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Newsletter # 10 July 2006

Newsletter for Everyday Creatives July 2006

Topics in this newsletter;

Upcoming events with Marcy: Paris, Oxnard, Santa Rosa, San Diego, Taos, Redwood City, Petaluma
New Silk Screen Kit
Short sleeve Summer shirt
Report on a month of bags
By Request: Keeping Focused
Tech Talk: Sewing with fewer pins & Staystitch plus
Upcoming Events with Marcy: The next few months are full of exciting workshops and classes.

On The Surface Workshop in Oxnard, Aug 8-11
If you are in the Oxnard area, there are still 2 spaces left in the 4 day hands-on Surface DEsign workshop to be held at the Carnegie Art Museum, August 8-11.
for more details:

Elements of Style Weekend August 19-20 in Santa Rosa
Shermane Fouche and Marcy join forces for a lively weekend.
for details:

San Diego ASG Seminars and hands-on workshops, September 9-11
for details:

Design Outside the Lines retreat in Taos, September 27 - October 1
This is one of the most beautiful times of the year in Taos, we had an incredible time in June, spaces available for September.
details at;

Hidden Paris Tour, December 3-11, 2006
This tour nearly filled within days of the announcement. There are still a few spaces, and weve decided to add a third apartment so people will be really comfortable.
more details:

New Set of Silk Screens --- Silk Screen Set Special

Japanese Gardens is the latest silk screen kit with a sophisticated grouping of asian inspired florals and includes the popular ginko leaf design. I make the set using combinations of screens that work together.
see Japanese Gardens:

I used many of the screens from this set on a purchased t-shirt, inspired by early Miyake t-shirts that looked like tattoos. Try placing the screens on the diagonal and printing overall, either on a finished garment like this one, or on cut out pattern pieces or on yardage.

Special price on silk screens until the end of August: buy any 2 sets for $150 (a $190 value) and receive FREE shipping.

Craft Camp at Aunt Marcys
Last week three of my nieces were visiting and they all wanted to try silk screening. Kelly had some screening experience, but Madeline and Jessica had never done it before, so they watched the Silk Screening, Dye Discharge and Metallic Foil segments on in my On the Surface CD-rom, and were off and screening. Tea towels, T-shirts, baby bibs and clothes all became a canvas. Summer is a great time to gather friends and family around and have a silk screening party. Instructions on my CD are simple and quick.

Summer Linen Shirt

The fall catalogs and magazines are all showing dark colors and gorgeous fall clothes, and I know it is time to switch to fall sewing, but right now, it is HOT HOT HOT, and I am wearing light airy clothes. In the last newsletter, I mentioned my search for a short sleeve shirt. I started with Vogue 7907, kept playing and changing it as I sewed --- this is my favorite way to sew. Click here to see the result.

Preview of upcoming Vogue Pattern

This month Ive been in the studio developing a new collection of bags for a Vogue pattern which will be released in Spring 07. Inspired by vintage kimono fabrics, this is a grouping that is great for the journeys of everyday life and perfect for travel. Included are computer bags, small zippered handbags, journal with compartments for the journal and pencils/art supplies, i-pod and nano bag, boarding pass bag and eyeglass case. In the process I discovered a collection of cool zippers with changeable pull tabs from Clover, a Japanese company. I also came upon a new-to-me product (thanks to Sally Goodwin Petersen). Fusible fleece is now a staple in my studio. I love this stuff! It is the perfect weight to beef up a bag. The vintage kimono fabrics are fragile, so I first interface the entire piece with a fusible tricot, then interface the body of the bag with the fusible fleece. I found that trimming away the seam allowances is essential...trim slightly larger as the fleece takes up space. I had always mistrusted it when I felt it on the bolt, but when it is fused and pressed it is lovely
Get a preview of the upcoming pattern:

Preview of Beaded Bags for upcoming PBS Show

A design challenge: develop a beaded bag for the PBS show Baubles, Beads and Jewels. My friends at Fire Mountain Gems, based here in southern Oregon asked me to design a beaded bag for the PBS show they sponsor. Take a look at the three prototypes I made as I worked out my design process, using the tote bag from my Vogue pattern # 8173. This is not a dainty beaded evening bag!

Cool discovery inspired by Jane Dunnewold's informative CD, Paper and Metal Leaf Lamination. I watched her demo at the Surface Design Conference, but misplaced the CD, so my process is different from Jane's. I silk screen Liquitex matte medium onto the fabric, then place the metal leaf sheets on top. Working quickly in a wind free room is essential. The medium dries FAST and the thin sheets of leaf can fly around. Once the leaf is in place, cover with parchment paper and smooth, then let it dry completely. To remove the leaf I go out on the lawn and rub gently with my fingers.

