I finished sewing up the Flair Affair pattern, and took the muslin up to show Sharon. We pinned the fabric sample to the muslin….and it didn’t work. There wasn’t enough contrast in the diagonal vs. straight line to make it worthwhile. So we are iterating again, this time with the pattern that originally interested us. I have also ordered a few more promising patterns. I plan to spend a good chunk of this week sewing muslins.
I have also, working at breakneck speed, managed to wind and dye the warp for the project. I wound a 13-yard warp, which should yield 10-11 yards of usable fabric once all the loom waste, shrinkage, etc. is accounted for. That’s enough for anything but a floor-length coat. I painted it this afternoon, and the dyes are still setting – tomorrow evening I’ll rinse it out, chain it up, and set it out to dry. Tomorrow I will also dye the black weft. I had harbored wild ideas about using a silk/cashmere blend, but I don’t have enough of the right blend on hand, so to avoid adding to The Overflowing Stash, I’m going to use 100% silk, which I do have on hand. Can’t go wrong with silk!
Meanwhile, Sharon and I talked about my next Big Project. I want to learn how to draft my own sewing patterns, and she has (VERY graciously) agreed to help me out with my self-study program. I’m armed with Helen Joseph-Armstrong’s Patternmaking for Fashion Design, and plan to work my way through the chapters, reading through each section and then drafting/sewing the exercises. It will take some time – I’m guessing a year or more – but I will come out of it able to design my own creations.
This is important to me because I’m seriously thinking about going into art-to-wear as my medium. I had planned to do mostly two-dimensional work (quilting, wall hangings, shawls, etc.) but have realized that flat work leaves me, well, flat! I love the three-dimensionality of clothing, and by going into art-to-wear I can design whatever flights of fancy I can come up with, rather than limiting myself with “Where would I wear it?” At least, it gives me a place to start.
Another source of inspiration is Colette Wolff’s Manipulating Fabric. This encyclopedic reference shows a HUGE number of ways you can gather, ruffle, pleat, tuck, smock, and generally manipulate fabric into three-dimensionality. Some of these methods would work delightfully with handwoven fabric, others are better suited to a plainer cloth. Combined with the ability to draft my own patterns, well, I could have some REAL fun with that!