Three weeks in Paris and contemplating the end of the year has me musing on my own creative directions. Ideas and inspiration---where they come from seems a mystery to bask in.
In Paris last month, the museums were full of Picasso works, tracing his sources of inspiration, all united in a single theme: Picasso and his teachers, but really, showing the public the connection between Picasso's paintings and the works by the masters who inspired them. It was chilling and thrilling to walk past an artist in the museum with his or her easel set up, copying a Van Gogh or Cezanne, and then to see an exhibit of Picasso's work alongside the painting that directly inspired it. Picasso's genius shined bright from the get-go. His self portraits at age 16 &17 are incredible. His father, also a painter, simply put down his paints and quit when he recognized the genius in his son. Picasso liberally used his favorite artists (like El Greco and Cezanne and many others) as his teachers, imitating their work and then making it his own. From the dates, it is obvious that he worked every day, producing more than one a day.
Inspires me to go into my studio and simply play with what is at hand, to follow my inner guides as to what to make, what technique to use, how much time to take, and how to know when the work is finished.
My friend Trudi Carter just visited and she has given herself the personal design challenge of making 10 different white shirts---which I think is a brilliant way to tweak and upgrade sewing and design creativity.
Those of us who have the pleasures of making things with our hands are lucky and blessed.
Wishing you the joy of the season from my studio to yours!
|ps. Look for a special edition of this newsletter coming to you on New Year's Eve!!|
Manet's D?©jeuner sur l'herbe was the most talked about painting in the 1863 Salon des Refus?©s. A naked woman picnicking al fresco (outdoors) with two clothed men in a flatly painted landscape was disturbingly provocative. The composition is imbued with references to the Italian masters, yet the figures and setting suggest contemporary Paris. Manet's large, inscrutable canvas challenged the role of artistic prototypes.
The D'Orsay Museum devoted an entire special exhibition showing the evolution of Picasso's astonishing work inspired by this single Manet painting. He painted renditions over and over again, completing a big canvas or two in a single day....this image is just one of many. And he continued the theme with sculptures that started from cardboard mock-ups and ending in immense steel outdoor sculptures for public spaces.
Getting into the soul of Van Gogh by making a copy. Taken in my favorite room at the D'Orsay with the world's greatest impressionist masterpieces.
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|San Francisco Fabric and Design Studio Tour
March 25, 26, 27: Wednesday through Friday
with Marcy & Nandini
I'd like to invite you to come to San Francisco March 25-27, for a small group tour of Bay Area Design Studios, fabric stores and more. I'll co-conduct this tour with my sister, designer/fiber artist, Nandini (Katherine Tilton). Join us for 3 inspiring fun filled days of creative experiences, shopping, fine food and good company. The tour begins Wednesday, March 25 and ends Friday, March 27. We'll visit fabric stores, designer studios and a few carefully chosen shops and neighborhoods. Group size limited to 8-14.
The tour kicks off with a visit to the de Young Museum for the Yves St. Laurent show. This retrospective exhibition celebrating St. Laurent's extraordinary, career was organized by the Fondation Yves St. Laurent, and the de Young is its only U.S. stop on an international tour.
Each day we will have a different itinerary, visiting studios usually not open to drop-in visitors, shopping for fabric and exploring some of the unique resources and neighborhoods that make the Bay Area so intriguing for creative people. Marcy says, 'I find some of my best fabric treasures on these expeditions, the designers open up their studios and offer some of their choice fabrics for us.....great prices and I find unique fabrics, findings and one of a kind garments.'
|Link to complete info on San Francisco Tour|
2009 Workshops Begin January 16
Plan ahead for fun and creative growth in the new year!
