May 8, 2012
It is delightful to me how two different pieces of fabric, with the same general format can inspire two different designs. By general format, I mean size, color scheme, etc. The difference in these two pieces of fabric was the geometric pattern printed in black. One piece of fabric seemed to be based more on squares, and the other on circles. From that difference came the two different dresses.
Circular vs square neckline, and on and on.
The second dress is also a tunic shape. A bit on the large size. Again, the patterning creates an illusion of shaping!
The sleeves are a little bit more interesting. I added little pleats on the cuffs, and they pouf out a little bit.
The sides of the dress match up nicely, with circles being created at the seams. I love how geometric this fabric is. The cutting and sewing are easy because of the patterns.
The rest of the dress is pretty much straight down. I am thinking that it would look good with a belt, but I don’t have one yet to try it with.
May 7, 2012
I made this sweater thinking that I would be needing a simple sweater while visiting Thailand. The temperature has been so so hot! I have only used a sweater when traveling in cars, taxis, buses, airplanes, etc. So this sweater is finished, and will probably wait until I am in a slightly cooler climate to be worn.
But it turned out well! I adapted the pattern from a Jo Sharp cardigan that I like. I took out the waist shaping and added a garter border around the front, and ribbing on the bottom.
The yarn is beautiful Silken Straw, by Alchemy yarns. Each strand is made up of many tiny threads pressed together and dyed. When the garment is washed and blocked, the material softens, and takes on a beautiful drape. Each skein is hand dyed, and so there can be a bit of variation from skein to skein. To help balance the color, I kept changing the balls of yarn as I moved from piece to piece.
Also, I knit the back of the sweater using two skeins of yarn at the same time. One for the right side, and one for the left. This created a seam up the middle, and I liked the division of color. It was especially interesting in the upper back when the yarn began to pool in different ways.
May 6, 2012
This is a dress pattern that I have made before, but with a new material. I found the fabric in one of my new favorite spots in Bangkok, Pahurad. It is a street completely packed with fabric vendors. All kinds of materials are piled, stacked, and stuffed into every possible space. I would be happy to wander around for a few days just to see everything!
This material is Japanese cotton. It is thin, and I have a nice slip to wear under the dress. (It would either need a slip or a lining.)
The fabric came in three different colorways. I bought several meters of each, and plan on taking the additional two colors to the dressmaker with my dress and the pattern.
So far I do have only one difficulty with my interactions with the dressmaker. I don’t speak Thai, and she doesn’t speak English. We manage to communicate many things with pointing and smiling, and the rest we figure out by calling someone on the phone, or stopping by and talking with someone who can translate for us.
I would like to have her make some dress samples for me in different sizes, but so far I am not exactly how to tell her that is what I would like. This whole dress making business is certainly a good motivator to learn a bit of the language!!