Standing by the door
frequently crave this darkness
swathes me like a cloak.
-J G BRYANT
“Finished” the corset dress and the lace wristlets just in time for our Valentine’s dinner date.
Shot on site of the Bryant Stove Works Thorndike, Maine. Also, finished my Japanese dress made from old bed sheets.
The Sun’s all fire
Sun’s love intense for the Moon
The Moon’s like Water
– J G BRYANT
I need to now get serious about pieces for an art show and work on my proposal. I also have the Knitmaineia fashion show to get ready for. A friend’s voice asking me, “when will you have a show here”? Keeps echoing in my mind.
My mom was into macrame back in the day. This except from one of her instruction books has unique bead ideas. She made exceptional bread dough beads. I thought these may be utilized in my art show which is fleshing out to be about fashion and material sustainability; turning trash into treasure, reusing raw materials instead of always producing new.
There is nothing quite as romantic as a Hemlock grove.
A secretive, shadowy grotto.
By little bubbling steams and moaning,murky ponds.
Their elegant,slender needles on boughs that shroud the landscape like dark lace.
– J G BRYANT
Immersed in poetry. Lyrics and music by Hozier, prose by Atticus and Jewel. Writing my own in my head during my walks, then making their way to paper. Ultimately a resurgence of creativity in the atelier.
Finished enough French seams to add the beaded neck binding.
Came up with a new outfit idea inspired by AnyOldIron from Nashville, Tennessee. I was thinking of buying one of their sequined jumpsuits during my southern pilgrimage. Alas, that price is a little prohibitive, but…I can make something similar!
Born under the sign of Cancer
I am drawn to sparkles
Sunlight on water.
– J G Bryant
Sash making. What I find both frustrating and interesting when using repurposed fabric is dealing with and working around flaws. Take these holes for instance, I embroidered over them. Little details like these only add to the character of the garment.
These Frame denim jeans are handcrafted in Los Angeles. I purchased these at Nordstrom Rack in Boston for a RIDICULOUSLY low price. But, the time has come to customize. Flares will become skinnies. Then they need a dye job. Patching and embroidery may become involved. I’ve contemplated “punking” out one pair with randomly placed repurposed zippers.
I stand naked in front of the mirror
Squinted eyes scrutinize
Every detail like an art critique.
This is soft and squishy
I wish my breasts were better shaped
My ankles are nice.
Am I beautiful? Do I think so? Does anyone think so? Do I even care? Why do I care? What is beauty anyways?
My inner woman’s consciousness monologue to my inner psychologist.
I feel the stares
Do they think I’m ridiculous?
But nobody laughs, nobody scoffs, nobody says anything.
– J G Bryant
I’m scared of stupid stuff. Like putting in a zipper, zippers intimidate me. Knitting fairisle short rows also makes me quake in my clogs! So I should devote this year to create garments that incorporate these very elements and do a lot of it!
I love these sweaters! But I shudder at the thought of even starting. But, I want to be that woman; I mean, just look at her! She looks so peaceful, confident, and free, enjoying every second of the beautiful day.
I’m into rad knits, fringe and tassels. I’m not sure I want to add any bulk to my short, little body though. The Honeycomb Henley is designed by Norah Gaughan.
I am going to knit (and model) this sweater (out of the book Loop-d-Loop) for the next Knitmaineia fashion show. One of the reasons I haven’t written so long is because I’ve been busy spinning the yarn for this sweater, and that takes time away from knitting and sewing! I plan on this being the project I work on while traveling in the south this March. I could never be brave enough to wear it with nothing underneath like the picture.
I have managed to get some done on the black corset dress for NOLA. I have decided on French seams to protect my skin from the scratch of the sequins. I am literally sewing each seam 3 times! But it is so worth it. I’m also thinking about creating a reverse hi/low hem line. As in, slightly above the heels in the back and almost kissing the ground in the front. I believe it will give the illusion of a ball gown but I will be able to walk without the risk of stepping on the hem. Something to fiddle with. Then there are the black lace fingerless gloves that go with it! I had to go down 2 needle sizes to achieve the look I desired but I’m happy with them now.
I bought a poetry book for my husband for Christmas hoping to encourage more romantic dialogue, well….. instead there was a lot of eye rolling and bland expressions. Oh well, I like it. In fact, I would like to embroider one line on a top, like the one above. This quote is very popular for tattoos.
“What you wear is how you present yourself to the world, especially today, when human contacts are so quick. Fashion is instant language.” samman_prajapati
The chainmaille shrug is finished!
More chainmaille inspiration. For a future project? [wink, wink]
I ordered these TiroTiro earrings in early November because her lead time on made to order was up to 3 weeks. On December 19th I still hadn’t received them, so I sent her an email kindly asking of their status. It turns out weeks ago they were marked already shipped, and on top of that one of the styles had been recently discontinued. She offered to refund my money on that one pair or replace it with another style (any cost discrepancy would be on her). I picked a replacement pair, and since I had really wanted to wear them to a big family Christmas party on December 22, she overnight FedExed them! I’m still in awe at her customer service and eternally grateful for all she did for me.
