Project Minima:

Sunday, December 23, 2018

What Works for Me and What Doesn't

I'd been thinking about doing a post on what didn't work in 2018, but it sounded so gloomy.  Then I read Catherine Daze' latest post and I was like, yeah, that's helpful.  I can get into that.

But first, here's...
  the Dress for the Season
~ image by Tom Chambers ~

 and now, here's...
  my illustrated take on:

How I Do What I Do, What Works for Me, 
and What Doesn't.

~ painting by Lori Field ~

Much of my sewing experience is directly related to my experience as an artist.  I use that as my paradigm for everything really.  My creative process I call it.

~ by Chili Jenson ~

  •  I can't push or force it.  If I try and bully it, things turn out all wrong, stilted, boring, trite, you name it.  

    ~ painting by Cassie Taggart ~

  • On the other hand, I can't just lay around waiting for a brilliant idea to bubble up either.  

~ painting by Joyce Ho ~

  • What I have to do is show up every day and be ready to go.  

~ image by Jenny Bowers ~

  • And take some kind of action toward sewing (or whatever the creative thing is). 

~ colored paper doll by Liat Yaniv ~

  • I do it without a plan, just starting somewhere, anywhere.  I might look at my Pinterest board, or pick out a fabric that calls my name, or a pattern.  I don't make a big deal about choosing the "perfect" any thing.  The important thing is to just start

~ Woman Sewing by Helen Chene ~

  • I remind myself to be patient (if I need to), that I have all the time I need to do what-ever needs to be done and there's no need to hurry for anything.

~ painting by Elena Papadimitrion ~

  • I pay attention to the "whispers" throughout the process.  If I don't, loss of integrity is the price I pay.   In other words, I try to catch myself doing anything by rote.  If I'm bored, it will be boring, etc.

~ painting by Mary Jane Ansell ~

  •  If I need a break, I take it.  As long, or as often, as needed.   How do I know I need a break?  I'm frustrated, confused and can't make decisions...

~ painting by Maria Kalman ~

    •  ...I've found that what's actually going on is:  I've stopped paying attention to the whispers, to my creative spirit, and I've started doing what I think I should be doing rather than what needs/wants to be happening.   And if I keep on going in that direction there will be hell to pay, I tell ya...

~ installation by Chihara Shiota ~

    • ...Actually, I just can't keep going on that way.  A cat nap to the rescue.

~ painting by Anna Afanasjava ~

  • Sewing with a plan does not work for me.  Whenever I've tried to make something to go with something I already have, it has never, ever worked out.  Never.  Whatever it is, it simply doesn't go with what I made it for.  It does, however, always go remarkably well with something else I have.  

~ painting by Alexander Sterzel ~

    • When I spontaneous buy fabric I luv, or make something I like, I miraculous find stuff to wear with it.  It seems like most of my stuff goes with most of my stuff.  Probably because I'm the one who liked it and made it from that creative space and not from any "shoulds."  In fact, it's during MeMadeMay that I find out how well my clothes combine in ways I hadn't realized before.

    ~ painting by kt small ~

    • Sewing according to a pre-scribed type, format or style doesn't work for me.  In fact, I can't stand it.  For me, it's too regimental and goes against my idea of creative processes. 

    ~ painting by Amy Blake ~

    • However, I do enjoy the benefits of being organized...  
      •  ...My fabric stash is in sight and arranged by type and then by color.  Most of the fabric is labeled with content, yardage and width.  It is listed similarly on a Pinterest board... 

    ~ photo of Dorthy Liebes, Textile Designer ~

      • ...My patterns are arranged by type in Clementine boxes on shelving units, while PDF patterns are in alpha order in 3-ring binders.  They are also listed by type and brand on Pinterest boards... 

      • ...I have Pinterest boards of clothes I've made, clothes I'm working on, my sewing queue, ideas for fabric I have, details to consider and more.  I find all this extremely helpful, especially in the just show up and take some kind of action phases.

    Okay then, that's all I can think of for now.  I've posted this so I can flip back here and remember when I'm in that 'spaced out, what am I doing' phase.  As much as I go through the process, I can be as unconscious as the best of them!

    I'd luv to hear how your method of sewing works for you - as everyone has their own way.  Thank goodness for that, eh?!

    I'm joining Patti and the Visibles at Not Dead Yet Style, and the others too, if they're on during the holiday season.

     Here's to a Glorious New Year!

    ~ image by Chen Yan Ying ~

    Friday, December 21, 2018

    Top 5 according to True Love

    May wonders never cease.  Here's the top five, as chosen by my True Love (who doesn't even read my blog)!   But in this case, he went through all the pix for 2018.

    And here they are counting down backwards:

    No. 5 

    So, how'd he do?  Agree?  Beg to differ?  Have a different selection to offer?  Go for it!
    For more info about any item pictured, click on the No. 1-5 and it will take you to the post.

    Monday, December 3, 2018

    Urban Camo on a Winter's Day

    some details...
    ~ sequins and pearls to cover the moth holes ~

    ~ Mom's old brooch ~

    ~ and Doc Marten boots from ebay ~

    And that's just the way it was in Chicago, Monday, December 3, 2018 at 2:22 pm.

