Monday, April 21, 2014

Diane and Marcy Sew Together

Diane Ericson came for an overnight visit last week.  She came over the hill from Ashland (90 miles, 1 1/2 hour drive), and we spent 2 days in the studio sewing & playing together.
Friends for over 30 years!

Diane wanted to make a dress using Vogue 8975, and her starting point is the orange toned plaid,  Mankato Double Weave,  so we headed out to the barn to find companion fabrics.  
Out in the ArtBarn, Diane shows Shelley and Diane a fabulous pieced and embellished piece of fabric she is working on.
Back in the studio, playing with the possibilities.  Diane works organically, trying out different combinations.  
The gray check could be a pocket flap.
Maybe a bit of cording.  At one point she disappeared and I found her out on the deck doing a  bit of her trademark hand stitching.  
The dress in one of its many and ever evolving incarnations.
At the end of day 2, she packed it up and took it back to her studio to finish.
Diane arrived wearing this great T-shirt which she made using 3 recycled T's

Turns out she had been inspired by a T shirt I bought in a shopping expedition in Ashland at 250 Main, one of my favorite stores.  I love to shop as well as to sew and this is perfect for Paris and Italy. 
Diane was taken with the asymmetrical neckline.
So she incorporated it into her T....which, she says got more complex and more fun as she worked.
It was VERY fun to be in the studio with Diane as she designed, cut and sewed!
Check out the back of Diane's T as she examines the purchased one (a Rundholtz Black Label, one of my favorite RTW designs.
I sewed a jacket for Paris using our new Silverplate Linen,  a fabulous fabric, using a jacket design for a pattern to be released in July.  I needed a light little spring jacket that will work for cool days and will go with my basic black/gray pants and tops.
....and I love it!
Button consult with Katherine...found the perfect buttons.
Such FUN to sew and hang out with Diane!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Celebrating Completion

Over the weekend I finished up one of my biggest ever projects for Vogue.
2 patterns:  A pair of shirts and a trio with 2 tunics and a T-Shirt.  Playing with a concept I've wanted to try, the collars and sleeves on the shirts are interchangeable, and the necklines and sleeves on the knits are too.
4 Shirts
7 Tunics & T-Shirts
(plus the 'test' versions of both I made for myself)
Fabrics chosen not only for photography but to have year 'round appeal.
To be released for late fall/holiday., & I can't wait to show you!

Once the package left my hands, preparations for my upcoming Paris/Italy adventure began in earnest.  
The first step is when Katherine and I have 'the great try-on', where we audition what goes in the suitcase.  Likely candidates are pulled out of the closet, put on a rack and we spend Sunday morning giving the thumbs up/down.
I've been craving paler colors and need a couple/few pair of pants.  Into my stash and back and forth to the ArtBarn to find the right fabrics and importantly, the right shade of gray to work with my tops....there are so many tones and hues...more than 50!
Settled on a pale gray cotton/lycra stretch woven...this a sure thing and a black and white tiny check in a puckered, poly a bit on the crisp side (not so sure if this would work).

These two patterns are tried and true, chosen to work with my existing tops/jackets etc.  The 'try-on' session revealed that a narrower more pared down silhouette worked best.
When I cut, I always add 1" along the side seams in addition to the existing seam allowance for insurance.  Important for the pale gray as light colors don't look good if they are too tight.  
Important for the crisp weight check woven too so they have the right amount of ease.
I want to keep the original narrow hem width, so shape the side seam during the final fitting.
Doesn't matter that I have made each style many times, each new pant demands thinking about the fabric, cutting with care and fitting as I sew. 

Completed the 2 pair in just over 24 hours!

The Patterns
 Vogue 8859
Vogue 8859
 Vogue 8929
Vogue 8929
The Pants

This fabric is from my stash.  I made a 2" hem so the bottom can be turned up when it gets warm.

The black and white checks is called Sophia, sold out for now, but my supplier is sending a couple more bolts, watch for it to be re-posted on the website soon.  This is a 'sleeper' fabric, will be great for travel.  
Pocket detail.
I used a plain black woven for the facings and fly pieces as multi layers of the textured check would be too thick.  The fabric pressed beautifully tho.

