I am currently debating the collar. I had intended to just weave more of the same fabric, dyeing it a solid color instead of variegated, but on sober consideration I think that will be too “busy”. Here is a simulation of the collar with the same fabric:
And here it is with a scrap of solid colored fabric:
There is much more drama and much less busy-ness with the solid fabric. I am not crazy about the crushed velvet, but I think a “normal” velvet will be gorgeous. So I have ordered some white silk/rayon velvet from Dharma Trading Co and will try dyeing test pieces this week.
Another intriguing idea is weaving up some fabric using rayon chenille as weft. I have some 3600 ypp chenille yarn, whose central thread is about the thickness of my 60/2 silk warp and is therefore (in theory at least) compatible with the warp I’ve got on the loom. I plan to weave up two samples – one using the leaf motif, but scattered far more thinly, and one using a 1/3 broken twill. In theory you’re not supposed to use twill patterns with chenille for fear of worming (having short lengths of chenille twist their way out of the fabric, forming little “worms”), but since my sett is 54 epi, my chenille will be tied down every 1/18 inch. I doubt it will worm with floats that short. I may also try some diagonal wavy lines, not sure yet. I still think a solid, or near-solid, collar will be best.
The flight home was uneventful – I didn’t feel up to drawing, so instead I read my way through two books: Couture Sewing Techniques by Claire Shaeffer and Artwear: Fashion and Anti-Fashion by Melissa Leventon. The first has lots and lots of good advice for construction of couture garments; the second, lavishly illustrated, tours the history of wearable art. Both made fascinating reading. But it was nice to get home again! The Fuzz (our cat) greeted us with delight, and demanded lots of attention. He curled up on Mike’s lap within minutes of his sitting down, and looked quite content at getting “his” human back.