The Karla Tank Dress

Named after my first Charlotte friend, one of my bestest pals and trouble makers (seriously, look at that face). I am thrilled, excited, and a little terrified to introduce you to the Karla Tank Dress. Thebe

IT HAS POCKETS.

The Karla is made of raw silk, which has a light, cottony feel, and is just dreamy to wear. Like linen, it gets softer the more it's worn. The neck and arm bands are secured with habotai silk bias tape. The patch pockets are angled for easy hand resting and phone grabbing.

I was so excited to get this dress into Karla's hands that I didn't have time to take proper photos of it. Whoops!! I am nearly finished with two other dresses, one has a home, one is waiting to find its place. They'll have a quick photoshoot, and I'll wrangle Karla down for some more photos soon, too.

Everything is cut by hand, including that tricksy bias tape. I sew it up using French seams for a clean and durable finish. 

Then the dress takes a swim in the dye pot. 

This is where the real magic happens. I work intuitively with my dyestuff. I don't take notes, I trust my instincts and experience. The raw silk plays on it's own, taking in as much dye as that batch of fabric can stand. Bright and vibrant hues are subdued into easy wearing galaxies of color. Each dress is unique to its wearer. Some may be sisters to each other, but there will never be another dress exactly like yours.

As always, please feel free to reach out and ask any questions you have! 

Crafting a Wardrobe (a make-along)

I'm diving in to Fringe Association's Summer of Basics make-along! I've been slowly adding to my wardrobe, with a loose goal of someday wearing only handmade garments, and this little scheme is just the ticket to motivate me to get stitching! 

My plans so far are mostly sewing, since that's where I'd like to strengthen my skills, but I also have a sweater almost on the needles so we'll see what happens as time allows! More is better, right?! 

Dress No.1 in a silk charmeuse fabric I'll dye once it's mostly sewn up 

Archer Button Up  in a fabric that's TBD, but I still miss the grey chambray shirt I lost years ago- so if you have a favorite chambray fabric source, let a woman know! 

Ebony T-Shirt Dress in a rayon blend I bought in an attempt to duplicate my favorite knit fabric dress BEFORE it falls apart (planning ahead- whaaat?!)

Modified Luna Pants in shot cotton. I've already re-drafted the waist to make it a high-waisted situation... now I just have to pull my bravery about me to cut the real fabric. If the first pair works out, be prepared to see more pants! 

There's also a stripy sweater that's almost on the needles. I need it to supplement this thrifted sweater I'm in looove with in a linen/cotton blend yarn (Zooey from Juniper Moon). I'm using the guide from Knit.Wear.Love, we'll see how that goes... 

photo by my momma

photo by my momma

 

I'm almost finished with a Dress No.1 in raw silk, which needs to be dyed, but it's so far along I'm not counting it for the make along. I also have a bit of woven linen that is destined to be some sort of top... we'll see what happens there. 

It sounds like I've got my work cut out for me (ha!) and I'm sure more will come. It's nice to see my plans all on one page! 

Kitchen Recovery

Now that the kitchen is ‘done’ (what home project is ever done- really?) I have found myself at the crossroads again. The one where I step towards the next big project.

This is how I seem to cycle when making- one BIG project studded with little side projects as I need mental breaks from Ol’ Biggun.

During the Kitchen Time these things happened:

Wove yarn I had dyed months previously, making a squishy cowl and a light-yet-warm scarf

Designed and constructed two purses

Tooled a guitar strap for a lucky fellow (not my husband, someone else’s)

Watercolored a bit

Made a few small tapestry weavings

Stitched on felt for a new series of cocoon maps

I went to work at the office job every day, cooked as much as I could, spent time with my lovely family, and managed a few friend dates in there too. Plus all the usual everyday crapola like laundry and cleaning the kitty litter.

The kitchen took just over a month of solid demolition, which I did the majority of. It was good, hard, physical work that threw me just enough curve balls that I was EXHAUSTED by the end of it. People- I forgot the July existed, jumping from June to August when trying to plan a deadline for work.

Sure, I could’ve let my art take a break while all of this was happening, but my brain feels so much better when I’m in that studio. Admitting, in the last week or so, I did take a break from the studio. Mostly because my hands and arms were begging for a break, the poor dears. My brain, as foggy as it was, still missed making during that break.

