Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Beads

Spring has brought a new spurt of energy and goals for creative insight and output.  My challenge continues to be how to do it all.

Like many of us, creativity can take many forms in construction (sewing, beading, lampworking, knitting, crocheting, dyeing, quilting) and function.  Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi writes in his book Creativity (1996) "Even the most abstract mind is affected by the surroundings of the body."  The beauty of Spring and anticipation of its bounty has certainly spurred me on!

I titled my blog Bits and Beads as a nod to my past and future creative endeavors.  Several years ago, I started a small jewelry-making business.  While I never gave it enough time and dedication, I certainly enjoyed the short run.

Following my beading phase, I turned to sewing after a 20 year hiatus.   Now, I'm committed to melding my love of sewing with my love of beading.

This month, I made a Marcy Tilton top (Vogue 8497) and added some beads and topstitching for effect.  The center beads in the examples on the top were lampworked by me in my brother's shop.  The last few photos are bracelets and necklaces made from my lampworked beads and purchased findings.  I also sewed a Kindle cover and iPad cover from scrap fabrics.

Creativity continues to be a challenge for me.  In future blogs, I hope to research creativity and examine the thought process and construction of more artistic clothing, hopefully culminating in wearable art!


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Looking Forward to Spring

February has been a busy month of learning, planning, and designing!

Vogue 1004 was constructed in muslin and fitted during a class session with Lynda Maynard, author and educator.  The new skirt and bodice sloper classes on Craftsy featuring Suzy Furrer, founder of Apparel Arts in San Francisco, were instrumental in making a sloper designed to my measurements! And, last but not least, a day was spent with Peggy Sagers of Silhouette Patterns, learning additional fitting techniques.  I've learned over the years something I wish I'd known at a younger age.  The journey/process is absolutely the most enjoyable part of any sewing project!  

My sewing in February has yielded two dresses for warmer weather, four placemats to practice free motion quilting, a toddler's reversible vest.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

My closet is organized... the ROYGBIV method!  I arranged my clothes differently to stimulate my creativity in mixing and matching outfits.  Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet from left to right!

My project board is filled with pictures of wardrobe solutions from a variety of sources, and I've cut out two muslins for fitting.  Now, if I could just "settle" on one thing....

My stash is quite eclectic and doesn't lend itself to a basic wardrobe to mix and match.  Therein lies the challenge/opportunity!

What fun!!!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Were it not for a friend who is a master at both sewing and quilting, I might not be passionately sewing today.  When my children were young, I purchased my first sewing machine in the early 1980s.  I was hooked on sewing girls dresses and Halloween costumes.   As my children grew, I wanted a career and ended up working in education for 24 years.  Not unlike many working mothers, sewing was set aside and my sewing machine sat idle for 20 years.

My passion didn't grow overnight, but I was encouraged to get back into sewing and I love what I'm doing and am so lucky to do it.  I gave my old sewing machine away, bought a new computerized one, a serger, and an embroidery machine.  My repertoire now includes sewing, quilting, knitting, crochet and lampworking (thus the beads).  I've taken a pattern making class and embroidery class at a local college and continue to learn both online and in workshops.

I am a proud member of the American Sewing Guild, Pattern Review, Craftsy (tons of classes), the Peninsula Wearable Art Guild and now, the RTW Fasters!

To begin, I've sewed a dress, a top and a dress for each of my granddaughters.  The Top is Vogue 8793 by Katherine Tilton, the dress is McCalls 5974 and the little girl's dress is Family Reunion Dress Pattern by oliver + s.