Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Mending, Boro and Katha

I've been pinning of pictures mending on Pinterest and am drawn to the beautiful texture created when holes and tears are mended.

Japanese "Boro" repaired kimonos

This evening I started worked on mending a pair of pants for a friend of mine.  She had not sewn in years and a couple months ago we made a date to go to fabric stores in San Francisco where she picked out a lovely textured two-layer black and cream silk at Britex (read $$$$.) She was ready to make her favorite pants pattern.

After wearing the pants several times my friend was very upset to find the fabric was shredding.  I asked her to bring them over so we could take a look at what was going on.  She had carefully hand washed the pants so it was not that.  We looked at the wear pattern which was mostly on the left "cheek" of the pants and a little further down that leg.

I remembered that my friend has a mesh seat with back support in her car.  The mesh was the culprit! When she twisted on that mesh to get out of the car the fabric was being abraded.

So... we had a conversation about mending the pants.  How she could consider the fabric in those pants as an evolving fabric, since given the delicate nature of the fabric it was likely to show more wear over time (even with the mesh seat covered for future car trips.) I mended the most abraded area with DMC embroidery floss using a running stitch in a manner similar to recycled Indian saris "Kantha" quilts and Japanese "Boro" mended kimonos (as pictured above.)  I also inherited the car seat : >.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Ladybug coat, Wearable Art Exhibit, Santa Clara California Oct 17,18,19

This morning I went to the Pacific International Quilt festival in Santa Clara, California.  In addition to outstanding quilts there is a small wearable art exhibit and one of the garments was so beautifully embellished I'm sharing it with you. 
I bought a scissors head band for Halloween which you 
can almost see if you look closely.
This jacket has great balance in the design 
and is stunning in person.  The detail work is meticulous.


In this one you can almost see that the red beads are all ladybugs, 2,000 ladybugs hand sewn on.
 Here is the artist.  Thank you Bayo Agbelekale for sharing your timelessly classic and beautiful work of art!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Write up in the paper "Top US Designer's Tips on New Clothes For Old"

While in England last month I had a chance to speak on Upcycling.  The lovely lady in the photo with me is Helen Silver, owner of Kaye's Textiles in Westcliff On Sea. She arranged for two sessions and we had a full house in both.  It seems the Brit's are keen on upcycling too!  We even got a writeup in the local paper.  
Helen and Roz took us for chips
by the sea between sessions. 
George enjoying some of Helen's humor,
or is it the other way around?
We discovered chip forks, a brilliant way
to eat hot chips without burning your fingers.
They remind me of wooden ice cream paddles
with sharp bits on the end. 

Thank you for everything Helen and family!  

Thank you to my dear friend Sandy
(Helen and Roz's cousin) for connecting us. 

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Radiant Orchid shirt in progress

Here are the shirts I collected  with, or harmonizing with, Radiant Orchid. 

What combination to use for my next up cycle shirt?

Here are some in-progress shots.  
The final version may look different.    : >

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Radiant Orchid and Alex

Alex at Goodwill in Campbell California
 I'm about to start on the third upcycled  shirt for the Threads Magazine article. 

 Since the article is coming out in January I want to have colors that look fresh, not Christmas or Fall colors.

 I checked, but the Pantone color for 2015 has not been announced, yet luckily there is a 2015 palette posted.
 I looked through my stash of 77+ shirts and was excited to find some Radiant Orchid, the color of the year for 2014 and still included in the 2015 palette.

The glitch is that Threads requested a small shirt and all of mine were XL.  Off to Goodwill Campbell CA.  I found 4 more shirts in Radiant Orchid!!  2 smalls! 

I was talking with Alex, the cashier, about upcycling because he commented on my upcycled jeans tote bag. He asked if I was an artist, I said yes I am, and I mentioned I was buying the shirts to use for my upcoming article.  Alex was ready to pose for the article and although he looks great in his Halloween costume we decided inclusion in a blog post was more of a sure thing.

Thank you Alex!