Thursday, June 2, 2016

Paris Diary: May 2016

On the Pont Alexandre III bridge. Photo by Marcy Tilton

Just the word 'Paris' 
conjures conflicting concepts 
that can confuse the mind,
feed the senses,
expand the imagination
and ignite the heart.
In reality she never disappoints.

Typical touristic pursuits
continue to bring joy.
Marcy and niece Annie.
Looking at the Trocadero and Paris from the Eiffel Tower.
Plus the views are spectacular!
Hausmann had a good plan.

The Catacombs compel.
There's always a line
to view the macabre, 
but not so morbid really,
display of skulls and bones.

It's a long way down.
 Curious to imagine how and who 
transported the bones, skulls and more bones
deep into the depths,
much less organized them 
into such charming and thoughtful patterns.


Being a flâneur in Paris offers a visual feast 
with surprises and beauty around every corner.
Artist's studios.
Grafitti on a charming street.
Chestnut trees blooming in the Palais Royale.

I spotted this chic woman
carrying her dog by Square Boucicaut.
The dog's name aptly translated
as 'sweet face'.

What a blast to stroll on the Champs-Élysées
the first day ever it was closed to traffic!
Beautiful weather enhanced the occasion
and buskers added to the high energy.

Wandering in the work of art
that is Monet's garden at Giverny
is always divine. 
Marcy, Eloise, Mimi and Wanda meander in the water garden.
Even French rain 
can't dampen our spirits!

One can stroll in the gardens at Versailles
(which I adore) --
Reflections in the Hall of Mirrors.
but the palace is a crowded mass (mess) 
of tourists all eagerly taking photos 
(yes, me too)
bumping, pushing, 
greedily claiming a spot of space.

I have to remind myself to breathe, look, 
to be present; to see, feel, imagine. 
What it was like to live here in the day?
Possibly as crowded, competitive and
completely unconscious as it is now.
Always a pleasure to examine
the deliciously detailed textiles
that the queen wore.
Detailed paintings like this are 
a treasure trove for textile lovers.

Artful Parisian Pursuits

So many art exhibitions,
so little time -- but I managed 
to happily view more than ever before.

An artful collection of boxes waiting for the 'homme de detritus'.

I was reminded of the pattern created by 

these stacked boxes in the street --
when I went to the Monumenta 2016
exhibition 'Empires' by Huang Yong Ping
at the Grand Palais.
Tall stacks of shipping containers,
surround a giant Napoleon's hat;
all under the massive weighty skeleton
of a foreboding snake.
Reflective, uncomfortable
and definitely monumental.

The Grand Palais always presents
thoughtfully curated, powerful exhibitions. 

Seydou Keïta's 
moving and beautiful photos
capture the essence of the sitters
and the unerring eye of the photographer.
Accompanying videos provide a peek
into his process and vibrant unique personality.

The 'Carambolages' exhibition,
also at the Grand Palais,
indicates the curatorial direction
of the future.
'Listen with your eyes'
says the neon sign
giving the only instruction as you enter.

No titles, long explanations or
interpretations are provided with the work.
It is up to the viewer to follow 
the sequence and make their own connections.
Classic and modern paintings with 
weird and shocking elements, 
primitive and contemporary sculpture, 
indigenous garments,
functional weapons, exquisite porcelain
and ritual objects,
displayed in a non-linear 
but totally connected progression.
Paintings by (left to right):
Winston Churchill, Dwight D. Eisenhower
and Adolph Hitler were in the area
with implements of aggression.
Suit of armor with cannonball hole.
Sobering reminders 

of the paradox we inhabit.

Stunning, exciting, thought provoking.
I saw it twice.

There was a marvelous
Paul Klee exhibit at the Pompidou.

I was drawn to these untitled Klee
And gleefully absorbed many previously 
unseen (by me) Klee drawings and paintings.

War or the Ride of Discord by Rousseau.
The Henri Rousseau exhibit
at Musee d'Orsay was fabulous as well.
'War or the Ride of Discord'
boldly captures 
the gruesomeness of war.

Then there were the Fashion exhibitions!

