Paper Dolls: Evolution of Women’s Fashion

Just by chance…an unexpected opportunity.

Love Those "Hands at Home"

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA photo from The Museum of Costume and Textile of Québec

You plan. You do research. You expend energy, to go to just the exhibit or gallery show you know you need to see.

But sometimes serendipity steps in and you just happen to be in an unexpected place, to see an unexpected display of something wonderful.

We were in Bonsecours Market in Montreal in September. We never go to Bonsecours Market, with its trendy, expensive shops—a bit much for our tastes.

But that day we did, and we saw this wonderful, understated exhibit that captured changing trends in women’s fashion, “DE LA BELLE ÉPOQUE AU PRÊT-À-PORTER.”

The exhibit was presented by The Museum of Costume and Textile of Québec, to illustrate the evolution of women’s fashion in the province of Quebec between 1880 and 1930. The five dress reproductions were made entirely of paper by costume maker Michael Slack.

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Darn Good Yarn

At Stitches West this year, I ended up attending a Market Session with a fellow knitter. The two of us are familiar with knitting short rows, but wanted to learn a little more about Japanese short row shaping.  The session did answer our questions and we plan on getting together again to explore machine knitting.

Upon leaving the session, I accidentally discovered Darn Good Yarn http://www.DarnGoodYarn.com.  A situation separated by the present transported me to a world saturated with color, print and texture.  Darn Good Yarn is “made from reclaimed sari silk at a co-op in India that empowers women.” This endeavor supports 300 families, plus 25,000 lbs of waste is saved each year.

Darn Good Yarn Booth #3 Darn Good Yarn Booth #2_1Darn Good Yarn Booth

Nicole, Founder, Maggie, Vice-President and Jessica, Community Manager are helpful, willing to answer questions, knowledgeable about the product, free w/purchase  pattern support for the yarn, and are enthusiastic about their endeavor.

I’ve started knitting a shrug, and plan on knitting “Adventure Cardi” designed by Denae Merrill with reclaimed chiffon.

Darn Good Yarn #2

Darn Good Yarn

Getaway

It was time for a mini-getaway.  A chance to unwind and regenerate.  An opportunity to visit two of our favorite restaurants.  Time to experience solitary moments of peace and quiet.  While beach combing, sifting through grains of sand looking for the perfect piece of sea glass, I did not expect to find a smiling face staring back at me.  I’m sure we’ve all looked at clouds and identified something familiar or seen religious figures on toast, but to actually see a smiling human face in a fossil shell took my breath away.  In one solitary moment, it felt good to have a face smile back at me.  Human face processing or  (face pareidolia) continues to be studied.  I found quite a bit of sea glass too, but nothing can compare to a smiling face.IMG_4052

Getaway #5Getaway #6

My Colour Wheel

Useful information with an assortment of beautiful examples.

Colouring With Yarn

This is a post that had been brewing for some time now, revisited after I started weaving, and now with two recent posts I read over the week – an anecdote about co-workers who didn’t know the primary and secondary colors on a color wheel, and an article about how to choose colors for a project.

Some time ago, I was asked how I came up with my color combinations, since they had difficulties or were challenged when choosing colors for their projects.  That got me to thinking about how I’ve used color in my projects.  I had taken art classes through the school years, and fiddled around with painting and drawing after – maybe that is why I don’t think much about color theories, it just sort of comes naturally when going through the stash or walking down the yarn aisle in a store.  Of course there’s a lot of the…

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Experiment or Mistake

Browsing through my pictures I discovered three experiments I never posted because I didn’t feel the outcome was worthy of a blog post.  Today, however, I find them quite interesting.  Should I consider these attempts an experiment or mistake?

Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines experiment as “A controlled procedure carried out to discover, or demonstrate something .” Mistake, “To blunder in the choice of.”

Felted Scarf and Wrap #1

Attempt #1: Originally, I did not find the colors appealing in the scarf I felted with the novelty yarn.  Now, I do.

Attempt #2: At the time, I thought the felted roving looked like a jumbled mess, but know the fiber looks like a spider web with a multitude of possibilities.

Last but not least, Attempt #3: The knitted block/rectangle was suppose to look like a log cabin quilt.  I wasn’t attracted to the outcome, but know I am pleased with the colors and texture created by the different yarn and color combinations.

I don’t consider these mistakes, they are experiments.  Perhaps our creative tastes evolve with time and experience.

Roving Spider WebLog Cabin

If At First You Don’t Succeed

try try again. My journey back into sewing all started with an unsuccessful trip to the mall. The mass produced garments hanging on the racks, sewn out of low quality fabric, and lacking style and fit did not deserve a visit to the fitting room.  I briskly walked to my car and could not wait to arrive home because tucked away in several storage bins in my attic were options, Swiss cotton, Italian cotton, wool and silk.

It just so happened a pattern drafting Skirts class being offered at Eddie’s Quilting Bee fit my schedule. Skirts The Beginning_1

By implementing Sally-Ann’s instructions in conjunction with Nicole Smith’s, Skirt-A-Day Sewing, I drafted a skirt foundation block using my low hip measurement. Upon the completion of the skirt block, I drafted a two-dart sloper.  At this point, Sally-Ann mentioned, “Sometimes in takes three to eight muslin to reach the final draft.”  My first draft needed alteration.  After taking 2″ off the waist and 1/4″ off below the low hip, I drafted a second sloper.  The second muslin side seams pointed out that my hips tilt forward.  Sigh..Back to the drawing board.  I drafted 3/4″ off the back and added it to the front.  The third muslin did not hang even.  I have one hip higher than the other.  I proceeded to cut and pivot the front by inserting 1/2″ at the low hip measurement, and inserting  1/4″ to the back.  The fourth muslin back did not require any further alterations, but I needed to pivot the front by inserting an additional 1/2″ for a total of 1″.  The fifth muslin front and fourth muslin back are perfect… ten drafts later.  The final copy of the final sloper needs to be mounted on poster board with spray adhesive.  On to the next phase, A-Line Skirt.

Skirts_1

Skirts #3Skirts #2