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The Official Cast-On

The idea for this blog has been bouncing around in my head for what seems like ages. Because I’ve never really been certain exactly what angle I wanted to come from, and because life has a tendency to happen, I have consequently put-off this blog’s maiden post time and again. (I blame perfectionism)

So, a little about myself..

I am a twenty-something frabriholic who recently graduated from college with a major in Anthropology and a minor in Linguistics. As such, I am fascinated with textiles, cultures and language/communication. This blog will serve as a way of bringing those interests and fascinations together in one spot. I already have several ideas running through my mind, and things I would like to explore and experiment with. Here is a small sampling of what you can look forward to down the road:

  • How do the clothes we wear communicate to others?
  • Exploring cultural diffusion within the world of fashion.
  • Exploring different textile traditions across the globe and through time.
  • DIY and step by step how-to

I do not merely aim to address these topics from an academic standpoint, I am also an avid creator as well. I learned to cross stitch when I was a small child, and taught myself how to knit, crochet, and sew. I recently designed and made some clothes which were featured as part of a runway show (read about it here, under the July 2010 heading) for the benefit of Access 4 in Springfield, IL.  The following are my 2 favorite pieces, which also got the most attention at the show:

Both of these dresses were altered creations. The original dresses came from Goodwill. The first of these dresses started off as the matronly black dress pictured to the left. I took my seam ripper to it, removed the black lace and replaced it with hot pink lace, but without adding the neck or sleeves back to it, so it looks more like a corset style dress. I also shortened the skirt considerably (from floor length to just above the knees). The end result is pictured to the right.

The second dress (which I unfortunately do not have a before picture of) started off as a maroon bridesmaids dress. The original was actually made by ILGWU.  Basically, I removed the sleeves, took the dress completely apart (the seam ripper is my best friend), covered it in black lace, and sewed it back together, gathering the lace at the bottom in a kind of ball gown fashion. This might seem like a simple process, but trust me, I fought this dress like the devil. On more than one occasion I had to rip out my own stitches and redo it because the edges would not be lined up properly and one panel would seem longer than the other, or I’d have this unsightly fabric bubble (observe below).

So what did I do? I screamed, cussed out both the dress and my sewing machine, cried a little bit and then proceeded to re-sew the seam by hand.  This dress (and lack of sleep because I was trying to meet a deadline) almost drove me insane. Pictured below is my hand stitching, with a ruler to show my distance between stitches. Anyone who sews by hand can appreciate this.

And, finally, this is myself modeling the finished dress (with a hoop skirt underneath to give it volume).


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