Posts Tagged ‘silk’


art update

December 3, 2009

I was working on a longer post but my week has been full again. That and not having full use of my dominant hand is really making a lot of the ordinary tasks of the day more tiring. I now it could be a lot worse though!

In handwork this week we made quick but beautiful angels out of silk and merino.


There’s also been a fair bit of drawing. Yesterday I finally upgraded to pencil crayons and have been working on these:

2nd mountain drawing (tiny)

a walk in the mountains

I still have much to learn but I’m actually enjoying it and that’s a big difference from any other drawing experience I can remember. And I feel like I can actually get some semblance of gesture too. With the way these projects have gone I’m pretty sure I’ll do more on my own too.


sewing weekend

June 28, 2009

I didn’t finish the dress in time to wear it to the wedding so it’s shelved now.  I probably could have worn it had I not used white thread to baste it together.  I could have finished it this weekend but I’m sure I’d have to re-fit it when the opportunity to wear it arises.  That’s not fun at the best of times and concealed matching thread would only make it harder.  Plus there are the pin holes that would undoubtedly show up really well if I needed to make it bigger.

With the dress project on hold and Saturday playgroups finished, my weekend was dedicated to packing (only 2 days until I leave!) and some quick wardrobe additions.  I want to travel lightly so that means everything I’m packing needs to be able to be worn together.  The skirt that would fit the coordinating requirement isn’t comfortable enough to wear more than a few times per summer so this morning I set about making a replacement.  I was inspired to make something in a butterscotch colour with an elastic waste, similar to something I made a few years ago but that never really fit right.  I couldn’t find anything in the right colour but having a quick and easy pattern (Simplicity 7229) almost made me forget.  Yes, I’m all about the instantly gratifying type of sewing!

silk shirt and new skirtMy skirt is based on a popular pattern I found on  It is supposed to have a draw string waist but I don’t much care for the look of ties dangling out below my shirts so I sewed elastic to the inside of the waist band ala yoga pants.  The overall style of the skirt isn’t overly flattering but it’s void of some of the common problems I have with skirts.  I wore it for most of the day just to be sure and it has definitely passed the test.

Earlier on in the weekend I made a new shirt from laundered dupioni silk that had been in my stash for a long time.  I had grand plans for dress shirt when I bought the fabric but I’m really not a dress shirt kind of girl.  (I can’t be bothered to iron and it’s so hard to get a nice fit with my seemingly large shoulders.)

silk shirt

The shirt pattern I settled on (Simplicity 3835) was one that caught my eye two years ago when Amanda Soule posted it on her blog.  Actually the skirt is from there too but I didn’t realize that right away!


It was interesting sewing with laundered dupioni.  It’s not near as easy as working with the unlaundered variety but it’s so much softer and easier to care for.   If I were to have sewn with it and then washed it there would have been a LOT of shrinkage.  As it was I accidentally left the finished product in the drier for too long so it shrank even more than on the initial washing.  That meant going back and removing the elastic from the sleeves to make it comfy.  The hem also shrunk up a good deal but it’s still at a nice length.  Fortunately I’d left the seam allowance in the sides so I could loosen up the fit.  I’m definitely happy with the end results but I’ll save myself some trouble and keep silk in the drier for longer the next time I pre-wash it.

Kevin took the photos tonight and it was a good “project” for Kevin too.  This is the first time I’ve  really sewn since Kevin got his own camera so it was our  first “photo shoot”.  Apart from how shiny my shirt look I’m really happy with his results.

That’s it for my weekend update.  It’s going to be a crazy next couple of days trying to get ready.  Hopefully I’ll have a few chances to post while I’m out east.


a dress

May 27, 2009

I’m getting the sewing bug again!

Instead of cleaning up my stash like I should be I bought more silk dupioni (on a really good sale) the other day.  I love the colours and textures but was afraid to actually sew anything with it.  I wasn’t so keen on pattern drafting/garment sewing classes while I was taking them but now I’m happily surprised by the amount of useful thing I learned.

05 dress

New Look 6375 doesn’t call for a lining but I know how much nicer it is to wear a lined skirt and figure the same will apply to a dress.  The bodice for this pattern is self faced but before cutting the silk I decided to make a muslin using the lining fabric.  It’s a bit more work but it’s so much nicer to have something that fits well and I have a closet full of shirts that are too short.  (Before I actually cut the lining I added a bit more flare to the front piece – which required an adjustment to the “waist” positioning so that the whole section could be cut on the fold).

If I succeed in finishing this dress it will be the first one I’ve made for myself from start to finish.  I tried one in high school but was half way through it before my sister took over because I was so sick of it.  Then there’s the self drafted one from my class.  The styles we worked with were anything but flattering and so I have a 3/4 done straight skirt, non-fitted dress shirt and what would be a really comfy double knit wool dress if I could get over how frumpy it looks and actually finish it.

Except for high school grad and some formals in university I never wore a dress.  Right now I have two!  I’ve gotten a lot of use out of the peacock coloured knit one but I’m ready to return to the more natural colours so I’m hoping this burgundy wine coloured one fits the bill.  I never would have looked for a colour like that but as I went through the browns, rusts, and mustard colours this one caught my eye and it seemed to look best.  Now the challenge is to finish it in time for a wedding we’re going to in June!