Focus on Fit
with Marcy and Nandini
Friday, January 16
Start the New Year with this information packed hands-on fitting workshop, designed to give you the basics for getting patterns to fit. Go home with a set of measurements, and altered patterns and a check list of refinements to use with every new pattern. You'll learn to make pattern adjustments and see which styles and shapes fit and flatter you best, and why the fitting process begins with the patterns you choose. See how you (and 90% of all women), differ from the pattern and how to make the most common alterations. Understand the truth about ease, how to use tools that make the job easier and how the patterns and various companies differ.
You‚Äôll learn from Nandini and Marcy‚Äôs years of experience how to change and combine patterns to get the styling you want, and to evaluate the degree of difficulty. Approach pattern choices, fit and altering a pattern with new confidence. We'll start with a general lecture-demo and taking measurements, including a portion devoted to pants.
In the afternoon, students will work with their own patterns, learning by doing. Learn the techniques Marcy and Nandini use in their own studio, and discover what a satisfying and creative part of sewing pattern-work and pattern-play can be.
Where Did You Get That T-Shirt Weekend Workshop $
January 17 & 18
Saturday and Sunday
Marcy & Nandini
Our first T-Shirt workshop was a great success. But it was only one day, and we REALLY needed more time. Take advantage of this specially priced workshop with Marcy and Nandini. Learn all about making your own personalized T-Shirt from scratch with guidance in fit, pattern changes and construction. The customized T-shirt you will learn to create has its roots in fine ready-to-wear, where a price tag of $200 and up isn‚Äôt uncommon, yet your hand-made rendition retains all the style, comfort and practicality you want. Nandini and Marcy‚Äôs simple and innovative methods show how to personalize the pattern and the all important construction and design details to make your own t-shirts that look like you found them in an expensive little boutique. Enjoy a mini trunk show of t-shirts and learn studio-tested recipes for pattern work, innovative construction and surface design techniques. With a bit of stitching, you, too, will be wearing a new wardrobe of T-shirts and hearing the question: ‚ÄúWhere did you get that GREAT t-shirt?‚Äù
Includes 2 yards for your t-shirt from our cotton-lycra collection and a collection of stripes and dots to add for binding and dash. Patterns recommended: V8497, Vogue 8151, Kwik Sew 2694. Bring a basic sewing kit and your sewing machine (machine optional, we have Berninas on hand)
|Link to ArtBarn Workshop Information
OCTOBER 15 - JANUARY 15: The ArtBarn is transformed into a small fabric store. If you are in the area and want to come by to shop, give an advance call and we'll arrange to be here to greet you. 541-592-2969.
|DESIGN OUTSIDE THE LINES
Creativity, Fiber and Sewing Retreats
with Marcy Tilton and Diane Ericson
2009 Dates and Locations
February 8-12, 2009
La Casa de Maria, Santa Barbara, California
June 1 - 5, 2009
Five Pines Lodge, Sisters, Oregon
September 25-28, 2009
Mabel Dodge Luhan House, Taos, New Mexico
|Link to Design Outside the Lines Information |
Our fabric collection is expanding!
Nandini and I have been having such a great time finding fabrics. We shopped for fabric for ourselves in Paris, but did not find the selection or prices that we find from our suppliers. Each one is selected with care---these are fabrics we want to use ourselves, and we listen to your requests too.
This grouping reflects fabrics I saw used in ready-to-wear in Paris in fine quality casual clothing---taking the concept of jeans and a t-shirt to a new level. At your requests, I have incorporated a small grouping of carefully selected print knits with new stripes and polka dots to add punch. (Polka dots are a recurring classic signature in French design). The denims come from a jean designer called 7 For All Mankind, ($200 jeans), and are the perfect weight for this cool time of year.
|Click here to view entire fabric collection|
|Knits for Tops and T-Shirts
|Fabrics for Cool Weather Pants|
In French, they say 'petit cadeau', a small gift.
Here are some charming sewing accessories from France for your sewing & gifting pleasures.
|NEW SILK SCREEN DESIGNS|
|Click to see all silk screen designs|
To Give or Add to Your Wish List
I LOVE books. Reading feeds my soul, and I can happily spend hours in a bookstore....the local library closed over a year ago for lack of funding, so I am back to buying books. These are some favorites. Everyone deserves one good book to read during the holiday season.
