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Showing posts from May, 2015

Alabama Chanin workshop

We were already planning to go to NY over Memorial Day weekend, mostly to visit some old haunts that were closing (you'll be missed, Pearl River Mart and Salvor Kiosk). Then I found out that Natalie Chanin was hosting two sewing workshops and a book signing...on Thursday, two days before we were supposed to leave. So I exchanged my train tickets and found a hotel and arranged to work remotely for two days. I mean, what else could I do? The workshop was held at LF8 , a nifty boutique in the East Village. There's not much you can do in two hours (and we didn't sew much, just a bit in the end), but it was a great introduction to AC materials and methods. Natalie talked about the physics of sewing, the properties of various textiles (did you know that silk from silkworms is perfectly triangular? I didn't), and the basics of hand-sewing. We practiced stitching on swatches and she walked us through the process of reverse appliquéing the projects in our DIY kits, inclu

adventures in t-shirt making (and my new favorite book)

At the Worcester Sewing Expo  a few weeks ago, I bought a book called  The Beginner's Guide to Dressmaking  on impulse, as well as a ton of bamboo knit from Vogue Fabrics . The haul: How could I pass up an Animal appliqué?  The book's t-shirt pattern caught my eye because I'm perpetually on the lookout for a decent not-too-fitted, not-too-loose t-shirt with interesting details. (Which is hard to find. As much as I love Alabama Chanin, their fitted tops are a little tight—and the Vogue top I just muslined is enormous.) This one is just drapey enough, with a boatneck and sleeve bands. And only two pattern pieces! I loved the variations, too. In fact, the variations on every project (there's an asymmetrical moto jacket, as well as skirts and a shift dress) are pretty great. You can make the dress with or without sleeves and add collars and/or pockets to just about everything. And I couldn't pass up the fabric; I'm a sucker for stripes and polk

addendum: dyeing with plants

So my article on dyeing with plants is in the latest issue of Seamwork , and I thought I'd post some pictures and stuff from my own projects (because I think Colette Patterns is using their own artwork). Here's what coreopsis tinctoria (aka dyer's coreopsis) looks like in the garden. I plant this every year from  Old Sturbridge Village  seeds; they package their own, and they grow fan-freaking-tastically in our backyard. OSV also has a dye garden, if you're ever in Massachusetts and want to see some plants up close and personal-like. They also have a couple of great textile exhibits and do a Textile Days weekend every year. I love these guys. They're so cheery. And I always wind up with a ton of them, so I don't mind harvesting a bunch for the dyepot. ;) I used a camp stove with a propane tank in the backyard for awhile, which was pretty fun. Fabric dyeing in progress, using wool from , a dollmaking supplies site. (As I mentione