My hands are back to normal now, time to rebuild those creative muscles! I've got big plans for the next new big thing, more coming soon! 

the felt series in progress...

the felt series in progress...

 

 

Finished Kitchen!

It's finished!! Well, we need to pick a backsplash and find & hang a light over the sink, but who cares?! I have a beautiful place to cook, that suits my style and fits our house so well! 

Enough chit-chat, photo time! 

Before

During:

AFTER 

Dudes, I can't be happier with this kitchen. The space, the colors, the countertops. It's been a week since I got my sink back and every time I walk into this space I'm so chuffed. I'm proud of my work, and really, really, really glad we paid for professional installation. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to get back to my 'To Bake' list... 

(We're keeping the blue film on the cabinets until I can get one last coat of poly on the floors, they're really all white, promise) 

Kitchen Silence

The kitchen is being renovated. The demo is in progress. The studio is not neglected, but not getting quite as much time as she's used to getting... 

We keep finding new 'wonders' as the demolition continues... We wonder why a hole was left at the base of the wall instead of patching it up... 

Or why the cabinets removed so far were hung with 3" drywall nails, and not enough of those?! (seriously, we are lucky they haven't fallen on our heads! Bless this house's old bones)

So far the 'fridge wall' which is what you see above is 97% complete, the floors are around 30% done, and I have more wall to repair, plus the remaining cabinets need to come out. 

We're doing counter tops-down in the rest of the kitchen, or I'd probably be freaking out by now... I'm glad we decided to upgrade to professional installation! Deadlines and a kitchen in a day- I'll take it! 

 

Grey-Warp Towels

New towels, on an all grey warp, mixing in with coral, aqua, cream and butter yellow weft. I'm taking these to the Finder's Keepers Market today, and will update the shop as soon as I can with any that don't find a home! If you're in Charlotte, come out to Noda Brewing (N.Tryon location) from 1-6! 

Working, Warping

Adjusting tension, measuring yards, tying knots, cranking the yarn through, detangling as I go. 

Suprises

 

We had half a snow day in Charlotte this past Sunday. I woke up to steady flakes and a decent ground cover. Not expecting it to last, I carried on with my morning weekend rituals, tea, starting bread to bake, weaving quietly. 

It kept coming. The snow was piling on to branches and blossoms alike. I grabbed my camera, slipped on clogs and a coat and managed to capture these strange little images. 

Snow on cherry blossoms, such a lovely combination of opposites. 

Perfect timing

I've been noticing little gifts, sparks of reminders to breathe, stitch, walk, breathe.

Two herons flying across the road, beautiful and gangly

A hawk zooming through trees

Hooting of the barred owls outside

The different types of daffodils in our own yard

Being invited to share more than I submitted

This Shaker song, posted on a new-to-me blog, which I learned years ago, when I was in choir. It always makes me happier to hear the tune, and, as it turns out, reading the words also bring cheer. 

‘Tis the gift to be simple, ’tis the gift to be free
‘Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
‘Twill be in the valley of love and delight.

When true simplicity is gain’d,
To bow and to bend we shan’t be asham’d,
To turn, turn will be our delight,
Till by turning, turning we come ’round right.

(by Joseph Brackett, 1848)

If you don't know it, do take a moment to look up the tune, it's bright and humble and sounds like springtime.

I hope you are well, in your world

Dogwood.jpg

A Brain Full

I had the delightful honor of learning from Lisa Klakulak of Strongfelt fame a few weeks ago. Not only did I get to learn techniques that would've taken me ages to figure out, but I got to spend time in one of my favorite places, Asheville NC. 

study one

study one

I lost track of how many times my brain exploded within the first few hours of the four-day workshop.

Study two, mid-felting

Study two, mid-felting

She presents techniques and goes into mathematical formulas to figure out how to manipulate the wool to do what she wants it to do. Seriously awesome, if you're interested in expanding your understanding of wet felting, get thee to her workshops! 

Study three, compared to original resist template.

Study three, compared to original resist template.

Thank you for sharing so generously, Lisa!