In Which I Learn to Weave

I’ve always wanted to learn how to weave on a floor loom, so I finally took a class. I loved it, and now I’ve got an even more expensive less useful hobby than sewing.

The class was to weave a scarf, and we were allowed to choose any material the art center had on hand. I fell in love with a variegated slubby rayon yarn, and used that for the warp. The third picture was my practicing the treddling and play with colors to decided what I wanted to use in the end.

I decided to go with an ombre effect, and the final scarf uses several inches of the variegated yarn at each end of the scarf, which I then alternate with, and eventually end with a solid blue silk yarn. The pattern is “Finnish birdseye” which I chose almost at random, but because I liked the diamond crosshatch pattern, and the tie-up was the same as basic twill.

This piece is actually on display for the summer of 2015 in the Sawtooth Center Gallery in Winston Salem NC.

 

Christmas Dress 2014

So this was my Christmas dress of the year. I knew I wanted to do something a little bit over the top, couture inspired, silvery gray, and covered in sequins. I was predominantly inspired by this 1950s dropped waist dress by Hardy Aimes. (And created a inspiration board on pinterest.) I ended up not going with the scalloped edge neckline like I wanted, but kept the scalloped dropped waist.

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I bought an entire bolt of tulle off amazon (where, fyi, you can get it super cheap!), about 60000 sequins in a variety of gray and smoke and rainbow sheen colors, about 10000 hotfix crystals, and an acre of ribbon. I even got a tambour embroidery hook and frame, and told myself I was going to learn an awesome new skill. As you can see, I totally ran out of time. There are some sequins along the seam at the dropped waist, and at the neckline, but thats it. The neckline was actually originally going to be the edge embroidery on an epic shawl I planned to wear, but ended up repurposing when it was clear I was barely going to be able to get the dress finished, much less the decoration.

I didn’t use a pattern at all. This is probably the most complicated garment I completely planned and draped by hand. There were a couple of terrifying moments when the party I wanted to wear it to was three days away and I thought I had completely screwed up the bodice. Thanks to an amazing friend who ended up drafting extra darts while it was on my body, the thing turned out amazing. The upper back is unlined gathered tulle, and on my skin it looked amazing. I wish my dress form wasn’t gray so you could see the effect.

Overall, I am very happy with this dress. I got an unusual shape that I’d never played with before in the dropped waist. The color was beautiful at nighttime parties with lots of lights. I got a ton of compliments, and would probably wear it again if I had fancy parties to go to, ever. But I do wish I’d been able to sequin and bedazzle the shit out of it like I wanted to. Maybe I’ll get around to it someday, but I doubt it. There are always more things to sew!