Dear Sewing and Designing Friends.
The Labor Day Weekend signals the end of summer, so new beginnings are in the air. I'm in my studio this holiday, sewing for fun with my friend Alex, collaborating with Katherine in her studio and having the full experience of making something from scratch with my own two hands. In preparation for our get-together as well as for an upcoming Taos retreat, I've done a lot of studio cleaning and clearing, and have switched out the summer fabrics, and am sewing for a few things to wear right now and into fall.
In the ArtBarn, our fall fabrics are coming in, and there are new postings happening regularly. Check out our NEW FABRICS , where you'll find a limited collection of treasures from the cutting room of a renowned SF designer, a grouping of fabulous wools designed for Mark Jacobs from a mill in Uraguay, and, as always, unusual knits and carefully selected basics for pants.
Shelley, Beth, Katherine and I have a great time putting together groupings of knits for our COOL COMBOS because we've found that having one yard of 3-4 harmonizing knits is a great way to kick start a fun top, T or cardigan....and I save the scraps to use with other projects. As part of my own creativity practice, I've been posting my patterns and fabric picks on PAIRING PATTERN AND FABRIC. I post as inspiration strikes, so bookmark this page and check back over the next weeks for ideas and inspiration.
Fall is the perfect time to go back to school and give your creative projects a breath of fresh air. Design Outside the Lines retreats I co-teach with Diane Ericson are an ideal way to grow your work. The word is out on these events, and they are filling up fast. We conduct 3 hands on retreats a year, in Santa Barbara, Sisters, OR and Taos, NM. Dates for Taos coming soon. We'd love to have you join us, and your work will never be the same again!
Coming in early October, 2 new patterns from Vogue. Can't reveal them until they are released, but I wanted to give you a heads up. I recommend you click on the Vogue link and sign up for their e-mail announcements so you'll be in the know about their new pattern releases and special sales and offers. The Vogue Pattern Magazine is a fabulous resource for sewing tips, techniques and great editorial content. Editor Kathy Marrone is a passionate sewist herself and it shows in her editorials and in the pages of the magazine.
Right now I've got 3 upcoming Vogue patterns on my design table, very exciting projects that keep me on my toes. We love to hear from you about your projects and to see photos of what you are making. Keep us posted.
Tomorrow Katherine and I are off to Los Angeles to buy fabric, watch for new arrivals. I post often on FACEBOOK, and post regular giveaways on my FB page. Please post your comments and photos there too.
Wishing you a creative early fall from my studio to yours,
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|Fabrics On My Design Table NOW|
|Why Don't You..............
aking a cue from the legendary Diana Vreeland, here is a riff on her beloved column for Harper's Bazaar with suggestions for you from me (with tongue in chic), channeling the divine DV for those of us who have a passion for fashioning our own clothes from time to time.
|"You gotta have style. It helps you get up in the morning. It's a way of life. Without it you're nobody. And I'm not talking about a lot of clothes"
|DV, as she was known, expressing her singular style as a young woman.|
|And as a chic older woman who left (fired) her position as editor of Harpers Bazaar and moved on to re-invent the Costume Department at the Metropolitan Museum in NYC. |
|Curious about Diana Vreeland? Here is the Wikipedia link!|
|Why Don't You
............Take one pattern and make it again and again and again. V8636 for example. both Katherine and I have made this countless times. Katherine swears she has made it at least 50 times! I've done it as a T a shown on the pattern envelope, also as a cardigan, have changed the shape and played with variations on the neckline treatment.
|Why Don't You
....Add a bit of hand sewing to your hand made garments? Can be as simple as a running stitch or a scattering of french knots that can kick something into another more interesting design sphere. For fun, I bought all my favorite colors in embroidery floss and perle cotton, so now I have a convenient little kit of thread, small curved scissors and CHENILLE needles so I am good to go for handwork while watching TV, or hanging out. Chenille needles have a sharp point and large eye, and are ideal for hand embroidery.
|Why Don't You
....Try your hand at sewing leather or suede. I know there are books and courses on the topic, but, it is really easy to do. The cutting takes a bit of care so you get all your left and right sides lined up, but the sewing is simple. Over the summer I've been making leather handbags for a future Vogue pattern...sorry, can't show you the pattern, but I can share a few tips.
- Use a standard point or jeans/sharp needle rather than a ‚Äòleather‚Äô needle. You may need to use a larger size needle to pierce thick areas.
- Use polyester thread.
- Use a teflon or roller foot on your machine.
- Press carefully! Heat can damage some skins. Test with scraps to see how your iron works with leather. Using a teflon sole plate is an option. Use a press cloth if needed. Finger pressing can work almost as well as a hot iron.
- Use a slightly longer stitch length with leather (3.5-4) as a short stitch can perforate the skin and cause tearing.
|Our Collection of Leathers & Suedes|
|ParisTilton Left Bank
May 5-12, 2012
Katherine and I are in the planning stages for a new slant on our popular ParisTilton tours. While staying in the heart of the Left Bank, our intention is to experience living like a Parisian while exploring Paris with an artful designer's eye. We share our favorite neighborhoods, sources and secrets, with entry to places not open to the average tourist. While many in our groups love to sew and want to shop for fabric, we welcome anyone with an interest in design, fashion, food and experiencing the joie de vivre of the City of Light in the company of kindred spirits. This is a fabulous experience whether you come alone or with a friend or family member.
