Tuesday, October 20, 2009

New Vogue Patterns for Artwear

Vogue Patterns is selling their newest patterns online for $5.99 for two days. (If you miss this one, you'll get another chance soon.) Now that they've turned to new and avant garde designers, I'm paying closer attention to what works for wearable art. The sale is just today and tomorrow at www.voguepatterns.com Here's what caught my eye, not in any special order:

Vogue 1142: Issey Miyake top and pants. The top is loose and pleated, perfect for summer or evening and would be further enhanced if you use hand-dyed or hand-painted fabric, stencilled it, added some beads or crystals at the neck, or even added embroidery to the fabric. It could be overkill to do more to this pattern but if you want to enter a wearable art competition, close to overkill is the name of the game.

Vogue 1146: Koos van den Akker coat. As is his style, he has broken up the interior of a simple pattern with circles and lines. The basic coat has a high yoke. Those of us who like patchwork or applique get guidance on placement of pieces. I have yet to make one of his garments, but I will because they do speak to me. I know if I don't buy the pattern, I'll wish later that I had it so that went into the cart.

Vogue 1135: Chado Ralph Rucci. It could be that you need a lithe body to wear this black asymmetrical dress, but maybe the details will allow for much. It's made from fabric with four-way stretch. The big deal is the horizontal shaped tucks sewn in all the way down the dress. I didn't buy the pattern but am so tempted just because I'd love to try it. This is the kind of dress that's a winner on its own but would be great for under a show-stopping coat or jacket.

Vogue 1144: Chado Ralph Rucci jacket and pants. Yes, from the front it looks like a mix of Chanel jacket/Mao jacket/military jacket. It has a high collar and four patch pockets. The big deal for me is that both the front and back are padded with batting. So first, if you like to make clothing with batting, here's a stylish pattern that is very different from the usual quilted clothing. Second, he makes this in silk doupioni. I figure the purpose of the batting is to keep some stiffness in the body which protects the perfectly smooth sheen of the doupioni. I doubt he was thinking bulk or warmth. Then he has lovely curved seams in the back. I just had to see what was going on here. The collar and sleeve bands are channel-quilted. I was also interested in the pants. They're narrow with a seam front and back. In front the seam opens in a curved line over the foot. Years ago I learned that the best fitting pants had seams front and back. Too much detail here for surface design unless you work within the design. BTW he also adds hand-picked stitching around the pockets, etc.

Vogue 8626 and Vogue 8616: Vogue now has patterns that offer A,B,C, and D cups. I went for the princess seam coat because it's one of those perfect designs for timeless fashion. I can do anything I want to the fabric, add any textures, and they won't be lost in the coat. It has a pleated back but I can eliminate that if surface design demands it. I want the princess seam for 4 cup sizes so I don't have to mess with adjustments much. Then I also picked the t-shirt with a very high neck. It's different, yet harking back to high necked tops I wore in winter. I'm curious how they size this close-fitting shirt for a D cup.

Vogue 7975: Vogue also offers a Chanel-style jacket. Once I adjust the princess seams on the coat pattern, I'll expect to apply them to this jacket which comes only in B cup, and have a pattern ready to go for when I need something ultra-creative. I'm thinking of printing up some of my own fabric with dyes, stencils, and beads then sewing up a simple jacket like this one. Wait till you see my photos of Sylvia Polk's entry at PIQF. If she can do it, I can certainly try!

Vogue 1145: Lynn Mizono's pattern for a coat which is likely based on a circle. That's what she used to do and I loved it. They show only one way to wear it in the pattern graphic, but the photo shows a more exciting version. I remember she said her customers always taught her new ways to wear her designs. As to her other patterns, I bought them months ago--I wouldn't miss them for the world.

Vogue 8620: This is yet another jacket from Marcy Tilton. I like the shape of it, especially from the side view. Not sure what happens when I try to adjust the bust line. I figure I'll be lowering the high waist line. But what's special is this is the pattern where Marcy gets to teach how to do silk screen printing. Just as I was having to stop publishing my newsletter, Marcy was feeling out the idea of creating her own silk screens (excellent idea!). She has a lovely collection now--go see them at www.marcytilton.com. You will see the screens she uses on this pattern.

