Flattr Me

You may notice a new icon at the end of this post for Flattr.  What is Flattr, you ask?  Have you ever experienced web content that was really great?  A piece of writing, a photo, a video, whatever, that made you want to thank the creator in a more meaningful way than clicking “like”?  Well, now you can!  Sign up with Flattr, decide how much you want to allocate every month to Web content, and Flattr away!  At the end of the month, the people at Flattr will divide up your monthly budget among all of the content providers you liked throughout the month.  Maybe each one will get a couple of cents from you, which is not much, but if I got a couple of cents every month from every blog reader, that would be kind of cool.

Flattr has been around since 2010.  I think it’s bigger in Europe than in the US, but I’m hoping it catches on here.  There are several blogs that I read where the author really goes above and beyond to write interesting posts.  I’m looking at you, Carolyn and Peter. Of course, since I know Carolyn and Peter, I could just buy them a cup of coffee or something, but what about bloggers that I may never meet, like Blair or Zoe? Maybe I would like to contribute to them, but not enough to actually send them money via Paypal? That’s where Flattr can come in.

So, if you are so inclined, I would love it if you would join Flattr and click on the Flattr icon at the end of my posts. I would also love it if you would sign up as a content creator on Flattr so I, and others, and show our appreciation for your efforts to entertain us.

There’s a speech that Courtney Love made way back in 2000 about the music industry, but it could apply to other creative industries, as well.  No matter what you think of her as a person or as an artist, the speech is well worth reading if you have any interest in producing or consuming creative work.  This is my favorite quote:

  • “I’m looking for people to help connect me to more fans, because I believe fans will leave a tip based on the enjoyment and service I provide. I’m not scared of them getting a preview. It really is going to be a global village where a billion people have access to one artist and a billion people can leave a tip if they want to.”

I read this speech ages ago, and obviously it resonated with me because it’s the first thing I thought of when I heard about Flattr. Here’s everyone’s chance to leave a tip that goes straight to the creator of the work you appreciate.

Wrapping the Shirt

sleeveless-wrap-9950

While trolling in my fabric collection for my next project, I came across this shirting that I originally bought think I would make a menswear-styled shirt. Then when I thought a bit, I realized that something a little more feminine might be nice. I looked through my patterns and came across this nice summery Vogue design that fit the bill. I like the menswear collar on the casual wrap design.

back view

back view

pleats and tie on left side

pleats and tie on left side

flat-fell seam with gap for the tie to go through

flat-fell seam with gap for the tie to go through

Vogue 7340

Vogue 7340

Well-Placed Accents

blue-green-shibori-9863

This dress is finished just in time for the warm weather in the northeastern US this week! The fabric started out the lime green color, then I tie-dyed it blue, leaving some lime green as an embellishment. I like the way it turned out.

Back view.  If it look a little off, that's because the form is bigger than me, so the dress does not zip up all the way.

Back view. If it look a little off, that’s because the form is bigger than me, so the dress does not zip up all the way.

Shibori dyed trompe l'oeil collar detail.

Shibori dyed trompe l’oeil collar detail.

waist detail

waist detail

The lining is the same green silk faille, in the original lime color

The lining is the same green silk faille, in the original lime color

Vogue 2632

Vogue 2362

dye effect at hem.  I did not take photos of my process, but it involved accordion pleating, 2 jar lids, and clamps.

dye effect at hem. I did not take photos of my process, but it involved accordion pleating, 2 jar lids, and clamps.

Spring Shibori

spring-shibori-9660

Today I shibori-dyed the fabric for my current project.

Cool Linen

linen-blouse-9532

While poking around in my fabric collection for something to go with my new skirt, I saw this brown linen and loved it for the color matching with the skirt, and the contrast between the opulent skirt fabric and the humble weave of the linen. This fabric has a fantastic hand, and it retained its stiffness even after I washed it.

The pattern is from Burdastyle 2/2014, which is one of my favorite Burdastyles of all time. I shortened my version a bit so it would show the waist of the skirt. I’m really liking the slightly cropped top / high waisted bottom look this season. I also love the sleeve on this top. It’s in 3 pieces, and balloons out a bit. I sewed all of the seams as French seams. h

Front

Front

back view.  I did a small embroidery on the yoke.

back view. I did a small embroidery on the yoke.

Side view.  The front hem is shorter than the back

Side view. The front hem is shorter than the back

yoke detail

yoke detail

the cuffs are narrow bias strips

the cuffs are narrow bias strips

neckline

neckline

neck facing.  It's a bias strip hand-sewn in place

neck facing. It’s a bias strip hand-sewn in place

Showcasing a Lovely Fabric

embroidered-skirt-9508

The high waisted silhouette has taken hold of my imagination lately. I just finished 2 pairs of high-waisted shorts, followed by this embroidered silk skirt.