The craft/DIY books are recent publications, and each one delighted me for the visual appeal and practical information. I think Nicky Epstein's knitting book is a treasure, and I am a lapsed knitter! The novels are some of my favorites from this past year.
WEARING EASE is the amount of ease needed to go around the body so you can move and breathe. This is the amount given on the pattern measurement chart and on the basic pattern fitting sloper.
DESIGN EASE is the amount added to give the garment its styling. You can analyze the amount of design ease in a garment by measuring the pattern at bust and hip, and comparing with the measurements for that size. Flat Pattern Measuring reveals the crucial info.
Flat Pattern Measuring
This is done in preparation for tissue fitting. Measure the main pattern pieces to check the amount of ease and to compare your measurements with the pattern. Do not include seam allowances, pleats, darts etc in these measurements. Measure for the bust just below the armhole. Measure the hip at your fullest point from the waist.
EXAMPLE: If you are using a size 12 pattern, and your hip is 40‚Äù, the measurement for the pattern is 38‚Äù, a difference of 2‚Äù. You will need to add 2‚Äù of ease to get the fit and styling the designer intended.
You can figure out how much ease is built into the pattern by measuring the pattern at the hip. If the pattern measures 44‚Äù, and the size 12 pattern hip is 38‚Äù, there is 6‚Äù of ease. If your hip measures 40‚Äù, you will want the finished garment to measure 46‚Äù. Some patterns mark the finished bust and hip measurements right on the pattern pieces.
Lengths and Widths
Jacket and top lengths are determined by measuring at the back, from back neck seam to the hem. Determine your best jacket/top lengths by measuring garments you love in your own wardrobe. Carry a measuring tape when you go shopping and measure the lengths and widths of garments you try on that work well on your figure.
Sleeve length: No measurement relates to this; it depends on shoulder width as well as sleeve measure. The best way to tell is pin fitting. Or make a fitting muslin of the garment until you have experience with what works for you.
|Basic measurements you‚Äôll need:
- Full bust
- High bust
- Waist: tie a narrow piece of elastic at your waist to mark it. If you have no waist, do this anyway, then bend from side to side so the elastic finds a natural resting point, and use that as a point of reference.
- Full hip
- High hip (If round and or larger than full hip measure distance of full and high hip from the waist.)
- Length of full hip/high hip from the waist. (about 7-8‚Äù on most patterns)
- Back waist length- this is only to give an idea of your proportions---long torso etc.
|Use the high bust measurement to determine your pattern size for most US major pattern companies. THIS IS THE ONLY time you will use this measurement. It indicates your upper body proportions.
For US major pattern companies, using the high bust measurement to determine pattern size will provide a better fit in the neck, upper chest and shoulder area. You will then probably need to add width to the bust and hip.
Adding to the bust and hip area is much easier than trying to adjust the upper chest on the pattern or when sewing and fitting.
For Burda and most independent pattern companies, use your true body measurements to determine pattern size. If you are more than one size in bust and hip, use the bust measurement for the sleeve, armhole, shoulder and neck, and blend from bust to hip.
|Did You Know?
- Make length adjustments to a pattern before adding width. This saves a step in truing up the jog in the side seam.
- In most cases, do NOT make width adjustments at center front or back, or the neck width and important details will be foiled.
- You can add up to 8 inches in the bust and hip without distorting the pattern. That computes to adding 2 inches at each side seam.
- If you add width at the bust, add the same amount at the sleeve, but taper to the original width at the wrist.
- The average shoulder seam is 5‚Äù in a set-in sleeve style.
- The back shoulder seam should be 1/4‚Äù larger than the front. This trick from tailoring builds in a bit of shaping and ease for the curve of the upper shoulder.
- The measurement of a neck and a collar is equal.
