Inspirations and idiocies

I  think I have found my inspiration for Phoenix Rising! I was looking through the Spring 2013 haute couture shows on, and found two beautiful pink-and-black striped dresses, one by Christian Dior and one by Jean-Paul Gaultier. The Christian Dior dress features opposing diagonal stripes (here’s a link to the photo), and the Jean-Paul Gaultier, which I really love, features diagonal stripes across the body descending into flared vertical stripes at the bottom (pix here).

I will probably work with the Gaultier dress design as I think the phoenix theme fits nicely with it: my orange phoenix fabric could replace the pink stripes and the black crinkled “lava” fabric I’ve been thinking of could replace the black stripes.  I don’t think I’ll do an exact duplicate of his dress (couldn’t even if I wanted to!) but it is a good place to begin. There are obvious stability issues with using the phoenix fabric on the bias and using a crimped fabric as the other fabric, but I think I can fix most of those by using an underlining. I’ll definitely want Sharon’s advice on this, though!

Because I don’t want to lose momentum on this idea, as soon as I’m done with this weekend’s workshop and have written a few more book blog posts, I’m going to start trying to drape this design on the dress form. I’m also going to continue working on the phoenix fabric – I owe twenty-four samples to the Complex Weavers Twenty Four More or Less study group by Feb 15, so I will either need to cut up some existing fabric or weave up another 24 phoenixes by the end of next weekend. I definitely have my work cut out for me!

Speaking of having my work cut out for me, I’m still working on threading the loom for the workshop. In my infinite wisdom, I decided to put on a warp 773 threads wide in the polyester embroidery thread mixed with 4-pound fishing line (for the shibori pull threads). That wasn’t so bad – on my AVL WDL I could have gotten it done in 2-3 days – but my idiocy was in assuming that I could work at a similar rate on borrowed equipment using a less-familiar warping technique (back to front as opposed to my usual sectional warping). As a result, it took me one day to wind the warp, one day to spread the warp in the raddle (tricky because the thread was so springy), half a day to beam on, and most of one morning just to move all the heddles around. (There are enough heddles, thankfully!)

(“One day” = as much as I can get done in the mornings and evenings before/after work, by the way. I wish I could work on it all day, because I’d be done by now!)

At any rate, I finished moving the heddles this morning and started threading. I’m now 141 threads into the threading (773 total), and expect I’ll finish tomorrow morning. Since I am going to a guild meeting on Saturday morning, that leaves me Saturday afternoon and evening to sley and debug the warp. This is still quite possible, but I’ll need to spend all my free time on it if I’m going to finish in time. Oh well; at least I left enough slip-time in my estimates that this isn’t devastating.

Off to work! When I get home tonight, I’m going to go right back to work on threading. I’m hoping to finish that part tonight.

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