Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Starting here... (The gasp) and a Teen Perspective

No, it's not September yet... but you know I can't shut up, so...

Whoops - updating (5:13 PM) I buried the lead!

My daughter did this self-portrait last week.  Yes, she's still 13. No, I'm not kidding...

On creativity:

Sometimes, I think about just how many colors there are in the world, and how awesome the whole spectrum is, and I can't just choose one favorite, so, sometimes I just flip to a new favorite...

-My son, age 10

I posted about this fabric some time ago, when my kids initially fell in love with it.

Then it found a dance partner...

Leftover peach-skin screamin' green lining from a client project some months ago.

Then it became...

Something my daughter greeted with a gasp, when she saw it on the dress form.

A new shirt for her journey to high school.

The journey to this one is particularly hard to articulate.  In New York City right now, there seems to be a movement afoot... if not an anti-movement, really.  With no particular allegiance to any unique color palette, any particular brand, musical style, celebrity, or social cause.  It is a celebration of the individual, listening to his/her own drummer, and adding a spark to the mosaic of New York City.  I'm seeing it everywhere. Dip your toes in the feeling of Afropunk (click the link), to get an idea.  If this is a burgeoning style movement, my kids are natural members. And it's not a Black thing.  It's an everybody thing. See this slideshow to get an idea...

This is something that starts right here.  Today. Not influenced by anyone else in particular- just a feeling in the air.  No one else's idea.

It was a long time in the making. A shirt for my daughter that sat around as four rectangles. For a long time.

The shirt. Note: Shown here on a misses dress form, which has a lower bust than she does (explains the high dart).
Fabric source: Fabrics World USA and a secret store near me (green fabric), that has a truly hit-or-miss inventory.

Pattern: self-drafted/draped, but the shape of the sleeves was inspired by this.

And then she danced in it!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Taking a break... (an August breather)

It's a beautiful day outside.  Why don't you go out and play?
-My mother 

I'm taking a break until September.  I may comment or post sporadically before then, but don't count on it!  You may still purchase maps and book Speakeasies, if so inclined.  Any related questions will be answered.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Things to inspire... things to share...

To inspire:

I think this movie may be a game-changer for the public interest in dressmaking.  Remember "Titanic" and the garment fantasies it inspired?  This movie, which gives 40 year-old Kate Winslet a 25 year-old love interest (Hemsworth) may do the trick.  No official US release date yet... but we'll be waiting!

And when you see it, I suggest you dress for the occasion! The description alone will kill ya...

In the 1950s, Myrtle "Tilly" Dunnage returns to her hometown, an Australian country town named Dungatar, to take care of her ill mother, Molly, from which she was sent away at the age of ten because of false accusations of murder. Tilly, an expert dressmaker trained by Madeleine Vionnet in Paris, transforms the locals with her couture creations and in the process, exacts revenge on the people who wrongly accused her of murder all those years ago.

Who can help you get the dreamy fabrics and tools this film will inspire you to use? Well, in the garment district, there are many, but the best of the best map will guide you in the right direction.

Also to inspire:

Here's a great article on dressing your body... or anyone else's for that matter.  It will inspire you, and make you feel the value of your work as a garment professional, hobbyist, or artist, wherever that lands you!

To share:

Now, food for thought... what kinds of things can become fabrics?  Should they be making fabric using discarded animal parts?  Hmmmm... If not, why not?  Talk amongst yourselves, people.

A quote from the article linked above: kilogram of gelatin can yield one kilogram of wool. That 1:1 trash-to-apparel ratio puts the process on par with a Nike project that converts plastic bottles into a polyester thread used for soccer uniforms. Unlike Nike, though, Stark and his team will need to find a manufacturing partner who can help develop infrastructure to produce the new fibers at scale. Because the foodstuff is derived from animal by-products, and gets made in bulk, it’s a more cost-efficient material than the merino sheared from sheep one at a time. At present, though, the European companies who manufacture gelatin do so only for niche products like gel capsules and Jell-O.

Also to share:

Are you looking for sewing classes in New York City?  Here's a site with a list of options...

Now, take a deep breath, have a good stretch, and do something meaningful.  See you later!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Something To Do Now - Frida Kahlo exhibit at the New York Botanical Gardens

This week, I attended the Frida Kahlo exhibit at the New York Botanical Gardens, where her artwork is beautifully displayed on the walls of the buildings surrounding the lush gardens.

Among her sketches, paintings, and other artistic explorations, there was some mention and artwork related to her clothing.  As a person afflicted with spina bifida, and a traumatic injury, she needed special clothing and equipment to navigate her artistic world, and sought every opportunity to express herself artistically through her garments.  The exhibit doesn't focus much on these, but the spirit of her fashion sense is definitely there in her self-portraits.

The phrase, "Bloom where you're planted" comes to mind...

I highly recommend this article from NPR on the subject of sewing for differently enabled, and the link to the story below: