43 posts categorized "Textile, Fabric, Cloth"

The swish of her sari

Colorful Sari cloth forms the lining of my Houndstooth jacket / New Jersey / Nov. 2008

“It is the sounds we hear as children that shape us.

It is the snap-crush of spices under the heel of my grandmother's hand. It is the slip-splash of her fingertips, sliding fish into turmeric water. It is the thwack of her palms, clapping chapattis to life on her flat stone, a perfect circle, every time. It is the swish of her sari, the click of her knitting needles, the tap-tap of the soles of her feet hitting the soles of her sandals. There lies my grandmother's Morse code.”

~ Sadia Shepard writing in her book: The Girl from Foreign, A Search for Shipwrecked Ancestors, Forgotten Histories, and a Sense of Home



Fabric Flip-Fold / New Jersey / Oct. 2008

My old leather card wallet finally came apart. I liked it because it fit in my pocket (it was approximately 2.5 x 3.5 inches) and held the necessary papers of our times: driver's license, credit card, library card, business cards, stash-of-cash (and a few inspirational words tucked in, too). In the spirit of the times — re-use/re-cycle/re-store — I fashioned a new one out of fabric and ribbon scraps. It took just a few hours to put together, sewing by hand, and holds my “personal effects” in style. If you want to make one, the directions are here:

Download fabric_flipfold_102108.pdf


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Complement and counterpoint


Another hand-sewn variation on Butterick 4685; leaves of autumn fabric with ribbon trim on sleeves and a gathered neckline with ribbon tie / Sept. 2008

"Yet blue is a strange colour. It holds night and day within it. Though the land is mostly without blue, this makes clearance to intensify the blue of sky and water. The earth could have no more perfect covering than the sky. Earth and sky complement and counterpoint each other so perfectly because each is invested with the predominantly absent colour of the other. The earth is green, the sky has no green. The sky is blue, the earth has no blue."

~ John O'Donohue

Indian summer, 3


Summer Project #6: a hand-sewn above-knee dress made with two traditional cotton batik fabrics from Batiks by Design with lace trim at the sleeves and front seam where I joined the two fabrics; McCalls 8108 / August 2008

Washingtonian (Betsey Lowther): How does a woman start achieving a more fashionable life?

Simon Doonan (author of Eccentric Glamour: Creating an Insanely More Fabulous You): A piece of advice that I do give women recklessly, though I think there’s an underpinning of truth to it, is go home and sort your clothes into your “work clothes” and your “special party clothes” and then get rid of all the work clothes. It’s the equivalent of putting plastic on your couch and your lampshades. You should wear clothes everyday that make you feel fabulous.

~ Washingtonian.com

Difference has come alive


Summer Project #5: another handsewn variation of Simplicity 2892; spicy-brown-mustard-yellow batik fabric with bubble sleeves and rickrack trim at neckline / August 2008

“Amidst the infinite diversity of creation, no thing stands out like the human being. Nothing else here is quite as surprising and strange. Because we belong to the human fold we become prisoners of our own familiarity. There is nothing in the world as intense as a human person: each one of us is inevitably and helplessly intense. An individual is a creature in whom difference has come alive. In him difference is everything.”

~ John O'Donohue, from Beauty the Invisible Embrace

Continue reading "Difference has come alive" »

Smells of parsley and chives


Summer Project #4: Simplicity 2892 handsewn in black and white batik fabric; how quickly the summer has moved and here we have fallen into the month of August / New Jersey / July 2008

“See, a hand sweeps stars
    from the August sky,
as if my mother swept off the supper crumbs from the table at home.
Her apron, slipping now and then, smells of parsley
     and chives—
The sweet scent of her long-gone garden
     sending me to sleep beside you tonight again.”

~ August Evening by Hungarian poet Sandor Csoori (translated by Len Roberts)

The knowing is always emerging


Summer Project #3: Another variation on a peasant blouse (Butterick B4685) with a ruffled neckline and small sleeves / New Jersey / July 2008

“The imagination offers revelation. It never blasts us with information or numbs us with description. It coaxes us into a new situation. As the scene unfolds, we find ourselves engaged in its questions and possibilities, and new revelation dawns. Such revelation is never a one-off hit at the mind. The knowing is always emerging. The imaginative form of knowing is graced with gradualness.”

~ John O'Donohue, from Beauty The Invisible Embrace

Songsters of the forest


Another summer sewing project courtesy of Spool Sewing. These birds can be made in an evening from two scraps of fabric; get the pattern here / New Jersey / July 2008

“The Harivansa says, 'An abode without birds is like a meat without seasoning.' Such was not my abode, for I found myself suddenly neighbor to the birds; not by having imprisoned one, but having caged myself near them. I was not only nearer to some of those which commonly frequent the garden and the orchard, but to those wilder and more thrilling songsters of the forest which never, or rarely, serenade a villager — the wood thrush, the veery, the scarlet tanger, the field sparrow, the whip-poor-will, and many others.”

~ Thoreau (Walden, “Where I Lived and What I Lived For”)

Indian summer, 2


Butterick pattern B4685 / New Jersey / July 2008

Summer Project #2: Variation on a peasant blouse. Another hand-sewn top made from batik fabric from India. Cream-colored lace forms a casing on the neckline for the elastic. Batik is a wax-resist dyeing technique. This fabric is dyed a deep, dark indigo blue. As I sewed, the dye on the fabric turned my fingers blue.

“Until the invention of chemical dyes in the late 19th century, peoples worldwide relied largely on indigo-bearing plants to achieve blue-colored garments, household furnishings, artworks and even body paint. Many cultures attributed talismanic properties as well as health benefits to indigo, and the mysterious transformation of this temperamental dye has long been steeped in myth and magic.” (via the Blue exhibit at The Textile Museum in Washington, DC)

Indian summer, 1


Women in colorful saris taking in the view from the bluff overlooking the broad bend of the Delaware River on a summer's late afternoon / Bordentown, NJ / July 2008

“I love you the best
Better than all the rest.
I love you the best
Better than all the rest.
That I meet in the summer.
Indian summer.
That I meet in the summer.
Indian summer.
I love you the best
Better than all the rest.”

~ lyrics for “Indian Summer” from the The Doors Morrison Hotel LP, 1970 (thanks to M's beautiful version)