June 2018 | Mismatched Buttons (A Monthly Journal)
A gentle beginning to Winter after a busy Autumn
Phew, my May was H-E-C-T-I-C! Over a period of five months I made the work for and installed two out-of-town solo exhibitions that opened within a few weeks of each other between mid-May and early-June, which I feel was a positively heroic feat! In the midst of working stupid-hours (technical term) and too many days each week, I promised myself a period of proper relaxation at the end of it.
Kobe Dress for Frocktails
I gifted my relaxation to myself in the form of a gentle but involved slow-sew of the Kobe Dress by Papercut Patterns. This little stunner has been on my to make list since it was released in 2017, and Wellington's inaugural Frocktails event seemed the perfect event for it. I lavished this project with every luxury possible, from Frenching the internal seams to hand sewing hems, sleeves and the neckline. I even made a matching silk headscarf, hand-rolling its the hems too. I'll eventually do a full blog post about this project in A Self-Covered Button, but for quick-links here are some links and details: the fabric was a Silk Crepe de Chine from Tessuti Fabrics (although I picked this up from a fabric swap event); pattern is Papercut Patterns' Kobe Dress; and I used a video for hand-rolling hems that can be found here.
The Mending Pile
I also mended a very dear to me, ready-to-wear cardigan. It's the warmest, snuggliest cardigan and I was pretty lost when I realised, about two years ago, the elbow had worn through. I used a visible mending method from Making Magazine. In the Colour edition (or color, if you prefer) you can find a really good tutorial for a some simple mending methods for a few different types of holes in knit garments. I decided to go for a proper VISIBLE mend, using a not-quite-mint blue-green hue to contrast with the red and beige stripe. The elbow patch is holding up a treat, although I have noticed another hole and a spot where the yarn is about to wear through so, no sooner was it off the mending pile, but it's back on again. Sigh.
I also tweaked the Sapporo Coat (again, from Papercut Patterns) I made at the end of last winter. The lining was, literally, falling apart at the seams so I decided to replace it with something a little more durable. At the same time I also took some length out of the arm/shoulder seams. My adjustment was quite ... agricultural, shall we say? I took about 3" all together out of the arm and shoulder, and you can see the difference in these work in progress photos below. (I will add photos of the lining replacement eventually—hit me up if I forget 5.09.18.)
Work In Progress Pile
And lastly, I finished my first Sarah K. Benning embroidery. This embroidery is destined to be a patch-pocket on an In the Folds' Peppermint Magazine Jumpsuit. (In the Folds can be found here.) I LOVE this jumpsuit. It was in high rotation from late summer (as is) to late autumn (with layers), when the cooler temperatures finally put it into hibernation. (You can see it, below, as it gathers layers as autumn takes hold. Layers include, but are not limited to Deer and Doe's Airelle Blouse and Ondee Sweater.) The only flaw I see with this pattern is that it doesn't have pockets (!), a problem that I decided to remedy with this patch.
I've done a fair amount of embroidery in my time, but it can be a little old-fashioned in style, so I was delighted to stumble across Sarah K. Benning's patterns on the ol' Instagram. Her designs have both a contemporary and a Modernist feel, and they also have an element of mystique about them: she releases one pattern a month, and then retires that pattern at the end of the month. At the beginning of 2018 she did a once-off re-release of retired patterns and I BOUGHT UP LARGE. I love her designs. This is the Flowering Cactus pattern from January 2017.
So, although I finished this guy this month, until I sew it into a patch pocket on my In the Folds Jumpsuit my lovely Cactus Bum Patch-Pocket embroidery will remain in the work in progress pile. (For my own gratification, I've added the backside of the embroidery because I love the backs of embroideries, almost as much as I love the fronts.)
My mixy-matchy Papercut Patterns Kochi Kimono, started in April, also remains on my WIP pile, but I'll get there, it's only a matter of time... This Kochi Kimono is a Frankenstine's monster of miscellaneous fabrics I bought from the Royal New Zealand Ballet's destash. It just needs a little love with the details to get it over the finish line, but it will be so useful as a light-weight layer in spring, I'm positive it will get there...
It really was the month of Papercut Patterns! Something altered, something finished and something still on the WIP pile. Given how busy May was, I'm quite pleased with this effort. Let's hope it continues!