Thursday, May 14, 2015

Button, Button

Is there anyone reading this
who doesn't have 
at least a small box of buttons
tucked away somewhere?
I know that I 
have more than a few boxes
in my creativity supply stash!

Currently in Paris, Musée des Arts décoratifs
is showcasing thousands of buttons
in a beautiful exhibition
or 'unbuttoned fashion'.

The Musée des Arts décoratifs
always does a beautiful job
staging exhibitions and this
is no exception.
Showcasing garments, accessories, 
drawings and focused collections
raises the humble button
to museum status.

I especially love the drawings for new designs.

It will be interesting to watch
and see how this exhibit informs
future fashion trends.
(I fear that in order to keep costs down
any buttons used in cheaper lines
will not meet my standards...)

Men's waistcoat  with fancy buttons.
Many times buttons were not even
functional but used as decoration
mostly in men's garments --
the peacock effect.

“As soon as buttons appeared in Western dress, 
they ignored their primary role as functional objects in favor of 
a new decorative role as objects of luxury. 
Henceforth, silversmiths and jewelers designed sets of precious buttons, 
using the same materials and techniques as for jewellery-making.”

Note the buttonhook in the upper left corner.
It would take forever to put these on!
Double buttons on a dress back.

“By the 1880’s the bodice had returned with vengeance 
to hold women’s bodies firmly in place. 
The tight rows of dome-shaped buttons down the front 
underlined the rigidity of the chest and enabled close-fitting bodices to shut firmly. 
While this allowed women to dress themselves, 
the buttons were sometimes positioned down the back, especially for wedding gowns. 
This arrangement, which implied the presence of a third party or a chambermaid, 
was strictly reserved for women and gave clothing a special character. 
Buttons were pointers of social status 
and demonstrated deliberate submission to the games of seduction.”

Designs of Henri Hamm.
A few of the 792 Henri Hamm buttons.

I especially loved the collection by
sculptor Henri Hamm.

Henri Hamm button display.

Against a grey backdrop and mirrors
792 of Hamm's buttons
repeat into infinity.

Black and white and graphic.

Notice the angled bound buttonhole on this bias cut coat.
Jacques Fath coat. 

Simple and elegant
this coat by Jacques Fath
is my favorite. 
Classic and graceful
the buttons provide a perfect balance
to the refined lines of the design.

Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel.

Not all of the buttonholes work
but the design does.

Karl always knows when more is more.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

The Textures of Paris

After a week in Paris...
I am not yet satiated with bread,
salted butter, good wine,
fine food, chic clothing 
or great company.
And the tour hasn't started yet!

Always a treat to hangout with Marcy
and sometimes we run into friends!
Diane Lea is another talented creatrix
from Oregon, currently travelling in Europe.

The rain on Sunday 
didn't keep us from the flea market
where the gleaming surfaces
of interior gardens delighted the eye.

A dyed pigeon with extra wings.
Beautiful, macabre, thought provoking.

Hand-painted wine boxes.

One of the things I love seeing in Paris
are beautiful remains,
left as part of the remodel
purely for the aesthetic.
This mottled wall was
left exposed at l'Eclaireur.

Another unusual object from l'Eclaireur
is this contrasting textural couch.
Austin Powers would love this!

When you're with Marcy
you'll always notice the dogs in Paris.

Even on a rainy day
Gallerie Vivenne puts light and pattern
into perspective.

Oysters, spring rolls and Marcy taking photos.
It's been a full-Tilton week!

I'll leave you with a few unusual sweatshirt images
showing the variety of options available...
Hand painted silk organza overlay
on a sweatshirt.

If you have any extra giant grommets
left over from a curtain project here's an idea --
add a bow belt to your sweatshirt
and throw in something from the chandelier
just for fun!

I chuckle every time I see this one...

A la prochaine!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Shirts -- Butterick 6177 and 6026

Butterick 6177

Flattering, fun and easy to wear,
a person can't have too many shirts.
In lightest linen or cotton for summer,
mid-weight linen, cotton or rayon 
for transition seasons
or cozy flannel or wool for the cold months,
shirts rock.

has some wonderful shirt fabrics.
There are so many choices 
I couldn't possible link to them all!

I especially love her selection of Japanese fabrics
which changes as bolts are sold
and more new fabric designs arrive.
Marcy's descriptions are very clear
so you will know if that print/stripe/solid you like
will work for a shirt.

