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Friday, January 29, 2016

Ench By Sew-40: Year of Monkey Inspires Sewing

Click on this link in iTunes  to download the 40th episode of the Enchanted by Sewing Audio Podcast,  recorded in January of 2016. Or listen directly on the web by clicking on this link.

Kunghei fatchoy!*

The Celebration of the Year of the Monkey begins  just a little over a week from now. This month’s  “Enchanted by Sewing” show celebrates sewing inspired by the Chinese Lunar New Year

This episode:
Primero /First  - A brief introduction to the Chinese Lunar New Year



Entonces/Then: My audio notes from the show “China through the Looking Glass” a very popular textile and fashion show that ran  last summer 2015, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City

Y Tambien/And Also:  I include reflections on my own experiences with Chinese inspired patterns, textiles and fashions.


. . .

The American mid 20’th century musical “The Flower Drum Song” is a great way to get a sense of Euro-American people’s awareness of Chinese –descent communities in their midst. 

Chinese fabrics and styles, whether from history, stories, films or  a growing awareness of Chinese culture, have inspired elements in my sewing, since before I first put a needle into a piece of material.

Remembering where my inspiration to create and sew comes from, is just one more thing that keeps me…

Enchanted by Sewing

*In Cantonese “Happy New Year” is “Kunghei fatchoy “ (/gong-hey faa-chwhy/)

Monday, January 25, 2016

Samplers - Early Blogs

Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC, Textiles: Samplers
Seems a new idea
"Look at me, I was here."
Samplers were blogs too!

Web Resources:

Exhibit Notes - "American and European Embroidered Samplers" The Met

Images of All Items in Exhibit

Saturday, January 16, 2016

I gotta remember to Stay-Stitch those sleeves! Muslin: M6076 - Princess Seamed Shirt - Pattern Work

I cut out the muslin for this princess-seamed shirt a while back. It's the same pattern, M6076, I first started using to create my sleeveless Western Winds shirt back in the early fall. Now I'm continuing to create a sleeved version. This pattern has multiple princess-seamed options (a princess-seam can end up in different spots on the garment) and lots and lots of instruction sheet ideas for getting a good fit. A really good basic pattern.

I'm not instruction sheet oriented - so I have a tendency to forget about stay-stiching! And then I wonder why the sleeve stretches out of shape when I go to set it in! Same deal with other curved seam areas. And it's particularly important when I'm creating a muslin/toile - because this is the time for getting the seams to come together right .

Set in Sleeve test - the outer line is stay-stitching (regular stitch line).
The inner line is a basting stitch for easing or setting the sleeve cap into the
armscye (the curved opening in the bodice)
I added two tucks in the front of the sleeve cap, because after I measured the alterations to the bodice (the armscye line), 
I found that there was too much sleeve cap. I want only about 3/4" more in the sleeve cap, than in the armscye. Also I took note
as to the center of the sleeve - so I only altered the front, the back looks like it has about the right amount of extra.

I must admit, this is not exciting sewing. In the past I always just went ahead and sewed up a pattern and hoped for the best. But I've learned the value of a well fitting pattern. It means I'll get this one pattern working for me - and then I can just zip through future versions, knowing they'll look and fit great and I'll reach into the armoire for them again and again.

I added a one inch seam allowance for fitting a muslin/toile.
Learned this from Lynda Maynard.
I used a double Clover tracing wheel for this - it has two heads.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Embellishment Inspiration: Personable Lions - Antique Printed Fabric

 These charming lions were block printed on cotton fabric, in Iran,  sometimes between the 10'th and 11th centuries. Eventually traders imported block printed fabric on to other lands and  Europeans were inspired by the use of wooden or metal blocks, to print on fabric of their own. 

I think this design would make a charming modern fabric. A quilt for a child? Definitely! But also I can imagine borrowing this pattern for patch pockets, tote bags, or miniaturized for a border print on a skirt hem or shirt cuffs.

Web Resources: Fashion and Virtue

Textile Patterns and the Print Revolution, 1520–1620