Some of the best things we create start from what's around us and a function we need to satisfy. This design started with the realization that, although I love the fabrics...I only wear 1/2 of the scarves in my collection. Scarves seem to be like socks in winter...often times an impulsive buy. Surveying my scarf collection recently, I thought about wearing some of those light-weight fabrics as a garment. Shrugs have happened... but I loved the idea of a tunic that could just be a longer, summer layer.
|Check your scarf stash for one to transform into a River Tunic-|
So here are some of the ones I have made. I do enjoy tweeking the design and adding details as I go.
Look for the next batch of tunics in future blogs.
Sheer Japanese Cottons are a beautiful choice for the River Tunic. This one from marcytilton.com
Opening this River Tunic down the back, leaves a slit for airflow and a vintage button at the top. I added some single layer strips of sheer mesh at the neck and sleeve ends. Folding the front edge gave the neck edge an asymmetrical line.
|hand stitching on the sleeve edges|
Successful simple garment shapes are ALL ABOUT THE FABRIC & THE SILHOUETTE.
Imagine your new version: Linens and cottons or knits, organzas and sheers....the fabrics you are called to work with define your garment style.
How much Ease do you want? One of the ways to ensure a successful fit is to determine the amount of ease (at the hips and bust) you want for comfort. Measuring the clothes you wear can give a range of ease to work with.
Design Play that will change each tunic you create:
• Cut the hem in an asymmetrical shape.
• Make the armholes deeper and shaped.
• Use hand-printed and accent fabrics for bindings & trim.
• Create a different neckline or add a collar piece.
• Make a piece of fabric first, then cut out your tunic
• Add patch pockets in contrasting or embroidered fabrics (vintage tea towels are great for this!)
• Pleat the fabric first, then cut out the tunic
|Create your own style by making a collaged piece of fabric for The River Tunic|
Accent bindings and pocket fabric is one of the ideas shared in the pattern instructions. The closeup below is the grey sleeveless tunic version on the pattern cover shown at the top of this blog. Adding bold, contrasting fabric gives it a nice edge.
|hand-printed fabric used for binding and pockets-|
|A neck edge shaped by folding then hand stitched with embroidery floss-|
WINTER LAYERING Versions- I know I will be sharing some lightweight washed wool versions of this tunic as I create my winter wardrobe. Washed wool, slightly crinkled has a casual appeal and will fit well with leggings and boots this fall.
This green and grey dot version is getting lots of wear....it's the perfect summer dressing with my sheer textured leggings and cropped pants.
Enjoy your summer sewing! Diane
|June/July 2016 issue|
| Miles fabrics are playful & exuberant with lots of bold strokes and details- perfect for different parts of the garment.|
• • • • •
|The back of the tunic|
|The necklines on both garments were designed to reflect favorite areas in the painted fabrics.|
|I enjoyed combining this painted linen with more solid white linen and 2 commercial fabrics with dots.|
ANGLES- For this version, everything from selecting fabrics to changing the pattern pieces started with this first piece of hand-painted cotton/linen fabric.
|What compliments a great piece of art fabric?|
|Each of the shaped pattern pieces were copied then angles added at the original curved edges-For more details, see the Vogue article.|
|Accent, basting thread is used to make reference lines like center front, shoulder lines etc.|
|The original curves and darts in the pattern pieces were changed to angles.|
|The printed shapes on the side became part of the pocket design.|
|Painting and drawn fabric by Miles Frode, Dress by Diane|
Enjoy the process, Diane
WHO can resist the full glory of this pink!?!?!?!? Inspiration is everywhere in Ashland…especially Lithia Park where I just took this shot of blooming rhododendrons.
|Spring Silk Dress-|
|I detailed this linen shirt with the versatile Wrought Iron Stencil, some tucks and new buttons.|
|Marta sewed her linens together then brushed her new fabric with Silver & Pewter Jacquard Paints.|
|Overlapping all the seams gives this garment a fluid shape as it moves...beautiful details & stitching Marta.|
|The original skirt & sleeve fabric-|
Taking advantage of the beautiful seaming in skirt, and the texture of the organza worked well in this project. I 'checked in' with a shirt pattern for the armholes and sleeve shapes.
|sleeves in organza-|
|As spring comes on, I want to work with lighter, softer colors. Faded, distressed fabrics feel compatible with the warmth of wood details: like these hand-carved buttons on the upper left.|
|We stepped into the studio of Jilli Blackwood in Glasgow, Scotland, as she unfolded her life in a powerpoint at our retreat in Santa Barbara, California|
|Jilli Blackwood sharing one of her fiber techniques for creating elements at our retreat-|
Do we EVER have the right piece of fabric?!? After a brief hunt for in my stash...it's off to the consignment shop for the pair of pants that transformed on the dressform into this vest! I like to free-form cut garment shapes, and sometimes will use a pattern I like to start. Sometimes I will work up the center front and neckline first....then place pattern pieces on top to define the sides and armholes.
