Thursday, June 11, 2009

Judy Dieter's Jacket, Folkwear News, and Kenneth D. King Classes

Judy Dieter used the Mt. Fuji Jacket Pattern from Brensan Studios I've used this same pattern, like its shape and large areas to do with it what you will. I too strayed from the pieced layout. If you try this pattern, compare all the pattern lengths before you cut. I can't find my notes now, but I remember finding a discrepancy. Regardless of that, it's a good pattern to have--and maybe the problem has been fixed by now.

It was just a fluke--I drove to Shelley's Quilted Treasures in Kelseyville to touch some great fabric and say hi to Brenda. I had a need to talk sewing and such. She told me the Moonlight Quilters of Sonoma County were having a quilt show--so I went. I've never met this group but their website looked promising: Most quilt shows include some wearable art and this one didn't disappoint. I wanted to show and tell you about the one that interested me the most.

Judy did exemplary work (I'm sorry that my photos aren't up to the standard of her work--I took them on the fly as I marched through the exhibits). I believe all her fabric manipulations can be found in Rami Kim's book, Folded Fabric Elegance. I reviewed it in this blog on January 29, 2009, so please check the archives. I'm sure you all know that there are people who admire wearable ART and people who prefer WEARABLE art. I admit I get a bit annoyed with the latter group because I feel if you're going to make wearable art you want it to be noticed and to show that you like or make good design with your hands, not just add a bit of embellishment. On the other hand, I rather suspect that my own work belongs in the latter group because I don't have the nerve to pile on too much in the first go-round.

But what Judy Dieter shows us is how you can build in subtlety through color choices and sticking to two colors, and then adding a lot of techniques which provide both texture and interest. You should see the perfectly piped front edges! The gingko crest is gold silk doupioni that might have been fused (it's very smooth and flat) and she satin-stitched the edges. Beautiful! What might be hard to see in the photos are two areas of hand-embroidery. One strip has French knot flowers. The round strip uses beads for flower heads. Nice. See the piece that looks like blue rickrack? Those are two-fabric prairie points and their placement over hand-dyed blue fabric gives that effect. Notice too the variations on prairie points. You can see hers better than my violet ones in January. I saw a lot to like in this jacket but had very little time to stand and enjoy it, so am grateful both for being able to take the photos and for finding Judy and getting her permission to post my photos.

Message from Kate Mathews, owner of Folkwear Patterns
I'm going to assume that not everyone who reads this blog has signed up to get Kate's emails. I find them so interesting that I'm copying the latest one here, with Kate's permission.

Summer Greetings to our Folkwear Friends!
When I start pulling warm-weather clothes out of the back corners of my closet, I always think back to old favorites that I wore in summers past. For example, when I lived in Albuquerque, New Mexico, I wore lightweight cotton dresses from Mexico all summer long. They were easy to find, with colorfully embroidered yokes, and were so cool and comfortable. Now that I live in North Carolina, these happy dresses live only in my memory, so for this year I decided to make my own! I immediately thought of the Blouse in #125 Huichol Wardrobe (front and back drawings shown here).
I'll cut it to dress length and without the sleeves (just turn under and topstitch the yoke's armhole seam allowances). I love the small pleats below the yoke because, unlike gathers, they keep the finished garment from looking too blousy—which is great for maternity wear but no longer for me. I'm going to add some multicolored machine embroidery to the yoke and may also experiment with decorative stitching partway down the pleats. By the time I finish, it should be in the 90s here, so I hope to have some cool new frocks that also bring back warm memories.

What's New at Folkwear?

Elizabeth is finishing up the garment samples of the newly re-published #148 Black Forest Smock. We chose doubleweave cotton with a geometric design for the man's smock and a related but contrasting cotton for the shoulder yokes and neckband. The woman's smock is made out of lovely white-on-white embroidered cotton with sheer white sleeves. She's making a bias sash out of the sheer white cotton and adding embroidered ribbon trim that coordinates with the fabric of the man's smock. Now we're looking for models to wear them for the photo session, so you will soon see these two special garments on the web site (#148 Black Forest Smock in the Old Europe Collection).

There's inspiration everywhere!
If you need to refresh your creative energies, you won't have to go far this summer. Just look at this amazing lineup of special events—they will make you want to hit the road with your sketchbook or idea journal:

# Fashion in Film: Period Costumes for the Screen, featuring costumes from Evita, Dangerous Liaisons, Pride and Prejudice, Out of Africa, Titanic, and other movies. Allentown Art Museum in Allentown, Penn., through August 9.

# Writing with Thread: Traditional Textiles of Southwest Chinese Minorities, featuring more than 500 objects from the museum's collection of Southwest Chinese ethnic minority costumes. Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico, through August 16.

# Wearing Wealth and Styling Identity, featuring handwoven and embellished tapis (skirts) from Lampung, South Sumatra, Indonesia. These sumptuous garments communicate a family's global contacts, social station, and clan identity. Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, through August 31.

# Indonesia and the Zone of Attraction, featuring textiles from Java, Sumatra, Borneo, and other locations. Museum of Art at Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, RI, opening June 26.

