Fall Sewing: Start with a Studio Vest-

Sat, Oct 4 2014 06:32

As I pack away my summer favorites, I'm drawn to richer colors and warmer layers. One of my favorite studio vest patterns is the Walkabout #113. Here are 2 in my collection.

The version in cranberry red and black is wool jersey stitched to a black under layer of polar fleece. The wool jersey stretched, and I enhancing the surface design more by cutting holes in the jersey layer. I added some bias strips of a print down the front and cut the edge of the polar fleece in a zigzag. A tab, printed with the Jakarta Stencil, finishes the front and holds the tie in place.

The collage version above, in rust and cremes, is a Taos inspired piece. It's a combination of painted and rusted fabrics, photo transfers, raw edges, printed chiffon and lots of stitching on a linen base. I used the Russet and Pewter Lumiere paints.

Studio Accessories- How about some new pin cushions for your worktable? These 2, made from my
Pin Cushion Icons Pattern, were a delightful afternoon of design play.  I printed the linen one with a rubber stamp first...and added some of my favorite sticks to the top. The pattern shows  how to create bent wire ornaments with your favorite beads....mimicking a collection of hatpins. The square pin cushion design is fun to make: I started by stenciling some silk dupioni and linen with the bamboo designs on my Jakarta Stencil. I combined the fabrics I  printed to several others  then stitched and flipped to an under layer for each of the 4 sides.

Both pin cushions are weighted with sand or gravel inside the bottom. A cardboard or plastic insert can be added for a flat bottom. I twisted 2 silk fabrics together then knotted them for the top accent.

More Metallic for Fall-

I loved the shape of these shoes...but wanted less rust and more silvery metallic. Here's how I do it:
Lightly ruff up the leather surface with some fine sandpaper. Cover any areas you do not want to paint with masking tape. I placed it around the edges to protect the sole from paint. This part takes some time..but worth it.  Using a wet sponge, I dab and rub a light application of
Lumiere's  Pewter color onto the shoe. Start with a side...not the toe so you get a sense of how to get what you want before you do the top! I worked quickly with a sponge and a rag. I like to let the shoes dry 1-2 days. After they are bone dry, I  finish them by applying and buffing with a light application of Carnuba car wax....Okay, you can use a clear shoe wax too. Suede shoes look beautiful painted or stenciled and can look embossed. I would use a shoe spray instead of a wax to finish the suede shoes.

My finished Taos Jacket-

I loved wearing this new version of my Snap Dragon Jacket to New Mexico for the the Design Outside the Lines Retreat in Taos!
Here is finished jacket. For more construction step-by-step on how the jacket was printed (with my
new gate stencil design) and how the lapel design evolved, see my previous blog below.

I hope you're enjoying Fall where you are,

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It's Fall! New Mexico Inspiration-

Thu, Sep 4 2014 07:42

I have been drawn to the same green gate, just outside of the
Mabel Dodge Luhan House in Taos, NM for several years.

Making the grid lapels- 

Santa Fe Gate Stencil on  darks and lights: this one in Silver Lumiere on charcoal. 
Playing with printing the

 I have just turned some of my favorite sketches of the gate into a new stencil design: The Santa Fe Gate, that I am printing with this month in preparation for a reunion with that special place for a DOL Retreat later this month. Snap Dragon Jackets-  The green gate image has inspired grid 'fence' lapels (above) to expand on the design. I wanted a scrappy look on the lapels of raw edges and some finished. They would be beautiful made from any finished trim for a more polished look.  I laid them out on the lapel pattern pieces (above) to get the shapes. Once the pieces were sewn, I painted them with the faded green color I so vividly remember. If you don't have an intuitive sense about color, mixing colors can be tricky.

I find a color wheel is a good teaching tool  and can help take some of the guessing out of the process and help you get the color you want. This new jacket, started with a dropcloth piece of canvas by my son,  Miles Frode, to which I have added this new gate stencil design.  As you can see in the lapel photo, I made extra small pieces to in some of the seams of the design. I will share the finished piece soon. The pattern has ideas for creating your own unique lapels that all snap off, with snaptape, to become an accessory.

The printing is meant to fade in and out on the fabric surface.

small lapel scraps for other seams-

Printing to add interest along the side slits and wrist of the sleeve is easier to do before the garment construction. 

Here is a more finished version of the
Snap Dragon Pattern in a double -sided linen. The accent trim on the lapel pieces is vintage drapery...very subtle and lovely. As you can see...the lapel ends can be wrapped around and snapped together to create this beautiful scarf look too. I can tell I need a new one of these in wool next!

Laura Kinsman's stenciled shirt-sweet!

Laura Kinsman, my favorite sewist geek friend, has combined the Santa Fe Gate Stencil with her button jar for a very cool updated shirt! Love the results! It has got me thinking about what else I could combine it with too.

Wrought Iron Fence Stencil- Another new stencil design ready for fall printing. Can there ever be to many fences & gate stencils? I think not.... Look at how cool it is on this linen shirt!

I have used the Pewter Lumiere Fabric Paint to print this shirt. The design is set up to easily repeat if you want to make a continuous fence. I am loving how it looks printed back to back (on the shirt back) and as an asymmetrical  feature  on the front. Remember when you print to think about how you will wear the garment. Folding up the cuffs and popping the collar always influences how and where I print designs on a shirt.

A new set of buttons and I am on my way out the door in this one!!!
I hope you are enjoying what is on your design table this week,

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Summer Dragonflys-

Sat, Aug 9 2014 01:09

Bugs in Flight Stencil

August is a time for sewing that will transition into fall....... My Dragonfly Pattern can be an airy

Linens & drapey rayons are a pleasing combine for this design. 

summer top, a 3/4 sleeve wrap or a vest layer. Here are some favorite Dragonfly garment designs. The pattern comes in 2 lengths and 2 widths. It has 3 sizes of insets included for the front closures...so there are lots of options for combinations and placement. I used rubber stamps and stencils on the purple and striped one to the left with some great vintage buttons to accent the inset tabs.

This coffee theme vest
, stenciled with Te y' Cafe Stencil, is decorated with coffee theme buttons and rubber stamped tabs on the front. You might enjoy creating your own theme vest.

A friend in Hawaii made this one in a beautiful combination of kimono fabrics, special buttons with some hand stitched family crest designs.

Making center panels first-

Sometimes I like to begin a Dragonfly design by creating the front & back center panels first. With this linen version, I played with a different closure idea for the front. Now I am ready to decide on the side panels to relate to the starting pieces.

Birds are such a part of summer....My color combinations have been influenced by artist Leslie Stiles, who I met at the Puyallup Expo. He creates these small, beautifully detailed bird works of art.

