I took the summer off from doing shows, and spent most of my time making clothes. But I did have two people send in requests for illustrated scarves. I delayed posting the first, finished in June, because it had to travel allllll the way to New Zealand to be given as a gift, and I didn't want to spoil it for the recipient. It is easily the cutest thing I've made this year, and I like how it turned out. Hedgehogs at twilight:
The background sky and grass were painted with thickened fiber reactive dyes, and the hedgehogs, flowers, fireflies, and stars were painted with acrylic ink.
The second scarf was done in July. It's a loaf of bread and a bird named Archimedes from the video game Team Fortress 2.
The middle part was tie-dyed with thickened acid dyes, and the figures were done in acrylic ink.
I love doing these, and considering I've just signed up for my first fall show, I need to get cracking on some more.
The basic fitted dress pattern from Alabama Studio Sewing and Design can be converted into a top, tunic, short dress, long dress, short skirt, and long skirt. Talk about options. Beyond that, the pattern can have a ruffle added to it at different lengths to create even greater variations on tops, dresses, and skirts. I'd made two pieces from it in 2013, both in size XL. The dress is way too big overall now, and the tank I made from an ancient tshirt is too big in the shoulders - the straps fall down. So this time, I used size L at the bust and switched to the XL at the waist when I traced the patterns onto fabric. It worked out pretty well for me, I have to say - I made four garments from this pattern in June and July.
First, I pulled out some Batman sheets I used when I was in college. We don't even own a twin mattress right now. This babydoll top is made from the pillowcase and flat sheet. I think it is SUPER FUNNY. It's also obscenely comfortable to wear, and I don't even care how many rude people ask me if I'm pregnant.
Then I became fixated on having a navy blue maxi dress. In the past, my experiences with maxi dresses were like.. OH NO, I AM WEARING A HOT TENT. But those were probably polyester. Or something. This dress is made of two layers of very lightweight organic cotton jersey from fabric.com, and every time I leave the house I debate if I should wear it.
Next up, the tunic, in two layers of the same lightweight jersey from fabric.com, but this time in black. I took it in the basement and quickly dotted on some of the metallic Tsukineko ink around the neckline.
And finally, I made a short dress out of some jersey I'd gotten from Dharma Trading. I think this fabric originally was the same grey as the top layer of the rose tunic from a few posts back. Then I dyed it. And dyed it again. It was a dark and stormy dress..
I finished the stormy dress on 7/19 and have banned myself from making more clothes until I get some other stuff done.
In June, I made two corsets from the pattern in Alabama Stitch Book by Natalie Chanin. Both were t-shirt refashions. The first was the exclusive shirt from Mike Doughty's 2013 Pledgemusic campaign.
As you can see, I cut the two panels on either side of the center backwards. (later, searching instagram revealed at least one other person that has done this!) So it says MAN DOUGH CANS. That's kind of funny.
The second was a polyester tee with a sublimation print of a detail from Bosch's The Garden of Earthly Delights. My MIL bought it for me from my Amazon wishlist, and I loved it, but rarely wore it because I just don't like wearing crewnecks anymore. I layered black jersey beneath it. Sewing the seams on the outside and felling them open made nifty black lines along the seams, making it sort of gothy. And I'm a secret goth kid, so it works.
The design of the corset is in fact MEGA FLATTERING. I wish it was slightly longer. The fabrics I used here are pretty thin, but a midweight jersey would be really supportive.
In August 2013, I took a teeny piece of my late grandfather's favorite shirt and redrew part of the print to make a stencil.
First I started on a garment.. The pattern is a tunic-length Camisole Dress from Alabama Studio Style by Natalie Chanin. In the fall I dyed cotton jersey red and grey and cut out the pattern. I used black and red Tulip spray fabric paint to stencil the panels. The embellishment stitching, with pewter DMC floss, began in January of 2014. The whole thing was completed on May 28th 2014.
Some notes on that: one, you're supposed to use the strong button thread for reverse applique. Whoops, too bad. And I'm pretty sure I cut much too closely to the stitches. Whoops, too bad again. If it starts to come apart, I'll fix it. Not worried.
It was initially a test of how well the Tsukineko inks worked when they were diluted and sprayed. I didn't love the initial result, so I stretched the scarf out and painted over it by hand.
I bought the pattern for the Eclair dress just a few weeks after Colette started selling patterns online in 2009. They might actually be the reason I have a gmail account, because they used Google Checkout. Five years later.. My cousin was getting married at the end of May and I needed something to wear. I dyed nine yards of muslin (I was not fancy) green and chartreuse, and got to work.
I'm not particularly adept at machine sewing clothes, but I'm continually getting better at it. I had to make some adjustments while sewing it to fit my preferences. And myself. So I did about 80% of a good job. The instructions say to sew the top inch or so of the bodice together before inserting the zipper, but I installed the zipper going all the way to the top to make it easier to get the dress on and off. I chose size 14 because of what I thought were my own measurements, but the bustline ended up being too large (probably should have done a 12). Rather than take the dress apart and correct it the right (invisible) way, I just measured and sewed two darts in the back to take it in three inches. And obviously I should have used something nicer than muslin, but nobody cared.
I don't have any better pictures of it on yet, and I wore my hair down to disguise some of my wonky curved seaming at the bust. But it stayed up, despite 22 feet of gathered skirts. Every dress should have pockets, too.
The black outlines and some of the small details are Tsukineko all-purpose ink, and the larger areas of color were filled in with thickened fiber reactive dye.
I decided to start trying to combine the acrylic ink and thickened fiber reactive dye applications on my illustrated scarves. These are the materials I have, and I don't really want to have to spend a bunch of money on realio trulio silk paints and dyes that require three hours of steaming. Lately I've been looking at a lot of work by professional silk painters, and while it is all very beautiful, it isn't necessarily the direction I feel my artwork would take.
Thinking about how the scarf lies on the body when worn, I've been considering the imagery of opposites or enemies falling at either end, coming to face one another on the body. That's where this came in - thinking about Rikki-tikki-tavi's battle with Nag.
The figures are painted with Tsukineko ink and the green background was painted with thickened fiber reactive dye.
I know I'm fairly alone in my love of the blotchy, running parts, but oh well.
Easter weekend, Alice spent the night at my mom's house, and my husband's band had a show in the Virginia Beach area, so I had the house to myself. I spent the day eating sandwiches and sewing the Oliver + S Ice Cream Dress.
Fabrics: Cloud 9 Monsterz Spotlight, Liberty Bloomsbury Collection Dorothy Pastel (and you can't see it but there's hand dyed pink cotton sheeting on the inner hem)
I had made one of the Oliver + S bucket hats for her before she turned 1, which she obviously grew out of. So in June I copied her new size pattern and made another one.
Fabrics: itsy bitsy spider from Nursery Versery by Heather Ross for Kokka, purple stripe dot from Jo-Ann overdyed yellow
She's a lot more willing to wear hats this year.
Gharials are my favorite crocodilians. I suppose if you look at the thresher shark's giant tail and the gharial's super-long snout, I dunno, maybe I have a favorite animal type.