    I'll be showing up at Patti's Not Dead Yet Style, Catherine's I Will Wear What I Like, and Cherie's Shoe and Tell when they go live.  Not to mention, Judith the Style Crone's December Hat Attack!


    Sunday, November 25, 2018

    I'm All Red, I Am

    in my newly made coat, and hat, with my new-to-me red boots.  tra-la-la-la-la.

    ~ nothing subtle happening here ~

    Using up bits and pieces from the stash:  the yoke is brocade leftover from a coat last seen here; the grey linen patch underneath is from a tunic and pants seen here; and over that is an ombre wine abstract flower patch leftover from a kimono seen here.

    ~  some pieces were given to me ~

    In fact, the sleeve tapestry was from Anne of Spy Girl during a clothes/ fabric swap at the Blogger meet-up in Vancouver several years ago.   The collar was a thick knit scrap from a sewing friend in Chicago.  And the assorted antique buttons from another Chicago friend.

    ~  it's a Koos pattern, of course ~

    Koos Vogue 1146 coat pattern to be exact.  Yes, I've made it before as a Spring coat, here.  The new one is version A with a lining and a few more extravaganzas.

    The main fabric is an ombre jacquard I got in a mystery bundle.  The yoke and the two rectangular pieces were samples I had laying around.  The round photographic rose section was leftover from a dress, here.

    ~ the other side ~

    That's a bit of quilting cotton next to the sleeve.  Another piece of the photographic roses and the base here is a deep red canvas.   I think that about covers it.

    ~ except for the lining! ~

    Yes, it's flannel-backed satin.  yum.  And I squished a strip of raspberry velvet in between the lining and the collar for some special effects on the inside.

    Oh, I see I've forgotten to mention that front rectangular patch of wine linen with small handwriting on it (in French, no less).   I also used the lining to make bias tape to encase the hem of the outer coat, leaving the inner lining to hang loose.  yeah.

    ~ like this ~

    What I'm wearing underneath:  Velvet pants from Tina Givens Phoebe pants pattern and the cut-off bodice made of the same velvet from her Bethany Dress made previously and seen here.   The stretch mesh shirt underneath is adapted from Vogue 8450.

    ~ aerial view of the hat ~

    Hand-sewn with scraps of red fleece using Vogue 9235, view D.   It was a quick sew, cutting the circles of the pattern and then the fleece is what took time.  I eliminated the elastic called for on the brim as there was no need for it.

    ~ back view ~

    Those aren't shadows, I used two different colors of red for the hat.  And while I was at it - variegated red thread for sewing.

    ~ last, but not the least, for sure ~

    A glamour shot, a centerfold, a knockout view of my ebay doc marten boots.  whoa bay-bee.

    Now, if you haven't jumped around enough already, here's some more links not to miss!  I'll be joining Patti and the Visibles at Not Dead Yet Style, Catherine at I Will Wear What I Like and Cherie's Shoe and Tell, when they all go live.  Oh, and the hat.  I'll be with Judith, the Style Crone for her monthly Hat Attack!  Hope to see you everywhere!

    Watch out for the 8 inches of snow we'll be getting later today/this evening - if you're in the Midwest.   There's nothing like sewing when snowed-in, I tell ya.

    ed. note:  as of the next morning, we've been dusted with an inch.  The only thing blustering was the weather forecast.

    Monday, September 24, 2018

    Mixing It Up

    ~ but certainly not matching! ~

    I had a lovely bit of 2-sided stretch denim leftover in my stash and...


    ~ I made reversible drop-crotch trousers ~
    even though it did mean making all flat-felled seams.

    Note the rolled up cuffs?  That's the reverse side showing.

    ~ worn with a georgette abstract floral print top ~

    Made, and later altered, from an out of print V9040 top pattern.

    ~ both sides now ~

    and last, but not least, no not at all

    ~ Trippen shoes for a song from ebay ~

    Rushing on over to Patti and the Visibles of Not Dead Yet Style, Catherine's I Will Wear What I Like.  Darn tootin' on both counts.  And Cherie's Shoe & Tell.  Hope to see you there.

    Sunday, September 16, 2018

    Making a Ho-Hum Dress

    out of brilliant fabric!

    ~ nothing happening here ~

    Alas, I didn't do it justice with this particular pattern/ style.

    Something that showed off the underside, or the inside, would've been great...

    ~ ah well ~

    Here's a closer view of the fabric:

    ~ back view of dress ~

    It has woven stitches and is the same on both the front and back of the fabric.  
    How cool is that?  

    Of course, I took no advantage of that fact, whatsoever.  

    And it has a wonderful feel to it, not the same as regular 100% cotton, 
    almost more like a washed linen.

    Anyway, here's some shoes and sox to kick it out of the park, as they say.

    ~ blue suede shoes from ebay ~

    more info for inquiring minds:
    *Anna Maria Horner Loominous Dotted Line Cobalt Fabric
    She has a Loominous collection which is quite beautiful and 3 different colorways in the dotted line venue.

    **Tina Givens Violet Dress Pattern
    I've made this dress before in striped linen and luv it.  So it's not the pattern, it was just not the best choice of fabric for it. 

    When everybody goes live, I'll be at Patti's Not Dead Yet Style, Catherine's I Will Wear What I Like and Cherie's Shoe and Tell.  See you there!