His bird images inspired me to print single bird images-this one on canvas stitched on a summer bag, is part of my Deco Bird Stencil.
                ...You can never have to many birds can you?

An artist friend, Suzy Manley, made this beautiful vest version of the Dragonfly Pattern below. She combined my linen Wing n' A Prayer fabric panels with a dark striped drapey suiting and a grey knit to create her own composition. Her placement of the bird on the back pin stripe for the side panels is so flattering. I love the square buttons as decorative ends on the ties don't you?
She created a collar with a pleated piece of folded fabric, that was tacked to the inside edge.

Buttons as end detail on ties-

Off to sew! Diane
 The Dragonfly is a flattering shape for your favorite techniques and materials. It is a light evening wrap this summer....and perfect to pair with your favorite jeans. I'm going to make it as a winter wrap in wool jersey when the cool weather moves in. Please share the ones you make with us for our Facebook albums.


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Starting with a Pattern-

Sun, Jul 6 2014 11:51

Under Construction: Creating a New StudioWelcome! 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!

CREATING SPACE- 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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Java Jackets in 2014

Wed, Jun 25 2014 08:19
This is a great time to re-visit your favorite patterns. As we purge our stashes and pass on old patterns....there may be a few we can't let go of. The Java Jacket Pattern is one of my early designs I am still fond of.
One Pattern Many Voices-
 Currently, You can see this Design Challenge display, of Java Jacket designs at the Original Sewing & Quilt Expo coming to Raleigh, NC the month. Loretta Phipps did a great job creating the project, called One Pattern Many Voices and bringing it to fruition. She curated the exhibit with garments from her local ASG WNC Chapter.  Make sure to share your impressions of the display on our Facebook page.
My Java Jacket combining a historic woven cotton textile with linens and stenciled lining-

                   Lets look at some of the ways to update your favorite silhouettes.
Here are some highlights and garments from the Java Jacket Pattern and ideas for creating new ones.
Colored pencil sketches of vest & jacket versions
Design Play with Fabric & Color- One of the ways to explore  color and texture combinations for new garments is to use the garment silhouettes shown on the pattern envelope. Here is one of my color pencil sketches and another version collaged with fabric bits and a glue stick. I like to create Design Blanks and work with them for each garment style.
Fabric collaged drawing of Java Jackets
There is a 4-page Download available, with directions for creating a jumper using the Java Jacket pattern. It includes Design Blanks for a jacket, and jumper/coat length garment for you
 to color or collage with your ideas.

Scaling the Design: You can change the placement of horizontal line above the pockets
by using the grading lines there. If you are more petite, consider scaling down some of the garment details in the following ways:
1. Front bands pieces can be narrower.
2. The flaps above the pockets can be eliminated or narrowed
3. The sleeve can easily be smaller too. The small size sleeve can be added to a larger garment since it is applied onto of the bodice pieces and not set in like a traditional sleeve.

Revised Pattern Design-
Original Design? Revised Design?
Original Pattern Design-
 I love the feel of the jacket and knew I wanted more options. The revised edition has comfy, generous  pockets on the lower front incorporated into the design. Pocket Designs as Bags- Don't let lots of instruction for these pockets scare you....I love to illustrate everything so the how-to directions you get are clear! 
Make the pocket as a purse-

Great combo & frog closures-

I have made several as small purses and they are very fun to make and use.
They can be small collages of your favorite fabric combos and, like coffee, you may need more!
The 3 different pocket designs are detachable and can be added to other garment project designs.

Robin's Vest-
Closures & Detailing- The garment on the right, is a beautiful combination of country, summer prints and the design is polished off with some figure-8 frogs created from covered cording. One of my favorite Java Jackets was created by a high school student I had in my sewing class, Robin Rutherford. She combined printed fabrics with top bodice pieces she created with a pin-weaving technique. It was a long time ago...but I hope she is still wearing it!

Dixie's Java Vest-

Dixie Walker created this dramatic red
Java Vest,
stenciled with two of my stencil designs:
1. Intagliato and Off the Wall . She has used a combination of Jacquard Metallic (Lumiere) Paint colors for her printing. She printed the front bands and accented her garment with glass buttons. I love how the blue trim colors picked up in the printing colors.
Cynthia's Vest detail-
Cynthia Westmorland created a great Java Vest. Inspired by the coffee theme, she embroidered
coffee/tea cups and the names of her favorite coffee drinks. She enhanced the design with printed borders using my Deco Bird Stencil, the Kenya Stencil and coffee beans from the
 Te Y' Cafe' stencil
Simplified JAVA Vest-

SIMPLIFY the Design: I love the basic shape of this design and don't always want all the details in the pattern. Here is a vest created with a combination of vintage Kimono textiles and linens. I cut the neck edge  in a 'V' then made a bias cut collar in 2 layers to enhance the neckline. I kept the front edge plain with a facing, bound buttonholes and buttons covered in a contrasting Kimono fabric.

Focus on Detailing Techniques & Closures-
One of my favorite Java Vest garments below, had as a corded closure that laces in and out of the inset fabric shapes on the front. I wrapped the cording with a bias strip of fabric. The raw edge on the fabric adds an unexpected texture to the wrapping. The end of the cording was inserted as I pieced the bodice pieces, creating a look of the cording weaving in and out of the smaller fabric pieces. Stacking buttons is always an option to consider.

Framing buttons with fabric shapes, is another way of adding volume and more interest to a design. This lined and turned tab  on the right,  is a detail on the back seam of the vest.

Stitched canvas tabs-
New Designing with the Java Pattern-
I am working on several layering pieces using the Java pattern silhouette this season. Here is a current vest in progress. I started with the hand-stamped designs on canvas by Miles Frode. I made a collection of faced, stitched tabs that will be part of the finished design. In pinning the partially sewn pieces and the tab shapes to my

My new design in process-
dressform, I start to visualize how the design might evolve. More ideas come from seeing the pieces pinned on the dressform. I placed the shirt I want to wear with it on the form first so I can see how the layers will work together.

Original Java Jumper in Blues-
I combined a collection of vintage and commercial fabrics for this garment. The pockets button on in the design. The buttons are knotted fabric-directions for making your own are in the Download. The download is also available in printed form: Printed Form Download.
I love the feel of a long vest in the fall, and I'm going to make a new version for the next cold season. I plan to make the Java Jacket Pattern as a 3/4 length coat with a single dark color wool trimmed and lined with a bold, accent color that will show as the winds start to blow and the garment moves revealing the color along the edges. Oh no...I am starting to see fall.