I'll be back here soon, just need to get photos found and organized. cheers, Rosalie

Friday, October 16, 2009

Shows to See (and Shop)

"Signatures" Fashion Show and Champagne Luncheon will be held on Sunday, November 8, 2009, 12:30pm - 3:00pm, at the Palos Verdes Art Center, in Palos Verdes, CA (in the Los Angeles area). (postcard design by Justine Limpus Parish)
Justine Limpus Parish will be showing her Fall/Holiday Collection among 22 artists in this group show. Featured are elegant and unusual wearables from clothing, accessory, and jewelry designers. Special performance by swing and ballroom dancers will be part of the show which also includes a runway fashion show and designer boutique. Tickets: $35 - advanced purchase required
charge by phone - call PVAC 310-541-2479 Ext 302
I've seen photos from past shows as well as knowing several of the artists involved. This is quality, upscale wearable art! Hope you can go!

This is the weekend of both the International Quilt Festival in Houston and the Pacific International Quilt Festival in Santa Clara. Both have photos and lists of winners online so check their websites until you find it all. Houston is www.quilts.com. I didn't check but heard that they already are showing winning quilts and wearables. The wearables would be from the IQF show since the Bernina show is no more. I also wish they could show the garments from the luncheon where people like you and me are willing to show their work. Often this is how people progress to making Fairfield/Bernina garments--no telling what will replace that quality of show and garments. I like to watch the Houston videos of the shows. Not like being there but at least you have some sense of what you're missing.

PIQF in Santa Clara www.quiltfest.com had last year's winning wearables up today, and will eventually show this year's winners. I had a bronchitis and diabetic setback today so didn't leave the house, but plan to be there tomorrow, photographing as much as possible. Stay tuned for my take on it. I'll be missing Karen Boutte's fashion show where she rounds up various locals who make wearable art. I always like to go to see what people are making in the area but these days I have to be home earlier. If you're there and take pictures, or even if you could just tell me about it, I would really appreciate it so I can share the evening with everyone. You can find me on Facebook if you don't find my email address via the blog.

Add Color to Our Lives
Since I was at home today on a rainy day when I wished I could be out shopping, I spent a bit of time daydreaming at the computer and found things of interest to us. There is a source out of Sag Harbor NY for Marimekko fabric and Unikko bedding etc. Check out the Textile Arts website: http://store.txtlart.com/info.html I love the tablecloths and the bedding fabrics and am tempted to get them for yardage. Oops, until I saw the price. Oh well. Maybe I can ask for a Christmas present of a yard of fabric ($42/yd). Love those huge blue and red flowers!

WOW in New Zealand
The 21st Montana World of WearableArt (WOW) Awards were announced on Friday, Sept. 25. They had 165 garments entered this year. The Supreme Montana WOW Award went to David Walker of Juneau, Alaska for his 17th Century ball gown "Lady Of The Wood." The piece is made entirely of mahogany and lacewood with 52 strips of maple and cedar veneer for the hooped skirt. The wig is made out of wood shavings. Walker is a carpenter who has been creating Wearable Art for ten years. I'm looking forward to learning more about him.

I Found WOW Photos!
I found photos, titled One Weird and Wearable Festival! David Walker's piece is among the 31 photos. Some of these designs are really worthy of note as garments. I loved some of the effects and styles. I look forward to finding more photos and getting some details. http://www.smh.com.au/photogallery/travel/one-weird-and-wearable-festival/20091005-gj1b.html?selectedImage=30

As long as you're looking at this slide show from Australia, look at the menu below it to find photos from the Paris runways. If you haven't seen McQueen's egg-shaped 10" heels, here's your chance. Dangerous to walk in but certainly eye-catching. www.smh.com.au/photogallery/lifestyle/fashion/paris-fashion-classic-v-fantastic/20091007-gmu2.html

Lolalee aka Lucy-fur
As you see, Lolalee is right there with mom even when falling asleep. She's resting on a new book which is sitting on top of my box of new Jacquard Indigo dyes. Smart kitty! And yes, she does have tortoiseshell attitude! I tried to catch her when she droops in sleep but I caught her drifting off--close enough without tormenting her.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Of Artwear and Cats Too

Book Review of Silk Unraveled
When my sweet cockatiel Moe is flopping around having a seizure, and when the new kitten Sammy shows symptoms of a fatal virus, I need to sit down and look at photos with intense color, to kind of match my intense feelings. Just such a book is Silk Unraveled, Experiments in Tearing, Fusing, Layering & Stitching by Lorna Moffat. Dragon Theads Ltd., 490 Tucker Drive, Worthington, OH 43085. ISBN#978-099641201-0-5 www.dragonthreads.com The cover drew me in and the photos inside made me sing. Somewhere I read a review of this book that said something like, "There's nothing new here--I've seen all this before." I too had a sense of deja vu but you have to look deeper. What you've seen before, particularly in British craft books, could be this author's work. Do I recommend this book? I do, for the color and for the encouragement to experiment with silk--as in don't treat it like a precious fabric. Does it have fresh, new ideas? Well, they were fresh and new techniques some years back, but I like being reminded that I haven't even tried them all. The projects here use torn silk, fused silk, reverse applique, and layered silk. Will this work for wearable art? Of course, almost every idea whether for pillows or quilts can be adapted one way or another. But in fact, Lorna presents an idea for a kimono design, and a reverse applique vest. I do like her designs which I will adapt by using smaller sizes. Although she shows us photos of ethnic designs that she found in her travels and that inspired her, these are her interpretations.

