Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Folkwear contest - the Egyptian shirt

The Final Version

At nearly midnight on New Year's Eve 2010 I finished and uploaded pictures of this Egyptian shirt for the Folkwear contest. It was fun to make though it is not terribly flattering on me. I do love the design and like it in floor length best. Here I used cream silk noil for the base. The black is a silk/cotton blend. Both pieces were washed and dried before I started. For closures I chose loops and Chinese knotted buttons. The buttons were made by braiding bias tubes from both the black and the cream fabrics together. 

Initially I chose to leave the tails on the buttons, but later removed those. Too much like Annie Oakley. They had to go. Either that or add fringe to the sleeves. Not so Egyptian. That version is below.

Too Annie-Oakley
The neckline is actually a facing that is turned from the wrong side to the right side and then hand-appliquéd in place. I really like that technique because it looks equally nice inside and out. On the back I inserted another braided and knotted piece of the bias tubes. I also hand-appliquéd the sleeve accents. There are in-seam pockets on the black side sections. And here is the truly amazing part. I won. I was one of six winners. The other winner's garments are fabulous.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Sawyer Brook Distinctive Fabrics

What a find! On my recent trip to NH to visit son and family, I became aware that Sawyer Brook has a warehouse showroom located in MA about 35 minutes from son's home. They are open to the public occasionally. They are primarily an online outfit. I emailed ahead of time to see if they would be in. Indeed they were! Hooray! This first picture shows what you see from the street. The sign for their showroom is not actually a door. You have to enter through the door that says *Ramblin Realty* and wind up an old narrow stairwell to their location on the 2nd floor of the warehouse.

Here I am with DGD C standing outside their showroom. What an interesting building - there were lots of antiques in the halls and very little obvious activity. Opening this door led into a fabulous mecca for a fashion fabric addict such as moi.

Here one of the employees cutting some fabric for herself. She was cutting this delicious silk tweed and a rayon batik in similar colors. Alas I had to resist buying exactly what she was cutting (and more). Look how beautiful these pieces are. Oh, and they had coordinating buttons. Lots of other very cool buttons too.
I bought two pieces - a gorgeous purple, navy, pink linen plaid (subtle plaid) and a cute black cotton print with Lycra.