It's still time for more summer sewing!
What is on your design table?  
Enjoy the day, Diane

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Airplane Stencil gone Geometric-

Sat, May 10 2014 06:58

Designing with stencils is a combination of the image you start with and the inventive ways you print it. On every new design,  I work to include a variety shapes and sizes that will continue to offer variety as you print with the stencil. My Paper Airplane Stencil was the beginning of a Birthday garment (on the right), that is featured in my article in the current June/July issue of Vogue Pattern Magazine. The article covers several of the sewing techniques I used to create the unique details in the shirt. Click HERE to see the preview. For more about the process of creating my shirt design, see this past blog. After the initial idea for the stencil design, I'm exploring a more geometric approach to printing with it.
Vary Paint Amounts: The Jacquard paint colors combined for the stenciling in oranges yellows and reds, is printed with a heavier application of paint- and intentionally not working to cover completely. Playing with paint amounts and printing pressure can yield variety in your results.
Printing through a second Stencil: I cut basic shapes from tag (manilla folders) that I can use as a second stencil,  masking the printing area and creating a different design. The egg shape cut-out was the mask I printed the Paper Airplane Stencil through shown in the photo aboves. 
Printing Scale= Right for Clothing? Draping printed fabric onto a dressform (or laying them on pattern pieces) can give insight into the scale and placement of printed design elements for more successful garments. 
Remember these fabrics are all printed with the same  airplane Stencil! I love these images printed as a border!!

Adding Printing to graphic fabrics:
 I found a pin-stripe piece that was crying for airplanes...and a grey and white background cotton that I could enhance with the Airplane Stencil.

Drawing on Stenciled Fabric:  Using the Tee Juice Fabric Pens, and some straight edges, it is easy to create additional line elements on the fabric you print. I like making a combination of thick & thin lines and broken lines... which look like stitching.
My Airplane Shirt- was created with Lynn Mizono's Vogue pattern V1274. A good silhouette can be a canvas for a whole collection of garment designs. This pattern is holding my interest....and so far, I have created 3 garments (linked here to more description and photos in my May Newsletter). 

Here is a preview of these garments-
The green is a sheer, vintage kimono fabric with subtle details  and metal buttons.
The Artist Shirt is a dyed and painted cotton sheet pieced with 3 other fabrics. the orange makes a great accent for the garment edges.

Finishing for each garment is very different. The choice of materials can determines a casual, raw edge look or a more polished finish.

Make a spring shirt.....and explore a new pattern design or re-visit an old favorite. Enjoy! Diane

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FABRIC PRINTING: New Raven Stencil

Sun, Apr 27 2014 03:45
One can never have enough birds....and if you are a Portlandia fan, you know this is true. My new Raven Stencil gives new meaning to the phase 'Put a bird on it'! 

This new design, inspired by my Wing n' A Prayer Fabric, is quickly becoming one of my favorites. Here is some of my current printing with this new design, and some ideas for you to explore in your own surface designing.
Think about a stencil as a collection of shapes that can be separated for more design options. I use Post-Its to temporarily cover areas of the design while I print others. They are easy to move around and work really well.
Here, in black, is what the whole stencil looks like. Note: I did add a moon using the circle on my Global Shapes stencil. You can see how the post-its let me get a crisp definition of color for the different sections of the design!
Here is some of the variety I am getting with The Raven Stencil.

 FENCES & FRAMES: I'm drawn to the sticks framing the design. They make a border at the hem or edge of a garment. In the fabric piece on the dressform, I combined the sticks with the lined grid shape at the bottom to create this geometric design. I think I'll take it further by shaping the front edge of the fabric in a zig-zag, following the shapes I printed. The more I looked at this part of the design, It started to look like wooden horse head! (Ah...she sneaks the Year of the Horse in there again.....). You can see the printed design is the stencil upside down here on black canvas. I made this small frame in green below, by printing the sticks across the top of the design facing each other. Hand or machine stitching would be another technique to add to borders printed with the stick shapes.

STRIPPED FABRICS: Printing in between the stripes is a great way to create a new design. Masking tape, covering one set of stripes on the fabric, or Post Its can be used on the stencil. You could create a collection of complimentary fabrics (all on the same stripe), by using  different parts of the stencil for each piece. The different pieces could be used for each pattern pieces of your garment.
Definitely play with different size stripes and other prints to create
your own designs.

 At the left, see the yellow Post Its covering the stencil (instead of tape on the fabric)-this gives the repeating design (in green) each time I print.  Below are more parts of the stencil printed into the same stripe.
FABRIC PAINTS: I am using the Jacquard Textile Paints for my printing, I especially like the metallics.  
Stencils easily lend  themselves to this type of printing. Once the images is printed on one side...clean it off, flip it over and print from the other side. Magic happens! The space created in between the birds on the left, seems to be a heart! Ahhhh!
PRINT A SHIRT:  I love working into a remake with my stencil designs- On this one below, I started by printing the collar tips.....see the part of the stencil I used below on the left...and the results on the right. A very appealing design detail!

 Next, I pieced a black panel onto the lower back of the pin-strip shirt and stenciled the birds coming up on the back. Wow!! love the look...and the silver 'triangles' are the tip of the beak....... 
You know what I am about to say if you have been in class with me....'Do more with everything!' 
I know I am just getting started with this new stencil design....so please share your ideas with us!
GO FOR GEOMETRIC: The way you format a design is very personal... some of us are very organic in style... and some of us like a more structured presentation. You can place any shape over any stencil and create a new design!!!!! I often reach for the basic shapes in my Global Shapes stencil for this purpose. As you can see on the right..a manilla folder works well for cutting quick shapes you can use as a mask too. Try working with your Tee Juice Pens to add more detail to your printed surfaces. Lines, words, dots and your favorite doodles can build & define your printing style.  Enjoy the Day, Diane

Wings in Silver, bits of Blue & White on Grey Fabric
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Spring Sewing: SHIRTS!

Wed, Apr 9 2014 10:07
Stenciled linen shirt by Leslie Gelber
I 'll always make shirts.....
every season, it is my hands-down favorite garment.
In addition to endless re-makes,  I'm always checking out new shirt patterns and revisiting some of my own. Seeing this linen version of my Nuevo Shirt Pattern #109, by Leslie Gelber has me inspired to revisit the pattern, explore some of the variations and create some new shirts. Leslie used a unique printed linen (the printed design is a flat pair of old jeans) to which she added her own twist: stenciled details and covered buttons from the same stenciled fabric. Great choice: A bold move with successful results! Leslie used my Big Hopper Stencil to accent & play into the  print.
Sleeve detail on Leslie's shirt 

Pattern Details- My basic shirt silhouette has  an asymmetric shaped collar, an inset pocket, 1-sided cuff and 2 front bodice variations. Here are several shirts I created with the Nuevo Shirt pattern. Hand-dyed silk noile and contrasting rayon give this one in pinks a more dramatic look. Button placement changes
button placement changes the look of the front
 the look of the design. For a personal look, remember to place the buttons where they most flatter your shape. I added some stenciling at the shoulder and down the sleeve center. The buttons also hold the drape in the piece, so there are some great shapes possible. The pattern is a canvas for your design ideas. Layering fabrics: One of my favorite fabric combos in the shirt below: 3 solid linen colors and textures, a printed quilting cotton and white silk organza.

