Sunday, November 20, 2016

ParisTilton Discovers Denim in Paris

Atelier Notify in the Bon Marché

Denim has certainly been claimed here in the USA 
but the fabric originated in France. 
'Serge de Nîmes' ('fabric of Nîmes’) 
remains the sturdy textile adopted by 
businessman Levi Strauss and tailor Jacob Davis 
to create the classic 'blue jean’. 
(’Genes’ was a term the French used to describe the people of Genoa, Italy 
where the first trousers were made.) 
The ‘Born in the USA’, never-go-out-of-style, 
always chic, universally adapted 'uniform' of today 
is definitely the blue jean. 
In the current fashion climate 
multitudes of styles abound 
and jeans are worn all over the world. 

Jeans are an important part of the French casual ‘uniform’ 
of scarf (winter and summer), 
jacket (leather, denim or sport), 
jeans (in many colors and iterations)
 and shoes (optional boot, flat or heel).

It was exciting to hear about a new space in the Bon Marché, 
devoted exclusively to denim and all the ways it can be enhanced. 
(Thanks to ParisTilton tour participants 
Robyn and Paula for the heads up about this.)

With Ken. Photo by Marcy Tilton.
Ken, a graduate of Esmod, Paris,
 was a great help, a font of information 
and his English was excellent 
(always a plus for me whose French is limited).

Atelier Notify will happily customize anything for you. 
The perfect way to make your wardrobe 
uniquely your own.

Choose your fabric.

Choose the style.

Your jeans will be fit to order.

 Watch them work.

At the embroidery machine.

 Adjusting pants.

Enjoying the work.

Discussing the work.

Some of the many embroidery choices.

Embroidered words and images.

The French sense of humor injected into their style.

Each seam has been ripped open.

Whimsical drawings of Paris.

Painted words. Photo by Marcy Tilton.

An added bonus
is the coffee shop just behind the space
complete with a DJ.

Hand made. 
Made by hand. 
Anything touched by the hand -- recognized as being special, 
unique, one-of-a-kind. 
Occupying a space in some pretty high end real-estate. 
About time. 

Typically work done by women. 
Although I noted only one woman 
working in the space...

After talking with Ken 
and seeing all the possibilities they offer, 
I realized that 
I had done all of these things on fabric myself 
-- paint, embroider, add ge-gaws, appliqué, rip, tear, fringe, stitch. 
On denim, on leather, 
on pants, purses, shoes, jackets, coats, tops, 
skirts, scarves, bracelets, pins and more. 

​I could work there. 
I'd probably have to speak French though...

I hope you can join one of our 
where we can see what we will discover together!

This was originally posted as a blog

Monday, October 31, 2016

Sunday in Paris

When the sun actually shines on a Sunday in Paris 
the day feels somehow more special. 

Always laughing with Martine and Marcy.
A great Sunday starts at the flea market, 
where a search through vintage linen undergarments 
produced a beautiful camisole. 
Each piece in the trunk provided a sewing lesson 
with French seams, perfectly hand-stitched buttonholes, handmade lace and hand-stitched edgings.

Dyed vintage table linens 
will make a chic accompaniment to morning tea.

This young French ghoul is ready for Halloween!

Then it was off to the
Foundation Louis Vuitton, the stunning
Frank Gehry designed museum in the Bois de Boulogne
to view the Shchukin collection
which has had rave reviews.

The reviews are correct but obviously
they were not written by people
who stood in line for hours
(with tickets mind you).

Crowded lines between galleries.
The lines were hideous.

Yes, it's a first world problem.
Yes, I've become a country girl.
Yes, it's exemplary that so many people
are willing to wait in long lines to view art.
Yes, it was a Sunday afternoon
on a Holiday weekend with school vacation...

And, the lines were hideous --
outside (thank god it was a lovely day),
inside (once you've seen the first gallery
you know you have to go on) and
always for the toilettes.

Totally worth it! 

An amazing collection.
Most works never seen by the public before.

Portrait of Doctor Rey by Vincent Van Gogh.
This portrait by Van Gogh was my favorite piece.
So contemporary he could be
a hipster from Portland, Oregon.

Maurice Lobre, Dauphin’s Salon at Versaille.
I've been studying painting
with the talented Sarah F. Burns 
and was drawn to the sunlight on the floor
as well as the poignant subject matter in this piece.

The terrace views give even 
the modern skyline of Paris a certain romance.

A ‘living’ sculpture’, by Adrian Villar Rojas, 'Where the Slaves Live'.
Detail of the ‘living’ sculpture’, by Adrian Villar Rojas, 'Where the Slaves Live'.
This emotionally compelling piece 'lives' on the terrace.
An in-the-moment time capsule, 
the plants grow 
as the organic matter deteriorates.

The FLV building is a masterpiece
with ever shifting views.
Although the color panel installation
is compelling in a certain way
I look forward to returning when the glass panels
are in their original state.

À bientôt!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Butterick 6381 and 6357 Versatile Vests or Tops

Still high Summer here in Southwest Oregon
but I've noticed a crispness in the air 
that whispers 'Autumn'
as it chills my skin in the morning.

Vests are the perfect pieces
to move my wardrobe into Fall.
This one is also a great piece to take to Paris!

I've been reading all about what
and Shams at Communing With Fabric 
are creating these days.
Impossible to keep up with them,
and they are endlessly inspirational!
So happy they are coming to Paris
with ParisTilton!!

So, a vest for Paris
and possibly New York if it's not too hot.
Of course if it's hot I can always
wear it as a sleeveless top...

Butterick 6381 Line Drawings

New version of Butterick 6381

Fabric used in this most recent vest is two pieces 
of a double faced woven polyester
in a black and deep purple geometric design.
Lucky to have found these pieces in Paris.
Buttonholes can be added up into the collar
to create a more cowl effect. has lots of beautiful taffeta's,
pontes, linens, wools and other fabrics
suitable for this design.

Some Tips for Stitching Up Butterick 6381

 Pressing hems in place early on 
in the sewing process 
-- before sewing the side seams --
simplifies hemming.
With B 6281's shaped hem it's recommended.

Hemming hint for Butterick 6381
Extending from the hem on the left 
is the simple pressing tool
consisting of a length of lightweight cardboard
cut to the width of the hem (1-1/4").
that makes pressing a breeze.
The hem on the right has been pressed in place
(using a wider tool) and is ready 
for the finished edge to be pressed in.
Finished hem can be topstitched in place
or sewn by hand as on this version.

Buttonhole placket marked and ready to be stitched in place.
Buttonholes are stitched in the placket
before it is stitched to the right front facing piece.
It is easier to cut the buttonholes open
before the placket is sewn to the facing.
Finishing the raw edge is a good idea too.
Chalk lines for stitching help with placement.

Buttonhole placket marked for stitching.
After turning and pressing
mark the horizontal stitching lines with chalk.

Now the facing is ready to be stitched to the vest.

Butterick 6387 Line Drawings

This asymmetrical vest/shirt is quite easy to construct.
Be creative with the folds on the collar
or just let it hang. 

The simple lines make it a natural 
for surface design using paint,
thread or patterned fabric.

Happy Summer, Happy Sewing!

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!