Thursday, June 25, 2009

Nerd Fest

I'm off to a nerd fest. A weaving nerd fest to be exact. The Midwest Weavers Conference in Grinell, Iowa is this weekend and nine of us from our weavers guild are going.

The most exciting part is going to be taking a workshop from Anita Luvera Mayer. She is well-known for her fabulous woven garments.

I also get to be in the fashion show with my woven skirt!

I promise I'll post all about it when I get back.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Draping Experiment

I recently came across a brilliant idea for making your own custom dress form out of duct tape. I successfully convinced my husband to wrap me in duct tape (while he was watching a basketball game) and voila! it's really easy! And cheap! I would highly recommend investing in some duct tape and a few hours of your time for this great tool.

Of course I immediately had to use it for a project, and I've always wanted to try draping. I actually have no idea what you're supposed to do, but I just used common pattern sense and tried it. I have attempted making my own patterns tons of times, but all in the flat form--and not one of them has really worked (except for skirts.) But this was pretty successful. I had an idea for a dress and just pinned some scrap fabric onto the form and drew the lines I wanted for the neck, then cut it out. Then I moved on to the bodice, and on down. Now, I did have to make a first version and then tweak a second version in the scrap cloth. But once I was satisfied with it, I cut it out of the nice fabric and sewed it up--very successful, at least compared to my previous attempts at making patterns.

Here is the finished dress on the dress form. I wanted to use some old lace on it, but it looked hideous, as you can see, so I took it off again.

In the back I put a ton of pleats for the skirt's fullness. The only problem I ran into was that the dress was higher on one side than on the other at the waist. If you look closely at the first dress form picture, you can tell that my right shoulder is significantly lower than my left, and I ended up taking over an inch off of the right shoulder seam. Weird! I have never had that problem before and I wonder if it's because of making the pattern on a dress form of myself.

The finished product, I'm very happy with it. I finished it just in time for my friend's wedding. This picture was taken after wearing it all day, so there's wrinkles from sitting down. The material is a linen/bamboo blend herringbone twill in dull gold and cream.

In other news--gooseberries! My husband loves gooseberry pie and I picked just enough off of a bush planted at my parent's house. Unfortunately, I do not like gooseberry pie, but it's fun to make anyway. One of the best things about summer is berry picking. We're going to get strawberries tomorrow! Mmmmm... my mouth is watering just thinking about it.