Combining Eras

Detail: Linen Tunic, 2014
Am attracted to aesthetics of different eras. Accordingly, here is a linen tunic that harkens back to the late 1800's with a lace edged neckline and long sleeves. The sleeves are full and airy at the shoulder then taper to the wrist. Linen is wonderfully cooperative to work with, moving in tandem with one's hands as it is sewn. Dressed in linen the body seems to inaudibly whisper, "Ah, this is what I was meant to wear." 

In the photo below the tunic is paired with leggings made of a wool pique knit from Italy. This material achieves winter’s trifecta: warm, non-scratchy and stylish [take that, Polarfleece]! Gravitate to wearing them so often that I made a second pair.

The belt. It is draped from the hips. Adjustable. It combines the appeal of a weightlifting belt with a style own.

Linen Tunic, Wool Leggings, Leather Belt, 2014
(Jacket in progress on the left.)

Pirate Pants, Ahoy!

Pirate Pants & Tee, 2012
It's been raining so often there's practically a mist in the air. Time for some pirate attire! The pattern for these pants is continually evolving. Written as pure numbers, it is without pattern pieces to trace. The calculations are algebraic, using a formula with variables. Brain food, all this!

The pants wrap and tie at a high waist. (Must hire a photographer; photographing self in mirror has limitations when attempting to show a side view!) Besides sailing through the mists of Brooklyn these pants were great when sewing today. Drop a pin and there it is, in the apron-like folds rather than on the floor. Pants as a labor saving device?

Rarely wear tees, yet this one is unusual with a host of design details. Pretty. The pattern is less complicated that it would appear! 

Design Rendered in...Kleenex

Pattern Notes and Modeling
Late at night, cozy and warm in bed, was making notes on a pattern for a pair of pants. Imagined a similar construction for a top. Would it work?

Rather than hopping out of bed to get fabric & scissors to experiment, found a nearby alternative: a tissue. Ideal! Carefully tore, folded and shaped it into a three dimensional form. Sketched the design. Next there will be more precision--measurements, etc. The most beautiful idea requires a skeleton (even if it's made out of Kleenex)!

And the pants? Wearing the first pair now.

The Life of Pants and Shirts

First fitting: short pants, 2012
In-process short pants. Tend to make dense notes on patterns. Trying these on led to more ideas. And notes!

My grandfather who was fastidious, grew up in a factory town in Pennsylvania. As a young boy he wore short pants. Putting on his first pair of long pants was momentous. On that occasion his older brother offered to sell him very important information about life for five cents (a lot of money at the time). Tantalized, my grandfather scrounged around until he came up with the fee. His brother accepted the payment and said... "always lift the creases of your pants before you sit down."

Throughout his life my grandfather paused before he sat, his fingertips pinching the center crease of each pant leg, lifting it slightly as he bent his knees. It was an enduring investment and distinctive gesture.

Shirtwaist: cotton, 2012
Two top layers: a blouse and camisole edge beneath. Made a blouse years ago by deconstructing and reworking a man's shirt. The shirt was well-worn when I'd begun and now in its second incarnation it has become threadbare. It's a favorite--deliciously soft and a quasi-sampler of mending techniques! Recently drafted a pattern based on that improvised design and made a new version (photo).