Just finished a second t-shirt this morning. A light weight rayon knit (reminds me of the prints used by Desigual) – a bit easier to work with than the polyester I worked on yesterday. Pleased with the fit.
This is a third shirt finished as well – to wear with white or the pink pants I have.
Back to some garment sewing. Today a t-Shirt. I had some knit fabric I’m about to discard because it was difficult to work with, however, I thought I’d give the t-Shirt a try. Rather than a facing, I decided to use a simple binding, instead.
I made some modifications to the pattern – lengthened the sleeves, shortened the body length an inch. I was surprised this has turned out to be a wearable garment! I was expecting to chuck it out after I was done, but it fits quite well.
So I’ve just cut out another one from a rayon knit which I will assemble tomorrow. I’ve been wanting some t-Shirts with longer sleeves and a wee bit longer in the body than the ones I have. I have fabric for a half a dozen. I expect to busy for the next week on these.
I have the usual pair of socks on the go – I’ve just turned the heel on the first sock. But I’ve been sidetracked – while I was in Portland OR, I visited a yarn shop and found there a lovely knit shawl. The gal in the shop gave me the info on where to find the pattern online so I looked it up when I got home. I downloaded the pattern. Yesterday I visited my local yarn shop and picked up some lovely lace weight yarn in three colours and started the shawl. It took me three tries before I realized the shawl starts at the neck edge and not the outside edge – duh! So switching colours of yarn, I started over again (once more it took three tries before I got the shawl rolling.) I’m using a seafoam blue/green, white, and eggplant – starting with the seafoam at the neckline and working through white to the eggplant on the outer edge. I have no idea how long this garment is going to take me – but the socks are set aside for now – I won’t need them until the fall, anyway. And all this because I loaned my wool poncho that I made 40 or more years ago to a friend and it came back with an odour I can’t get rid of and which triggers my asthma. I’ve washed it twice, soaked it once; I’m going to try soaking again, this time in a solution of baking soda and put it out in a fresh breeze to see if I can get it to freshen. If that doesn’t work, I guess the poncho is a give-away.
These are the fabrics I purchased at the estate sale – I haven’t actually counted how many pieces are in the pile but there are quite a few and they’re a good size – certainly enough to get 8″ quilt blocks out of, or pieces for building other kinds of projects like hand bags, maybe even a jacket – who knows…
I also have another piece (approx. a yard and a half) covered with sashiko designs – which will make something interesting.
I looked up Ann Williamson’s Blog – her clothing is spectacular, definitely worth following: http://annwilliamson.com/handmade-designer-womens-apparel/
I’m hoping to spend a bit of time on the website where she buys her kimono silks to see if I can come up with something to try a jacket on my own.
I took the early shuttle to the Portland Airport. Once through security what should I see but a display of Dana Pinkham’s hats!
She has a couple on display hung at different heights with a mirror behind so you can “try them on”. I did that, but didn’t take a photo.
The trip was uneventful – Vancouver, Toronto, Halifax – arriving at 2:00 am. I knew it would be hard getting a cab at that hour so I arranged with the driver who took me to the airport to pick me up; even sent an email early on Saturday! No Show, however. I was one of the last two at the airport to get a cab after having to wait for more than an hour. Got home at 3:30 – wide awake. So I unpacked, watched a TV program I’d taped while away before finally falling asleep at around 6:00 am. It’s going to be a slow day today.
Today is the last day of the Portland Sewing Trip. The morning began with a useful session with Marla (who did the pattern fitting session Tuesday) – she offered lots of useful tips for modifying patterns and fine finishing techniques:
Afterward, we returned to the estate sale – the deceased, who passed away two years ago, was a quilter. She collected about a ton and a half of fabric all carefully sorted and stored in plastic bins. There was some amazing stuff there. I came away with three pounds of manufacturer sample sized Japanese fabrics for the grand price of $4 / pound:
Next a lovely lunch at a seafood restaurant, then a trek to Fabric Depot. Oh wow! Huge. Wonderful quilting fabric selection, lots of very nice garment fabrics. Too much to choose from when I’m limited by what I can pack. I ended up with two half-yard pieces from the “outdoor warehouse” to complement the Japanese fabrics – for $2.50!
