Project Minima:

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

So This Is Christmas

artwork by Jana Sterbak.

And what have you done
Another year over
And a new one just begun

And so this is Christmas
I hope you have fun
The near and the dear one
The old and the young

A very merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let's hope it's a good one
Without any fear... 

- John Lennon


Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Long and Winding Road -or- Indecision's Killing Me

artwork by Moki Mioke.
Check 2 more off the year end challenge. After the last fiasco, I thought I'd go for some thing real simple. So I chose a shirt that only

Friday, December 23, 2011

Get Over It

artwork by Elisabeth Lecourt
Continuing my year-end challenge, I certainly exhausted myself with this one.  A sheer blouse with attached sheer lining rehab.  No wonder it lay by the side of the road for so long.  It turned out wearable, but I'll win no prizes for it, let me tell ya.  Yikes, the sewing is Frankenstein-ian, although you can't fault me for trying...and trying...and trying.... 

Well.  The material was so fragile, it simply

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

End of Year Challenge?

photo by Ross Oscar Knight
Maybe...or at least a goal:  to tackle all those sewing Minima Projects I've started in the last 6 months but never quite finished.

Well, completed one of them today.  Yea, put a check on that list!  I think this was one of the first rehabs I attempted using several white cotton blouses to create a garment that works.  Sew, look and see the results.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

An Ensemble, Outfit, Costume...

 from Library of Congress online catalog

Spent a day changing an old beach cover-up into a tunic top.  A white embroidered cotton fabric thingy.  I removed the collar, cuffs, pockets, belt loops, buttons and side slits.  Added pale dove gray embroidered cotton side inserts and trim at the sleeve edges.  Made the collar Mandarin and the buttons gray.  Assorted challenges came and went.

Put together an ensemble around which to wear it today.  Then noticed everything I had on was made/ refashioned by me in the last 6 months:  vest, tunic, necklace, skirt, pantaloons and boots.    la-de-dah!  And I have the pix to prove it.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Picture Perfect

painting by Joseph Whiting Stock
Pantaloons.  Made them from my Mom's old kitchen curtains.  I was gonna just make a half slip out of them, but thought, no...they look more like bloomers or pantaloons waiting-to-be.  Since I've already sewn some fancy-smancy bloomers, pantaloons won out.  What's the difference you might ask?  In my mind, the latter are longer, plainer, without elastic or gathering at the leg and made of white cotton.  And that's just how my pantaloons from mama's curtains came out!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Turning Japanese

image from Stylish Dress Book, Top G
I really think so.  I received I Am Cute Dresses by Sato Watanabe as a gift not too long ago.  It was one of the only Japanese dress pattern books translated into English.  While many other sewists say you can figure it out by the diagrams - I don't know yet...that along with the metric system and grading the patterns larger may be out of my league.  Anyway, I am just L-U-V-ing the Japanese aesthetic featured in all these sewing books.

So, great news... 

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Know when to Walk Away...

Germination by Gina Litherland
"You've got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em..."  I kept hearing that phrase humming in my ears as I was wrestling with this piece.  And believe me, I was ready to do both on any given day.  I guess the latest is holding on.

Anyway, I was reworking an old sheath I made long ago out of

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Wine/ Burgundy Transformation

painting by Salvadore Dali
Found a boring old linen-esque, wine-colored jacket with a matching long skirt in my closet the other day and thought, what's to lose? didn't fit anyway.

So first I worked with the skirt. It had a waistband, a zipper in the back and a kick slit on one side.  hmm.  I seam-ripped both side seams thinking I'd add inserts.  Found some fabric scrap that was similar in texture but a little silkier to the touch and a shade off from wine, maybe burgundy?  The piece already had really nice frayed edges so I decided to use them, I mean, why not?  It was a bit wider than I was planning on, but wotheheck.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

An Accidental Turtle Neck

photo by Cubist Literature
Actually plenty of them and just in time for winter in Chicago.

Previously, I had cut many of my old tights into stockings (hence all the garter belts) since they no longer fit.  And I saved all the top portions (because that's what I do).

Then one cold day, I suddenly realized they

Monday, December 5, 2011

Black Holes

artwork by Anselm Kiefer

Long underwear time.  But the sheer black silk kind.  And mine had a few teeny, tiny holes in the top.  So I cut out some small rosettes from a scrap of black lace I had on hand, and fabric glued them in place.

Note to self:  next time hand sew them on since the glue makes it a little stiff on such fine fabric.

But it still worked as the largest florette was only the size of a nickel...

Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Golden Section

Indian Miniature, Muhammad Afzal artist,
Freer & Sackler Galleries
And now...the golden ruffled tunic re-fit.  Had to cut off the long sleeves to use the fabric for side inserts and bottom ruffle extension.  I was originally going to just use another fabric, but nothing seemed to click with it.  Turned out one of the sleeves had a water stain and I had to work around that too.  As it was, I had barely enough to make do, using seam binding for a hem and also to attach the ruffle to the tunic.

I just love those buttons.  They're really substantial, so I added more interfacing under the facing and resewed the buttons on with anchor buttons behind them.  I'm still not sure about the short sleeves though...maybe I'll do something else with it down the line.  Meanwhile I have worn it layered over a black silk long underware top and paired with those gaucho pants I re-modeled recently...

Friday, December 2, 2011

State of Project Minima II

artwork by Louise Tidd
6-month status report on Project Minima:    Approximately 65 pieces completed.  Joined Refashion Coop, contributing twice a month since October.  Starting Sewing Rebellion Chicago Chapter in January, to meet monthly.  Re-organized work space.  Received 2 sewing/ design books:  I Am Cute Dresses by Sato Watanabe and Design-It-Yourself Clothes by Cal Patch, pouring over them constantly.