Saturday, August 19, 2017

Sew Chaotically! - ANOTHER Tessuti Annie Dress/top! For me!!!

My OWN Tessuti Annie Tunic!!  With a different slow fashion approach to the front yoke!

I was so excited when making this top for Ruthie!!!  In fact, I enjoyed it so much that I began to formulate great plans for my own!

To back up a step ~ I discovered the writings of Pearl Buck in my hometown library around the age of 12.  Voracious reading of all her novels took me far away from my own surroundings to a place of beauty, rice paddies, pagodas, chop sticks, intricately embroidered kimonos.  Through her stories I could live in a world and culture completely foreign to anything I had ever known.  I became fascinated with all things of the Orient.  When my sisters were both stationed in Japan, they sent me a beautiful kimono and figurines I treasure still.  When I discovered Sashiko embroidery I was in love!!!  Sashiko, literally -  'little stabs', is an ancient embroidery style, originally used to mend, reinforce, quilt blankets, embellish and winterize garments for warmth and thriftiness, for Japanese fishermen and their families. I think it is incredibly lovely.  This tutorial on The Thread from and  this amazing blog, Radiant Home Studio, by Sara Curtis, which is awesome in many ways, are particularly helpful and inspiring when thinking about tackling a Sashiko project.
This photo of a Sashiko quilt Sara posted on her blog (link above), is sooooooo amazing!!  It is titled:  Sashiko by volunteers, 2012, Textile Museum of Canada.  Isn't it beautiful???  I'm going to make one myself when I grow up!!!

After much research and daydreaming....I began!!!  As others have mentioned (in said research) getting pattern to fabric is almost the hardest part!  I tried putting the pattern on paper with iron-on pencils.  But, having found only a brownish-burgundy colored pencil, it showed up not at all on my navy linen.  Chalk wasn't precise enough for this curved pattern, plus it dusts away pretty quickly.  I ended up tracing over the pattern with a pencil, over carbon paper, and therefore onto the cloth.  Tedious.  But, it worked pretty well.  I applied some interfacing to the back of the fabric before starting as some in my reading had suggested.  I was glad I did as it kept the fabric more stable than it would have been otherwise.  The curved pattern was said to be more difficult than the more linear ones, so it may have been a foolish choice to start with, but I thought it was the most perfect design for the bodice of this top!  

I am really pleased with how it turned out.  Traditionally, Sashiko thread has no sheen and is more twisted than our usual embroidery floss, as it is not meant to be separated.  It is usually white, worked onto indigo fabric.  Given I had to utilize what I could find at JoAnn's, I used a thicker embroidery thread, without separating the strands, in a pale grey blue.  I love the contrast of white and blue, but was a little worried about possible inconsistent fading of my blue linen onto pure white thread in the wash.  All in all, I think I made good choices all around! 

This fabric did not necessitate a lining...but still... No. Ugly. Insides.
Easy and pretty!!

Not as zen as I probably should be!!!  But, I'll take joyful any day!

I lurve it!!
For my melanoma peeps, more of the latest and greatest research on the way.  Today....I  needed a day of joy celebrating the simple, the silly, and the satisfaction of a pretty, positive idea come to fruition. If I can make a shirt...think what we could do when we put our industry and creative spirits together!!! - les