# Recent Acquisitions, including hats from Peru and Cameroon, a turban from India, contemporary batik from Java, grass raincoat from China, and other items acquired within the last five years. Through January 3. Also, Flowers of Silk and Gold: Four Centuries of Ottoman Embroidery, an online "virtual" continuation of an earlier exhibition. The Textile Museum in Washington, DC.

# The Model as Muse: Embodying Fashion "focuses on iconic models of the 20th century and their roles in projecting, and sometimes inspiring, the fashion of their respective eras." A virtual walk-through of the galleries can be seen on the web site. Through August 9. Also, Tibetan Arms and Armor from the permanent collection, including decorated armor and equestrian equipment from Tibet and related areas of Mongolia and China, dating from 8th to 20th century. Through fall of 2010. Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

# Unspoken Messages: The Art of the Necklace, including pieces from Chinese Miao culture, Morocco, Hawaii, and India. Minneapolis Institute of Arts, through September 13.

# Elegant Armor: The Art of Jewelry, featuring innovative pieces from the permanent collection, dating from 1940s to the present. Visit the web site for a good selection of images of pieces in the show. Museum of Art & Design in New York City, through July 5.

# Five Centuries of Indonesian Textiles, dazzling textiles from as early as the 1500s. Los Angeles County Museum of Art, through September 6.

# 4th Annual Outstanding Art of Television Costume Design, featuring costumes from television's past and present. Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, Los Angeles, through September 6. Also, several online "virtual" shows including the 17th Annual Art of Motion Picture Costume Design Exhibition.

# Fashioning Felt, an exhibition of historic examples of felt as well as contemporary product design and applications in fashion, architecture, and home furnishings. Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York City, through September 7.

# Sturbridge Antique Textiles and Vintage Clothing Show, a marketplace for thousands of textile lovers looking for vintage pieces and bargains. July 13 and September 7, at the Sturbridge Host Hotel and Conference Center on US Route 20.

# Isabel Toledo: Fashion from the Inside Out, a look at the American designer who says, "…the seamstress is the one who knows fashion from the inside! That's the art form really, not fashion design, but the technique of how it's done." Through September 26. Also, Fashion & Politics, an exploration of more than 200 years of politics as expressed through fashion, including flag-motif designs, a Nixon paper dress, and memorabilia from historic elections, through November 7. Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City.

# As the Century Turns: The World of the 1890s, an online slide show of staged tableaux with fully costumed wax-headed articulated dolls from the turn of the 20th century. Lacis Museum, Berkeley, Calif.

# Gazette du Bon Ton, an exhibition of fashion plates from the early 20th century magazine, known for its collaboration of couturiers and illustrators to promote leading edge styles, opening June 25. Also, Michael Kors Designs from the Wendy Zuckerwise Ritter Collection, celebrating the designer's 30th year in the fashion industry, through November 2. Kent State University Museum, Kent, Ohio.

# Intersections: Where Art and Fashion Meet, an exhibition pairing important works of art with significant designer fashion to celebrate the exuberance of art, fashion, and popular culture. Goldstein Museum Gallery, St. Paul, Minnesota, through November 1.

# Madeleine Vionnet: Puriste de la Mode, a retrospective celebration of the important early 20th century French designer who revolutionized women's fashion through elegant draping and use of the bias cut. Musee de la Mode and du Textile, rue de Rivoli in Paris, France, through January 31.

May your summer be filled with creative inspiration and special memories!
NOTE: Let us know if you have ideas for new patterns. We love to hear from you. Kate at

News from Kenneth King
Hello, Folks! I’m going to be visiting the ASG Atlanta Chapter on July 24-25, 2009, and it’s filling fast! To get in, go to, or or call Martha Myers, at 770-642-8985. Events will be held in Roswell, GA.

##Friday July 24, 2009, 7-9PM Lecture and Book Signing–Demystifying the Creative Process
This free-form lecture will cover Kenneth’s way of looking at the creative process. The goal is to prepare students to dive in and create in any discipline and all areas of daily life. The process includes exploration, inspiration, mistakes and misfires—all go into the finished work.
Kenneth will also be signing copies of his new book, Cool Couture.

##Saturday, July 25, 2009, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.--Pattern Drafting Workshop: Skirts
How to draft commonplace skirt silhouettes from measurements. After learning the proper way to measure, students will draft a straight skirt, an A-line skirt, and an A-line skirt with center pleat. This is the perfect introduction to those wishing to build confidence in pattern drafting. Lunch is included.
Supply List:
• white paper (banner or project paper)
• pencils & eraser, paper scissors
• long ruler and any sort of square (6” wide Olfa works for both)
• tape measure
• 3 yards of 1/4” elastic
• Scotch tape
• tracing carbon (can be typing
carbon) and tracing wheel

I Can't Resist (showing you this)
If you talk to teachers about color, they will tell you to study nature. Look at the amount of yellow in a rose and then look at all the colors that are also there. Look at the proportion of green to offset the yellow, etc etc. So I do that, I watch the indigos in the landscape and sky just after the sun has set. I also like blue and pink together. A lot of people say eww! but this is where I keep my own counsel. So imagine my delight at sunset tonight. These were the scenes from our balcony:

Till next time, Rosalie

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