Katherine says, ‚ÄúMarcy‚Äôs passion for all things Parisian is huge and infectious. Exploring Paris with Marcy is a grand adventure with new discoveries, delicious food, irresistible¬† inspiration and lots of laughs‚Äù.¬† Marcy says, ‚ÄúWhen Katherine and I were in Paris together celebrating her 60th birthday, I had a dream of the two of us sharing a similar experience with other women and ParisTilton is the result of that dream.¬† As collaborators we make an energetic travel team and love sharing our Paris savoir faire with others.‚Äù ¬†
|More info to be posted on the website soon, but in the meantime...For more information, if you'd like to be put on the mailing list or to register for ParisTilton: The Left Bank Tour please please contact Marcy or Katherine by phone 541-592-2969 or by email at : firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Q & A
Our customers have been inquiring about how to pre-treat fabrics. Here are some guidelines and recommendations. If there is any doubt about the washability of any fabric, I recommend this simple test.
Cut a 1/8 yard strip of the fabric in question, then cut that piece in two. Toss both in the washing machine on light/gentle/perma press. Air dry one piece and toss the other piece in the dryer. Then compare to see which effect you want to use.
For most of the fabrics we sell, and most of the fabrics I sew with in my own work, I recommend this simple process: Toss in the washer on gentle or light or permanent press. Then toss in the dryer. Press and sew.
Most fabrics will have the greatest amount of shrinkage the first time they are washed/dried, after that, the shrinkage is residual.
Once the garment is sewn, machine wash on gentle or hand launder and hang carefully to air dry. I NEVER put a hand sewn garment in the dryer. The dryer wears out garments much faster than actual wear.
When I take a garment out of the washing machine, I hang on a hanger, making sure the seams are smoothed out and that the hanger will not leave a bump in the shoulder. Once dry, give it a touch up pressing ...I do this even with T-shirts.
|Care and Handling Mesh Knits
While the fibers used for meshes and nets are strong (polyester and nylon, usually), the construction of the fabric can be delicate. I DO pre-shrink meshes and nets, but do NOT put them in the dryer. Simply machine wash the fabric on gentle/light and air dry, then cut and sew.
When sewing meshes and nets, I've found that slowing down the machine stitching and holding the fabric taut (but not stretching) makes machine stitching easy.
These fabrics don't ravel, so you can use a raw edge. Or, for a bit more opaque coverage, you can cut it double, placing the hem on a fold.
|Fabrics NOT Recommended for Pre-Washing
This is a short list and would include any fabric that is delicate or might require dry cleaning. For instance, you COULD toss a wool coating or suiting into the washer/drier to obtain an intentional rumpled, soft or felted look, but under normal circumstances, I'd simply cut and sew these fabrics.
- Silk Organza
- Wool Tweeds & Suitings
- Delicate Sheer Silks (georgette, chiffon)
|Beyond the Arty T 2.1
Trunk Show and Workshop with
Katherine Tilton, September 16, 17 & 18th in Minneapolis
Enjoy an inspiring slide presentation and Trunk Show on Friday night. Move into the weekend workshop with an expanded creativity focused on growing your own work.
The weekend is structured in a retreat format where participants will stitch, paint and embellish, creating a garment or garments under Katherine's tutelage, inspiration and encouragement. The studio spaces - a stitching studio and a separate surface design studio - will be open to use Saturday night as well as during the workshop days. Expand your creative spirit in good company!
|Click for The Arty T 2.1 Workshop|
|Click for Katherine's Website|
|Hands On Workshop with Diane Ericson in the Chicago Area
A rare opportunity to work with one of the design/sewing/surface design community's finest teachers.
Diane says: "Fall projects are on my design table as I prepare for a unique and retreat experience at the Pheasant Run Resort in the Chicago area Oct.5-9th. The focus will be design play and creativity. Learn my techniques for inspiring your sewing projects as we fold in surface design and embellishment . Join me and infuse your winter projects with inspiration, style and new directions.
Welcome to the Adventure!"
|Click for more information and to register|
|Link to Diane's Website and Blog|
|Cool & Inspiring Links:
The glory of the internet is the communities and sources and ideas just waiting to be discovered. Here are some current and past favorites to share with you....please send me yours.
|Yoshiko Wada Website
Known for her expertise on Sashiko, and as a renowned fiber artist, Yoshiko Wada is one of the beloved leaders of the worldwide Sashiko.........
|Macrame as ART
Oakland, CA artist Barbara Natoli has been a macrame jewelry artist for over 40 years. Her work is the topic of an upcoming book and current museum exhibition. In her career, Witt has designed more than 1,500 pieces and sold them in art galleries, museums, trunk shows and through her website (necklaceart.com) for $4,000 to $7,000 apiece.
|Textile Artist Constance Rose
Constance Rose does stunning work with fabric, I loved cruising her blog, her website and following her other links. Fun to see how her creativity and style transfer to her internet presence. VERY inspiring!