With the presidential debates starting and a few other shows on tv (the bachelorette) – sometimes you have to find a couch project.
I still have two panels of this Anna Sui silk and I love it so much.
As I’ve started to make scarves, my ability to make narrower and narrower seams has definitely improved. I really enjoy this stitch and I’ve gotten much faster at it.
Here is my attempt to diagram this stitch (drawn while on the train to work lol) blue and grey are thread. White is the folded fabric. Yellow is the needle.
Start by folding the edge of the fabric over towards the inside of the panel. The final hem will be half the width of this initial fold. As you get better, you can make this narrower. It may change depending on the texture of your fabric too. From here, dip the needle into the panel right at the edge of the folded fabric. Pick up 3 or so threads. This is shown in grey in the diagram. Then move to the top of the folded edge and dip into the tube created by the folded edge. Pass the needle about 4 millimeters or a 3/8 of an inch in the tube before popping out. Then try to move to the same exact length of the hem on the lower side of the fabric. Dip in for a few stitches and repeat! After doing about 7 to 10 of these slowly pull the thread while holding the edge of the fabric near the first stitch. All the stitches will start to tighten and pull the top of the fabric down to the lower edge- locking the raw edge in place!! Keep going all the way around the panel and enjoy!!
It’s starting to get warmer here although later today they are saying it’s going to rain. I still felt like it was time to break out some of my summer dresses and lay a sweater over them with the Gandini scarf.
This is a dress I made from on of my Joann fabric purchases last year.Overall the fit of the dress is pretty standard. I tried to make it more interesting by beading the hem with a series of silver and pearly white beads. I did this just by threading them on a needle and stitching them in place. I still kind of feel like this needs something else. Maybe I should have used sparklier beads? Suggestions anyone? See the full dress below
This is another really nice Anna Sui panel from Mood. This pattern was really interesting because it was a little more geometric than other items I usually pick out but it still had that scalloped design that reminded me a bit of flower print 🙂
Hand rolled hems again!
Along the lines of panels and fabric design, I have started to look into a few new techniques or ways to start to make my own fabric too. Spoonflower is a company that will let you upload your own design and print it out on a wide variety of fabrics. The prices are not as high as I had expected either. I do not have the most advanced computer or digital drawing skills, so I have some further research to do in order to make this an option.
Separately, I have also started to investigate hand painting techniques. There are these great videos here and here for hand painting silks with a gutta that blocks out the individual sections. This video really describes the techniques step by step and this second video has some great technique tips and examples of different fabric results!! I am wrapping up a few projects right now and about to start a class on pattern making… so after that I will probably fit a trip into Home Depot to buy some pvc pipe to make a frame.
Last but not least, I also discovered this Japanese print making technique that uses a rice paste to keep the dye off some sections of fabric. It’s called Tsutsugaki. I was trying to research homemade systems to make gutta and discovered this!
There are some interesting projects in the future!
There is a very friendly man at Mood who works in the brocade and lace section. He always recommends wonderful fancy fabrics and he initially explained Gandini fabrics to me. They are super high quality, imported from Italy, and really fun! There is a print that looks like a Lizzard that I keep thinking about but I don’t know what to do with it… maybe another skirt? Another day.
For now, I cannot wait to wear this silk scarf in summer. It is a light sea foam green and it’s almost weightless. Hand stitched hems. It moved so easily it was most a challenge to cut and it was very delicate to sew. I tried to use a very thin needle to minimize damage to the fabric and I added a tiny second layer around the logo just to stabilize it a bit.
I saw this silk panel at Mood and instantly thought of a few Christmas gifts for friends… however hand sewing hems takes a bit of time so I’m a little past the season and starting to get closer to their birthdays so I might as well wait at this point. Here is a really interesting feather and rose print that Anna Sui used in a dress (now I can’t find the link anywhere).
When I gave a scarf to someone recently, they asked if I had dyed the fabric and I said I had not. This has me thinking, did I “make” this gift for someone? Is it more that I’ve “sewn” them a gift? At what point does something become a thing I made vs a knock off of some of these designers? I really like flower print and prints in general, so often I feel like the things I’m making do benefit from the fabric design. Is it commonly accepted that if you’re making a fabric, it can be used by anyone, and then they say that they designed it? I think I will ask the staff the next time I’m at Mood. It is nice to be able to buy really high end designs that I would not buy in a store and make what ever design I want from them, so maybe if I just keep giving both of us credit that’s okay?
I am also starting to investigate 3D printing for my buttons and I’m considering looking into ways to make my own fabric. If they do it on a challenge in Project Runway and all these designers have their own fabrics, I can maybe do something too right? I’ve been thinking about just painting my own big flowers on some silk as a start. Stay tuned for updates.
We have some friends who are moving to Rwanda to work for a non-religious charity and start a program that provides counseling to overseas volunteers working in really stressful or dangerous areas. We could not be more honored to call this couple our friends. I made a scarf for the lady – a hand rolled hem from an Anna Sui panel from Mood. I really love a lot of Anna Sui’s fabrics, she does a wonderful job designing them. I really hope our friends enjoy their next adventure together.
This is an Anna Sui silk that I purchased in three panels (maybe four). I created one for a coworker for our holiday party gift exchange. She’s an incredibly fashionable NYC lady and as soon as I saw the fabric I thought it would look great with a lot of her clothes. Additionally, I knew that flower print was quite fashionable this fall and winter, so I thought I would be on trend there too. After that initial purchase, I kept thinking about that fabric! I went back and purchased three more sections for a few other special people that I think will like it. While in Tokyo, we visited a family friend and his mum a little ways outside of the city. This was the first time we met them and I wanted to make sure I had something nice and heartfelt to give them too. Thus, Scarf #2 was born! They were wonderful hosts and it was an absolute pleasure getting to meet them and visit.
These have hand rolled hems and I embroider a little “Coli” in one of the corners.