Sunday, June 28, 2009

It's All Research for Artwear

First, Find the Fabric
Ah, how time flies when there are things to be done! I've been researching stores in a fifty mile radius and found some winners--an almost local source of silk doupioni and a source of silk kimono scraps. These are little bits, but perfect for stunning little insertions in piecing. Oh yes, this is a picture for you of a small portion of what I bought. The name of the store is Yasuko in Healdsburg, CA. You can have a look-see online. This is a clothing store, with an upscale look in an upscale downtown. In the window was a stunning somewhat tailored jacket with collar and lapels and pockets and all, entirely made from soft shibori-wrapped-and-dyed fabric, topping an intricately draped skirt in a striped indigo. This was not an Issey Miyake, but a product made in America. I had mom sitting in the car on a hot day so I couldn't investigate further, but the image is burned into my brain. I have to go back for another look. Meanwhile there are many kimono-style jackets in various weights, collars and sleeve bands made from old kimono fabrics. So how did I spend my time there--taking a quick look at all the baggies and even flat-fold pieces from obis and silk kimonos. These are things to dream about for future projects.

Sometimes You Have to Dye It
I finally took the time to rinse my dyeing experiment with Easter egg dyes that were then overdyed with Kool-aid. I'm afraid it's not impressive. I like them and will use them--after all, they are bits of various types of silk. But something settled on the blue samples. I had put them in water to soak and some black dots landed on the parts that were out of the water. I can scrape some off, others are in the fabric like dye. So those that remain will now be part of what I make, ugly but so it goes. Maybe I'll foil over it at some point and make it more beautiful. Since I now know that these dyes will fade and at some point I will want to paint over them, I'm just going to continue to experiment and see what happens. The rinse water got clear with the blue until I added soap and then it released more blue. Drat! I didn't want to do all the right things like use Retayne or keep rinsing, maybe with cooler water. I moved on to the other colors. They were all losing dye like crazy until I just got tired. I hung the blue pieces up to dry. Maybe I should title this one, "What's with the fabric lady, where's the food?" That's one of my regulars in front of the deer barrier. I wonder if she's the one who jumped the gate and ate the strawberry plants? The rest of the dyed colors are resting until I feel like doing this again. I must not get distracted with this experiment when it's already past time to work on the jacket or vest for Rachel's show.

Fabrications and More on Judy Dieter's Jacket
I've been chatting with Judy Dieter who made the blue and gold jacket in the last blog notes. In fact, she's the one who sent me to Healdsburg to those stores. Fabrications is a quilt shop that carries bolts of silk doupioni. Be still my heart! They also have Lonni Rossi designed fabrics (a favorite of mine), fabulous batiks, and more, like Japanese indigo cottons that suit garments as well as quilts. I was in heaven. I think the website name says something about attitude around here (big grin). In any case, Judy clarified more about her jacket. I want to tell you where to find the "propeller" manipulation.

The fabric manipulations weren't just from Rami Kim's book (see my review in archives)

She also used the origami-like ideas from Rebecca Wat's book, Fantastic Fabric Folding ISBN: 978-1-57120-085-3

I too have used those books together--they are rich in ideas! Fantastic Fabric Folding is a relatively old book and both women have published more recently, but do look for these for your bookshelf. I just checked, and Rebecca's book is still available from C&T Publishing. It includes 8 different fabric manipulations used in quilts, vests, and home decorating projects. The instructions are clear, accompanied by good photos to explain each step. I found it fun to do fabric manipulations, and had forgotten all about the Twirled Roses. Maybe I can work them into my next project.

And in Other News...

The Textile Museum in Washington, D.C., is holding a seminar this fall (October 16-18) on the subject of Japanese fashion. The title is "From Kimono to Couture: The Evolution of Japanese Fashion." Thanks to Mary Marik for this information.

Ethnic Embellishment Workshop
I signed up for this one immediately. Please contact me (see profile for email address or phone 707-987-9138) and I'll get the word to Marilyn Webster. I don't want to post her personal information online. There are a few spaces left:

The Redwood Handweavers and Spinners Guild, a local fiber guild will be hosting two short workshops with Alexandra Hart in July. Alexandra is one of the founders of Folkwear patterns. These workshops will focus on handmade embellishments, including closures and edgings. Ethnic Embellishments: July 11, 1-4 pm and July 12, 9-4 p.m. (choose 1 day or 2). We will explore thinking creatively about using these techniques in ways that go beyond their use in their cultures of origin and how one might adapt the basic idea to modern fiber art uses. All are ethnically based handwork techniques with unusual elements. All materials will be provided; you bring thimbles and scissors (and an optional embroidery hoop). We will finish with a sampler to take home and written instructions for the techniques.
Location: Sebastopol Center for the Arts, 6780 Depot Street, Sebastopol
Cost: CNCH Guild members: $29 for 7/11, $58 for 7/12. $85 for both days.
Non-guild members: $34 for 7/11, $63 for 7/12, $90 for both days. Includes materials. Maximum 15 participants.

If you can't go to Houston, there's also Long Beach!
I hadn't been focused on the International Quilt Show in Long Beach because I knew I wouldn't be able to go. I hope if you were interested, that you have already made travel arrangements. But just in case it slipped past you, I know Trudi is looking for someone to take her room on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. I believe she was staying at the Hyatt which hosts the show. If you would like to take on her reservation, please contact me and I'll get the word to her. My email is in the profile or call 707-987-9138. For more details about what's going on at the show in Long Beach, go to I'm sorry to say the Bernina Fashion Show is no more and will not be appearing in Long Beach. But I have no doubt you will still have plenty to see in wearable art, in ideas posing as quilts, and in vendors booths. Half the fun is meeting so many people who speak "fabric" and share the same passions! If you go, please tell me all about it!

Mary Brown's Work
When I joined the Peninsula Wearable Art Guild in the 1990s, Mary Brown was president. She and that group were so influential in my creative life. Mary now makes and sells jewelry online. Go to: Look under the header Color History to see Mary's wearable art from years ago. Then check out to see what the ladies (and gentlemen) of Penwag are doing these days.

I just got my latest Threads magazine. This issue is another winner! I haven't read any of it yet, but see that Sandy Ericson has written another article as has Kenneth D. King, and Lois Ericson describes how she makes her pieced scarves. Looking forward to putting my feet up and checking out this one! Till we talk again, all the best from Rosalie

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