Saturday, April 28th, 2007
simple dress, UNIFORM Studio, Summer 2007
I’ve been having fun working on lots women’s clothing lately as well as some summer children’s clothing. I’ll hopefully have some pictures soon.
In the meantime I’ll be updating my shop with just a few things tomorrow morning, including a few of these summer girls dresses. Look for a bigger update mid-may.
I’m sure you know about the Shim and Sons shop opening on Tuesday, May 2nd – the one we’ve all been waiting for. Too bad we can’t form a line at the Etsy door….
Thank you for all of your thoughtful comments and emails lately – I really value this feedback and am trying to catch up and respond to them all.
Thursday, April 19th, 2007
I love materials and texture. Here are some images of what’s on my back desk at work:
Lots of grey. More images here.
Speaking of texture and material, Alison has been working with some Habu yarns lately. I can’t wait to see how this turns out. I love all of their fibers and have been pouring over my sample book in anticipation of fall.
Currently I’m working on a lot of special orders, some women’s clothing for an upcoming trunk show at a local gallery, and a small summer children’s collection. Whew.
Swim Trunks update:
I did get a chance to test out the swim trunks this past weekend, and I’m happy to report that the fabric worked pretty well. It actually has a waffle weave construction (visible on the inside) that allows it to hold it’s shape. I suspect that the fabric isn’t 100% cotton either, as it didn’t stretch all that much. It does take awhile to dry though. I think I’m willing to give on that point, as I really like the fabric and the look/feel I want really isn’t possible in a nylon/lycra quick drying fabric.
They don’t need a drawstring, although I think it would look nice. The liner wasn’t necessary in the 2 year old size either, but I see the point of having one in the larger sizes. The main thing I want to change is to make the leg openings narrower so they fit closer to the leg. The only stretch that happened was at the bottom of the leg opening, as you can see in this before/after photo:
Personally, I am happy with them, but I’m not sure what other people might think about the fabric.
I would like to have some other kids test them out and get some feedback, so if you’re interested please email me and I’ll send you a pair. I’ll make three pair, any size between 2T and 8, and I’ll line these.
update: I’ve got three testers -thanks everyone!
Thursday, April 12th, 2007
swim trunks, UNIFORM Studio, Summer 2007
These are probably the simplest things ever, but I am so happy about them. I have wanted to make some boys swim trunks forever. I really don’t like the big long baggy swimming suits that seem to be the only option these days for boys, in loud obnoxious prints. There is so much material it seems like they will literally pull the child down under the water.
The trunks are definitely still in the testing phase. I was inspired by images of old fashioned, close fitting, full body swim suits, but I wanted them a little shorter (and minus the top). I really love the simple feel of the tiny stripe in the fabric – it seems to fit the plain style. The fabric is a medium weight cotton knit, which might prove to be too heavy and saggy when wet. Hopefully the close fit along with adding that elastic tape stuff to the leg openings will prevent too much sag.
And then my husband informed me that there needs to be a liner. To, uh, keep things in place. Really? For little boys? ok. There is an elastic waist, but maybe it needs a drawstring as well? They look simple, but there are so many details to consider. They really have to be engineered. Any thoughts or suggestions? Or is it just weird that I am so excited about swim trunks?
Tuesday, April 10th, 2007
boygirl shirt, UNIFORM Studio, Spring, 2007
I’ve always wondered about the distinction between the style of girls and boys clothes. What parents think is appropriate or are comfortable with has a lot to do with what children wear of course. This often comes from our perception of social rules -boys don’t wear dresses or ruffles, and the more fuzzy rules -boys don’t wear pink, or at least not a lot of pink. Unless you’re a rock star. Or Calvin. But being the coolest kid ever, he can wear whatever he wants. And now he even sews! (Oh, and there was that brief preppy period in the 80’s….but I try not to think about that.)
Of course this is a generalization and not everyone thinks this way, thank goodness.
For girls, social norms say colors should be light, and bright and happy. Grey and brown and dark green are boy colors. (Someone once asked me if I made this outfit, which is grey and dark orange, in girl colors).
But what about shape? I’m really interested in exploring subtle differences in the shape and proportion of children’s clothing and how close you can come to unisex without being unisex. Because really, most unisex clothing is shapeless and dull.
Here’s an example of this thinking. A simple tunic shirt, with the addition of a tie at the bottom, goes from feeling a bit more boy-like to a bit more girl. The dark charcoal lets the shape of the garment stand out, looks great on both boys and girls, and works with most other colors. Either of these would work on a boy or girl but the small differences make them lean slightly one way or the other.
Also: I’m way behind on answering comments and emails -please be patient while I try to catch up:)
Tuesday, April 3rd, 2007
One day last week I asked my son as he got off the bus what he had done at school that day. “We talked about texture in art class,” he said. I happened to be standing there waiting at the bus stop working a piece of clay in my hands. “Oh really,” I said, my mind spinning. “Well, I have this clay -we could look around and see what types of textures we could collect by imprinting the clay.”
front row, l to r: dish towel, sidewalk, pencil. back row, l to r: lego, leaf, hexabit.
So he gathered a few things on the way home, and a few more inside the house, and then made these little samples to take to his teacher the next day. I think the pencil texture is my favorite. I love the use of repetition to make the overall texture vs using a single imprinted object.
I had the clay with me because I had been wanting to try out an idea I had about making some zipper pulls for the ZIP coats. I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted, other than I wanted something sort of thumbprint shaped and white. I had never used polymer clay before but it looked easy to use and it came in white. First I tried printing the leaf of a coniferous shrub we gathered on our way home. I liked the abstract quality but it didn’t seem quite right -too organic. And pushing the leaf in ruined the nice crisp edge of the pull.
Then when I saw my son’s pencil texture, I knew that was it. (I love it when our different worlds cross). Using the end of a chopstick I imprinted perfect little dots, just like the abstract print of the lining of the coat.
I think I could really get hooked on this polymer stuff. It’s so light yet stiff and really holds it’s shape -you are able to get crisp lines. And I love the white white. I’m a little nervous about the rings I attached it with though. This is my first foray into anything resembling jewelry making and as my jewelry making friend was on vacation last week, I had to wing it. I’m also not quite sure about the durability of polymer -anyone with experience want to weigh in?
Now I just want to play with clay.
Sunday, April 1st, 2007
sleeveless hood (with friend), UNIFORM Studio, Spring 2007
My shop has been updated. Lot’s of spring children’s clothing and a few ZIP trench coats, and fold pillows.
update: the fold pillows are all gone. and the ZIPs. Oh my goodness. Thanks you guys.
We had a fun little photo shoot in preparation for the update, which reminded me I need to work on getting a new camera with a faster shutter speed. Or find some way to make a two year old hold still. (maybe duct tape? -just kidding)