'Real' people clothing at Anatomy of a Collection

Especially touching at Anatomy of a Collection
 exhibit at the Palais Gallieria
 were the garments

worn by the majority of the people,
the workers, the 99%.
Patched and stained, the skirts
emanated the energy and labor
of everyday life.

Contemporary fashion at the Fashion Forward exhibit.
Fashion Forward 
Musée des Arts Décoratifs presented 300 pieces from 
the 17th century to now.
Historical references in contemporary
fashion become more obvious
when viewed in an exhibit like this.

And in addition...

We peeked in the windows 
of the shops in the arcades
at the Palais Royale.

Cindy with some of her stash.
Linda, Cristy and Veronica checking out the good stuff.
Shopped for fabric.
Followed this guy 
in all his sartorial splendor 
out of the Metro
but he was too quick...

Annie making a selfie swap.
Marcy and I in the hat store.
Took silly selfies.

Fabian from Paris Charms and Secrets.
Enjoyed an informative and fun
electric bike tour in Paris
with our fabulous and entertaining
tour guide Fabian!

Paul and Marcy taking photos of Eloise and Wanda.
Posed on the plinths in the 
sculpture garden at the Palais Royale.

Ate numerous superb dinners.

Had the best latte EVER

Enjoyed a cocktail in the cave
at a local hangout.

And pondered the view 
as we flew over Greenland,
noting all the icebergs...

A girl can never have
too much fun!

Friday, April 1, 2016

Butterick 6325 -- A Sweet Shirt

Butterick 6325

Totally into shirts these days -- 
must be Spring! 
Perfect weather here in southwest Oregon 
and the Bernina has been stitching up 
some fun versions of Butterick 6325.
This chic version of a classic shirt
has a pleated collar, 
asymmetrical pleat on right front and back
and asymmetrical hem with layered peplum.
This simple to sew pattern
lends itself to many design iterations
and the envelope contains both
 long and short versions.
All shirts shown are long.

Version 1 - pieced in cotton

This version is made up of 
three different Japanese cottons from
Pre-washed in my usual cavalier fashion 
-- a quick wash and a toss in the dryer, 
then to the ironing board.
The fun part is figuring out what goes where.   
Placement is pondered 
but frequently the size of the remnant 
determines what happens with it.
In this version a seam was created
on the left back side to utilize
a piece of the pale green.
It was needed to balance the sleeve 
and underside of the collar.

Underside of collar

The under collar was pieced,
using the selvedge edge as an overlap.
It's such a joy using the selvedge edge 
of these beautiful Japanese cottons
as they frequently have words printed on them.
The selvedge edge was used
for the sleeve 'hems' on this shirt and
French seams keep the look tidy
when the sleeves are rolled up.

Version 2 -- in striped rayon

Into loving blue these days.
Certain blues are known in the trade 
as being 'denim friendly'
 (I'm such a jeans girl).

Version 3 -- an irregularly dyed rayon and linen blend

When washed and dried this fabric
softened but kept its body.
Sewed up like a dream.
I used the selvedge again,
as sleeve edges, as the 'hem' edge
on the peplum panels
and as trim on the collar.

Collar detail with selvedge accent

Front of collar with selvedge detail

The pattern piece for the under collar was cut double 
and used for the top collar as well, 
eliminating the pleats.
The selvedge trim's length was determined
by what scraps of selvedge were left.
Edges that would show were hemmed
and pinned randomly to the collar,
folded a bit for interest
and then stitched into the collar seam.
(After stitching up six plus
shirts I am ready for some variations!)

Here you can see the back pleat and peplum detail

Then there's the question of fabric.
Butterick 6325 is perfect for linen
(mid to lightweight), cottons and
other wovens with or without stretch.
All the fabric is from

Now about the yardage and layout...
The back piece of this pattern is asymmetrical
and wider at the hem which means 
it's an ample pattern piece,
more so in the larger sizes.
The pattern envelope only notes yardage for 60" fabric.
If you look online you can find many
fabric conversion charts which will help
knowing how much to buy.

There are several solutions to the layout of the fabric.
The Japanese cottons are narrow
which is one reason a back seam was added.
Add a back seam or on a firm woven 
the back can be cut on the crossgrain.

Still openings in our ParisTilton tour
in May and November
if you want to join us!

Happy sewing!!!