There are many ways to create new fabrics and textures using scraps. I can see elements of the Spirals & Flowers Throw as a jacket. Stunning in fact. I really like some of her designs--they're included for us to trace. I'm torn about the recommendation. If you don't like loose threads and raw edge applique, you might wonder why I like this book. Yes, that torn or raw-edge technique looks sloppy (especially for silk) although it's also part of a style that was and is still popular. I like most of the designs and wouldn't waste my silk threads--in other words I'm inclined to do applique that will protect the edges. I dislike satin stitching so maybe I'd go to turning under edges or using my favorite machine small-blanket stitch. It gives a different look but could be a preferable one--this is where you experiment and make it your own. I consider this book inspiring and offering designs for when I draw a blank. As to the instructions, Lorna uses some British terms most of us are used to (gilet for a type of vest). This isn't a book for beginners because it doesn't teach the basics, but anyone who wants to experiment could manage well enough with what's here. Great up-close photos, bright colors, rich variety of exotic designs, and encouragement to try all kinds of silks--that's what I like about this book!

Continued Sampling of Last Bernina Show Garments
Debi Kuennen-Baker, Bernina Designer
In my last post somehow I missed that I had a photo of the back of Debi Kuennen-Baker's jacket in my files. See my last post for views of the front. What Debi "asks" is do we have to have a dull, almost invisible undercollar on a big fabulous collar? Obviously Debi doesn't think so. I find her choice to be startling, but it does make you take notice and think. She also raises the issue of matching sleeves. I hadn't noticed the difference from the front. That makes this jacket even more unusual and interesting. I like how the rose embroidery on the back is somehow slimming and blends the print into the plain black. Meryl Ann Butler took and sent these photos from the Bernina Show at the Quilt Festival in Long Beach--please review my last post for details.

Sharon Sawa, Bernina Designer
This very basic shape is Sharon Sawa's coat. Pieced from black and white fabrics, she appliqued colorful floral designs with variegated thread satin stitched edges. To me it looks like Sharon used all-over freemotion quilting in a sawtooth motion.
I wish I had the official notes that came with these garments since I don't have immediate access to these designers. The tunic underneath looks like a drapey rayon. There is variegated thread trim alongside the zipper and a few beads at the top and bottom of the inset waistband. I think matching beads are placed on the neck binding as well. The print looks too big for short-me, but I'd like to make and wear something similar, with proportionally-sized appliques for my stature. Sorry, I don't have a back view. I was just thinking that if the appliques were much smaller, they wouldn't balance as well against the busy black and white background. They have to be larger to stand out and be proportionally sized. It goes back to Sandra Ericson's talk about proportions which roughly said means you want to think in thirds. These appliques should be a third larger than the largest print in black and white and I think they are. Just testing my own thoughts out on you. Do you agree with this theory?

Folkwear News for Autumn
Kate Mathews (kate@folkwear.com) sent out Folkwear News for Autumn. In case you're not yet a subscriber, I'm including her list of exhibits to see now, with a few added comments from me so that you won't miss some other good stuff. The news from Kate about Folkwear Pattens (www.folkwear.com) is that they're developing a new pattern for a hat from the early 20th century (something like what Diane Keaton wore early in the film Reds). Its companion pattern: #268 Metropolitan Suit, a walking suit with military styling to the jacket and a sailor look to the blouse; the high-waisted skirt is mid-calf with a partial overskirt. Kate also added a suggestion: the pattern #148 Black Forest Smock from last month doesn't say to stitch down the small pleats at center front and back neckline, but they like the way it looked!

Events to See or Websites Worth Visiting (courtesy of Kate Matthews, www.folkwear.com)
# Dress Codes: Clothing as Metaphor, featuring 36 artists, including Louise Bourgeois and Nick Cave, who use the idea and form of clothing to explore social and global issues in their work. Katonah Museum of Art, near historic Bedford, 44 miles north of Manhattan, through October 4. www.katonahmuseum.org.