I bought the fabric at a warehouse sale for a home dec fabric supplier called Pollack Associates. I was there looking for curtain fabric for my dining room, but this embroidered silk jumped out at me and I had to have some of it. They had it in several colorways, none of which would work for my dining room, so I made a skirt with it instead. But I also managed to get dining room curtain fabric.

The pattern I used is from Burdastyle 3/09 104, adapted. The yoke and the pockets are part of the original pattern, and I added the pleats.

closeup of the fabric

closeup of the fabric

back

back

side slits

side slits

the hem

the hem

Small Embellishment

linen-blouse-9523

I’m working on a blouse made from the most fantastic-feeling linen ever. I got it for a good price, and was planning on dyeing it, but decided that the color is right for my purposes. Here is a small embellishment that I put on the back yoke of the blouse. I embroidered it by hand using variegated silk floss.

Heavily embroidered fabric for a skirt

image

Bibliocraft — Book Review

With my already massive collection of crafting books threatening to take over my house, I’m pretty careful about what books I acquire. But when I heard that Jessica Pigza had written a book about crafting and libraries, I had to get a copy! Jessica is a fantastic person, and crafting and libraries are 2 of my favorite topics. Jessica is not exactly a close friend of mine, but I have met her several times. She is a librarian at the New York Public library, and she organizes events called Crafternoons, where you can go and do crafts on Saturdays with other like-minded people at the library. I used to go when my kids were smaller, but now that they are older and in school all day, I tend to spend my weekends with them. When they are just a little bit older still, I think I will start taking them to the Crafternoons with me.

But about the book. As far as I can tell (and I have a lot of craft books), this one is absolutely unique. But now that I’m reading it, I just can’t believe that EVERYONE is not writing about this topic. Really, what better combination could there be than books and crafting?

The first section of the book contains a wealth of amazingly useful and interesting information. Jessica describes the different types of libraries (public v private; closed v open stacks, digital, etc) and how to navigate through the different libraries. This is great info to have because I know from personal experience that world-class libraries can be intimidating. There’s so much there, but generally there’s no browsing allowed, so you need to be able to tell someone what you’re looking for. She tells you how to properly prepare for your visit, how to approach the staff, and what to expect in order to get the most out of your library experience. She litters her advice with real-world experiences of the designers featured in her book while preparing the projects in the book.

Jessica includes many, many clever suggestions for searching, like, “Narrowing your results to works published before 1923 is an easy way to limit your sources to those in the public domain”. Duh, of course it is, but this never occurred to me before.

She also includes a wonderful list of “recommended library collections”, most of which are available online, which has already provided me with hours of amusement and will continue to do so.

The second part of the book shows projects by artists based on library resources. The projects are all very nice, but the best part is that after each project, Jessica writes a couple of pages about exactly which books provided the inspiration for this project, where these books are found, and how to find similar books on this topic. These topics are things like botany, animal illustrations, soil profiles, and penmanship samples.

This book reminds me of my love of books and libraries, which I kind of forgot about in recent years. When I was in high school, the teachers sent us to the local universities (there were 2 in my town) to use their research libraries, and there was a tremendous sense of discovery in reading all these old sources. Then when I was in college, I spent hours at the library doing my classwork and smelling that library smell.

Maybe it’s time for me to visit a good research library.

Here’s a link to the book on Powell’s so you can see what it looks like.

Quilted Clothing — The Best Thing Ever

quilted-t-9435

I have such a soft spot for quilted clothes! It may be partly an underdog thing. Quilted garments are often unfairly maligned among garment sewists. It’s like, you can’t be a serious hobbyist if you incorporate quilting into your oeuvre. But here I am, serious hobbyist, having just finished a quilted t-shirt.

This shirt idea came to me when I saw a photo of the Isabel Marant Landers top. It looks like just the thing to wear for this cool spring. The top is 3 layers. The top and the bottom are a silk-cotton voile, and the batting layer is a heavyweight cotton-rayon knit. Both fabrics started out white. For the first step in the project, I dyed all the fabric lavender in the same dye bath.

After the dying, I layered the pieces of fabric with the batting layer sandwiched between the 2 voile layers, cut, quilted, and assembled. All seam allowances and edges are encased in bias strips of the voile fabric.

BACK VIEW

back view

hem detail

hem detail

the 2 fabrics I quilted together: the knit batting is on the left, the silk-cotton voile is on the right

the 2 fabrics I quilted together: the knit batting is on the left, the silk-cotton voile is on the right

Hong Kong finished seam

Hong Kong finished seam

button detail

button detail

Here are some other quilted garments I’ve made. Click on the photo to go to the blog post.

This quilted jacket was also influenced by an Isabel Marant garment!

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