Rain of Words

I wanted to make curtains for the full length, west-facing windows in my corner of the office. (The sun is rather dramatically bright, and I have to stare at a computer screen all day. It doesn’t work out after 2pm.)

I’m one of those weird people that like rainy days, and I loved the thought of having curtains that echo that overcast peaceful rainy-day feeling. I’ll be able to pull these closed and think “Go away sun, give me rain!”

I also love the way watercolor painting print on our fabric; the texture and color and detail is just so wonderful, it looks like someone has painted directly on the fabric. I’ve been meaning to play around with making my own watercolor designs for a while, and this rainy-curtains project seemed like the perfect time!

I absolutely love the way these clouds turned out. You will definitely be seeing them again.

I kept the texture of the watercolor paper, and put in some some of my favorite quotes about rain. (Authors include E.E. Cummings, Shakespeare, Rabindranath Tagore and many many others.)

If you, too, would like a set of rainy day curtains, you can find them on spoonflower: I Woke the the Sound of Rain. NOTE: the trick is you have to set it to 3yards to see the full image.

rain

Staff Challenge 2014

Faithful readers may remember my previous posts about the spoonflower staff challenge.

On a weekly basis, spoonflower holds a fabric design contest which is open to anyone as long as their design fits the “theme” of the week. But once a year, the contest is closed to outsiders and spoonflower employees are given the chance to design fabric and submit it to the public for voting.

Previous years have had a “project” component where we designed fabric and then actually crafted an object out of that fabric. It was super involved and took a lot of time and inspiration and ended up taking weeks of preparation.

This year, they decided to do something a little different. Instead, it was more of an Iron Chef style challenge where everyone who wanted to participate signed up for a 1hour time slot.

We were told in advance that we would have to craft a design out of mystery materials and that we wouldn’t be able to use any image altering software other than the crop tool and the spoonflower color-changing tool.

We weren’t allowed to bring any materials with us. When we arrived we were shown a table full of various craft supplied. Some were in a category of “You can use any of these” and some were in a category “You have to use three of these.” When we had 10 min left we were told to scan our design in, and upload it to spoonflower. That was it.

repeat

close

It was very fun and very silly. Above you can see my design (set in its repeat, and a close up so you can see the textures). I used brown craft paper, and cut up paint chips, and green twist-ties, and string, and fake floor laminate, and small metal washers. It all ended up okay in the end, but about three quarters of the way through I was a bit worried.

After the contest I also made an updated version which I messed about with in photoshop to hide the repeat line, and add some extra flowers.

updated

The Fantastic Flying Books

This was a very minor character in a short film and children’s book entitled “The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore.” The trickiest part will be getting floating books to look awesome. Luckily I’ll have help.

I’m meeting a friend to help finish the flying books today. I designed the fabric myself, and printed it on spoonflower’s cotton sateen. I call it “Lorem Ipsum” … because I am a dork. You can see the fabric on spoonflower here: Lorem Ipsum Fabric.

With a purchased shirt, and pretty basic shoes, it’s one of the laziest costumes I’ve done in awhile. But if I get the flying books just right, that will make aaaaaaaall the difference.

Also, evidently I’ve been raised on too many princess movies, and believe there is nothing more adorable than a bow in the back. ❤

Words of Fire Dress

This is a fabric design I created using the text from Neil Gaiman’s poem “I will write in words of fire.” I want to make a dress with it, printed on silk, super flowy, with a red underdress. I’ll add it to the project list of things I’ll probably never get around to….

He wrote it for a friend’s tattoo. You can read the story here.

Later….
This is the pattern I’m thinking about using for my Neil Gaiman “Words of Fire” print. (Vogue 8360) You can read my review of this dress pattern here: Vogue Dress V8360 ★★★

Which is now famous! In case no one but me noticed, NG himself recently reblogged my fabric design. This is amazing and wonderful to me in SO MANY WAYS. I’m also composing a post (which I may or may not actually release) about hero worship, being a crazy fan-girl, and the perks and dangers there-in.

Back to the dress – I’d probably shorten the hem line to right below the kness, to make it a little less formal, I don’t have many black-tie events in my social calendar these days. I still like the thought of doing an over-dress in Spoonflower’s silk crepe-de-chine, which is fairly see-through, and a more fitted underdress in something red and shiny. Maybe I’ll leave the underbust and the shoulder straps in the plain red, just for detail.

The printed fabric is on silk crepe de chine from Spoonflower. The under dress will be of the red charmeuse. This is my first experience with sewing 100% silk. And yes, its already a pain in the butt. But I think it will ALL BE WORTH IT.

fabric

It took me forever, because everything that makes silk beautiful, also makes it extremely difficult to sew with. And I wanted it to turn out perfectly. I got a lovely red silk charmeuse for the underdress, which has more of a shiny satiny appearance.

I used a pattern from Vogue, V8360. But I shortened the hem length to just longer than my knees, to make it a little less formal. I also ended up having to alter the skirt a little bit. I wanted the top layer to be a bit more floaty, so I added some triangle inserts at the side seams of the skirt. That seemed to balance the dress a bit, and added some twirl. I also changed the back from a band with clasps to long silk ties. I can’t decide if I like it better when tied in a bow, or in a simple knot.

The best part is, after finishing this dress, I actually have somewhere to wear it! Neil Gaiman will be coming to my city in North Carolina in September for a literary and story-telling event/tour called Unchained. Which sounds so wonderfully fantastic I don’t yet have the words to say how excited I am.

I love Neil Gaiman dearly, but obviously so does the rest of the world. And he does a lot of really super cool events, in super cool cities, that are almost always far far away from me. Its sad, but the south eastern side of the US doesn’t get a lot of attention from most tour groups. But this tour began in Georgia, and is making a point of hitting lots of places in SC and NC and FL too. They have such an incredible mission, it really touched me. Anyways, I’m rambling. Just go check out their website. I’ll try to put my thoughts into more organized words later, and maybe post it.

The point is, I’m super excited about this event. And I will have a literary themed dress to wear to it. (And I might wear it to the Amanda Palmer concert, because she too is coming to my corner of NC in September. Who knew how wonderfully filled with awesome this fall was going to be?!)