After playing with how the existing details would best serve the design (notice the front zipper on the pants becomes the vent at the bottom of the back), the garment is cut out. The fabric has some spandex in it..so it will be more comfortable as a fitted garment. A front zipper was added. Longer than the garment, it extends below the hemline and is turned and used as trim on the collar seam.
Stenciling & Accenting Seamlines-
More Design Play with the Picket Fence Stencil-
Join me in the studio in March for a Re-Make Class & Trunk Show, Diane
|Rae's closure with her handmade copper button|
|Rae Dollards Jacket|
Gallery of Garments-
Rae Dollard from Texas made a beautiful variation accented with a copper button she made. The strings and raw edges are a successful finish for these materials.
|square armhole in linen|
|Diana Beebe's Wool Vest|
|Hand painted Linen Canvas Vest Version-|
I'm looking forward to making a collection of wool versions for my winter wardrobe. Diane
|The Cacicedo Coat Pattern|
There are beautiful pieces that show up -usually as we least expect them...and this is one of them. Karen Miller is a Katazome artist and designer. This is her beautiful version of the Ventana Jacket-
Perfect for fall, highlighting her own fabric designs, with a bit of commercial fabric here and there.
Such an attractive combination and so successfully sensitive to her subtle personal coloring, I know she looks lovely in it! Lets just take it in.
Thanks for sharing your jacket with us Karen. I am looking at my stash with new eyes and inspired to find the combination for my next jacket! Diane
...and thanks to Tanya for continuing the theme and sharing the perfect read.
Make a new piece of fabric from a collection of fall colors. Here is a piece using a combo of print and solid linens, hand printed pieces and a single knit (in the ochre color) stitched as trim on top. Check your stash for those cool bits you are saving...this is the perfect project for them!!
You might play with making various sizes, this one is about 12"x 24".
The best way to develop drawing skills is to do it...alot of it. I use a variety of the permanent fabric pens in my fabric work. Here are 2 of my current projects.
1. On a mixed linen blend- this piece started with a medium thickness fabric pen and doing a contour line drawing of the leave shapes. The lines in the back, created with a thin fabric pen. A vintage wood woodcut was used to print the other background shapes. The final step was to lightly apply paints with a dry sponge-( like applying blush to the cheek), to highlight the leave shapes.
2. Detailing a commercial dress-Stenciling is a good way to accent and add detail to a garment that 'needs' something. File folders, cut with simple edge shapes, were used as stencils to enhance the knit top of this dress. I block the edges the shapes with masking tape.
Pewter and Silver Jacquard paints were used to print with. To finish, I folded and stitched some asymmetrical tucks to bring in the neck hole. Find more tips and techniques on Youtube on my Stenciling on Fabric video, or purchase from this link: Stenciling on Fabric video
I hope you are enjoying the start of your fall sewing, Diane
|The tip of the Raven beak (on the Raven Stencil) was used as an element & combined with lines drawn with fabric pens-|
ReMake is at the top of the playlist for many of us. Christine Jacobsen whipped up this sweet linen combo, highlighted with some stenciled images from my collection. I love seeing what you all do with them so keep the photos coming!
|More Borders Stencil|
Looks like Christine used The Raven and The More Borders stencils to kick this piece up a notch.
Here is a favorite nubby, silk fabric printed with the Raven Stencil.
My design eye is turning towards fall and all the projects I am imagining to create as the weather cools and the colors turn here in Southern Oregon. What is inspiring you? Diane
|Piecing summer linens, making fabric-|
Scroll down to May 21st Blog to see one of my other shrugs made form this pattern.
My other Shrug direction is to remake garments into new garments.
This white, sheer shrug started life as an oversized shirt. Suggestion: Working with larger sized garments gives more design options. In this case, the tucking at the shoulders, brings the sleeves up and gives the garment more shape. Tucks can be made on the inside of the garment or outside, stitched down as darts.....or left loose.