This geometric diamond pattern becomes the background for a collection of flat beads sewn in place with silk beading thread. Sewing is as simple as sewing on a button. Each knot is secured at the back with a dot of super-glue. All beads are from Fire Mountain Gems.
By Request: Questions about sewing with few/no pins and staystitch-plus.

Margaret Islander introduced me to the idea of sewing without pins (takes some practice) and Sandra Betzina changed the way I pin as I sew. Sandra taught me to place my pins right on the stitching line and to pull the pins out as I sew. She said, it will take about a year to break the old habit of sewing over the pins and this was true, but I cannot imagine doing it any other way. This method paves the way for sewing with fewer and fewer pins. Ill put in one pin at the beginning and end of a straight seam and handle the edges as I sew. Margaret taught a method of pleating a long seam into loose pleats that you hold in place and release as you sew.

Staystitch-plus is a machine stitching technique with a lot of uses. For example, instead of sewing the front dart of a skirt, you can simply ease the fullnes of a waistband for a more flattering effect. You can use staystitch -lus to ease in a sleeve cap or a curved seam. All sewing machines are designed to sew two or more layers of fabric. Staystitch plus works with the manchies tendency to draw up fabric when sewing one layer.

To staystitch-plus, you stitch through one layer of fabric, applying pressure from behind to force a tiny bit more fabric into each stitch. Position your finger behind the foot to crimp the fabric and ease it through smoothly and evenly. Sew in short segments, raising the foot every few inches to release the fabric. It takes a bit of practice to develop an even, smooth tension, but soon youll have the feeling in your finger tips.

Fashion Designer Survival Guide
an insiders look at starting and running your own fashion business by Mary Gehlhar
Ive been avidly watching Project Runway, and this book is a valuable source of information if you have dreams of developing your own line of clothing. Good solid info on everything from scheduling to sourcing and production.

My Mothers Wedding Dress
the life and afterlife of clothes
by Justine Picardie
A series of essays,not just about clothes, but about the emotions and experiences that make up the fabric of life. Im loving it, good writing too.

happy summer from my studio to yours,

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Marcy Tiltons Newsletter for Everyday Creatives #11
Late September 2006

Marcy Tiltons Newsletter for Everyday Creatives
#11 Late September 2006

Topics in this Newsletter:
Upcoming Events
Whats Next
New Pant Pattern Preview
New Autumn Leaves Mini Silk Screen Kit
Patternmaking Tips
Travel/Core Wardrobe

Upcoming Events With Marcy

Hidden Paris Tour
January 7-15, 2007
Come to Paris with Marcy in January 2007

There are still a few spaces left in the January 2007 Paris tour with Shermane Fouche and Marcy. Tradtionally, January is the time of year for looking forward to the new year and examining the experiences of the past one. What better place to do it than in Paris in the company of a small group of kindred spirits. January in Paris is a well kept secret. This is when the fashion world arrives for the big shows and the tourists are few, the Balenciaga exhibit at the Louvre is still open, air fares are low, and the semi annual sales happen. See the details at the following link or e-mail or call me for more information. 541-592-2969

Artistry in Fashion Designer Sale
October 21, 2006
Redwood City, CA (SF Bay Area)

This Bay Area designer sale has been going strong for 15 years and is an eagerly awaited event. The designers tell me it is the place where they love to shop and buy from each other. For the first time Ill be there as a vendor with my sister Nandini/Katherine Tilton in side-by-side booths. Stop by to shop and visit. Well have a variety of garments, accessories, baby items, home linens, wonderful t-shirts and more. All the info, times, how to get there etc. is on their website:

Design Outside the Lines 2007

Diane Ericson and I have been co-conducting Design Outside the Lines retreats since 1999. We just finalized dates for two retreats in 2007 and anticipate they will fill quickly. Details will be posted on both Diane and Marcys website soon.

Elements of Style Weekend
April 21/22, 2007

With Sermane and Marcy in Rohnert Park (Santa Rosa, CA). Save the date. We have reserved the meeting room at the Rohnert Park Community Center and will post more details on Marcys website as it gets closer to the date.