I stenciled the underlayer (of quilting cotton) with the Eycalyptus Stencil and the organza outer layer with the Bugs in Flight. I cut the cotton front using the regular, flat front option (I added the a shaped edge).Next, I wrinkled the organza on top...pressing the wrinkles down for more interest. A collection of buttons became surface design as well as the closure of the shirt. The collar is one layer of printed silk organza with a thin binding from the quilting print finishing the edge. I like to add interest by changing the shape at the hem and added some extra seams too. The second front option has a unique, inset pocket design too.
Collar Design Ideas-  The pattern comes with 2 collar designs. Either end of the asymmetrical collar in the pattern can be placed on the fold, allowing for 2 different symmetrical options. You can also recut the top edge to change the shape. I layered 2 collars together on this blue stenciled shirt. After brush painting with copper...I stenciled with the Deco Bird Stencil in the turquoise to create the surface design.  I also folded the original collar and used it as a cuff instead!!!
  Remember, most limitations are in your mind.....and new design is about fresh thinking. 

Double collar with new shaped edge
Collar? Cuff?!

Pattern Changes for more Nuevo Garments-
Here are some easy ways to create variations with your Nuevo Shirt Pattern. These pattern design ideas I've sketched out for you are available. Click here to get it: Nuevo Pattern Ideas Download.
To create a rectangular shape with the pattern, slash and add a vertical strip ( shown in pink). This shape will look great with an irregular hem.
 To create a long rectangle: The shirt can be lengthened into a 3/4 vest or coat by cutting across the bodice front and back pieces (in the lower half), and adding extra width.
Another variation would be to slash & spread, as shown, to create a flared  'A' shape  in the bodice. This process could be added just in the back or in both the front and the back. If you lengthen the shirt, the A-line could be a dress. I am making a short, shrug-style jacket with the Nuevo next!
I'd love to see the ones you create this spring! Diane

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Fri, Mar 14 2014 12:13

Welcome to my Studio- 
My Design Board for Spring Projects-
 It happened already...just in this last week, when we weren't looking: Spring started to pop out here in Southern Oregon. Wow....just in time. We are so ready and welcoming every new bud. It always inspires me to create a new board in the studio, where I pin up bits and pieces  for ideas I want to play with. Design boards are a great way to clear the table as you begin to amass a pile that you  want to have front and center...but need a clear table to work. As you can see, mine is a combination of fabrics, papers, sketches, textures and more horses (remember...YR of the Horse). I am getting ready combine the painted linen piece in the middle of my board, (by my son, Miles Frode) with a knit into a dress.
The visual stimulation of paint on paper next to paint and drawing on linen excites me. Marks are a language of their own. They can suggest direction, color combos and other details and elements to bring in. This stage, with new images and materials up next to one another, is a pivotal moment for change. An opportunity to see a new path your skills might take you as you begin to work.
The white fabric, a commercial, printed knit (a Marcy Tilton fabric), is a treasure trove of ideas for companion pieces and techniques I want to explore. I am going to translate the printed shapes into a combination of machine stitching, cut out shapes, squiggled painted and drawn playful shapes.  I'll share the pieces I make in a future blog.
Here is a close-up of my first, spring piece. 
Design Rule #1: To get something new to happen in your work...you have to DO something different-
The beginning of this collar was a placemat....then a roll on my design board (see it in the top photo) and now it is one of the most delicate and lovely collars I could imagine... I love the way it 'worked me'... I am excited about the results.  
I used my Torri Collection Pattern for his garment. It is a combination of linen fabric with a metallic finish, a pair of silk pants (the sleeves) and a poly-suiting skirt for the back. The tabs are made by my son, Miles, they are his hand-cut rubber stamp designs, printed on canvas. I cut out the fronts and worked with fabric paint at the shoulder areas first: 
TECHNIQUE: I used Jacquard black paint. I used a small amount of paint started by flicking the paint from a brush...next I lightly dragging over parts of the wet paint with a sponge. You can see I created more painted pieces for the inside of the cuffs...love the look.
What is calling from your stash to be next on your on your design table----------------------------
                 Play & Risk can take your work to the next level too.
                                                                  Welcome to spring in your studio, Diane

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The Sewing Expo-

Mon, Mar 10 2014 04:52
Laura and I enjoyed meeting so many of you  at the Sewing Expo in Puyallup this past week. Thanks for coming by our booth, introducing yourselves and sharing the designs you are creating with my patterns and stencils! It inspired me to get busy on the new collections and some new sewing patterns.

I saw some great FaultLines Garments Pattern #118-
Here are 2 we got photos of at the show. We are creating Facebook albums and would love more photos of what you are creating with my patterns to share with everyone-so don't be shy, send them our way.
First is Susan Chesney's sweet combination. She used a knit and added an unexpected silk pieces at the neck with a piece of the knit she stenciled (with the Te' y Cafe stencil) in green. The printing is very subtle...and is a great reminder that it doesn't have to be bold to enhance your design. Also note: Susan, a petite/busty bodytype, made the undershirt as a vest, outer-layer. It is great on her and really works with her print blouse. She has a great eye for design and fabric combinations.
Susan's printed collar -
Thanks for stopping in and sharing this latest piece with us Susan.

Gwen's FaultLines Vest-
Gwen Spencer, worked   with Marcy Tilton (marcytilton.comand Katherine Tilton in their booth at the show. You may have seen her in some of her irresistible, hand-stitched pieces. I love that she made this FaultLines jacket piece as a vest to wear over her favorite new Marcy Tilton  Vogue # V8975 dress pattern. the combination of stripped knits is a perfect accent over the solid color. Love the ties on the front AND on the back Gwen! Check out Gwen's new Sewing Studio in Corvallis, Oregon- When I stopped in she was at her cutting table, getting ready to stitch up a new inspiration.

Dana Marie, of Dana Marie Designs,  strolled by in her stenciled tee (and very COOL Jacket I might add)....even though she has her own stencils, she used my Borders Stencil and a few quick strokes to add this neckline detail. I am working on a series of tops to wear this spring and summer under my favorite shirts and dresses...I like the idea of some printed and sewn details peeking out at the neck and hem edges. The show is 4 long days...so this must be Dana Marie on the first day! 
Dana Marie in her stenciled Tee.