Up Next:
A darker gray pant and a light weight linen jacket....stay tuned.
I am officially VERY excited to be leaving for Paris in just 2 weeks, so there is still time for more sewing!

I've added a new fabric category to the website showcasing the quiet mostly neutral fabrics that are wardrobe workhorses like the pants shown here.  Check this category to seek out all the essentials for pants, tops/T's, jackets/vests etc that are good for layering, travel and every day in blacks, neutrals and colors too.  

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Girlfriend ArtBarn Visit

Girlfriend ArtBarn Visit
A group of dear friends came out for a visit yesterday.  
We met over the years at  Design Outside the Lines retreats, which Diane is now conducting and are life changing events.  
Kate, Gayle, Lisa, Jenny and Sarah were on a girlfriend road trip from Santa Cruz to Ashland.  They are spending 2 days working with Diane Ericson in her Ashland studio, and made the trek out to visit us and do do a bit of power fabric shopping.  

It was an over the top day that unfolded like this......
I love the ritual of setting the table and even sewed a new spring tablecloth from a wonderful Japanese cotton (NOT from our collection!)
Arrival in Kate's big vehicle.  We are 1 1/2 hours from Ashland, and they had a lot of laughter and conversation coming over....and some were surprised at how 'far out' we live.
The group had hit the Tuesday market in Ashland and brought flowers, bread and salad makings.
We had a tour of my upstairs studio (no photos), then had lunch.
We started shopping in the little building where the fabric is received and photographed as a big shipment arrived over the weekend.
Jenny and Sarah checking out fabrics.
Shopping the ArtBarn
Beth and Kate
Diane and Beth

Shelley pointing out fabric to Diane
Diane liked these linens for a shirt....which one looks better? ( she went with the one on the left).
I always like what Diane has, so I wanted some too.  (I went with the one on the right)
Gayle's stack ready to cut.
Gayle has a highly recommended blog. DO sign up to be on her blog e-mail list. 
Gayle and Jenny.
Sarah is a VERY good shopper, she kept finding hidden treasures.
Kate and Sarah...& they both love green.
Lisa writes a check.
Lisa's treasures all packed up.
Katherine took care of the $$ details (thank god, she is SO good at this!).
Tour of Katherine's studio included a look at her new patterns in progress and some trying on of sample garments.
Chanin moments
We all love the Alabama Chanin book and techniques.  Beth and Roxy have been doing a lot of this kind of sewing.  Katherine took a workshop and made beautiful pillows.  I am fascinated by it.  Kate had gone to Alabama for a 5 day workshop and shared some of the pieces she purchased.  We all examined them and oohed and aahhed over them.
Persimmon dress...simple, pieced, wonderful!

Kate shows Diane F (our newest staff member) the dress up close.
Beth went up to the house and brought back Nancy Murakami's amazing Chanin dress and jacket (on loan to me to photograph).  Lisa and Sarah examine it with Beth.  Beth (an expert basket maker in her past), knows all about the stitches and threads....her pieces are stunning too.
Diane and Shelley took a close look at Nancy Murakami's jacket.  
Diane Floyd and Shelley examine Kate's simple black T. 
It is a single layer reverse appliqué done in a back stitch using embroidery thread.

The back side.
The outside.  Backstitch on the appliqué, 'fancy' stitch on the bands.
I WANT one of these....must make!
Kate wearing the basic black T.
L to R:  Kate, Diane, Marcy, Katherine, Gayle, Jenny
Sarah and Lisa went back for one more bolt of fabric.
Car packed....good thing it is a BIG vehicle!
Vasco hates shopping, but loves being part of the gang. 

Coming to Shop at the ArtBarn
If you are going to be in our remote Southern Oregon neighborhood and want to come shop, please make an appointment at least 3 weeks in advance.  Plan your visit on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday after 1.  
Please make arrangements directly with our stellar ArtBarn staff.
e-mail is best, that way we have an electronic record.
Katherine and I travel a lot, so we can't promise a visit to our studios.