These are some of the choices that will change
the look of the new garment.
The asymmetrical hem was decided next and stitched at different angles.The front was overlapped to move the buttons off center. Once the front is buttoned, the back was lapped ( creating more angles along the hem) with buttons added for design. All of the tucks and seams were hand-sewn with embroidery floss.
Easy, simple sewing projects are just right for summer evenings and I love the handwork! I hope you are enjoying your summer sewing. Diane
|Here is the back view of my new shrug in my wardrobe!|
FaultLines Pattern and a collection of favorite black and whites. Here are some design details you may want to experiment with as you bring your collection together. To see the beginning of this garment, scroll down to the blog before this one .
For openers, here are the Design Criteria for this piece-
1. light-weight (no lining)
2. Accentuate the edges
3. Leave some holes in the piecing
4. Have some wearing options with the front edge.
Construction- There are many ways the proportions and amounts of fabrics in a collection can be combined to create fabric or a collaged garment. Seams can create strong lines...darks or lights can be more of a focus too. Celebrate your design eye as you explore your sense of balance and proportion in the fabric combinations you bring together. Knowing this would be a small garment (and not a giant coat!), I felt compelled to create a bolder combination of lights, darks and patterns.
The smaller scale printed type fabric for the front facings in contrast to the scale of pattern on the other fabrics: reads like a texture-
Piecing- Each pattern piece started with a collection of the fabrics. I start by sewing some pieces together. In this case, playing with the idea of a strip of the printed text fabric down the center of the sleeve and a shaped piece at the wrist end. In placing these first pieces, note the grainline on the pattern piece. The triangular shaped holes are part of the finished design. Working back and forth with piecing and checking in with the pattern piece is my process. Next, press them and place the pattern piece on to finish cutting it out before garment. --------------------------------------------------------------
|A finished sleeve|
To finish the edges, a facing can be added to each edge- or for a more shaped edge, each piece can be finished as you sew.
Wearing options: Just like scarves, we can all experiment with different ways to wear and accessorize our look. Once this shrug is on...I enjoyed folding the front edge in different ways...and love the way it looks folded back on the left, in a more sculptural way. There are lots of sold and stripped summer dresses and tops to wear this over in my closet!
• • •
Closures will be my favorite pin collection-this gives a lot of options when putting together outfits.
Can the fulfillment of the day be as simple as a needle passing through fabric? Diane
On the way to summer, anticipating the light, airy tops and dresses in my wardrobe: I am thinking light layers and sleeves. It is time to make some shrugs!
|Topstitching and collage with sheer organza-|
|Opening up the original seams gave me design lines-|
2. Open Side seams up 3-4" and finish for slits.
3. Change the buttons 4. Shorten sleeves to a 3/4 length with a slit to allow for foldback.
What are your favorite patterns for a light summer jacket?
Patterns for Shrugs:
I used The Torri for this green linen remake. The Torri pattern has a short, flared silhouette, with a a stand collar or collarless. This garment is a combination of raw edges, creme color handstitching and silk organza windows in the piecing.
Design Suggestion: If you are re-fashioning a piece, instead of carefully cutting out the garment.... the pattern can be used as a reference and as a silhouette guide for truing up pieces as you combine fabrics and ideas.
|SkyeLines as a Shrug-|
SkyeLines is a design shaped and fitted with princess seams. This creates lots of options for tucking in and flaring the garment silhouette. My variation was shortened and color blocked with linens and discharged, jacquard woven cotton piece for the sleeves. (Handstitching too).
Design Change: Multi-layer raw-edge collar= A bias collar was added in several layers including a bias cut hair canvas (interfacing) used as one of the fabrics. Some of the piecing mimics the shape of the collage pin: made with a collection of found metal & silk tapestry fabric.
The FaultLines, has the perfect lines for a collage jacket combining the text pieces & linen above. A black & white printed towel caught my eye and will be the start of the garment.
Where will your piece start? ......Ask: What will give you the most creative experience?
This has been a busy week, my sister, Kris, came for a visit! We did some printing in the studio and she brought 3 of her handmade arty, birdhouses, available for sale in my studio. She is an inspiration!