I think you are  right...more photos at the show next year! Back to the Studio,  Diane

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Year of the Horse-

Tue, Feb 11 2014 10:22
Happy New Year! Winter in the studio can be slow, but not this year.....I'm feeling energized and moving along with new ideas and ideas at a nice pace. The Year of the Horse is reminding me of all of the horse images that have meaning in my life.  The wood marionette above is a piece I made in my 20's...and the same image came to me as I wrestled with a divorce....cutting paper and drawing to create the framed piece as I made sense of my life. I 'm always moved by the power of metaphor. The horse, a symbol of personal power, has been pivotal in the transformations that have colored my life experiences. I'm using the horse as the inspiration for daily warm-ups as my year gets underway...so I'll have more to share.
I have been making some coats this winter. My Heart-Felt Coat pattern #106 is my basic shape I like to play with. Here are several that might inspire your winter sewing. The pattern includes several pocket designs and knot buttons for closures. This magenta
melton wool is combined with polar fleece and decorative machine stitching accents.

Sylvie Baroux, of Ashland, OR has created this beautiful black and white wool version on the bias with stenciled details and sculptural cuffs with elastic loops. She used a beautiful silk for binding and accents. For her unlined coat, she used a wool that has a woven design so both sides are beautiful and add to the design of the coat.
We'd love to see your Heart-Felt Coats-Share them with us so we can add you to our Facebook Album. I find myself reaching for this pattern when the cold season sets in. I like the shape and the variations seem to suggest a new direction each winter. I have made it in linen as a spring coat. The closure can be the simple knot  in felted wool...as in the brown coat.

COLLARS- Collars can make a coat!
Any coat can be re-fashioned just by tweaking the collar. Here is a favorite grey raincoat below. I made the collar more textured by pulling the front and the back of the collar away from the interfacing. After re-pinning it and pressing it down again, I added hand stitching, a bit of accent fabric and new buttons. Love the results!!
grey raincoat
Stenciling is a technique I sometimes use on wool. The front bands on this dark grey coat are printed on a smooth wool with the Intagliato Stencil inspired by old architecture. This stencil (on sale this month) is a standard in my printing line-up. Combined with the wool, I added some handwoven trims for interest.
 No matter what pattern I start with, I like to change some of the details. My new coat below, started with  Miyake Vogue pattern 2038. I made my own bias collar using a Japanese cotton gauze gives this navy cashmere coat an unexpected, playful edge. The added recycled fabrics are in shapes I cut and inset into the surface. Three, different shaped bound buttonholes...each with a unique vintage button finish my design. The addition of a lightweight fleece makes this feel like wearing a cloud!
Good wishes to you for an inspired new year in your Studio!

......bending wire is like drawing.

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Drawing the Arty Fabric-

Wed, Jan 1 2014 06:34

One of my favorite things to do is draw! It is something we all get better at the more we do it....so if it on your New Years list: get started.  Above is the beginning of my Morning Pages fabric design. It all started as a blank canvas on my table with pens, paints, wood stamps and curves. After masking the ‘page’ shape, I rubbed white fabric paint to create the pages in several places on my fabric.  Once dry, Drawing, stamping and doodling can begin. If you have a stash of rubber stamps or stencils, they can be a fresh added element if used in a new ways on your project. Some of the letters I use are old letterpress pieces that add an appealing element to the page design. For more ideas on drawing and printing on fabric, scroll my previous blogs and see my Fabric Printing DVD. See the Feb/March issue of Vogue Pattern Magazine, now on the newstands: for my Drawing on Fabric article.

Designing with Arty Fabric- 
You can never have to  much drawing on fabric....okay there, I have said it. Here are some the ways I am playing with my hand-drawn fabrics.
DOODLING-This is a favorite tea cozy with a drawn piece, and a silk knotted button added to the design. The fabric combo, edges and hand-stitching always add interest. This one is happy at home with Sharon now. Hey, think about a tea cozy making party with friends to start off the New Year! Check out my Tea Cozy pattern to get you started.

INSPIRED DETAILS- Playing into the design on the fabric can suggest cool details. See how I have made one of the pages, in the Morning Pages Fabric, into a zippered pocket below, with leather lacing as a pull.  Lots of topstitching and zipper pieces as trim, metal eyelets and grommets all build on a design with this fabric. This sculptural collar is the beginning of a new shirt. I'm using the Morning Pages fabric as the accent piece and will fold other solids and textured pieces into the design.
  A great way to get yourself into a new way of working is- to start in a different way: For me, it is making the detail I am most excited about first and letting it be the seed that grows the rest of the project!

This shoulder bag design is a combination of 3 canvas fabrics,
a jumbo snap and webbing  for the strap. I started with my Pacific Purse pattern. I've made 2 more sizes of each pattern by copying the pattern pieces then adding 2 sets of extra seam allowances to each piece. This gives more sizes of the bags shapes in the pattern. This is a good base pattern with 3 unique construction methods to work with.

DRAWING & COLLAGE- Here is a playful combo on my design table. I have drawn, stenciled, smudged  and sewn on these pieces to get started. The brush is drawn on  a strip of interfacing ....the canvas pocket shape is painted with chalkboard paint.....(so you could write on it and wipe it off). The striped linen was folded, pressed, rubbed with a sponge of black paint, then opened to reveal the random strips. The sheeting cotton has some collaged tee shirt stripe and the 'beret' is cut from linen. You can see how appealing a collection can be to work with. I find spending time gathering and editing a collection of materials is one of the most inspiring ways to start a project. 
                                                                                                                   See you in the Studio, Diane
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Love & Fabric-

Sat, Dec 14 2013 12:41

Love is in the air. ...and this was the right moment to offer my son, Miles, a shirt made from some of his drop-cloth fabrics. Miles is always sharing new paintings and poems, and drawings and fabrics with us, he is prolific and fluid in his creativity. He jumped at the offer and we started! Collaboration always deepens the experience and connection. Miles enjoyed giving his input on how I might use his fabric and what other fabric I could incorporate. Talking about ideas and the flavor of a project generates excitement and conjures up overall design details that will add to the success of the piece.

Combining Fabric and a re-cycled Shirt- 
The light blue, pin-strip shirt seemed perfect for our re-fashioned design. Once a garment is included in the process, I am looking at existing details that could be part of the new shirt. I liked the idea of using the pocket, and ended up insetting a section of the shirt that included it. Fusing a piece of the painted fabric down the side of the pocket added a nice touch and some machine stitching finished it.

I can always go on and on about what cool sewing tricks that happened along the way...but what REALLY happened was I gave myself uninterrupted time to think about my son. I looked forward to spending time in my thoughts about him as I working on it every day. We have come a long way he and I....and now I get to be inspired, appreciate  and celebrate how he is flowering and growing his life. I don't know about you...but there are times I struggle to hold onto my connection with my children....wondering what I can do to keep them close as they turn away to find themselves in the world.

