Stylin' and Textilin'


I always get my best ideas in the shower. Apparently, something about scrubbing the sensual contours of the armpit helps my mind assimilate all the visual fragments that have been floating through during the previous night.  Hey I know you wanted to know that.

I have been very interested for some time in textiles, as my dedicated reader knows.  I have for a while been kicking around the idea of doing some pillow/ cushion covers...WAKE UP!...in sweatshirt fabric.  And I have found that it provides for a very interesting set of challenges. 

First, the same problem I have with the clothes I design using the fabric of pre-existing clothing is the size limitations.  Since it would be nearly impossible to ever find more than one garment in exactly the same shade, I am confined to either making very small things, or conceding to mix the pallette in a single piece of clothing.  Usually that's great.  Sometimes it makes things look overworked and obvious.

So when I started making these textiles from sweatshirt fabric, I ran into the same problem, though now compounded by issues of scale and whatnot.  I won't ever have enough fabric from say two colors to produce even two large cushion covers.  Which at first I found frustrating, but now see as a really good exercise in color.  I am basically forced to mix more colors than I usually would and it puts my color intuition and knowledge to the test.  I am interested to see how I can stretch my tolerance for color in any single piece without crossing the line.  When I imagine these objects in a room though, it means that they have so much color that the rest of the room has to be neutral.  They basically suck up the color allowance for an entire room in the space of a 18 x 18 inch throw pillow.  How nerve wracking!

In terms of sewing, there are also technical limitations with using this fabric for these designs.  Picture, then explanation:

Here's the problem- these lobes are each like 6 inches wide, and they can't be made smaller because those opposing curves are a bear, and the serger will not comply with curves any tighter than these- especially on the concave lines.  Holla:

So in order to give this pattern the breathing room it needs, I have to make at least a 24" x 24" piece.  If I'm making two, as in a set of cushions, I will not have enough fabric in these three exact colors.  NOW WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO I ASK YOU?!

Use smaller pieces of fabric, so I can get more out of all the nooks and crannies of a single sweatshirt?

Then there's this piece, using the same colorways.  I guess it could be cool if I handquilted the pieces, but I am not doing that.  No I am not.  So this design, with all its sewing, and final product that is less than perfect, is not practical.

See?  Lots of sewing.  Hey I kind of prefer the way this looks from the underside.  Hmmm.

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