Friday, May 17, 2013

Poppy robe- finished

Overall I'm very pleased with the way poppy robe came out.  I like the simple shapes of the sleeves,  the asymmetrical wrap of the neckline, and the combination of large and small prints which contrast botanical and geometric patterns. I also like the optical effect of the big loopy lines and solid shapes of the poppies with the fast, flickery movement of the diamonds.

For the lapel,  I used red cotton batik with a design that reminds me of peacocks.

It's designed like a classic wrap dress with two attached belts at each of the front panels

and a side slit under the arm.

I decided on a cotton tartan weave for the belts, a leftover from one of my sister's projects that reminds me of her, and of our shared love of sewing.  In terms of the patterns, I like the contrast of the woven grid with the printed diamonds.  

One nice thing about the wrap-dress design is that it  holds the panels in place without an interior tie or button, which creates a neater fit than a basic belted robe,

and makes it feel a little more like a "dressing gown" , 
like this one that I like so much from Horrockses.

I really love that there are poppies running crazy all over me.

The double wrap design also allays my fear of degenerating into a version of Eric Stoltz's character in Pulp Fiction.

Given my background in architecture, 

it's no surprise that I approach sewing as series of small construction projects made up of parts, pieces, and attachments. I like to consider details, such as the placement of the rectangular top stitching (above) where the belt attaches to the panel . This looks like no big deal, and in a way it's not, but the offset stitching is strategically placed to avoid creating bulk.

That idea worked out well, but others, such as using the selvage for the, hem didn't.

The thought here was to expose the copyright and design credits along the bottom of the robe, but it came out too long; the first time I headed up the stairs I nearly broke my neck, so I'm afraid the hem will have to come up at least a couple of inches.

Time to wrap this project up. 

The pattern, which is made of pieces of old cotton sheets, is full of revision notes for next time,

and there are notes to organize from my sketchbook.  

Sunday, May 5, 2013


                               I'm well into sewing the Poppy Robe , and as I was cleaning up the scrap fabric, I was so taken with the eccentric curves and shapes-- what are essentially the negatives of the pattern pieces-- that I put them on the floor on a piece of black fabric, took a pic, uploaded it, and used the crop tool in Photoshop to create these smaller compositions.  This is a great way to learn about not only what I do and don't like, but to take the time to ask myself why  I'm drawn to some compositions and not to others.

This long skinny arched piece is an example of the kind of leftover shape that comes from trying to save on material by putting pieces as close together as possible. It's also the kind of shape I would never think to cut out, which is why I find these so interesting.