It is going to be a great summer in the studio! Diane
|Judy's Linen Ventana|
|Tucks add dimension to linen-|
|Bias edge trim with decorative stitching-|
Joan McBain made a dreamy soft blue, silk version that really shows the tucks in the design...and the inside pocket in the asymmetrical front. Time to make a lightweight Ventana to wear as a shirt layer in my summer wardrobe.
|Joan's silk Ventana|
|Ties in contrasting batik|
Printing Linen for a summer garment-
I am printing some white linen this week. This piece was printed by layering the Crickets n' Leaves Stencil on top of a pale printing of the Picket Fence Stencil design.
Spring is bursting out here in Southern Oregon, I hope it is just outside your window too. Whats on your design table?
|Anna Hinkles Vest in wool with bias trim to finish the edges.|
This is the season for transition garments....a colorful layer that keeps us warm, it can be the first dip into spring fabrics. The Ashland Vest is my design, originally in the Vest Collection Pattern. I have updated the silhouette, created a small bag option with the pocket and scaled the pattern from XXS to 3X. Thanks to Judy, Anna and Marta for Pattern Testing with me! Here are some of our designs to get you thinking about your new Ashland Vest combination!
|Marta dragging some pewter Jacquard fabric paint on her fabrics-|
|Marta's lined vest pieces, sewn at the shoulders -|
Marta (size xxs), used a combo of vintage linens in white & pink, to hand sew her version. A session (shown above) dragging the fabric with silver paint added a lovely patina to her pieces. The color blocking is so appealing.
|Judy's Vest with felted lapels & Handstitching-|
FABRIC COMBOS- This is the perfect garment for dramatic color combinations. Miles Frodes painted canvas was combined with a stretch denim for the solid panels in this vest. The orange zipper and diagonal hand stitching is the perfect compliment to the painted texture.
|Denim & Painted Canvas are accented with Bold Zipper-|
|Once the fabric combination is decided, look at handstitching thread options-|
|Lapped side seam with handstitching-|
|judys side seam-|
Lapping the seams- Once the pieces are sewn at the shoulders, put it on and lap the back and and fronts at the sides. The front or back can lapped in either direction, which creates a different balance to the garment. Judy went out to a larger size down the side seam. This gives her more options and she is getting a better fit by pinning the sides after the shoulders are sewn.
|Morning Pages Fabric with zipper trim-|
Combining similar fabrics can be accented by pressing one fabric with pleats then fusing it to an iron-on interfacing. The grey pin-strip fabric was used for piping and ties on the vest back.
|The pleated vest back is fused to iron on-|
Bag with printed, collaged fabric-
POCKET or BAG? The pocket is a detail that repeats the shape on the vest back. It can be made as a pocket or a bag. Directions are included. Consider adding several seam allowances to the original pattern pieces to create more sizes of bag patterns.
|Thinking about the Vest Front-|
|Designing the vest back-|
I hope you are enjoying the beginnings of Spring
where you are. Diane
|Start a Bag Collection with Bundles-|
|A close-up of Leslie's Fabric-|
|Leslie's Pacific Purse Bags-|
As an artist, Leslie's design eye combined with her stitching and collaging is dynamic. It creates a signature look in her work. She created that rich, discharged canvas using my Raven Stencil and Cicada Stencil designs.
She has a way about her that girl...just listening to her voice and working those threads!
Starting with great fabrics, her collection of bags was created, using my Pacific Purse Pattern. The inspiration has me digging for the special bits and pieces saved for small treasure projects. So lets make some bags!
|My collection of Pacific Purse Bags-|
A way to begin: Create bundles of textured fabric combinations with trims and other bits: each bundle can be a bag. The bundles do look inviting all standing in a basket too.
Here are some of my Pacific Purse bags: kimono fabric, stenciled, stitched and collaged.
Another way to start: Piece fabrics until there is enough to cut out the bag pattern pieces: that leaves an element of surprise in the process.
|A Spring Bag?|
|Asian theme with scrunched 'bamboo' handle|
|Black & White theme: Artist?|
Thanks for the Inspiration Leslie! We are looking forward to seeing your inspirations too. Relishing studio time, Diane
I am inspired and want to share some of the Heart-Felt Coats I have seen in the past month.
Each designer has taken their interpretation of my Heart-Felt Coat Pattern in very different directions, which gives us all some fun directions, materials and combinations to explore in our own sewing.
