Thursday, July 29, 2010

One Stitch at a Time

And work at your pattern;
It will come out a rose by and by.
Life is like that –
One stitch at a time taken patiently
And the pattern will come out all right
Like the embroidery.
~Oliver Wendell Holmes

Thursday, July 15, 2010

An experiment

I know, I know...3 posts in one's like feast or famine around here.

O.k. so my sister, Jeanette, is getting married on Saturday! We're super excited for her. She is a wonderful, creative, beautiful, kind and very GOOD person. I love her.

So anyway, the rehearsal dinner is tomorrow night in L.A. where she and her fiance, James, live with James' darling daughter, Hannah. I found this beautiful, vintage-inspired dress at Forever 21, which incidentally is just plain PACKED with beautiful, feminine, vintagey clothing right now. I literally have like 8 pretty tees that involve chiffon flowers. But anyway. I digress.

So I tried this dress on for my husband but we agreed it's slightly weird for me to wear a white, lacey dress to the wedding rehearsal. Sort of like...tacky. I don't know. You get it, I'm sure.

Soooooo....I whipped out my fiber reactive fabric dyes that I haven't used in about a year and did a quick presto-chango altered dress job. It's in the washer right now, as I type, and it remains to be seen what happens....

I used the seafoam dye. Kinda blueish greenish.

Here's the super-easy directions for color-fast, just-like-in-the-factory dyeing method that you do right in your washer.

The tricky part here is the dress is 100% nylon except for the embroidery, or so says the tag. This dye is the best for cotton, so I know the cotton embroidered bits will turn seafoam. I do NOT know if the nylon will hold the dye. It might wash back out and be white, in spite of the "fixer" I use.

So...I'll report back with the results. I may not get to get a good photo until after I get back from the wedding. And that's if the handwash-only dress holds up o.k. in the warm water necessary for dyeing....yikes. We'll see!

Friday, July 9, 2010

"Bright Star"

Today I have the house to myself. I exercised, showered and then headed to my newly-cleaned and organized studio, coffee in hand.

I picked up some handwork and then scanned Netflix for something that looked good to watch while stitching and my eyes fell on "Bright Star."

From moment one I was mesmerized. The opening credits roll past while a needle moves in and out of rough linen, pulling thread behind it.

But that was just the beginning. The movie is about poet, John Keats, and the love of his life, Fanny, who would be the muse behind his masterful romantic poetry.

It's about how they met, tried not to fall in love but did anyway. Fanny is an artist in her own right, creating breathtakingly beautiful gowns with only her needle, thread and her deft fingers. John is an artist, too, of course, a poet who teaches Fanny to love not just his words but life, as well.

This movie was a sensory treat, seemingly engaging every sense, a work of art in itself. Wind blowing linen curtains while late afternoon sunshine pours in,

luxe caramel-colored fabric fashioned into sumptous ruffles,

melon-hued taffetta skirts,

fields of vivid flowers,

stunning orchards of blossoming trees, white cotton frocks and stiff bonnets, a room full of butterflies....just a few of the exquisitely-lovely experiences the viewer is treated to.

Here's the trailer:

And one of my favorite scenes:

What a treat this movie was. I don't know if a movie has ever inspired me to sew until now, but this one has. Simply beautiful.

In the Studio

Just a few things around my studio that I find indispensible as I create....
My trusty friend, Singer :)...Some soft, fuzzy slippers on my feet...
A cup of coffee (of course
a cute apron...some yummy fabric...some pretty trims...yummy embroidery floss on miniature spools... a cute pink pincushion...some vintage sewing supplies in a sweet little tussie mussie...