rather beautiful fabrics. They’re the kinds of fabric people hold on to for a long time–other more day-to-day fabric supplies can be passed on, sold at yard sales or handed to thrift stores, but many sewers have special pieces they keep close, with full intentions of completing a project, some day.
It is these extra-special pieces that now find their way to my fortunate hands. In my mind, these bring with them their own special requirements. If someone has been holding on to a piece of cloth for years, after all, then surely they have spent those years imagining it as something beautiful. It feels like an additional responsibility: to do the fabric proud, to live up to not only my own expectations for it, but also the expectations of the person (or whole lineage of people) who passed the cloth along the line. After all, if they’ve now decided to give it to me, it implies trust: a trust that I will be able to make of it what the cloth’s previous owners did not.

The piece of “entrusted” fabric that I am working with, today, is an electric blue ultrasuede. I’ve never sewed with ultrasuede, before, but I simply love the color of this, and want to do it proud.

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American Craft Favorites, Part 3

23 Mar

One other “Maker of Fine Clothing” that I admire is textile artist Leni Hoch.

Leni Hoch makes silk scarves (mostly) but also jackets that start with a very light, transparent fabric, and then are hand-dyed lustrous and brilliant colors, often with a metallic sheen. Then they are intricately pleated. The resulting scarves have more body and form to them, from the scrunched pleats. As you’ve seen, the cloth-as-sculpture thing is a perennial favorite for me.  With a fabric this distinctive, the shapes and styles of a garment can be really simple, as the fabric takes over and makes any resulting item a statement piece that’s hard to imitate. Complex, intensive process leads to strong, distinctive and unmistakable results.

Felted Inspiration

26 Jan

I’ve never made anything out of felt, but it’s a fabric texture that appeals to me in many forms.

A lot of designers are doing interesting things with it, and it has great qualities that make it really versatile. Like the German designers Marianne and Josef Wurst of “Filz und Kunz”, who do silk and wool felt, sometimes woven together, sometimes in layers of transparent and thickly opaque.

See how the jacket on the left has strips of felt beginning as stripes and continuing down as a sculptural effect.  My favorite, though, is the belt (left) and bustier (right) made out of strips of colorful felt, and then “strung” on thing black elastic, to create a stretchy band that hugs the body, curving the vertical stripes along the shape of the waist.

To think of it: a felt bustier!  It is both surprising, and yet still  wearable. And the construction of those might potentially be applied to other materials, as well.

Bag Challenge: the Strategy

22 Dec

I decided to try corduroy, for the fabric of my handbag. That makes it very wintery, and I’ll want to do another one by springtime, but that’s fine with me–I’m feeling rather wintery right now.

My local fabric source did not have much in the way of wide wale corduroy.  No buttered-toffee color, no caramel, no gold, not even a mustard.

There was some rust-colored fine wale, however, a color I can enjoy.  For my pattern, I decided to try out one of the bag variations in the Burda Style Sewing Handbook. I bought this when it first came out, but I haven’t tried making anything from it, yet. I’m not used to the make-your-own-pattern Burda experience, so I’ll let you know how that goes.
This is how my concept looks, right now:I’ll post more when I’ve got more!