Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Bits and Pieces

I realize I haven't posted in a while, and thank you to those who kindly inquired about me!  I have been extremely busy with costumes for the past 3 weeks or so and it looks like I will be for the next couple of weeks.

The other news is that I have an immediate family member that will need two surgeries this winter and spring, which will leave me with helping out quite a bit to make sure things go smoothly.  I'm not sure how much time I will have to blog.

That said, I will try to post a few things here and there when I can!

Parting Shot:  Franconia Ridge.  This was taken last week before the day before the last snow storm, from across Franconia Notch on Cannon Mountain.  Even though we don't have a lot of snow at the lower elevations, there is plenty higher up on the mountains!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Garden Path - Accessories


Thank you all for the wonderful compliments for Garden Path! I appreciate all you who read along and actually keep reading to see how the whole thing will turn out, especially since these projects can take up to 6 months to complete.

Some of you have mentioned that you will be able to attend the Pacific International Quilt Festival, where this outfit will shown for the first time. It's nice to hear that! I will not be able to attend this show in person - it is quite a trip to Santa Clara, CA from New England, not to mention my responsibilities to my family, etc. All the wonderful quilts and garments will be on display, so please enjoy the whole show!

I got the hat a few days after the photo shoot, but that doesn't matter, I at least have one. After a lot of searching, I found this one on Ruby Lane . It is a lovely yellow with yellow velvet trim and yellow flowers.

I love the velvet bow across the back:

I'm not sure right now, but I am tempted to modify this hat just a little bit and add some purple flowers to the original yellow ones.

Just so you can get an idea of how it would actually look on someone, here is a not so good self portrait:

I still need to find a purse, but I have plenty of time before I'll actually need it.

Parting Shot: Trousers. I'm always looking for new trouser patterns, and I thought I'd try some from the 1940's. I'm not sure how these will turn out, as wide legged pants tend to turn me into a very short and wide rectangle, but nothing ventured, nothing gained! Look for these some time this winter.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Garden Path - Photo Shoot

Craving bright flowers after a grey New England winter, this is what I made:

I don't believe that I've ever shown the back of the jacket, which is similar in design to the fronts:

You will notice that I do not have a hat in these photos. It did not arrive in time for the photo shoot, but I will show you the hat next week. I have not found the right purse yet. I also did not have time to iron out all the flowers (this is seen better in the close-ups below) before the photo shoot - rest assured, that has been done since!

I ended up with 20 insects and 1 arachnid on the garment! I probably could have done more, but no one likes an insect invasion of any sort. Here are some close-ups of the insects, starting with the one butterfly - my children's favorite:

A dragonfly, a ladybug (there are three total) and two bees (there are six bees total):

A cricket (one of three):

Another bee, a group of three ants (there's another group of three somewhere) and the spider:
A closer look at the spider:

Here's a better look at the small trim, and how it fits into the whole scheme of things. The large flower border is suspended by beads between two rows of the narrow trim, which are then in turn, suspended from the body of the jacket by beads. The beading is holding all the border, trims and body together. You can actually see the blouse through the spaces between the border/trim/jacket - that's not jacket lining!

I am very pleased with how this ensemble turned out. I took a chance with the unusual color combination and the bright flowers that the ensemble would actually look decent. Now I know there are those of you who think my stuff is bit like a costume and very over the top. That's fine, I'm not saying my work isn't, in fact I think it is a bit, too. Let's face it, this isn't every day wear type of clothing. Note that I do sew things for every day wear, but this is my artistic outlet, the chance that I have to put my heart and creative resources into making something spectacular.

That said, if you put the coat and color combination aside, the skirt and blouse are wearable and more modern looking than they actually are - the patterns are from 1953. I'm not saying they walked off the Paris runways yesterday, but in different fabrications, you've basically got a sleeveless blouse with collar band and front tucks (seen that design element anywhere recently?!?) and a pencil skirt.

For the purpose of showing that a 1950's ensemble is remotely wearable today, I probably will not model the ensemble with a hat or purse and possibly not the gloves. I'm not sure about those. I may try to find a matching set of earrings and necklace. The necklace could possibly be reworked into a pair of bracelets to wear instead of the gloves. Although, I actually like the earrings (worn with this outfit only, of course!):

At the moment, the ensemble is in California for its debut show at the Pacific International Quilt Festival in Santa Clara, CA. If you're in the area, please stop by and take a look - click on the link in the Now Showing list to go to the website for further information.

Parting Shot: Behind the Scenes. My children, as always have done a good job with the photography. Each child gets a camera to use, this time my daughter was using the Canon Powershot A590 and my son was using the larger Sony Alpha DSLR. Here's just a sneak peek as to what goes on behind the scenes:

Monday, October 05, 2009

Garden Path - Jacket - Part LI

I'm Not Suffering From Insanity, I'm Enjoying Every Minute Of It

I saw this bumper sticker recently and unfortunately, I could identify with it regarding Garden Path. This weekend I put in the jacket label and added the covered snaps.

That usually signals the end of the project, but not with this one!

Why? There's one more embellishment left: the rhinestones that go at the intersections of the twin needle quilting lines! Or what I thought would be the rhinestones. I ordered up 4 gross (576 individual rhinestones to be exact) quite some time ago and they have been waiting since for this phase of the project. I pulled them out Saturday, thinking it would pretty quick and easy to get them hot-fixed in place and the project finished. Just out of curiosity, I laid some out and then photographed them to see how they would look. Let's just say that even though they are yellow to match the fabric, they photograph like little grey dots! Not good. I have to be able to photograph this ensemble and have the pictures accurately reflect what it looks like. In the photo below, there are two rows of rhinestones and two rows of sequins above those. See the difference?

