gurdymonkey: (pretties)

I may eventually post a tutorial for this, if only to illustrate to the author of Riding Pretty* that DIY is more than wrapping your purse strap around your handle bars and saying, "It's a bike bag!" However, most of the folks who bother to read this can figure out that it's just a bunch of rectangles and a bit of velcro in the right places, right? Easy peasy, especially if you don't insist on hand-sewing it in front of the babble box.

The body is made of a cotton upholstery fabric, the sides and inner lining of the top flap are canvas. The strap is canvas tape I cut off the useless little Bike To Work Day musette bag I scored at the BART station. And there's a resin butterfly stitched to the front flap just 'cause.

You do need to measure the drop from the rear rack to the chain stay to determine where to put the velcro/how long to make the bag. Depending on what sort of bike you ride (and the position it puts you in), you may also need a helper to measure where your leg is farthest back as  you pedal so you can account for clearance. You can see in the top photo that the rear pedal (and my heel) will clear the corner of the bag as it hangs.

The velcro looks a bit wimpy, but it's mostly to keep the bag from sliding around. Wrapping the canvas shoulder strap around and under the "rat-trap" part of the bike rack is sufficent to keep it from falling off the bike with weight in it.

*I do not "ride pretty." I just ride, complete with gray roots, hot flashes and belly fat.
gurdymonkey: (pretties)

The roundels are a bit random as I was experimenting with number of concentric rings of stitching and stitch size. Still not mad about the texture of silk noil, but it worked well enough for an experimental piece.

Just gotta get it pleated onto a waistband now. This is gonna be cute!
gurdymonkey: (Default)
Three rows have been stitched and tied off. I probably made more work for myself doing it the way I did.

I attempted another ombre "dip dye" on the stovetop, which is a pain in the backside, given that I'm working out of a very tall tamale pot. I managed to lift the fabric back out and get it over a plastic bucket quickly, get the fabric on a couple of skirt hangers and run all of it out of the kitchen, through the living room, out the front hallway and onto our wooden backstairs fire escape where it is presently dripping into said bucket.
Now we wait......
gurdymonkey: (Default)
Because [ profile] broider_barones asked.

Photo below shows the first row of half circles stitched along a fold. The bottom edge is folded so the next row can be stitched.

How do I get my half-circles so even? I cheat!  I cut a circle of the desired size out of heavy paper, folded it in half and I hold it on the folded edge of the fabric as I do the outermost line of stitching, then simply work my way in.

I'm also doing it slightly differently than how it is depicted in Wada. shows continuous rows of stitching for each concentric ring. Yes, I'll have more stuff to tie off, but I'm curious to see whether it makes a difference in the final pattern. I want my circles farther apart in each row and that's an awful lot of loose thread to leave hanging to get tangled in.
gurdymonkey: (Default)
Heard birdsong through the open skylight this morning and found myself humming "It Might As Well Be Spring." The bossa nova version sung by Astrud Gilberto. Not suprising, the "Getz/Gilberto" LP was a staple of my childhood.

Had some of the peach jam I received in the omiyage exchange at Estrella from Bran. Perfection on a slice of whole wheat toast. Sooooo good.

Pressed the muslin for my banner, cut out some big circles from a sheet of heavy art paper to make a template for my mon (badge), and traced it in pencil on the muslin. (Heraldese, blazons as "Three fans in pall inverted conjoined at the handles azure each charged with a demi-roundel flat to center argent." [ profile] cryptocosm  originally referred to it as the symbol for radioactivity, but it's just a matter of making sure the fans LOOK like fans. )

Did tests with a "fabric marker" and an oil paint stick. Didn't like either, so I ran out to the store and picked up some old school acrylic fabric paint. It looks much nicer, though I could've done without the part where my fine brush came apart while I was working an edge.

While waiting for the first fan to dry before I can move the fabric and work on the next section, I finished hemming the noil for the shibori mobakama. The scan below is on p. 18 of Shibori: The Inventive Art of Japanese Shaped Resist Dyeing by Wada, Rice and Barton, ISBN 4-7700-2399-5. (Awesome resource for anyone contemplating learing shibori.)

I want to do the circular bits (miru shibori or karamatsu shibori), and use the same technique to create lozenges. It's similar to the mokume technique I used on the not-quite-pink kosode, instead of doing rows of running stitch in straight lines and pulling them tight before dyeing, you fold the fabric and then sew half the shape you're creating along the fold and pull that tight. The "ori-nui" which forms the straight lines is even simpler: running stitch executed along the edge of a fold and pulled tight to create a double line.  I just have to remember that "simple" doesn't mean it won't take time to do!