Well, making his shirt has been the perfect way to gift us both this season.
                                   Love to You & Yours this Season, Diane


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SNAPDRAGON #117: Winter Sewing-

Mon, Dec 2 2013 11:18
Melton wool SnapDragon-
  Lapels and sleeves removed, makes a  versatile vest
This SnapDragon Pattern #117 design is the perfect, go-to pattern for sewing up an easy winter jacket! I have used snaptape for the closure design and unique detachable lapel variations. Here are some of my jackets in wool, polarfleece and canvas. The pattern
includes a darted and non-darted version. The sleeves can be detachable
 with snaptape too. The snaptape, is used in opposing sets on the various pieces, so the lapels can be snapped together and worn as a scarf accessory. 
A pieced wool lapel in progre
Change out Lapel Designs- I like to make several sets of lapels for each jacket. The Design Idea section of the pattern includes ideas for making unique lapels for your jackets. Think felted, gathered or woven! Even after the jacket is made...I find myself making new ones to fit a style. Even though I have a hemmed edge set.......I am liking this new raw edge version (right), for my grey wool jacket. Combining and wearing 2 different lapels adds interest and design pop.  

Easy Fabric Buttonhole-
Making the lapel part of the front pattern piece-  The lapel pattern piece can be overlapped onto the front pattern piece. I did this before I cut out this teal blue polar fleece jacket (left) and I like the amount of wrap it gives the jacket front. I also added a 
A new Felted wool lapel/scarf-
buttonhole (with my hand painted fabric), which gives frames  the large ceramic button I tied on. This is an easy buttonhole, think of it as a facing that starts on the inside. To make one: stitch a rectangle through the facing for the buttonhole. Next,  cut the button slit and turn the fabric through the hole to the front of the jacket. To finish, stitch by hand or machine to finish the edges. Done! 
Not a snaptape fan yet? Here is the link to my snaptape. Let me change your mind! Notice the snaptape on the grey jacket above? Looks like checkerboard? I added small pieces of trims (ribbons and fabric strips) in between the snaps. To do this, insert one end of the trim under the snaptape as you sew the first side down. Next fold them over the top of the snaptape and topstitch down the second side. Add trim if needed to cover the edge.
Printing the Snaptape- It is easy to print snaptape in order to change the color or make the tape a more interesting texture. I like to print the snaptape with metallic colors.
Copper metallic paint  was used to 'age' this black snapetape-

I use several techniques to apply paint to snapetape:
1. Rub a sponge, holding paint,   across the the snaptape. you can rub back and forth or in one direction.
2. Rub one color on the tape and let it dry. Rub a second color lightly across the top to add depth.
3. Lay a stencil over the snaptape and print part of the design on the tape. I'm using the Abraxsas stencil below.
4. Adding an extra coating of paint on the end of the tape will seal the end and keep it from raveling.
5. Experiment, experiment!
Stenciling white snaptape, letting snaps stick up through stencil so it will lay flat-
Fabric Paints will be washable and the printed tape is beautiful. You can dab or rub, creating various textures on the fabric strip that holds the snaps. 
Canvas SnapDragon Jacket-

This Canvas SnapDragon started with a used, painters dropcloth. I'm loving the lightly sprayed surface! I added the lapel pattern piece to the front of the pattern before I cut it out. Next, I made a sculptural collar in several pieces. The black collar is printed and collaged using my painted snaptape as a surface design trim ad well as a closure. The pocket, sewn on the black linen fabric, was inset into the jacket front. I love handstitching and it  is the finishing detail that makes the design.
Black Canvas SnapDragon: The canvas version below, was made from a hand-printed canvas: a collaboration with my son, Miles Frode, an artist and poet. He discharged the canvas design then I stenciled on top in silver and pewter metallic paints. Stenciling is a technique I frequently use to tie a design together. I added the lapel piece as one with the front

again and used my bias, tube collar from my FaultLines Pattern. 2 jumbo snaps work as the closure. The sleeve in this design has a seam on the back of the arm....very flattering, comfortable and a great place for added design elements. Here you can see a sleeve out flat....
Collaboration Canvas Dragonfly-

It is the perfect design for exploring cuff variations.  In this one above, you can see the finished cuff end has a curve edge on the right side...and a straight line on the left. A printed fabric has been added up the seam as an accent, and as a facing for the foldback.
Here is the finished sleeve design folded back-

Link to  more images of this cashmere design-

SO.....What is YOUR SnapDragon going to look like? We're looking forward to sharing pictures of your jackets & vests! 

Happy Holidays...and Happy Sewing!  Diane

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The Southwest Stencil Collection-

Tue, Nov 19 2013 04:49
 La Mesas Stencil Design printed on a textured cotton-

My stencil designs are often inspired by my travels. This past fall, my retreat in Taos, NM inspired this Taos Stencil Collection. The landscape and decorative arts in the Southwestern US, always stimulate my creativity in new ways.  The 3 stencil designs in this collection are Glyphs, Mesas and Pottery Shards. Here is some of my design play & printing tips for getting great results with these new designs!
Mesa and Glyph Stencils printed on chambray cotton-
The Mesa Stencil- This stencil is one of my new line of edge/silhouette stencils.  (remember the Picket Fence? it is an edge stencil too.) This unique silhouette style of presenting the design includes 2, different shaped edges for printing: giving options for both a positive and negative edge. So with the Mesa Stencil design, you can print the sky...or the mountains...or both! This will inspire different textures and colors as you begin printing. This design also comes in 2 sizes.
1. Layering paints for more 'color pop'-
White is the magic bullet! In the printing at the top of this blog, I printed a thin layer of white first, letting it dry. This allows other colors to sit on top, without them mixing to become a pastel.You can see how well this works on the sunrise above, where I added a metallic gold and silver on top of the white layer. If you like my paint choices here, I have put together a Taos Paint Set of the 5 colors I am printing with here, and a second set of my favorite neutrals.
Neutrals in your paint kit- My Grey Scale Paint Set includes 5 shades and tints plus black and white. these neutrals can create the mood of your printing and change the colors you start into your own, signature color combinations. If color mixing is new for you, a color wheel is a great help and I suggest you add one to your tool kit. Here is the link to the Color Wheel  I prefer. It is a great teaching wheel and will help you build your color mixing confidence. The more you play with mixing color, the better you get. It is like cooking....there is an intuition about it at some point.
Mesas & Glyphs 
Covering the stencil with post-its to print parts-
 Glyphs Stencil- 
I am  really loving this stencil of petroglyph designs as a contrast to the other 2 designs! Glyphs is great as an all over pattern, and the images are placed on the sheet so it is easy to  move it around, quickly printing the entire sheet and covering large areas. I sometimes cover some of the designs, printing parts of the original images for variety. On this textured cotton in blues and grays (above left), the stencils are really enhanced by the background print. If you are a quilter...you probably have a stash of these textured, printed cottons...since they work so well in pieced quilt designs. I am ready to combine some of these textured pieces I printed in a shirt. The colors in the fabrics can also suggest paint colors for printing. Complimentary colors (colors opposite on the color wheel) are great accent colors to the background fabric to print.
 The Pottery Shard Stencil- This one is so versatile and has quickly become a favorite! It is a 2-part design: a set of background shapes...then a set of designs, found on pottery shards to print on top.
Pottery Shard Stencil with hand-stitching and Glyphs Stencil in the background-
I printed the Pottery Shard Stencil on the linen piece (to the left), using both parts of the stencil together, then printed just the decorative, top layer along the front band. As you can see, it is a very appealing combination. It is working well with the asymmetrical collar pinned around the neck. 