She started with denim, then distressed it with bleach. The raw edges are accentuated by washing after the garment was sewn. Don't be afraid of the raw edges...they can be trimmed and brushed to keep looking good. This garment is a great lighter weight layer and will carry her into the warmer weather too.
|slashed sleeve detail|
|nice pocket stitching|
silver fabric paint, elastic loops and some vintage buttons makes this a memorable coat to wear for years to come.
|Using the fabric on the bias created a slim fitting coat-|
|Love this cuff Sylvie!|
|Nice woven details on the diagonal give this vest flattering strong lines-|
Judy Butler made this wool collage coat from a combination of washed pieces.
|Judy created a sweet accent frog from a knitted tube-|
Thank you for sharing your very creative Heart-Felt Coats with all of us!
Enjoy your winter sewing, Diane
I N S P I R A T I O N....Inspire = to breath in. This is the perfect day to take it in the new! This is a day to set the tone for the coming weeks. Here are 3 inspirations that caught my eye today. Creating display is a starting point of creative play. The process of arranging offers various ways to view objects and take in the details for my drawing session. I want to encourage YOU to draw this year.
Once invited onto the drawing page...it took on a dance of its own and is now suggesting a fabric interpretation. Looking at a drawing is sometimes an opportunity to 'see' thinking unfold.
• INSPIRATION #3: There always seems to be a pile forming on the table (...even when I am not there!). Like food, this one has some nice, complimentary 'flavors' to explore.
Drawing IS a deeper look, a chance to form what one sees. Just start. Paper and pencil is all it takes. You might like a soft pencil that will draw dark when you push and smudge nicely too. I like the variety of ink pens, colored pencils and chalk together. I use my stencils when I draw, rubbing through them with the graphite on my fingers. Pulling my paper out of the spiral tablet became a stencil in this drawing. The computer becomes a creative tool: The view widens as various images get cropped.
I'm heading towards fabric now, and looking forward to what unfolds!
I hope you are enjoying your unfolding today, Diane
|Piper perfecting the knotting technique-|
|Hot out of the oven!|
I hope you are enjoying cherished family traditions and creating new ones this holiday season.
I wish you a New Year filled with creativity and inspiration! Diane
Creating a New Studio
Welcome! Congratulations to those of you who managed to find me online AND in person. I have been working this past month moving into my new studio and helping get a new website launched. (thank you Paul! link?) As you can see, I've been building tables, installing shelves and moving into my studio at 238 N. Main Street in Ashland, Oregon. My new digs will be a working studio, intimate classroom space and textile library. I'm look forward to some of you visiting and sharing some studio time!
Space is always a great metaphor for me. Moving into any place in an opportunity to re-visit the choices we make and clear the way for new priorities.
It is the beginning of the adventure is imagining what it can be.
After the carpet was dry and the walls freshly painted, my beginning strategy was to get to know my new space.
I gravitate towards the 2 tall windows at one end which get sunlight all afternoon....I sat there, at different times during the day, imagining how I might work there. I‘ve been taking my time: GOING SLOW..... just moving basic furniture around until it feels right before I bring in more tools and materials to fill the shelves. Everything that comes in has to be functional and/or something I REALLY want to look at. That’s it! No exceptions. It needs to ‘feel’ spacious...no matter what.
For maximum flexibility, I make moveable, large tabletops and canvas covered bulletin boards to mount on the walls. I have some small tables with wheels, shelving and good lights.
Today my shingle is up...and I am working in the studio!
The winter, afternoon sun was streaming in as I welcomed the first class in last week. For my class schedule, check my Teaching page calendar. It was a very fun afternoon...full of ideas, projects and laughing. A perfect beginning.
Sewing Design Play-
Theres' always time to make a cozy winter jacket.
Here are 2 SnapDragons (my pattern #117) in wool.
One of my favorite features is the detachable lapel/collar pieces.
Black Cashmere with Red & White-
I combined red and white lapel pieces to this black, cashmere.
Hand stitching with white bamboo fiber and vintage black rayon seam tape accent the lapels. Snaptape gives lots of wearing options including wrapping around like a cowl, or removing the lapels all together.
Gray Wool with Batik-
In this gray wool version, I have 2 sets of collar/lapels. the lapels snap on and off for lots of wearing options an inter-changeable collar pieces. The butterscotch color batik is combined with the gray wool and used as a lining. Ribbons and other printed fabrics are layered over the black snaptape to give the checkerboard look to the snaptape edges.
The snaps allow for some creative, asymmetrical wearing options too.
Back to the Studio for some project time!
I look forward to sharing lots of design, inspiration
and creativity with you. Please sign my guestbook- (pattern share giveway?) or in newsletter?
Come by next time you are in town.
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