Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Perfect Goldilock Thread

A friend asked me some interesting questions yesterday about the skirt to cardigan project - How do you feel about the piece now that it is done? What did you learn from it and where do you think you will go next? There's a much longer answer however, some of the aspects I enjoyed were the organic way in which it grew, the slow sewing, the step-by-step process without knowing the end result, and the curved flowing lines and hand stitching. Although the end is known, this Koos skirt has similar elements.

The front is composed of the upper yoke, the lower skirt, and the applique. The placement lines for the strings are drawn on each pattern piece. When I placed those over each other, the lines did not match - unless I'm seeing things again - or not seeing as the case may be - but I really did try to line them up. So... not that I wanted to be matchy matchy but the lines on piece seven, the applique, most closely resembled the position of the strings on the pattern envelope so I followed those by layering the original pattern piece over the sewn applique and then pinning along the placement lines and folding back the tissue and marking with chalk.

The strings are 5/8" strips of a cotton, 1 x 1, rib knit. The pattern calls for 3/4" strips which I think look too big and 1/2" seemed too small so I settled for this size. The edges are raw. I cut the strips with a rotary cutter so they're neat and even. In the image above, they are pinned in place. I hung the piece on the design wall so I could stare at it for a while and be sure I liked the placement.

The strings are hanging longer than needed. I chalked where the end should and cut off the excess once the main section was stitched in place eliminating the need to work with thin points of stretchy fabric.

Sorry this picture is blurry. I had three choices of basting thread - a grey, a grey-blue, and a bright blue. One was too light. One was too bright. And the other was the perfect - LOL - Goldilock thread. It was the same way with the fabric for the strings. I tried several different ones and the black was the best but too dark so I chose a lighter thread to stitch them in place with and to brighten and define them better.

I used the grey-blue embroidery cotton and a running stitch with very faint echoes of Alabama Chanin. I've admired her work for a long time and while this is definitely not in the same league, it was fun to experiment with and I'll learn to do by doing so good and enough.

Here's where the three strings overlap and you can see the cut channels in the applique underneath and the brown plaid peaking through. VERY fun. The front of the skirt is finished and I'm ready to start sewing the pieces together. Not today though. Today, I'm going to work on my son's pillow  since he's at work and I want it to be a surprise. 

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - the enjoyment of slow sewing, patting a project


  1. This one seems more like your textile art than a piece of clothing - a trend I've noticed in your work lately. And I see the ribbon as a metaphor for paths crossing and the length of life as a journey.

    1. That's something I've been trying to do - bring more of the elements from my wall art into clothing. I'm glad to hear I'm making progress. It'll be a balance to make it wearable as well.

      OH GOSH Kristin - I didn't even go there and I'm usually the overthinking, far too deep one. How fun. Thanks.


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