Thursday, March 27, 2008

Twelve Little Pairs, And a Skirt!

I am so happy to be back in the studio again, and some decent beads are appearing. Here are twelve little pairs for earrings...I made more but some just didn't appeal to me so they will go into the "Orphans" basket. There is always someone who sees something in the orphans that I don't see, so I've learned not to discard those beads anymore!

These used lots of silver foil and reactive glasses. They are quite fascinating to make because they tend to look a little different going into the kiln than when they come out of the kiln, so it's quite fun to see them in the morning. Usually there is one set that I thought was ugly that turns out to be my favorite, and visa-versa...there's a metaphor for life in there somewhere. I really like the pair with the star murrini.

Yesterday I started making a skirt I've been thinking about for a while. A year or so ago I found a pile of vintage silk scarves at my fave thrift. I think they're from the 1970's or early 1980's. They averaged 42" long and 6-8" wide, and were all thin gossamer silk from India. Some seemed to have been cut from vintage saris, other's were definately block printed to be scarves, with defined borders. The hems were all hand sewn, and a few had crumpled paper tags (Made in India Silk). The colors were the muted shades I often see on old silk saris...purples and blues, muted greys, aquas, dull soft greens, and a spark of black or pink here and there. The prints were mostly traditional block printed florals and paislies with a few great little figurals and one beautiful red and black batik. I think I counted about 120 of them. The condition was great, they were all neatly folded and some were joined by a stitch in lots of 12, perhaps they were old store stock? I knew I wanted to make a skirt with some of them, and since I'm going to a Belly Dance workshop on Saturday, I decided it was time to give it a try.

I also knew I didn't want a drawstring or an elastic, I don't want anything bunchy at the waist, it bugs me! So I decided to stitch them in layers onto a wide waistband that would tie in front like a hipscarf. This worked great. I ended up using 36 scarves for the skirt. I trimmed them to 32" as this needs to be tied low on the hips. After I had them layered, I stitched again about three inches down from the top edge to keep them from shifting around. This morning I stitched two pairs together at the short ends and then joined thened along one long edge to use as the waistband, folded over the stitched layers. With some topstitching added for stability, it ties securely and looks great, very floaty. When I stand still it looks like a multicolored pleated skirt, but with movement the thin silk flutters and moves. I'll tie a coin scarf on top and I think it will be fun to dance in!

This picture isn't great, it's really very pretty!

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