Thursday, January 23, 2020

Trouble with Blogger

Thanks to all of you who responded to my last post.  I answered your comments but Blogger is not posting them.

I've been researching this issue online but have not solved the problem.  I'm also having trouble staying signed in.

May have something to do with the latest Apple update to Catalina...not sure.  If anyone else has had this problem and resolved it can we chat?

Thanks so much for tuning in,


Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Cashmere and Vintage Japanese Textiles

It's cashmere season.  I've been digging into my stash and fondling the pieces.  My hands landed on a big bundle of overdyed orange I'd been holding onto for years.

They finally called to me.  I was leaving for a week's retreat on the Oregon coast and I wasn't bringing a machine.  This shawl went together quickly while I was looking out to the tumultuous  northern Pacific and listening to all the conversations of the women who surrounded me.  Bliss.

I used Perle cotton, mostly single strand, but stitched two rows on each seam for strength.  I've made half a dozen of these cashmere shawls.  Some machine sewn, the others by hand.  But never double hand stitched each seam.  I can't believe how much weight it adds to the garment.  In a good way.

This fragment was one from the '90's!  First I tried stitching pompoms on what is now the underside of the fragment.  I must have used a piece of printed paper to stabilize the back, then I eco-overdyed it, washed it and the paper partially disintegrated.  It's machine sewn with vintage Japanese silver thread I got at the Santa Cruz Flea Market years ago.  

It's funny how, 10 years later, my tastes have changed so much that I love the back of a piece better than the front!

The dye method is one my friend, Janet, taught me.  Make a slurry paste of your desired dye.  Mordant the fabric, keep it damp.  Put it into a kitty litter tray and add the dye slurry.  With gloves (!) squish the fabric until you are satisfied with the look and coverage.

Put the fabric into a plastic bag and steam or microwave until the juices run clear...oh wait, that's a poultry cooking method...well you know what I mean. Then, let the fabric cool and wash it on gentle, front loader machine preferably.  Lay flat to dry.  This is not meant to be a specific formula.  It's a loose process kids.

But, it produces a wonderful mottled look that lends itself to piecing.

This sucker is long, about 30" X 7'.  Possibly too long...

But I wore it the other day and it felt so good!

And here's all I had left!  Oh but wait, I just found more on the guest bed...hmmm, hat?

While I was in Japan last May I was lucky to visit two of the temple markets and found several pieces of vintage fabric.  Some of which had some boro hidden inside.  This is NOT a boro garment per se.  This is a garment made in the boro tradition using vintage fabrics and modern piecing placement.

The pattern is self drafted from a RTW garment owned by a friend, Sarah.  I've made it four times. 

Here are two examples of the original boro parts of the garment.  The patched area on the left is the way I bought the fabric.  It is the way they patched holes.  I learned how to do this in a class with Jody Alexander and it was a thrill to find this original bit of patching hidden in the fabric, I didn't find it till I washed it at home!

The area to the right is another example of a piece of cloth that I bought like this in Japan.  It may be old or not but I'm sure the one on the left is boro.

Again, another hole patch on the left.  I hand stitched the patches using a thick thread.

The back is made of vintage fabrics but new construction.

Detail of back, the fabrics were lovely to work with. 

The Oregon coast, right?