# The Perfect Fit–Shoes Tell Stories, an exhibition that looks at how shoes can tell stories, addressing topics such as gender, history, sexuality, race, class, and culture. Fuller Craft Museum, in Brockton, Massachusetts (once known as the shoe capital of the world), through January 3, 2010. www.fullercraft.org. See also Chunghie Lee: My Cup Overflows through Oct.18, 2009 Chunghie Lee is known for her pojagi, wrapping cloths used also in quilts and clothing. Note the upcoming exhibit and workshop with Nancy Crow.

# Coat Couture: Inspiration to Creation, featuring Ruth Funk's contemporary wearable art and the global textiles that inspired her, including African mud cloth, Chinese embroidery, Panamanian molas, and Asian ikats. Ruth Funk Center for Textile Arts, in Melbourne, Florida, through December 12. http://textiles.fit.edu. See also the collection gallery. Three items but beautiful.

# Fashion in Bloom, an exhibition of garments that feature flower motifs from the museum's Fashion Arts Collection. Among the designers represented are Norman Norell, Callot Soeurs, and Givenchy. Indianapolis Museum of Art, through January 31, 2010. An online tour of the exhibition gives a 360-degree view of the installation. www.imamuseum.org. Go to Textile and Fashion Arts to see a small gallery.

# Contemporary Japanese Fashion shows the radically inventive designs of Issey Miyake, Rei Kawakubo, and Yohji Yamamoto in this exhibit of 1970s and 1980s garments from the collection of Mary Baskett, an art dealer who has collected and worn Japanese high fashion since the 1960s. Through April 11, 2010 at The Textile Museum in Washington, DC. www.textilemuseum.org www.textilemuseum.org. There's a lot to see here--this show is under "upcoming exhibitions" but look around at the rest. There's a symposium about the evolution of Japanese clothing on October 16-18. http://www.textilemuseum.org/symposium.htm See too Fabrics of Feathers and Steel: the Innovation of Nuno. I was fascinated in an exhibit years ago, by what these folks think up as "fabric." There is much of interest coming up!

# Art of the Samurai: Japanese Arms and Armor, 1156-1868, including weapons, equestrian equipment, banners, surcoats, and accessories such as fans and batons. October 21 through January 10, 2010. 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. www.metmuseum.org.

# Gazette du Bon Ton was an early 20th century periodical that brought couturiers and painters together to promote the fashions of the time. This exhibit positions actual garments from the museum's collection with its illustrated page from the Gazette, such as a sumptuous Paul Poiret coat with a Georges Lepape drawing. Through May 30, 2010. Visit the web site to see detailed views of the exhibited items. 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. http://dept.kent.edu/museum. See also the exhibit of The Art of the Embroiderer. Fabulous! The exhibit is over but they have detail photos here worth studying.

# Calder Jewelry, featuring jewelry created by sculptor and mobile-maker Alexander Calder (1898-1976) that demonstrates the artist's love of abstraction. Includes necklaces, bracelets, brooches, earrings, and tiaras that were worn by friends, family, and 20th-century cultural icons. San Diego Museum of Art, through January 3, 2010. www.sdmart.org. Check out the Dragon Robes of China's Last Dynasty. The quizzes are fun.

# Aisle Style: 150 Years of Wedding Fashion features the bride and her dress, as well as accessories, men's garments, trousseau treasures, and photographs. The show also explores wedding traditions, from orange blossoms and blue garters to the magnificent white gown. Visit the web site to see photos of the amazing array of wedding fashions. The Charleston Museum, Charleston, SC, October 16, 2009 through September 6, 2010. www.charlestonmuseum.org. Great slideshow!

# High Style: Betsy Bloomingdale and Haute Couture, exhibit of high-fashion garments by Bloomingdale's favorite designers that she donated to the museum over 30 years. Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, Los Angeles, through December 13. http://fidm.edu. I of course welcome any additional information about Project Runway--you'll find it here.

# The Heights of Fashion: Platform Shoes Then and Now, a look at platform footwear styles from the 1930s to the present. On the web site is a slide show of 14 images from the exhibit that will definitely take you back in time. Mint Museum of Art, Charlotte , NC through May 30, 2011. www.mintmuseum.org.

# 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. www.lesartsdecoratifs.fr. Note in my earlier post that Sandra Ericson is going and offering to explain the show.

