Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Is Refashioning Really a Word?

I just read a really interesting post on A Fashionable Stitch. (Do read the thoughtful comments too.) Sunni talks about refashioning and expresses the same views that I share: it’s difficult and the results are not always worth the effort. Not to say that some creative and skilled people don’t do a fabulous job with making new clothes out of old ones! But I think that other people don’t have the kind of brain that can easily see those kinds of possibilities. I believe that it’s in the same area as draping – a 3-dimensional way of perceiving – that I, for one, have difficulty with. I’m much more of a 2-D thinker. Flat patternmaking stuff. I can use voluminous garments as yardage. I can piece flat bits together. I can shorten hems, take in sides, chop off sleeves. But I totally blank at the really creative metamorphosis that results in the kind of attractive and wearable garments that I admire most. Ones that don’t look jury-rigged in some way and that you can wear in real life. I guess I’ll just leave most of the really cool refashioning to others while I gaze at their works in awe.

In crafty news, I forgot to show off the ATCs that I made last week at our Spectrum Study Group meeting.


These are for a swap we’re having at my weaver’s guild meeting this month. I used some hand-dyed cotton (parfait dyed with Procion-MX) and stamped it with a couple of my hand-cut leaf stamps and metallic fabric paints. Then I stitched on a few seed and bugle beads to make kind of a little flower thingy for each card. To keep it simple I didn’t do too much beadwork. After the decorating I used Steam-a-Seam 2 to attach cardstock to the back which was printed with my name, the date and some other info such as the techniques used. The previous steps were all done with the cloth in one piece, i.e. ganged. Then I finally cut them apart and machine zigzagged the edges. And there ya go – 1 dozen ATCs. I really didn’t want to spend too much time on these because I’m unsure as to how many others will be trading. Though even if I don’t swap them all at the guild, I’ll have some available for future swaps.

Don’t tell anyone, but 3 extras came out 1/4” too small. AAAK!! Illegal ATCs! Guess I’ll hang on to them. Obviously I can’t measure accurately some days.

What else? Oh yeah. The weather has been mostly sunny and quite a bit warmer so we’ve been spending some quality time in the garden. I have the dirty pants’ knees to prove it! Still schlepping a ridiculous number of seedlings in and out every day though. This is getting old. I can hardly wait until they get planted so I can stop the madness! Unfortunately it’s still too cool at night for the tomatoes, cucumbers and squashes to stay out yet.

Obviously I haven’t had much time to spend in the studio. I have quite a number of top patterns to work on now. I also finally broke down and cut the BurdaStyle pleat-neck blouse out of an old sheet to test the fit. The fabric is a lovely mid-weight cotton in a supremely ugly shade of light brownish-pink. No, it wasn’t mine but rescued from T-Man’s late auntie’s stash. The label even says “100% cotton muslin, made in USA” and you sadly can’t buy this quality of sheets any more. I’ve decided to sew it in green thread so that if by some miracle it actually fits, I can over-dye the blouse in my favourite moss green Procion-MX (a proprietary mix from Maiwa). When used in low-water immersion techniques it separates out into some lovely effects. Polyester thread won’t take the dye so if I use something that is closer to the final colours it will be more inconspicuous even if it doesn’t match exactly.

Gotta get out in the garden. Pull weeds while the sun shines! I’ll leave you with this interesting shot taken by my friend Cathie near her house:

Yes, that is a partially albino robin. Still has the red breast and the dark eye but is missing the grey colour. One in 30,000! Do read the article I linked for more interesting info.

1 comment:

Heather said...

I hear you on the refashioning front. Most of what I see can only be worn by skinny young women who would look good in a paper bag. I have seen some great, almost elegant patchworked knits, but what makes them work is the attention to fit and detail.

And yes, it's hard to stay in and sew when the garden is clamouring for attention. Who knows how long this nice weather will last? I realize I have absolutely no summer tops and shorts and have to whip something up fast. I do like that Burda pattern you are using and I look forward to seeing how it turns out.