Whats Next
As I compose this newsletter I am at a Design Outside the Lines Retreat in Taos, New Mexico, at Mabel Dodge Luhan House, one of my favorite places in the world, and I feel fortunate to be here doing what I love in the company of kindred spirits. Taos is a magical place at any time of the year, but this fall is magnificent. Clear cool mornings, crystalline balmy afternoons where the wind sweeps in through the golden cottonwoods sounding like rain-chimes. It is chili roasting time, and the tangy smoky scent of chili blends pinon wood fires and mouth watering cooking aromas from the restaurants. Taos is home to Common Threads, one of the best and most beautiful fabric stores in the known world. There is a new magical paper store across the courtyard, several yarn stores and Artemesia, a beautiful clothing store featuring wearable art.

Each time I prepare for a teaching event, it is like a seasonal cleaning and a creative opening. Teaching supplies and samples need to be organized, decisions about what to take, how to put a fresh slant on teaching, incorporating new work, and that never-ending question......what to wear.

Since the August Elements of Style workshop with Shermane, I have been making upgrades and eliminations in my wardrobe---Ive got an urge for change. More shaped. Clean lines, pared down dark colors that mix together. A focus on silhouette and details. Im buying pieces to mix with what I make, and am incorporating details & concepts from things I buy into things I am making. Over the past year Ive been collecting pieces from Lilith, a French clothing line, especially if I find them on sale. I couldnt find a website so you can get a look at these clothes, but think Issey Miyake with a French twist: asymmetrical elements, interesting shaping, textures and sewing---flattering to different body shapes .

For instance, on my design table at the moment, I am working on a couple of t-shirts that use details from a Lilith cotton net cardigan I bought last season. To make the fall version, I start out as a well cut basic pullover t-shirt, Vogue 8151 by Sandra Betzina, which I like for its shape, bust darts and good fit.
View the pattern at:'sandra%20betzina%20patterns'&page=2

Instead of buttoning up center front, the cardigan is asymmetrical, the button band cut at a diagonal angle. Sewing techiques are deconstructed---the neck and buttonhole bands are zig-zagged in place using in lapped seam, raw edges exposed. At the hem, the bands are left longer than the hem and different lengths. I dyed the fabric (white cotton/lycra with small black dots) a murky brown using a combo of Rit dyes, (4 packages, 2 different browns). T-Shirt #2 is still in the pattern stage and is inspired by a Lilith cotton poplin jacket with slanted asymetrical seams, and my plan is to use raw edges and lapped seams for this design too. This is my favorite way of sewing---making it up as I sew. Watch Whats New on my website, Ill post photos when the garments are done.

One of the great current patterns is Diane Ericson's Santa Cruz Jacket and Vest. I have a jacket and 2 versions of the vest in my own wardrobe that I wear a lot and feel great in. Both are unlined silk, one a washed brocade, the other a black textured kimono fabric, both fabrics are distinctive but not flashy and the silk layers under jackets and acts as the perfect weight on its own for cooler fall days. The semi fitted style works on almost all figures. This is the garment I used to illustrate my article on Tissue Fitting that appeared in Threads last fall. See it at this link:

Fall arrived in stages this year. At first a slight shift in summer heat and light, then one day my pale summer clothes start to feel wrong. I tend to embrace spring and resist fall, so this year it took me much of September to make the shift to the new season in my closet and my stash. Twice a year I do a purge, and this fall I was more ruthless than usual, regarding my closet and fabric storage areas as precious real estate. Each item has to pass with flying colors to remain. As a result, there is air space in the closet, drawers and fabric stash and I feel lighter and fresher.

Coming up next in the studio: Im excited to begin on a prototype for a Vogue pattern for fall 2007---a simple little jacket, soft felted wool with raw edges. Playing with needle felting and stitching is at the top of my studio-play list. Kathryn Brynne used one of my patterns as a canvas for needle felting which is on the cover of the current Vogue Pattern magazine.


New Pant pattern
These photos are samples of an upcoming Vogue pattern set for release in April 2007. The photography is less than ideal, but will give an idea of the styles. Keep in mind that these samples have been modified for photography and drastically lengthened for VERY tall thin models.

New Silk Screens
Thanks to Shelley Heon, my new studio assistant for her mini silk screen kit idea. Shelley is now making up silk screens for me and you might hear her voice if you call the studio. Check out the first in a series of 5 related silk screens, one large, two each of the medium and small size. Images in this kit come from actual leaves and are beautiful with paint, dye discharge and metallic foil. Free shipping on this kit through November 15.

Ive added a vintage rendering of the Eiffel Tower as well.

New Metallic Foil Colors
Foil now comes in two new colors: purple and an antique silvery-blue. $4/yard. We are including these in the foil kits, please let us know if you want this option when you order a kit.