(For those wondering, "Kamakura period" is 1185-1333 CE.)

Wouldn't that make a gorgeous futon cover? Am I that ambitious? Insane? Let's see if I can get through doing enough miru shibori to decorate this wrap skirt first....


Mar. 4th, 2011 10:29 pm
gurdymonkey: (pretties)
Now I can actually return to thinking about making stuff for ME!!! Considering that artier than thou post I made to SCA-Waste about stuff makin', I it behooves me to make stuff. Tomorrow I'd like to work on a new banner, seeing as my badge has passed and all....

While looking for something else before Estrella, I rediscovered some brown linen I think I bought at Pennsic three summers ago. It washed up beautifully and has the sort of heft that cries out to be made into hakama. I haven't done boy clothes in a bit and a spiffy kataginu kamishimo that pairs beautifully with the plaid "tablecloth" kosode or the cream and tan horizontally striped one would be just the thing for Mists Cynagua War.

Then there was the mystery hunk of two yards of white silk noil. Unless an unrevealed multiple personality went fabric shopping without my knowledge, I have no remembrance of where it came from. I cannot imagine having bought it knowingly because noil is made of trash fibers and feels like cheap, badly pilled cotton flannel and I don't care for it. However, it is silk, which will take the dyes I have under the kitchen sink, and I've been meaning to return to experimenting with shibori for a bit. So I flipped through Wada*** and found an example of miru shibori dating from the Kamakura period. And given the fact that a couple of court members had asked about doing kosode/mobakama ensembles, I'm thinking miru shibori would be a cute way to decorate a mobakama, which would take about, yes, two yards of fabric.
(***[ profile] melaniewing , you are going to LOVE this book once your copy arrives.)
gurdymonkey: (pretties)
So, I attached a sleeve (including seam finishing on the inside and hemming of the outer edges) and a collar today. I have one more collar to attach. 

Each collar is 75" long. Each collar works out to about 12 and a half feet of hand stitching. THAT'S why it takes so long, particularly given the properties of the herringbone silk the uchigi is made of.

This is neither a complaint nor a - OK, you caught me, it is a boast. Because given the choice, I'll take hand sewing over machine, any damn day of the week. It looks better, it feels better, it wears well - especially the way I finish my seams, no nasssty sserged bits, my Precious.

I was kind of hoping to do the false layers for a yuki-no-shita kasane in time for Twelfth Night, but I'm not sure I have time to cut and dye what amounts to a crapton of bias tape and get it assembled by next week. It'll still be gorgeous as-is, it's just going to be less formal.
And after Twelfth Night, I need to get going on dyeing and assembling a pair of jinbaori, not to mention mon-ifying the Cynaguan Swan and painting it on the back of each.....

EDIT: The uchigi is done. Giving my hands another break before the last bit of collar on the uwagi, which is mostly on except for about the last 25 inches or.

THAT was interesting. I screened the last of the Kurosawa boxed set, starting with "Sanshiro Sugata II" this morning and I just finished watching "The Most Beautiful." "Sanshiro II" is more martial arts adventures of the hero, somewhat uneven, but reasonably entertaining, if predictable. The print they used was pretty beat up, but as advertised, it's a very early work and we're probably lucky to have what we've got.

"The Most Beautiful", filmed in 1944, is Kurosawa's contribution to the Japanese War Effort. Filmed in semi-documentary style, it's about the Flower of Japanese Young Womanhood, doing their bit to Destroy America and Great Britain (it says so in the script!) making gunsights and military optics. There's marching and singing and corporate speeches, there's begging the house mother to let you keep working when you're sick, there's coming back to work on crutches, there's staying up all night to recalibrate two-days' worth of lenses because you mislaid one and some brave Japanese soldier might die because of it. , And yet, even through all the propaganda and jingoism and girls who seem almost too good to be true (or were they simply very, very Japanese?) , there's genuine humanity, the guard who teases the girls about tanuki haunting the garden, the tears in Watanabe's eyes as she stays to inspect lenses instead of going home to mourn her mother, the affection of the dorm mistress for "her" girls. Definitely interesting for what it is.
Ironically, the woman associated with the famous "We Can Do It" poster passed away this week.


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