The alternatives would be: not using anything at all or finding something else. I didn't like the idea of not adding anything because the quilting lines cross over the double lines and it looks a bit odd. Something else then was the only option. That something else ended up being - you guessed it - beads and sequins! Yay. Thankfully I had the right colors - both an opaque and iridescent yellow - in stock and was able to get started.

Combined, the two yellows look like this, which is the color I want. Neither sequin by itself was the right color.

I actually like this better as there is a bit of glitter, but no grey dots and none of the excessive bling factor of rhinestones which actually detracts from the border.

I've been working on this all day and all I've got left is the back of the skirt and a few spots in the border to do. I think I can finish the back of the skirt tonight and the border tomorrow. I need to press out all the flowers in the border and double check everything, tomorrow too, but I think it will then be done! I think . . .

Parting Shot: Another Treasure. I went to Jo-ann's after the quilt show on Saturday looking for craft supplies for the children (which they had plenty of!) and cruised by the remnant bin and found this bolt of fabric. It is 13+ yards of damaged tea dyed muslin being sold for 8.39, after my 10% card, it was about 7.50. Which is perfect, because I am going to use it for muslins soon.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Garden Path - Jacket - Part L

Jacket Almost Done!

Yes, that's right, the jacket is almost but not quite done and this is jacket post #50! I've very carefully made a new bottom section and attached it. By very carefully, I mean I started from scratch to make a brand new pattern piece from the garment itself to ensure proper fit, and then carefully compared it to the garment at every construction step along the way. Tedious, but at this point, I can't afford a mistake. In photo below, I am part way through the construction and have the bottom border pinned in place for a quick fit check before continuing on. It isn't lined or finished yet as you can tell from the raw edge of the hem.

Once the entire piece was lined (and rechecked for fit), I was able to attach it and then finish the fronts. This is right before the fronts were finished:

There's not much left at this point - I've made three more bees and have one attached, so that leaves two to go. The next steps are to cover and attach two snaps and add the label. After that, the jacket will get the fine tooth comb treatment and final embellishments. Then I'll be done. I am hoping for a photo shoot early next week, with final posts later in the week!

Parting Shot: Harvest! The pumpkins are ready for harvest now - they're all orange!

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Garden Path - Jacket - Part XXXXIX


I finally got the ants done!

The reason it took me so long was because I wasn't sure about their legs. I wasn't happy with any beaded options, so I stitched all the other insects to the jacket while thinking about (avoiding) the ant legs. Since I stitched the last two crickets on Tuesday night, I faced the ant legs Wednesday morning, and after studying pictures of real ants, I decided to embroider the legs and antennae.

This picture shows the other group of ants with a little more of the border for context:

I'm happy with them, and I only need to make three more bees to be done with the insects. At this point it is not much longer to the finish! Just a few more days!

Parting Shot: Cat Hotel. Today I found two cats in the fabric in my closet. I think I need some major cleaning and organization once I get GP done!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Garden Path - Jacket - Part XXXXVIII

Another Take on the Sleeve Trim

Thank you for the responses! Overwhelmingly, everyone has voted for the sleeve trim. I've been thinking about it and I've come to another viewpoint, so stay with me here.

I totally agree that the jacket, with the wavy hem and narrow outside trim needs the sleeve trim. That does look the best with the ensemble as it is.

However, think about it this way: sleeve hem is straight, skirt hem is straight, jacket hem is wavy. Which one is not like the others?!? Hmmm . . . That might not bug some of you, but having some OCD tendencies, that's something that isn't quite right for me.

Just for the record, because a few of you asked, yes the skirt does have some trim, but only on the pockets. Here's a picture from before the skirt was finished. It's probably been a long time since you've actually seen the skirt at all.

Remember that at one time, I made a yellow quilted bottom edge for the jacket? There were some issues with the fit of it because there were issues with the fit of the bottom narrow trim, so I removed it. I don't even have pictures of it on the jacket, I checked. I have since fixed the bottom narrow trim, but can't use the current bottom section. If I wanted to use it and have a plain hem for the jacket, I need to make a new one.

I'm not sure, but I think that I'm going to make another quilted bottom section for the jacket. The trim for the sleeves is partially completed and all the components that are not assembled have been cut and set aside specifically for the sleeve trim. I think I'll make the bottom section, baste it on and then make another evaluation as to whether the sleeves need trim. If so, I'll add it. Simple.

Actually, not so simple. I really wanted this project to be done this week, with a photo shoot next week. I think it can happen, I just need to go and get to work!

Parting Shot: Water. I got to the trailhead on Saturday only to discover that my 2L water reservior/drinking system had leaked on the inside of pack and was continuing to leak. Not good, especially since the temperature was right around freezing and I knew I'd need a lot of water on the hike. I had to dump out all my water and carry our spare bottles instead. My old system was not a Camelbak, but my new one is and has a 3L capacity, plus lifetime warranty. I also bought a new water bottle (a Camelbak, too) for around the house because the old one would leak if tipped over and only held 500mL. I'll try the new system out with my pack this weekend.