Scarf surprise! Making an old favorite

With the presidential debates starting and a few other shows on tv (the bachelorette) – sometimes you have to find a couch project.

Working on a rolled silk hem

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!!

Anna Sui – My first try at women’s sleeves!

This was a really fun fabric I found around the same time that I discovered the dark green wool. We had raided Joann’s and I was looking for some additional fabrics at Mood to test out the new patterns!

This was a really nice silk that at first I wanted to turn into a dress, but I figured it could be useful to make a few separates. I started out with a shirt pattern, that I think might be a little too big, and I dropped down the hem in the back so that I could wear it with leggings in the cover-your-butt style. It will be nice to be able to get all of the shoulder measurements right (or at least closer) after a few more sessions in the pattern making class.

Also, a close up on the placket as this blouse is designed with more vintage buttons from one of my grandmothers.

A Modern Semi-Flower Print Scarf

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!

Anna Sui is awesome! Who “made” this scarf?

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.