Thursday, May 5, 2016

Design Outside the Lines with Diane Ericson in Ashland

I had the privilege of attending my first Design Outside the Lines (DOL) retreat last week.  What happened was beyond my expectations! Diane Ericson and Holly Badgley co-led our retreat and both of them shared their own spin on art-to-wear and surface design. 

Wow, Just wow.  By day two I was moved to tears by the richness of the conversation and the examples.  I felt exactly like a kid in Willie Wonka's candy landscape.  
Ashland's dogwoods in bloom
First of all escaping from California's drought stricken landscape and seeing all of the Ashland dogwoods in bloom and deep drifts of moss was magical.  I could walk to the retreat space and a lovely walk it was.
Thick moss!
I loved Holly's example vest on Diane's website and asked Holly if I could make the vest.  I tried on a vest muslin so I could see what to adjust.  Then I copied the pattern thinking that was going to be my project. LOL

I laid out all my goodies storyboard fashion with a piece of heavy grey Irish linen from Britex.
 The robins egg blue thread/string is a find from SCRAP in San Francisco.  Next to that are some large vintage Mother or Pearl (MOP) buttons I bought while visiting my Aunt Jane in Wisconsin. 
The circles are beaded motifs cut from the bottom of a skirt.
The bird is a panel I purchased from Diane Ericson.
The print is a small bit of Liberty of London fabric I purchased at the store in 2014.
The fuzzy grey yarn to the left of the bird is from our PenWAG (wearable art guild) end of the year stash sale, and the bagged trim a gift to the class from one of the local stores. The fabric scraps on the right are from upcycled shirts, and the grey ribbon from The Ribbonerie in San Francisco. One of the fun things about making wearable art is the stories behind the bits and pieces.

Then Holly and Diane started to share ideas, techniques and samples.  Oh boy!  They set up a workstation with paints, stencils (Diane sells stencils online), stamps, fabric pens and silkscreens.

I started to mark fabric 
from my box of pink and red scraps.

One of the other techniques was making fabric out of scraps by sewing the odd shaped ends together. I was intrigued especially because I have so many cotton scraps from my upcycling. The other reason is that Diane demonstrated how to drape these created pieces of fabric on a dress form to see what looked and felt right.  Pure play! 

I stenciled fabric and I started to assemble the box of pink and red scraps I brought along into 3D fabric. And drape to see what showed up.

I'm thinking kimono top.  I have big plans now for my many boxes of lovely cottons and linens from upcycling dress shirts.
I also used some smaller scraps between pieces of Solvy and made this bit.


More to come in the next post.  Happy upcycling!

Give yourself an upcycling advantage with Paganoonoo pattern instructions!  Upcycle sewing made simple. Etsy Shop.



  1. Love reading your blog! You always post such an interesting material. Love the colours & patterns you manage to pull off- you're such an artist ❤️

  2. Thank you! Color and texture are my thing and I've wanted to be an artist since I was a little girl. Loving life!

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