2. Printing multiple pieces at one time- This is one of the things I do when working with a new design. Start by spreading out 3-5 different pieces of fabric in lights and darks and in various textures. Print back and forth on all of the pieces, this gets you alot of variation and experience right off. This process gets some great results to appear, even if you are new to the process. The bias strip (above right), was printed with the decorative designs on the stencil. I printed with a combination of white and silver paint on a black and brown texture print. After heat setting with an iron, I covered several cords and will make more to use for jewelry projects. 
3. Creating more dimension with paint-
When I started printed the yellow fabric above, I quickly printed the first layer....thinking the second layer would have the most impact. The more I printed, the more I played with paint variations  and realized I could get more depth and shaping as I printed the first shapes. As an example: notice the large shard on the lower right of the yellow fabric above...it actually looks/feels rounded! It is something you can really do with a sponge and your fabric paint! Below are some examples of various ways to print the first layer of this stencil. You can apply this concept to other images you print too.
Starting above on the left: A smooth even application of paint, while the others create more interest. See how in the 3rd printing over, leaving a lighter area in the middle starts to add more dimension to the object. I liked playing with multiple colors on this first layer too. Notice how these techniques are impacting the finished design on the  yellow fabric above.
This printing, on the left, of the Pottery Shards and Glyphs on a handwoven cotton, gives a very different textured look to the designs.
I am really seeing lots of possible variations as I play with these images! I will continue my printing explorations with these new designs and sharing pieces with you as I go. I recommend that you keep a collection of sample fabrics you print. It is easy to make another pieces when you are excited about how your stenciling is turning out in the moment. It will be your personal resource library for future projects. Diane

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Winter Studio Vest-

Thu, Nov 7 2013 06:24

So do you have one? ....or have you been thinking about making one? Well, it's time to spend a play- day in the studio, getting into your warm fuzzy fabrics and making that cozy vest that will keep you comfy on the cold mornings ahead. My vest was a very fun re-model/remake project from 3 garments.
Fabric #1 
#1 A Big Base Garment- In this case,
an extra large heavy cotton mens
Fabric #2
sweatshirt. SO warm! It had nice edges and a front tab...all details I knew I could use.
#2 Second Sweatshirt- loved all the grommets in the raglan sleeves!
#3 Print Tee-for accent details.
This is the magic piece. When you see the teeshirt...you may not be attracted to it...but look how well it works in small amounts as trim!
#3 printed tee for trim

print tee as an inset pocket-
You can see the tee shirt print on the left side of the photo and how I used it for trim and a small inset square (on the right side of the photo). With a knit tee, I like to cut some strips, in the direction that has the printed side roll out to the outside, to get started. I used both sweatshirts to take advantage of the original details and amounts of fabric in each piece. On the front, I used the print fabric for a small pocket. To get more length, I inset the darker sweatshirt into the light grey sweatshirt-you can see the original shoulder seams in the photo on the right. I used the sleeves, with all the grommets, for pockets that I topstitched on the vest.
 The collar was fun to make...it is a series of cut strips and the original band collar on the dark grey shirt is in there too.
 You may want to play without a pattern, and it is easy to start then lay what you have on top of a basic pattern body to check size and see how it is going. I have used my Torrii Pattern for this purpose with other garments. It is a versatile design with 3 different lengths, and it makes a cozy 3/4 length vest in wool jersey too.
I have to say, every time I remake garments, it expands the way I think and apply my sewing skills. There are always new options that present themselves as the  new design emerges. Think about it as casual sewing.......and in some ways, it is like sketching. If this process is a new idea for you, I encourage you to jump in!!! It is great fun! Of course...you probably can't have just one.
I'd love to see your studio vest...so share!
                                                                             Warm in Ashland, Diane

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A most FABULOUS FaultLines!

Mon, Nov 4 2013 10:47
My friend, Leslie Gelber, is an amazing artist and textillian. She is always taking her materials and ideas to new heights...and I am always excited to peek into her studio and see what she is creating.
I have to share her new FaultLines! OMG is this beautiful or what?!?!? She is wearing it in New York as we speak....and I know she must be getting stopped on every corner. Her fabric combination is fabulous....Want some of the the beautiful striped fabric in her garment? It may still be available from marcytilton.com. Here is the link.
My 1 Pattern Design Challenge: We grow so much in our designing when we stay with one thing as a constant....like one pattern. I can never emphasis this enough. One of the best ways to explore and actually see your design skills grow is by making lots of pieces from the same pattern throughout the year. I have used 1 pattern for a whole year....through 4 seasons, which was such a great process. It really challenged my creativity to new heights. FaultLines is a great design for this design challenge. We are currently offering FaultLine on sale if you want to add it to your studio play.
I am enjoying sharing the garments you're all creating from the FaultLines in my Facebook Albums....so keep them coming.  Have a great day in the studio! Diane
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Designing a FaultLines Garment-

Thu, Oct 24 2013 11:33

I am re-visiting each design in my line of sewing patterns this season. I will be sharing construction tips & design ideas to inspire your creative sewing projects.

FaultLines #118 -
Wool Jersey Undershirt-
FAULTLINES #118- This pattern includes a short jacket with a bias cut undershirt that together, or separately give some unique sewing and wearing options. This is a favorite winter version in plums, rusts and raspberry colors. I added the sleeve (from the jacket) to the wool jersey undershirt and added silk brocade trim and cord tie accents. The jacket shape is beautiful as a short vest.
This lightly padded one is perfect for  winter layering under larger coats. I added a small bias collar in silk organza to the neck edge of the vest for a bit of extra warmth. 

