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Thursday, October 22, 2015

Ench By Sew-37: Savage Beauty of Alexander McQueen (Halloween Style)


 October is a month when many of us in the Western Hemisphere get in touch with our own emotions and comfort dealing with
mortality. Folks in my neck of the woods celebrate Dia de Los Muertos – Day of the Dead. Dia de Los Muertos is a day for celebrating ritual death tradition- engaging in crafts, creating and eating special foods, and putting out images – colorful, beautiful, and also macabre – that may touch on a connection with departed family members.
Listen directly to this audio/podcast on the web by clicking on this link OR.... to download the show from iTunes Click on this link to iTunes  , 

In our neighborhood we put out beautiful pumpkins, scary dancing skeletons and bright lights. Then we celebrate our connection to another world, by welcoming in the trick or treaters- be they costumed beautifully, colorfully, or gruesomely - by handing out free Halloween candy.

Fashion designer Alexander McQueen focused on designing beautifully romantic, avent garde fashion. He also had a strong interest in the macabre. His masters fashion exhibit “Jack the Ripper Stalks His Victims”, was a hint that this emerging designer was not going to be run-of-the-mill when it came to setting his artistic tone. Other chilling exhibits followed. “Highland Rape” and “The Widows of Culloden” , among others, carried McQueen’s historically inspired fashion artistry farther into the dark side of the human soul.

Morose? Yes – often- but his work was also drop dead gorgeous. Many of McQueens materials, embellishments design lines, colors, technology and elements inspire my arty-romantic sewing nature, even as I am frightened by other aspects of his work.

As you accompany me in the show, I’ll share the beautiful, and the colorful as well as the scary.  Because that’s what this time of year is all about, where I live.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Western Winds Hanky (Green Sewing)

Scraps make some of my most useful sewing creations. Last time I posted bout my Western Winds princess-seamed sleeveless shirt. That shirt has been seeing a lot of use, perfect for our early fall warm temps. In the spirit of using up those scraps a.s.a.p.  (and what could be more green?) I appliquéd a few other sraps to the remaining remnant of shirt fabric, hemmed the whole with a decorative stitch, and - presto change-o I had a useful new bandana. My kerchief has been seeing a lot of use as well. Very handy for moping my glistening brow when I'm walking or hiking.  Also useful when there are no paper towels after washing my hands away from home!

Monday, October 12, 2015

Western Winds Princess-Seamed Sleeveless Shirt- Terminado/Finished!

I talked about the process of altering the princess-seamed shirt, commercial pattern M6076, back in Fitting Western Winds . I used my sloper to work in conjunction with the pattern.

Fitting + sewing made it such that I put off finishing the project. It means the project took a little longer. And yah know how 'tis.... when I don't sew every single day a project looses it's oomph. I wanted to get going with something else new when I had time to sew.

Good thing I had a trip to visit with my dear cousin in San Diego  motivating me to finish my Western Winds shirt. I loved wearing it on the trip, and have worn it several times since. It's still summer-warm in my part of California. Aren't I glad this good warm weather basic didn't become a UFO, because it's been adding a lot to my just-doesn't-feel-like-fall-yet wardrobe.

BTW I simply used bias tape to finish off the inside of the armscyePor que no? It works great and I had it already.

Fabric was from the "Japanese Cottons" section at Stone Mountain and Daughters in Berkley (in my materials inventory for about a year and a half) 

Horsey buttons were in my buttons inventory - scored them free somewhere. They give it that true western feel, don't you think?

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Retro Threads - Trousers - Born to Dance - Blue Sky Sewing

Who says Ladies didn't wear trousers back in the 30's?

Not Miss Lucy James, a leading hoofer in "Born to Dance" (along with Fred Astaire) -  that's for sure.

Wouldn't it be fun to sew up a trouser, shirt, and scarf outfit like this in dotted silk

And how 'bout that offset button closure on the belt?

I love blue sky sewing, especially when it's retro.