It’s been quit a week! But somehow I managed to get my jumpsuit done last night in time to enter it into the Pattern Review Sewing Bee. You should see my house! I should be cleaning it right now instead of blogging, but I just want to eek out my shiftlessness a tiny bit longer before I tackle the mess that is my dining room after the last two days of sewing and drafting. Because although i had ten days to make my project I didn’t get started until Sunday afternoon. And also, I’ve been glued to the TV and radio, watching and listening to Pope Francis on his visit here in the US .Eeek!!
I often find that taking on a time consuming project is a way for me to deal with uncomfortable emotions. All week, we’ve been getting Isabelle ready to drop off at college, and when the day came on Monday, I had a total breakdown. Sometimes you get so irritated by your older kids, you think you can’t wait for them to move out. This is the third time we’ve sent a child off to college, but somehow I was just bereft at the thought of my girl going out into the big, wide world. Had I done a good enough job with her? There is always so much more that we could have done and so many mistakes made, but somehow we need to just let go and let God, as they say. And let them know how much we love them.
And then I’ll be turning 46 this week. Not a bad thing, but nevertheless, the passing of my mortality on this earth continues ever faster. One day you wake up and find yourself middle aged. Because there is only one other alternative, right? At 41 and 42, and even 43 I told myself, ” Well , I’m not that far out of my thirties, really, so I can just pretend I’m still younger. For me, turning 46 is about embracing my age and thanking God that I’m healthy. So I am trying to get both my body and my mind into shape this year. And my home. Clearing out the old stuff to open the doors to newer things. Getting rid of my excess material possessions, losing the weight I gained in middle age, and trying to deal with some of my inner demons.
You can own your age and be the best you can be for your age, or you can chase the past. OK. Enough philosophy. Because Lord know you came for the sewing, right?
What type of fabric did you start with for your project?
I believe this was a silk cotton fabric or perhaps a rayon, I’m not sure as I bought it a few years ago to use as a lining. I also used a cotton batiste to underline my main fabric because it was too see through.
What techniques did you use to modify your fabric?
I folded the fabric, all three yard , so it took awhile, into 4 inch sections, trying to make sure the folds were along the grainlines as I wanted to make a geometric print and the print would need to follow the grainlines in order to look right. It was quite a chore, as I had to precisely measure and pin each four inch fold as i went and my ironing board was too small, really! Once i had a long 4 inch strip of accordion folded fabric, I then folded it up in the other direction in the same shape.
I used a Shibori dye kit, also bought a couple years ago and never used. This was great excuse to finally try it. I was a little nervous as I have never tried Shibori dye or folding techniques, and wasn’t sure how it would turn out. I wrapped the wood blocks on the outside of my folded fabric square and bound it with rubber bands. Then, I mixed up the activating agents for the indigo dye. It is definitely a lot more complicated than using normal dyes, but I love the effect. I dipped the square into the dye for a few minutes, then I removed it to let it oxidize in the sun. It’s green when you first take it out. I did this four times to give a stronger hue.
When I finally removed the bands and unfolded my fabric , I was pleasantly surprised at the overall design and thought it looked quite sophisticated. I was expecting the fabric to have a lot more blue color, actually.
What pattern(s) did you use for your garment, or is your entry self-drafted or draped?
I created this pattern with my own dartless shirt block and an altered version of some basic elastic waist pants, Simplicity 1377. I tapered the pant legs in quite a bit at the bottom. I drafted a shirt placket so it could have buttons, and I sewed a waistband with an elastic casing but also a drawstring, which I trimmed with some wooden beads. The entire jumpsuit was under lined with cotton batiste. The neckline and armholes are bound with bias tape. I was planning on doing some Japanese embroidery on linen bias strips I also dyed indigo, but this week was really hectic. We were sick, my daughter went away for college and we drove there twice, just the usual stuff! The buttons were found in the garment district of LA. I thought they looked very ready to wear, and haven’t seen any like this at other fabric stores.
How does your garment show off your fabric modifications?
I like how the lines go down the front of the jumpsuit. It really goes with my personal style and i can’t wait to wear it out somewhere.