Still experimenting with non-traditional materials, and newly influenced by this company I was recently told about, Tonle.
I borrowed my rigid heddle loom back and started weaving with denim strips cut from discarded jeans. I’m thinking about making a kimono style jacket with the material. We received new pillows for Christmas, so I started spinning the stuffing from our old ones to use as warp on another weaving project. Polyester pillow stuffing warp and VHS tape weft.
I leave you with photos from Tonle’s website where they used mountains of textile factory waste as a backdrop.
Daphne Guinness has said, “I don’t do event dressing, because every day is an event.” I couldn’t agree more. Recently at a knitting group a woman asked me if I had a use for old cashmere sweaters. I told her about a project that is far, FAR down the line: a floor length dress with long, tightly fitted sleeves and a scoop neck made from cashmere scraps all dyed black. Another woman asked if I would wear something like that to work. I told her, “absolutely! That’s where I am the most!” I may use an event as an excuse to create something new, but my “event clothes” are no different from my “everyday clothes”.
I’ve been completely captivated by Alexander McQueen’s work recently. Gaining more ideas regarding the use of non-traditional material.
This blog post is going to jump around a lot because that’s how my mind works as well.
In a happy accident while working on my rubber vest I noticed some stress cracks (material is recycled tractor inner tube rubber). I immediately thought, “oh, I will cut another piece,” but I remembered during some research coming across the Japanese concept of Kintsugi or Kintsukuroi and decided it was going to be more beautiful because of its imperfections.
I will make a repair that becomes elemental to the overall aesthetics.
Wrestling and taming this creation.
A solution to a dilemma. I really wanted to make leather clothing tags. That was fine on a leather garment because it wasn’t going to be machine washed anyways but how bout on everything else? These are embroidered on bicycle inner tube rubber! Which granted rubber is not a big fan of getting wet either but, at least it won’t shrink or stiffen and I can treat them with a rubber or leather conditioner once in a while.
Me and Lee McQueen.
Last spring during my Boston trip there was one notable store my companion and I didn’t get to visit due to it opening so late. For Christmas this same person had gone back and bought me a tank from Paridaez the very store I never got to go to. Paridaez is a small clothing company completely (from origin, to manufacturing) based out of Massachusetts. I am extremely touched by her thoughtfulness. The tank has been a great base for almost every outfit.
Inspiration for future projects. Pieced denim dress worn by the fabulous Japanese American metal artist Yuri Tsuzuki. Fringed pieces by Any Old Iron. Body suits by Cadolle.
So much is happening all at once I didn’t want to cram it all into one post. Till next time…
In just about a year and a half I will be 40 years old, and I couldn’t be more excited!! I haven’t had a birthday party since I was a child, and even then it was hard because we were all on summer vacation from school. Living in a rural area if you didn’t have a car you were at the mercy of other people’s schedule as to when you could see your friends. For my fortieth I am planning one whopper of a party! Of course that means also planning the outfit that I will wear at the party.
I will be head to toe SILVER. Silvery/gray satin slip dress worn with an aluminum chainmaille mantle, white gold leather clogs and silver nail polish. I want to be radiant and resplendent! Maybe even my hair will cooperate and produce some more silvery-gray for the occasion.
I’m extremely committed to growing older with beauty and grace. I walk EVERYWHERE, I practice HIIT yoga, eat SUPER cleanly, and am continually engaging my mind in new activities and situations and listen to non-fiction audiobooks. I don’t get all worked up about the fine crow’s feet wrinkles around my eyes or the Shar-pei creases and age spots on my forehead, it’s more of a general feeling of wellness, fitness, agility, energy and intelligence that I focus on. Though I do try and keep my skin well hydrated.
In short, turning 40 is not a moment I dread but one to look forward to and celebrate!
I’m sometimes asked if I get inspiration from fashion magazines. My answer? Not really. I get inspired from Instagram, Pinterest, and folks I see at work. Here are a couple examples:
The last two are from a magazine though! But you can see what sorts of things I’m looking at. I like the idea of painting on clothes, that’s been going on for a while but I’m conflicted because I also like solid black. I love making entire outfits one color but all different textures; black velvet, with black leather, with black lace, with black denim, black jersey, black satin, with black beads or sequins, oh ya!
All denim outfits. Instagram inspiration. I’m planning on making a pair of jeans with random zippers all over, I’ve started saving zippers off the clothes I’m repurposing.
Working on the pattern for the second NOLA dress. A maxi length corset dress. And my new cards came in today!
Started the trim on the new Christmas jacket. Made from repurposing a huge, ugly, gaudy blazer, found on the free pile at our community center and leather remnants. Gold thread, herringbone stitch on embossed patent leather.
Husband Luke fitting me for my chainmaille bolero! He’s working on it again! Aluminum rings from The Ring Lord in Canada.
First NOLA dress. The skirt is made from repurposed curtains that I bought for a dollar at a yard sale, then dyed. Bodice is only basted onto the skirt, but I had to put it on and dance a little!! Can be worn with or without the corset, although the corset ensures no wardrobe malfunction will occur while boogieing to a zydeco street band in the French Quarter, LOL!