When I saw an indigo-dyed cotton at the Mill End Store, I liked it a lot. This fabric is an ikat (say "EEE-kat"), which is a textile art I find fascinating. The basic design is as follows: the warp threads are arranged in stripes of solid color (black or deep indigo) and stripes of resist-dyed yarns. (Or maybe they're dip-dyed; I can't know for sure how they dyed them.) The dyed threads are dark blue and pale gray, and the gray spots alternate. The weft threads are both a solid color and a smaller diameter than the warp threads, so the warp-pattern really pops.
So what'll I do with it? I decide to make another shirt for my brother! I mean, the one I just made him won't fill the box for shipping, so I might as well make another and fill the box! I wouldn't want to waste my shipping money! ;)
Blue Linen Shirt
The leather album art project, first pants from scratch, then a modified jacket, was finished with a cape. I had several yards of dark red ponte knit to work with, and I merely rounded the corners to make the shape I liked. Feeling inspired by the idea of old brocade curtains and lace, but faded and worn, I decided to spray-paint the cape with lacy stencils! I bought an outdoor fabric spray paint from JoAnn's, in brown.
Leather Costume - Modified Jacket
Leather Costume - Pants
* One time his inspiration was "the nineteen-eighties, super-artificial, and kind of Japanese". I combined this with "Neelix from Star Trek Voyager" and came up with a red vinyl jacket that closed diagonally across the chest with red pleather details reminiscent of a Japanese fan. I had never worked with vinyl or pleather before, so that was new! Nor had I ever altered a pattern like that, or made anything like it.
Aloha Shirts - Finally done!
It has been so long since I've worked on this gift for my brother that it's no wonder if you've forgotten all about it! (My brother probably thought I'd forgotten about it!) Allow me to refresh your memory.
In Fall, 2016, I came up with the idea of making a camp shirt for my brother, using the Islander #208 pattern and a Robert Kaufman batik in my brother's preferred colors. He was enthusiastic.
So I made a mock-up and sent it to him, only to find that, like many commercial patterns, the shirt had far too much ease. Though the pattern envelope said my brother's measurements were a Medium (with a Large neck!), in reality, he was probably a small. At any rate, it was a ton of work with a disappointment at the end, so the wind was taken right out of my sails. The project slipped to the bottom of the pile until...
April 2017, when I found an older Aloha shirt at a vintage shop and rubbed off its pattern. I sent the original to my brother, and he confirmed that the fit was good, so I cut out the batik pieces...
And got distracted by other, paying, work, until August 2017, when I gave myself a stern talking to and put the shirt project back on the top of my to-do list for the fall!
Aloha Shirt - doing a rub-off
Aloha Shirt - first muslin
But the American obsession with denim is not my topic today; mono-butt is the subject du jour. Mono-butt is when the seat of the jeans is ill-defined, like a bubble instead of buttocks. This means that the crack is bridged by fabric (making a cave-like sauna inside), the legs have limited range of motion (you can't lift your leg without pulling the fabric from the other leg), and the fabric gets stressed on the center back seam. And this look seems to be everywhere, on men's jeans and women's. So unattractive. "Buttocks" is plural for a reason, people! I'm not asking for an extreme wedgie or anything, just a subtle bifurcation to make me feel like a woman instead of a baby in a diaper.
A repeat client of mine always surprises me with interesting challenges. When he told me he wanted high-waisted jeans, the request plunged me into a world of patterns, construction methods, rivets, and body-types that were all new to me. Here is the tale of the first pair I've made him, which I call the charcoal jeans because of their color.
Quilting, dressmaking, and history plied with the needle...
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