To end the afternoon, Marla and I returned to Mill Ends to see if the piece of silk I had walked away from on Wednesday was still there – it was – I guess it had my name on it.
Dinner at Salties on the Oregon bank of the Columbia River, then home to pack.
It’s been a great week – the shopping, the classes, the designers, the sightseeing – I enjoyed it all.
Home tomorrow and back to my normal retired life.
Look closely and I think you’ll be able to discern three faces (two for sure) in this entryway I happened to notice as I walked by the building yesterday.
We began the day with a visit to an estate sale where the woman had been a collector of fabrics and sewing supplies – turned out to be the wrong day – not until tomorrow! The house did have an interesting feature though: an espalier of some kind of evergreen along the roof edge – I’ve never seen anything like it:
After a stop for coffee we made our way to Ann Williamson’s design studio. Her silk jackets are exquisite:
The detail is very fine, her choice of fabrics amazing. Since 2003 she’s been using mainly kimono silk, from kimonos she’s taken apart as well as new kimono silk from Japan. She has a large stash of 14″ bolts of kimono silk:
We spent more than an hour with her, talking about technique, and seeing samples of her work.
Next stop – Josephine’s Fabrics. She specializes in “fine” fabrics – and although the selection isn’t large I came away with a Liberty cotton print for a shirt as well as some lovely reversible grey and off-white woolen fabric which I can see making into a pieced reversible jacket of some kind.
Then lunch at the Portland lunch carts:
There’s a big choice of food, and after you’ve purchased what you want to eat there’s a small square nearby where you can sit and eat:
Our next stop was the Button Emporium. I was too busy looking for buttons to go with the purple fabric I bought Wednesday to remember to take photos of the wall of buttons! I also picked up three bits of lace and entredeux for heirloom sewing (not much of a selection in Halifax).
Around the corner we visited a designers’ consignment shop – lots of interesting ideas there.
One last stop at another small fabric outlet where I thought I might find more swimsuit fabric but they had little in the way of interesting lycra prints.
Finally back to the hotel, something to eat, and now for a quiet evening.
Thursday started early – breakfast before 7:30 to be ready to board the van (there were now eight of us) at 8:00 am for an hour and a half drive to Washougal WA to tour the Pendleton Woolen Mill. A brief bit of shopping the the Mill store (lots of discounted ready made clothing) before entering the Mill itself. NO pictures allowed we were told. So I have none of the massive bales of raw, undyed, uncarded wool or of the huge carding machines or looms. We started where they dye the entire bale, moved on to the carding machines where differently dyed wools are blended during carding to create roving. Next are the machines that check the quality of the roving and spin it. Then on to the looms which weave the blanket fabric. We also walked past the yarn dying vats, and later the whole cloth dying process.
The Mill produces many different kinds of wool cloth which is sold all over the world. A lot of it is shipped abroad to be made into garments to be sold back in the US under the Pendleton label (made in China of US materials, for example). I didn’t buy any of the ready made clothing – I saw a sweater I liked but it wasn’t available in my size. I thoroughly enjoyed the journey through the Mill.
Next stop, the Maryhill Museum of Art, another hour away beyond “The Dalles” – the change in the landscape was striking – from lush green mixed forest on steep cliffs and slopes to golden brown rolling hills. This is vineyard and orchard country in eastern Washington State.
The Maryhill building was built from 1914 – 1926 overlooking the Columbia River by Sam Hill (you know – “What in the Sam Hill…?”) as a residence, but he and his family never lived there. It opened as an art museum in 1940. An addition in a very different architectural style was completed 2012.
We came to see the “Theatre de la Mode” mannequins – a large collection of 24″ wire frame “dolls” wearing French designer outfits created in 1945 as a way of advertising the couturier collections in Paris because high end clothing fabrics and other sewing supplies were in short supply. The mannequins and their outfits are amazing!
The detail, right down to the miniature shoes and handbags, hats, jewellery has to be seen to be believed.
Following the art museum, we stopped briefly at Hill’s reconstruction of Stonehenge:
Our last stop of the day was at Multnomah Falls – the water drops 620′ from the top of the ridge to the river in two stages – ending in a pool that drains into a rather nondescript small river (the name of which I don’t remember).
There are trails to the top of the falls – you can imagine how steep the climb must be. It was drizzling so we walked only as far as the bottom pool.
Another very enjoyable day.