Professional Patternmaking Tips

In the past few months I have developed 3 new patterns for Vogue, which means a LOT of patternmaking. At the same time Ive been having conversations with my friend Shermane in Paris and she coached me to upgrade my technique for making an accurate copy of a master pattern, sharing the way she learned in school in Paris. As I develop a pattern, I like to keep my original master, then make copies to tweak the size and make style changes. The challenge is to keep the original intact but to have a practical system for striking off working copies.

The working pattern does not include seam allowances. Home sewers often question this, but trust me, it makes for greater accuracy and is easier in the long run.

Begin by marking the grainline on your paper---make this mark so you can position the original pattern on top with plenty of working space on the paper. Line up the grainlines precisely and hold the original in place with weights. Using a needle wheel, carefully and precisely transfer all markings. Do this freehand. Make marks to indicate notches etc. I do not use carbon paper as slipping the paper in and out causes the pattern to shift, even a slight shift changes the original pattern. Once everything is marked, remove the original pattern, and carefully draw in the seamlines using a sharp pencil with patternmaking curves and C-thru ruler. The curved rulers used for patternmaking are different than the small curves used for graphic design----the patternmaking hip and French curve replicate the curves of the body. Use the curves in segments, moving the curve around on the paper until it replicates the curve on the original pattern. I found a very thin C-thru ruler in the drafting supplies at my local Staples and LOVE this tool for patternmaking---the thicker clear rulers designed for quilting and for use with the rotary cutter are not as accurate. Do NOT use this thin ruler as a guide for your rotary cutter, it cuts easily.

Once all markings are complete, I add the seam allowances. If the line is straight, I use the C-thru ruler. If the line is curved, I use a small seam gauge from the Clotilde catalog which includes different seam allowances. Im very careful to be precise, making a series of dots. Once the seam allowance is added, connect the dots using the curved rulers. I keep sharpening my pencil as I work.

Essential patternmaking tools:
2 x 48 metal sheet rock ruler
French curve
Hip curve
thin 2 x 18 C-thru ruler (find at Staples in with drafting supplies)
Needle wheel
sharp pencils
seam gauge --- I use a small gizmo from Clotilde with different widths, it is small and easy to handle, and I keep several on hand.
Patternmaking paper (plain, no dots) Medical examining table paper is a bit lightweight, but will work. I use patternmaking paper I purchace by the roll from Apparel City in San Francisco (about $40/roll plus shipping). I use the 36 width, and a roll lasts me for years. If you want to buy patternmaking paper, I suggest you do a Google search and purchase it from a supplier close to where you live to minimize the shipping costs.


Travel/Core Wardrobe

I work with this list when I am planning wardrobe additions and building blocks, whether it is for a new season or for a trip. I offer here some of my favorite pattern options for the different categories. I'm planning a winter trip to Paris, so in that case, I start with the coat (which can be purchased or sewn), and add the other pieces so the color, silhouette, textures, armholes and necklines all work in harmony.

Coat that goes over everything (raincoat, winter coat, duster....)
Vogue 8163
Vogue 2868
Vogue 2757
Vogue 7663 (out of print, but I have a few copies in S-M size)

Slim line pant
Vogue 2913
Vogue 7940 - do not be put off by the photo, the pant is MUCH better in real life!
Vogue 7608 a good jean, again, better in real life than this photo indicates

Soft pant in a silhouette and length that flatters your figure
ReVisions Capitola Pant

Surplice wrap t or top or both
Vogue 8151
Kwik Sew 2694 - my all time favorite

Basic, but not boring T or shell with your best neckline, shaping and sleeve length in a good color (neutral, accent, eye or skin tone)
Vogue 8151
Kwik Sew 2804

Vest/sleeveless jacket that fits under the coat and jacket
ReVisions Santa Cruz Jacket and Vest
Vogue 8088

Distinctive jacket that layers under the coat, over the vest and cardigan.
Vogue 7746 - see Kathryn Brynne's version on the cover of Vogue Pattern Magazine with needlefelting

ReVisions Santa Cruz Jacket and Vest

Sleek cardigan that goes over the t-shirts and under the jacket or vest
Vogue 8151 - make the pullover into a cardigan

Skirt in a shape and length that works on your figure, in your life and goes with the above tops
Vogue 2933 - I like this new Sandra Betzina design, but be sure it works with the top and jacket you choose

Shirt/Tunic/shirt jacket/jean jacket, a Miyake-esque shirt or your version of a classic shirt that dresses down everything, works with the t-shirts and tops---ideal if the vest slips under this jacket
Vogue 7907
Vogue 7854 - slimming, sleek tunic, excellent for large sizes and small
Vogue 7826 I love the chic and feminine design with flattering surplice wrap
Vogue 7828 - another flattering and interesting wrap top

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