Sunday, May 29, 2011

PR Weekend Inspiration

Anyone who has ever attended a PR Weekend has come home filled with inspiration - inspiration brougth on by the enthusiasm of the other sewists they meet, the fabrics they've met and purchased and petted, the projects planned and discussed, and the garments worn by others, and in the case of the Chicago weekend, also brought along as examples by designer, Angela Wolf, during her Saturday presentation. 

While she talked about couture sewing, fashion trends, custom jeans and fabric dyeing techniques, Angela was kind enough to hand out a selection of garments she'd made - Chanel-style jackets, dyed and beaded silks tops, her beaded wedding jacket and more. 

If looking is good, manhandling and photography is even better.  Looking at her jackets finally convinced me that the next Chanel jacket I make has to have the classic quilted lining, which I've always avoided doing. The jackets were so beautiful, substantial yet completely light, and draped almost like a cardigan. 
There were interesting trims, and a use for spray adhesive even I had never thought of.

She also talked about chains, and their ability to provide weight to garment hems.  I used a chain on the hem of my Chanel jacket, but I like her method better, and the weight of chain that she used.  She also used it in the hems of skirts to make them hang properly, which had never occurred to me.  Look at the photo at left, with narrow silver chain sewn along the entire hem, including the slit.  Brilliant.

As a self-taught sewist, Angela has made up her own rules and it was refreshing to have a presentation by a successful designer who doesn't seem to have a list of dos and don'ts that are more important than using your creativity and figuring out what works for you.

As far as inspiration provided by other sewists, there's the amazing ruffled skirt worn by Jaeng (and coveted by Elizabeth) and Claudine's green silk quilted dress.  It's absolutely amazing, and my picture comes nowhere near doing it justice.  Check out her blog for more details; I can't even describe it adequately other than to say if there was one sewist's closet that I could transfer to my house, it would be hers.  (Of course all the clothes would have to drastically change size, but it's my fantasy.)

Another winner was Amy's Burda 6/08 #108 dress.  Isn't it cute?  Isn't she cute?  That dress was actually on my to-sew list back in 2008.  I'm not sure why it slipped down the list, but it's moving back up again just as soon as I decide on a fabric to use for it.

I still haven't come down from my PR Weekend high.  I've been doing a lot more sewing lately, and while the projects have been fairly simple, due to my level of busy-ness and other stuff still going on, but at least I'm sewing.  As life calms down and my time expands, my projects will adjust accordingly.  Expect to see another Chanel jacket one of these days, several notches above the last one.

And all thanks to the inspiration provided by a rainy weekend in Chicago.  Thanks, ladies!


Journeyin' Lady... said...

I love your comment about "petting" fabric...I also love to walk though fabric stores "petting" the fabrics! Sounds like a wonderful time was had by all!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much! It was great seeing you at PR weekend, and I am looking forward to next year.

Vicki said...

Sounds like fun times! Thanks for sharing the photos too, some great garments :)

gwensews said...

That dress looks fantastic on you and you look so happy in it!