Crocheted Elf Slippers
I haven't been saying much about knitting and crochet even though I've been paying attention. I am so grateful to Interweave Press for the really fresh design ideas in their magazines. I also like Knitters and the Fons & Porter Knitting magazine, and of course the quality in Vogue Knitting. At first, when knitting hit it big again, all I could find were tired, recycled patterns. Books I hadn't seen in years were back on the stands. Some of them are still there, and some of the magazines are putting out the same old tired ideas. But Interweave and even Knitters caught my eye pretty quickly. I have lots of books to review on the subject, but not today. Instead I want to mention the pattern I found on Facebook. It's for crocheted slippers unlike any I've seen. These I've got to make!
The designer is from Chile, but provides some instruction in English and presents the pattern in chart form (universal language) so we can all try them. http://josefinayelamanecer.blogspot.com/2009/09/pantunflas-de-peter-pan.html

Show Schedule Reminder
I'm having a hard time getting to any shows this year. My husband isn't sure he can handle all the care and feeding of the pets in this house. I'm trying to convince him I could go to PIQF for one long day. We'll see. It's the 6 hours of driving there and back that kills me and my back. I hope you don't have obstacles and can go to any of these shows (and then please let me know what you saw and did so I can live vicariously through your experiences!). I do so miss going to Houston and some of the Sewing Expos. How else can you see what's new and what everyone is doing?

International Quilt Festival
Oct 14-18, 2009, Houston, TX

Pacific International Quilt Festival (PIQF)
Oct 14-18, 2009, Santa Clara, CA

AQS Quilt Show
October 28-31, 2009, Des Moines, IA

Original Sewing and Quilt Expo
November 5-7, 2009, Minneapolis, MN

Original Sewing and Quilt Expo
November 12-14, 2009, Schaumburg, IL

There must be others--please let me know so I can advertise them.

Why I Haven't Posted
I'm sorry I haven't written in so long, but time has really flown recently. First there was the wait for Mediacom to fix our internet connection. Two weeks and two visits later we had a new modem. Meanwhile I started physical therapy three times a week for whatever the problem is with my sciatic nerve. It's been a summer of pain and I can't lean over the cutting table. Then I met this little guy on my way to pick up the mail.
No one in houses nearby claimed he was theirs. First we fed him, next day off to the vet, and so started our three weeks of Sam Cooke on the run in the house. If I sat at the computer he chewed on my toes or licked my chin. If he wasn't asleep, I was babysitting and medicating. Eventually I took him outside on a leash. Some people stopped by the side of our road saying they thought I have their cat. Well, as a matter of fact I did, but the vet had said he'd been neglected. Long story short, two little girls had hiked over to get their kitty back so what could I do but hand him over--and drive them home but with admonishments to their mom that he needed much more healthcare. I even offered to help. I was worried about him. But once he was gone, I finally had time again to look around online and it looks to me like he has FIP which is fatal (a virus involving peritonitis). Broke my heart!! Meanwhile I was picking away at getting this post written.

Waste Canvas
Since I was so busy with Sammy and couldn't get any fabric cutting or embroidery or sewing done, I took the time to look around for waste canvas online. Amazon advertises it as something they bring in from Joanns. But if you go to the Joann's online catalog, they don't carry waste canvas. Then I found the Create for Less site: http://www.createforless.com. They sent me an email the same day saying they had shipped my order, and it was here in two days! I was impressed. I also ordered from their long list of clearance books. Check it out. I got great service at an excellent price.

Jane Sassaman Artwear
See what Jane Sassaman is doing with her fabric designs. I call this wearable art because it's interesting how she combines fabric patterns. http://sassaman.blogspot.com/

How to Fix a Broken Heart
Finally, here's Lolalee. I picked her out of a grocery cart in the heat last Friday evening. The little girls trying to give away the cats had sprayed them with water to keep them cool. Uh oh! First I said no, I'm too vulnerable, still hurting after losing Sammy. "Oh, ok, I'll just pick up one." Uh huh, I was done! My husband wasn't pleased. Lolalee went to the vet today, seems healthy, is only 6 weeks old (and was both unweaned and not potty trained!) and is a tortoiseshell. Some people feel that this type of cat has a personality all their own--feisty, hot-tempered, and possessive of their human. Well, the last bit has shown up. How does she trust me so much so soon? Every evening so far when I sit for the 10 pm news, this little being climbs up my legs, makes herself at home on my chest and takes a nap. Adorable! And she's learned to pose already!

Project Runway
I just thought of something. Tonight was yet another episode of Project Runway on tv and I don't really care who wins. It's not in a negative sense, it's just that I like the work most of them are doing and wish they could all win. Of course they will, one way or another. I get the sense that most of them land opportunities to grow. We're not having quite the histrionics and name-calling and drama queens and I'm fine with that. I would like to see more sewing, how they manage to get those details done and so fast (invisible help?) but all in all I'm enjoying the show. How about you? Thanks for reading, Rosalie