As for my overall blogging goals this semester, I have three in mind:
- Fall Fiber Updates - a series of monthly catch-all posts for the blog to share any current and in-progress class projects. There will also be periodic updates between these on our Facebook page, here: The Young Sewphisticate
- Completed Project Posts - a continuation of the current style of updates which include finished project pictures with a short description of any inspiration, related research and/or construction process details.
- Past Projects - as always, occasional updates to recap past work, the majority of which is currently projects from the previous two semesters. I'm hoping that if I stay on top of these fall fiber updates, I won't have to play as much catch-up next time...fingers crossed.
|Loom #45 - my space in the textile studio for the semester.|
And now, without further ado, let's begin this First Fall Fiber Update!
Flash back to the first week of classes in August, my initial impression was that I was in for a challenging, though rewarding, semester. Unlike past experiences (as this is my third university haha), I enrolled in only upper divisional, studio style classes, which require very different time (studio classes each meet for 6 hours a week!) and artistic commitments than the more traditional, familiar lecture classes. Already, I can tell that time management, quick learning and application of new techniques, creativity and craftsmanship are essential.
Textile Arts: Design & Production
In this class, ARTS 35350, the focus is on the mechanics of designing and constructing patterned and dyed cloth on floor looms. Drafting both by hand and computer is expected as a universal system of notation for cloth design.
We jumped right in on the first day, calculating and having to dye our warp threads by the next class. Looms were assigned and threaded in the second week for our first project, which many may have seen on our Facebook page, a 65" study in color and weave. Right now, I am finishing the 20" section of twill exploration with weft ikat, and will be removing the sampler before the next class.
|Winding skeins in preparation for dyeing.|
We are using a 2 ply Crown Colony Wool for our weaving.
|I left my skeins in buckets overnight to cool down and|
to finish exhausting all of the colors from their dye baths.
|Drying rack in the shared dye lab.|
So many colors! Acid dyes can be so vibrant.
|Winding skeins into balls and preparing the warp threads.|
|Threading begins! First through the reed...|
|...Then straight draw through the heddles|
|Taking a break to learn about color drafting, |
both by hand and computer on WeaveMaker.
I feel like I've learned a whole new language!
|Finally we're ready to weave! The first 10" were purely exploratory, |
I played with horizontal stripes and three different weave structures.
|Here's part of the plain weave section.|
|And my favorite, the 2/2 twill section. |
Twills I found were the easiest to achieve a balanced sett
Textile Arts: Surface Color & Design
This class, ARTS 35306, is also taught in the textile studio where we have a state of the art dye lab space. The focus is on all things that dye (be it natural, MX or acid), the application and removal of color, resists and immersive techniques, and fabric manipulation. Both historical and contemporary practices are explored.
Our first project was a collaborative experience. Each student was responsible for creating a dye reference notebook and assigned various 5-step value and hue gradients to dye on both cotton and silk swatches for the class. Once dyed and done, we amassed nearly 100 individual gradients to present in a personalized swatch book, which will serve as a reference for many of the hues achievable with natural, MX and acid dyes.
|Top: Weld and osage dyes extracting on the stove|
Bottom: 5-step value gradients on cotton and silk
|Acid dyes in the cutest, little pots!|
|Top: MX 5-step hue gradients on cotton|
Bottom: same hue gradients, but using acid dyes on silk
Such a difference in color!
Flat Patterning for Theatre
This is a class I've been wanting to take for years! THEA 31526 provides an introduction to flat patterning and its uses in theatrical costume construction. In our first meeting, we were each paired and will be patterning for these partners throughout the semester. So far, we've patterned a moulage, turned it into a sloper both on paper and in muslin, and fitted it on our actors. Once properly corrected and refit, these slopers can be manipulated into a variety of garments and period looks.
|Patterning the moulage|
|Green lines are the adjustments to transform the moulage into a sloper|
|Swinging the darts and creating a princess seamed bodice|
|Bodice pattern ready to be cut in muslin|
|Bodice stitched in muslin|
|Insides of the bodice - thread traced, stitched, clipped and pressed|
|Skirt pattern, also ready for muslin|
|Skirt in muslin - stitched, pressed and hand-basted hem|
|Left: patterning the sleeve using the Sartor System|
Right: sleeves assembled in muslin
|Sloper dress ready for a first fitting!|
Independent Study for Theatre: Corsetry
Last but not least is the class I am most excited about, an independent study in corsetry! The focus of this study is on all things corsets - the patterning, making and exploration of a variety of period styles - and their adaption for theatre. So far, I've drafted a personal sloper as well as fitted a mockup and corrected patterns for an 18th century corset or stays.
|My personal body block or sloper pattern.|
|The "textbook" we are using - Stays and Corsets: |
Historical Patterns Translated for the Modern Body by Mandy Barrington -
superimposes historical lines over a modern body block.
|Patterning, mockups and finished pattern!|
|All three versions for one final pattern! (Labeled in orange marker)|
Once the pattern was correct and the boning placement finalized, I could take it to fabric! Each piece was traced and cut from two layers of coutil and one layer of fashion fabric:
|Cutting out the front in two layers of coutil.|
|Cutting again, this time in the fashion fabric.|
|All the pieces cut and ready to stitch!|
And that concludes this First Fall Fiber Update. Thanks for reading, and 'till the next one!