Great Proportions for pairing with pants or skirts:  If you don't think a short jacket is for you....give the FaultLines a try. With the visual break line at the short jacket, this design, full of flattering angles, gives the effect of a longer torso and leg-especially if you create the undershirt and pant or skirt in the same fabric.  Use this link to order your FaultLines #118 on sale now. I love working with these pieces as a vest. In recycled sweaters or felt.
It's just a great layering garment for our winter wardrobes.

Felted FaultLines Jacket-J.Manzone-
What's your favorite Fabric?  JoAnn Manzone is exploring the FaultLines pattern and creating beautiful felted versions. Want to create your own felted FaultLines garment? See this link to  JoAnn's January Class.

FaultLines with tube collar-

vintage kimono fabric-
Collar Option-  The collar in this pattern is an asymmetrical tube. The scarf on the jacket (right) is threaded through the collar. The collar is made as an open tube then topstitched on. The bias-cut undershirt is a beautiful shape, draping the body with great angles. bias. I made it here in a vintage sheer, silk kimono. It's sleeveless so it is the perfect under layer for my menopausal friends!  This was actually a design focus for the pattern....that I hope you enjoy this feature as much as I do!!
Hmong Fabric Jacket with suiting undershirt.
Specialty Fabrics- I especially like making this jacket pattern in a stripe, it highlights the cut of the pieces and how they overlap. This Faultlines Jacket (right) is made for Hmong Fabric from the Golden Triangle. The garment shape really highlights the old embroidered pieces and the scrap fabrics used for filling in.  The stripe undershirt is a mens suiting, and works well with the overall design.
In Brown Linen- Each piece can be textured or collaged, like this brown linen version below.  I used the woven ribbon trim and white hand-stitching  as an accent. The sleeve seam is visible on the back of the arm, and a place for piping or other accents inseam or at the wrist end. For this jacket, I pressed the wrinkles in and pressed each piece to a layer of fusible interfacing to hold the texture in place before before adding stitching lines.  Notice I pressed the wrinkled lines in different directions in each piece to add more interest to the design. Each piece is lined separately. When they are ready to be combined, I have finished the hem edges and fronts, leaving the shoulder, side seams and armholes open. This way of working lets you design and see how all the pieces will relate.
FaultLines Jacket in progress-

I like to keep the pieces pinned on my dressform as I work on one. For more inspiration: See the album of FaultLines Garments on my Facebook page, and send us a photo of your FaultLines to add!
I hope you're having a great day in the Studio! Diane

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Designing a Stencil-

Sat, Oct 12 2013 07:18

The process of designing a stencil is very creative and organic for me. I thought you might enjoy knowing how I come up with the designs in my stencil line. So join me in the garden and see where my  Crickets and Leaves Stencil began. This view of long, overlapping folding iris and gladiolas leaves planted the initial seed for the design. I want to create a stencil with leaves in an arrangement that worked the lights and dark in a different way.
step 1: painting leave shapes
Step 1- I want this stencil to look fluid, hand drawn or made with a brush.
The best way for me to get this feel is to start by brushing some leave shapes on paper. I bring some of the leaves to the table and paint some sheets of leaves to get the feel.
step 2: crickets may be part of this design
Step 2- Some cricket shapes sneak onto the page as I am brushing leaves...and I like the combination. They will stay, 2-3 different ones will end up on the final                                               stencil design.
Step 3- I begin to draw lines that will become the cut-out shapes in the stencil design. I am experimenting with the percentages of positive and negative space that will make the design. 
Step 4- I trace over my first pass at the design and work up the placement on the sheet for the shapes I will have laser cut. I fill in the parts that will be cut away (the printing areas) to add more interest and variation to the final design. I played with 5-6 different crickets and settled on 3 I like with the leaves. You can see, I cut them out and move them around until there is a pleasing arrangement.
Step 4: Adding the crickets and defining more variation in the darks and lights for a more dynamic design.
Step 5-  (Below) Once the overall design feels complete,  I clean-up the spacing and corners with white-out and a small brush. This is when I revisit the connections between the areas that will be cut away. I am thinking about how it will be to print and looking for edges that might be vulnerable to wear and tear.
 Step 6- AH! the magic of computers and wonderful people with the skills to create on them! After Laura,  takes my design into the computer and creates a vector file,  I get out my red pen (photo below) and get very picky about any subtle changes that need to happen to keep the design true to my vision and viable as a stencil. Once those changes are made,  the image is uploaded to the laser company for manufacture. So the stroll in my garden that inspired the original idea .....has been transformed into something you can enjoy your studio too! I am playing with the Crickets and Leaves Stencil on different weights of fabric this week.  Sound like fun?  Order yours here.  It is also part of our current 4 bug stencil  special.

DESIGN IDEAS with the Crickets and Leaves Stencil-

                       • Work with metallic colors on dark canvas
                      • Print the leaves up then down and stagger for an overall print. 
                      • use the leaves as a  backdrop: print in a pale color, then print a second layer in a bolder color.
                      • Add hand stitching lines to accent after printing the stencil.                        
                                                                                                                                            Enjoy Your Studio time,  Diane
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Bugs in the Closet-

Mon, Oct 7 2013 08:00
The 3 crickets, on the new Crickets & Leaves Stencil, were used to print this overall surface design-
I've been printing with my bug stencils today with some playful results. This week, you can order all 4 bug stencils at a special price. Here are more ideas for getting more bugs in your closet!
• Kids Clothes ...maybe for Halloween? Infant-size Jeans: The Cicada Stencil was perfect for the knees and I love the results! I started by cutting an oval (file folders work well for cutting out these basic shapes). For printing the knee 'patches', I mixed some metallic brown, white & pewter  Jacquard Fabric Paints and rubbed it through my oval cut-out. Once dry, I printed the Cicada Stencil in black. The stitching lines make it...and were drawn with a thin Tee-Juice Pen.
I used the big Cicadas on the elbows.

A Blazer for a 3-year old: It was very fun to print small clothes.
I can just picture this blazer on a little guy with a black T shirt underneath. I only used black fabric paint and 3 of the stencils in the special: The Cicada, Crickets & Leaves and Bugz in Flight.
Creepy crawlers al over the place!
I really liked tying the design together with a line of ants  tracking around the jacket! I didn't print the lining...but that would be fun too. I may need to print one of these in my size next!

Variations with one stencil design: Any stencil can be printed in parts to create new designs. Here are the crickets (in the Crickets & Grass Stencil), overlapped and printed as a border (above), then printed as a mirror image (on the right).

printing a mirror image
Print a bag: I printed this blank canvas bag below with the Cicada Stencil in pewter and black fabric paint. I printed and repeated one of the small designs in the stencil around the main design. I plan to rub the handle and some of the edges with the same pewter color to accent the shape of the bag details.

Everytime I print I get more ideas of things to try in my next session...I hope you are enjoying printing and exploring your favorite surface design methods too,  Diane

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