Saturday, January 24, 2015

Darning, mending, and knit repair guru

In my Pinterest  Forays I keep running across wonderful examples of mending that link back to Tom of Holland, a man who is truly passionate about slow fashion and extending the life of clothing.

He runs Visible Mending Programmes in England and has a great blog with examples of projects and things like antique darning and mending samplers.

I love the idea of visible mending and having clothes well made enough in the first place to warrant mending. I think this is one of the reasons I'm drawn to natural fibers, they wear well and to me age well too. Similar to the difference between aged wood or aged plastic, aged wood gains character where aged plastic tends to just look awful.

The grey four-shirt cotton dress featured in Threads has a mend that is only visible up close. A stain is covered with a small square patch of the same material. One of the things Tom talks about in his blog is invisible and visible mending and when each might be appropriate.  On that grey dress, the color, pattern, and texture play between the four shirts is so subtle that a visible (noticeable) mend would have been more of a distraction than an enhancing feature.

I plan to incorporate more visible mending when I have the opportunity.  That means I'll have an eye out for rips and tears. Think I could talk some construction workers out of their old work jeans? 

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Front Cover Illustrations, Peggy Pattern


I've been focusing on completing the illustrations for the Peggy blouse and have just completed the front cover of the pattern, yahoo!!

Still working on content. Plan to release by end of January. ­čśä

Monday, January 12, 2015

Peggy Blouse Pattern in progress


This blouse may look familiar, it was featured in Threads Magazine.  I'm in the process of writing a pattern for it which means I also need to make illustrations.

As you can see I'm testing out colors and patterns to best represent the actual garment.  I'm using Prismacolor markers which render color nicely.

Soon my drawings will improve dramatically as I am registered for Advanced Illustration at Canada College in Redwood City, CA.

Description: Develop advanced fashion rendering skills and figure styles using a variety of media and drawing techniques to create original fashion illustrations. Emphasis is on developing flair, movement, and attitude in the fashion figure. Drawing flats, specs, floats, and fabric renderings are also covered.

My instructor is Kathleen McCarney.  I took beginning illustration from Ms. McCarney a couple semesters ago and was absolutely amazed at the quality of figures I was able to draw by the end of the semester.  I'm looking for a similar level of transformation this time too.

Here is a draft drawing from last year.



Saturday, January 3, 2015

Itchy tags and solution

Sticking with my commitment to not buy new retail (except undies, socks, hose, and occasional shoes) is tough when it comes to pants other than jeans. My usual haunts, Goodwill and Savers don't seem to have the brands that fit my figure and my size. I needed an alternative. 

A few weeks ago I found Poshmark, a site for selling second hand clothes and thought I'd try my luck as I can filter their inventory by size, color, and brand. I bought some NYDJ capris and leggings/pants. Not a bad fit and $25 each. 

The way Poshmark works is that you buy directly from someone else's closet and you can sell from your own closet. I haven't tried selling yet but I like the idea. Anything that gets idle clothes back in circulation is great. Shopping this kind of site has a big advantage over thrift stores in that the inventory can be filtered, making it easier to find something specific. 

I hemmed up my new-to-me legging/pants hybrids and satisfied with the fit and length planned to wear them to a party. Ughhhh, seriously itchy tag, and time to leave. I grabbed my scissors ready to cut the tags only to find them so well sewn in I would need a seam ripper instead. 

Arrgh!  Not wanting to be late or irritated the whole afternoon, I thought of a solution. I tucked one of my cloth hankies half in and half out of the back of my pants. Instant relief. My only concern was that I not accidently drop the hankie in the toilet at my host's house (all good on that account.)

I occurred to me as I headed to the party that instead of cutting out itchy tags I could sew a cloth patch over them. It would help retain the value as clothes generally can't be sold on commission without the tags intact. I normally wouldn't bother doing this with my thrift store finds, but sometimes I do buy from consignment shops and pay a much higher price. 

I do seem to remember a time when tags were silky, not scratchy or itchy. Probably when they still had the IGWU labels.