Thursday, August 28, 2014

Texture And Architecture

One of the things I'm doing in Ashland is taking a one-to-one coaching session with Diane. To prepare, she sent me some questions around the kind of work I like to do, what I'm proud of, and what I'm hoping for. One of the things I mentioned in my reply is my love of texture and architecture.

Diane designs her patterns for a completely different figure than mine so I haven't had much success making one yet. When I was at the Design Outside The Lines retreat in June, I tried on Helen's version of Diane's Faultlines vest  - bottom pattern in the above picture - and it looked surprisingly good on me so I'm making it using the fabric below that I bought from Marcy Tilton a few years ago. LOVE the texture. It's black black but very hard to photograph. It typically comes up some shade of grey.

I've been thinking about the sweater to shrug refashion. In the past - with RTW or sewn garments - I've had far more success with cropped designs that close across the front and are short enough to show off my waist than with ones that open at the front and - seemingly - draw a line straight to my tummy. This vest is the later type with a softer, asymmetrical hemline.

I sewed the muslin in a really busy print so it's hard to see all the edges unless you click on the picture. In the instructions, each piece is sewn and lined separately and then overlapped to join together - I think - they are not the clearest of instructions since there are a lot of you could do this or this or this design possibilities included, which are fabulous, but it takes some reading through to find the actual instructions.

I pieced the back, sewed the shoulder seams, and overlapped the front the way I wanted, and then pinned the sides in a configuration that worked.

The left side is a bit too long so I may change that angle. The fabric doesn't flap from the bust on me as much as it does on Millcent. She's smaller. At some point - hopefully soon - I plan to buy another - larger - mannequin so I have my complete range of sizes but for now, Millicent does her best.

With this vest, I want to incorporate more than one fabric. Far left is a light-weight woven stripe that may become bias. Next to it is a ribbed knit  that I'm auditioning for the bottom edge. The zipper has crystal teeth and is too long but if I could find a shorter one, it would be great for closing center front. My mind is bubbling with ideas and I'm telling myself not to dumb them down. That's another thing I wrote in my answers to Diane - that I want to create the ideas in my head and stop simplifying them all the time, to risk more.

There won't be any time to sew today. I'm off to journal and then coffee with my other mother and then an hour and a half drive to meet a friend for lunch. She's visiting her daughter three hours away and we're meeting in the middle.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - friends who will meet you in the middle

Life is sacred. Life is art. Life is sacred art.
- Gabrielle Roth


  1. Love your fabric choices! Can't wait to see the results after your one-to-one, or most likely your one-to-one-and-back-to-the-other-one.

    1. It's coming together. And so far, so good.

  2. Myrna, your Ashland trip sounds really fantastic - i'm very excited to hear your report afterward! Even the 'homework' beforehand sounds pretty fruitful.

    I admire Diane's patterns but they're very largely so outside my style i've never made one...although the Faultlines is the one i think could work. I love Helen's versions, lucky you to try one on! Your version is turning out very nicely and i think will look really great on you, I would not have thought it was one of Diane's patterns without your telling me! And nice timing on this post, my mom lives just a couple blocks from downtown Napa - she is fine and so is her house, just lost a bookcase and few glasses. It's the strongest one i've felt since Loma Prieta, and we're 40 minutes south of Napa. Yikes!

    re: photgraphing black. One trick to try is to fill half your 'viewfinder' with the black you want to photo, then a light-colored smallish print on the other half...just lay two fabrics next to each other. Then crop out the lighter colored fabric after you take the picture. The camera works by 'averaging out' the total exposure to a medium grey. In most circumstances this works out and your photo is neither over or underexposed....but in this type of circumstance you see what happens. You can also try bracketing your exposures if you have a camera with manual settings, though this could be more of a hassle if you don't use your manual settings much and you may have to bracket pretty wide.

    Yet another way in which the camera 'sees' things different than do our eyeballs. Have fun sewing! steph

    1. I'm really looking forward to the trip and it's nice to find one of Diane's designs that works for me because - as you say - they are mostly outside my style although if you do the work of adding design elements they can be made to work and that's a good piece of "homework" as well.

      Glad you were okay with the earthquake. Must be quite scary. I've felt very few and very mild earthquakes and there's something very unsettled about the ground you count on being firm beneath your feet instead moving around.

      Thanks for the camera advice. One day I'll get much better at that but so far it's not top of the list.

  3. Hi Myrna - I am making the Faultlines pattern right now! I started with the "undershirt" and sewed it together, making it the most simple way possible, no overlapping. I've had to make the shoulders smaller and the part around my middle a bit larger but I like how it is starting to look! Mine is grey linen with a binding made from a scrap of vintage kimono fabric. I am heading to Ashland myself for plays and an afternoon w/Diane in her studio the week of Sept 8. Maybe we will cross paths?

    1. YEAH - I'd love to see your version of the pattern. That's the same week I'm in Ashland. Why don't you email me privately and we can discuss times and see if it's possible to meet. What day are you spending with Diane?


Thanks for commenting. I appreciate the feedback and the creative conversation.