Friday, October 8, 2010

Art to Wear: Gearing Up

Kirigami nights are pretty much done for me now. I have a couple hundred items to be sold at holiday bazaars, etc. I will be teaching a workshop next week but, besides my annual Snowflake Party, my attention will be turning elsewhere. Kirigami is a hobby which I indulged a bit too much this year to the neglect of other things -- like painting.

I am starting late this year with my sewing. For several years I fashioned and sold my jackets and hats at shows, galleries, and once at the DeCordova museum show. Then I got injured and had to quit the physical work of sewing for a time. Just as my shoulder was recovering I had to have major surgery for something else *sigh* and the recovery for that has been a good two years. All in all it has been three years since I've done any real "building." (Costumes are built. I like this term better than "sewn" because it really is an organic, vigorous process of multi-tasks to design and create each new piece.) So now I'm ready to return to this adventure but I've been dragging my feet all summer, not wanting to attack all the set-up involved.

Unlike painting or kirigami, there is a lot of material and equipment involved in garment making. Unless one has a permanent, large workshop, one's "stuff" needs to be stored, then taken out, then spread out all over the place, making a pretty big mess. (This is a repeating issue for me. I clean things up and then start a new project and mess up the place again. Sisyphus reborn!)

Yesterday I unpacked my new (used) Husquvarna Designer machine and practiced with it a bit. I love how these new machines sew but I really hate scrolling through electronic menus to change simple things like a stitch. It makes me long for my old portable mini Singer I began with decades ago.

Today I'm hauling out material from the attic. Thank goodness for a large attic! The cases shown here, organized by color, are only for the fleece I use in my wearable art. This doesn't include the many boxes of fashion fabric for my personal use. (Oi! As any sewer knows, collecting fabric is an occupational hazard.)


Later I will take out and organize the hundreds of small pieces of specialty fabric, ribbon, buttons, and decorators that I use to ornament my hats.


Here is my tree of color strips, all cut on the bias.


Tonight instead of sitting in front of the video screen cutting kirigami, I will likely be sorting fabric or sewing ribbon into elegant little ornaments.



Next: ornaments

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