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March 25, 2008

sew :: weave

wool skirt :: lining

pattern: amy butler's barcelona skirt
difficulty (1-5): 2
pattern size: small - medium
fabric: 1.2 yd of wool and cotton
notions: invisible zipper

a while ago i asked brooke if she would be interested in swapping some of her amazing weave works for some handmade items from me, she agreed to my proposal. naturally i was delighted, for i have been following her journey as a weaver. while not able to indulge into this craft myself, owning a piece of a fellow crafter's weaving art seems like a much better end of the bargain.

that being said, sew something for another person was challenging, fitting in particular. i like brooke's almost monochromatic photos and details in her work very much, and i wanted to make something that would fit in. so a piece of textured charcoal i have in my stash was chosen to be made into a skirt. i also wanted to incorporate my take on her style, so i added the bright cotton print as lining. it adds the moment of unexpected joy. which really is my belief in style and fashion in general - moments of unexpectedness, hiding out of sight, only reveals to those who also appreciate such wonders. she did like this little pouch with a pink patch i made before, so i don't think she mind the splashed yellow underneath the charcoal.

and the weather was getting warmer as the swap was progressing. spring is really the time for cotton and washed denim. i was really inspired by the textural work of brooke's weaving. so i thought of waves... waves of fabrics folded, creating interesting shades. lines were created to stabilize the creases, sometimes they would be out of alignment, but that's the point of waves, a little bit unpredicted. handles were hand stitched.

waves in bag

pattern: wave bag (my own)
difficulty (1-5): 2
pattern size: medium
fabric: 1yd of denim
notions: cotton for lining, a pair of handles

more pictures can be found here and here. the beautifully woven tree top shawl from brooke arrived at my doorstep this week. it is as light and airy as the photograph and has now become the most amazing shawl in my closet. thank you so much, brooke!

March 13, 2008

paper thin tunic

cotton tunic

pattern: paper tunic (inspired by butterick B4684)
difficulty (1-5): 2
pattern size: small
fabric: 2 yd of cream egyptian cotton
notions: linen/cotton biased tape, bits of fusible interfacing

this piece of cotton was with extreme fine weave. when i saw it in the fabric store, it really did not stand out from the rest of the pile. but the touch, the softness only cotton can give, was obvious. like liberty's cotton. i also love the cream color. white is lovely, but too stark. if i want this tunic to be part of my summer, i can do without the starkness.

i was really hoping to have this tunic done by last summer so i could wear it on our cruise vacation. that never happened. but it worked out in the end, as now i had a lot more time to sew carefully, french seamed all parts. and enjoy the loveliness of cotton.

what i love about sewing - oh there so many things i love about this craft - is really how much you are willing to step outside the norm. i'm absolutely sure that this fabric was really meant to be used as bed sheets. but i love it as my tunic. i was at mood fabric couple days ago (more on that later), looking for corduroy, which was with the upholstery. the lovely cords i found were probably meant for seat cushions... but they will become my winter skirts. i love that the fabric has no limitation in my sewing world.

not very good with self portrait. to show how lovely this tunic is for a breezy summer day.

March 05, 2008

winter crafting

with the house progressively being set up, i am having more crafting time during the day. in fact, i have been sewing these past few days! so wonderful, the first thing i do in the morning this week has been cutting fabrics, ironing, threading... while listening to music.

bloomer set

today i was making the dress/bloomer set for my niece. it's red and white mostly. with sock monkeys all over the place. my sister suggested that i made a little quilt to go with it, too. i'm still thinking about that one.

orange tweed

and this orange cardigan is for husband. i tend to work on this when we are watching tv. progress is slow and winter is slowly moving away. oh well. i heard connecticut has long winters, though.

what i really want to knit is a pair of socks, but i really don't like casting on for socks. it's so cumbersome in my hands. i'm still meditating on what yarn/pattern i'm going to work with.

we went ski/snowboarding in vermont this past weekend. i finally learned how to ski properly, after three lessons, i went down a few green slopes. the snow was so powdery in vermont, every skiier was in love with the condition. i'm still too new to this sport to truly appreciate that.


vermont was completely covered in snow, i don't think i have ever seen this much snow in my whole life. we were also completely fascinated by the icicles. winter takes on a completely different meaning in new england.