For those quilters out there 
who are ready to jump into garment sewing
this is a great pattern to play with.

Butterick 6177,
a modern take on a classic shirt.
The pattern lends itself beautifully
to combining different shirting fabrics.
The collar is fun because the under-collar
folds over the upper-collar
so several fabrics are visible.
I love to figure out places where I can use
cool selvage as a design detail.
Here it creates the edge of a cuff 
I added to the sleeve.

Some how-to's on the front panel:
I like to press the hems in place first thing
on all the front pieces.

This shows the side front with all the hems 
pressed in place. 
Press the hem first as it is easier to do when the fabric is flat.
Then press in the pleat and baste the top in place.
On the side front, stay-stitch on the seamline to reinforce
at the notch where you will be clipping into the seam.
Clip at the notch just into the stay-stitching at the seamline.
Press the center/side hem and stitch in place.
Matching the marks, stitch the center and side fronts
together on the seamline,
stitching from mark to the neckline.
Finish the seam and top edge of the extension
of the center front panel. 
On the right side, top-stitch the seam
from the notch to the neckline.
Start by stitching across 
to stabilize at the top of the pleat.
Finished front
with center panel stitched in place
and center front extension basted into the side seam.
This version was made from 
a woven boarder print.
The sleeves and shirt side pieces and back
utilize the selvage edge as a hem.
To do this the hem has to be
'evened' out and matched at the side seam.

Butterick 6026 is another modern classic shirt.

Small tucks and a tapered waist
flatter the torso;
tucks at the neckline flatter the face.

Butterick 6026 is a slim fitting shirt 
so be sure to do a FBA (full bust adjustment) 
if you are well endowed

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Kicky Pocket Improvisation

Working on a version of a not yet released pattern
that I'm making for myself.
I can't show the garment
but I can show the pocket I'm improvising.

The samples have patch pockets 
or 'bag' pockets in the side seam.
When I got to the pocket stage
on this garment it was clear
after auditioning options
that neither patch nor bag pockets
were quite right.

When in doubt, 
sleep on it.

Returning to my studio the next morning
and 'circling the wagons',
by moving from computer,
to sewing machine,
to button choosing,
to phone calls,
cleared a space for the perfect pocket
to arise in my awareness.

Funny how surrendering to procrastination 
can work in your favor...

Finished patch pocket with contrast interior and 'piping'.

One pocket 
in a geometric shape
that complimented the fabric
with an opening
that did the same.

I tried on the garment
put my hand where 
it wanted to go into a pocket
and marked that spot with a pin.

Pocket placement marked with a pin.

The idea of the shape
was cut out of a pellon type pattern 'paper'.
When the shape cut from my original concept
 was placed on the garment
I immediately turned it upside down
and it felt perfect. 
A smaller shape was cut 
for the opening.

Pocket pattern with cutout.

I wanted the contrast fabric
to peek out of the pocket opening
and to 'pipe' the opening.
I used Diane Ericson's 'piping' technique
where the facing fabric 
wraps around the edge
giving the illusion of a piping. 
Simply genius!
Fortunately the knit I used was 
a stable double knit with great flexibility
and it worked perfectly.

Pocket shape drawn on back with pins marking corner placement.

Pocket and opening shapes were drawn with chalk
on the back of the garment
and the corners of the opening marked with pins.

Facing for opening cut from contrast fabric.

I didn't have much left of the contrast fabric
so I used as little as possible.

Pocket facing in place on front of garment.

Facing lines up with pins coming from the back.

Pocket facing stitched, opened and trimmed.

I love the houndstooth cover of
my custom Stitch Nerd ham peeking through.

Facing turned to the back -- but not all the way.

Once the 'piping' was in place 
I pinned and pressed it down.

View from the wrong side.

How I determined the side pocket pattern shape.

I realized that I wanted another pocket
on the other side of the garment
but not the same. 
I placed the geometric pocket shape I'd created
on top of a classic pocket pattern piece,
made some small adjustments
to angle the shape
and came up with the piece on the left.

Had just enough contrast fabric left for this pocket.

Finished side pocket.

The contrast fabric in the two pockets
provide just enough variance
to keep things interesting visually.

The two pockets together.

Look for me wearing this garment
at the Sew Expo
in Puyallup, Washington
February 26 to March 1.

Come see all our wonderful fabrics
in booth 830.