Marcy‚Äôs Fitting Tips, Techniques & Opinionated Pattern Insights
I use this check list to be sure to make all the necessary adjustments and to make them in the order that makes the process easier and flow more quickly. Find a consistent way to store your well used patterns. I transfer the paper pattern and envelope to a file folder and make notes right on the folder.
|Pattern Work Check List|
- Lengthen and shorten alterations are always done first; makes it easier to do alterations at the seams afterwards.
- Add a bust dart if needed; on vests, I often add a bust dart in the armhole to eliminate gaping.
- If you make changes as you sew, transfer them immediately to your paper pattern. Keep notes on pattern and construction changes on your pattern.
- The depth of the armhole must be scaled to your body. Many women who are not ‚Äúpetite‚Äù still need an armhole that is smaller than in a standard size.
- Use 1/2‚Äù seams and 1-2‚Äù hems. Consider adjusting a well loved pattern to 1/2‚Äù seam allowances. Professional designers use 1/2‚Äù seams. Making the switch from 5/8‚Äù to 1/2‚Äù makes many operations easier: setting sleeves, enclosed seams, etc.
- Adjust shoulder width. Check with tissue fitting and as you sew; some fabrics stretch a bit in this area. On multi-sized patterns, adjusting the depth of the armhole and the shoulder width can be done by following another size line.
- Alter the neck width or shape. Check width and front and back neck location when tissue fitting.
- Shape the body. Consider re-shaping the side seams if the pattern seam line is straight and your figure is curved.
- Check the sleeve ease. Measure on the seam line at the armhole and sleeve cap and compare the measurements. For most jackets, 1/2 - 1‚Äù of ease is plenty. If your jacket has a high shaped sleeve, there can be up to 1.5‚Äù of ease. To pare down sleeve ease, make an even pleat at right angles to the grain line across the cap of the sleeve, and remember, if you make 1/4‚Äù pleat, it is removing 1/2‚Äù of ease.
|New GROOM Bags
I visited the GROOM showroom while in Paris and found a few fabulous new designs to carry back to the US. Groom bags are known and loved in Europe, but are not distributed in America. I test each style and am delighted to share this small hand-picked collection with you.
All bags shown here are currently available. We can custom order any GROOM style for you.
|Click to see the entire GROOM collection|
|New CD-rom on
Custom Making Neckties
from David Coffin
Greetings, folks, and thanks for your interest in my Tie-Making CD-ROM. Quite a few people have indicated that they want to make ties for the coming holiday season, so I've decided that regardless of my intention to spruce up my original little booklet on the topic with color graphics, selectable and searchable text, and a short video clip or two of the most interesting and most uncommon techniques, I am NOW offering a simple scan of the original.
I should point out that the jewel of the book is this technique for machine-lining the tips so that the lining is inset a good 1/4-inch from the edges of the tie, as seen in all commercial ties, and as described in NONE of the printed material on home-made ties for consumers that I've ever seen.
My booklet describes every aspect of tie-making and offers many variations appropriate for home sewers who may be limited to, or prefer, non-typical fabrics and techniques that don't require any practice to master. It includes directions for making simple, essential tools such as cardboard forms for shaping the tie while pressing and sewing, and cardboard cutting and previewing templates. It's arranged in the following sections:
- Why Necktie Fabric Is So Hard to Find
- Suitable Fabrics, Outer and Inner
- Making a Tie Pattern
- Construction Variations
- Construction Steps
- Techniques in Detail
- Advanced Tie Construction (The 7-Fold Tie)
- Useful Tools and Materials
|Here's a link to David's blog with all the info you need.|
|Purchase directly from David as a
Custom Making Neckties at Home, $8US for a downloadable pdf scan of the original work, circa 1985, purchase price deductible from the projected $15 price of the 2009 update, expected (but not promised) in Spring, 09 (The price for the original booklet‚Ä¶!).
Payable directly to David via Paypal at: firstname.lastname@example.org