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Fabric Inspiration – Pre-Packaged

True to our name – Fit for Art – we love to create patterns that inspire creative play and can be transformed into wearable art.  Small pieces of precious fabric are often the starting point for artful garments and Laura Murray sells some that truly speak to me.

Two Fabric Packs opened for inspiration

When we saw Laura in the fall at the Fredericksburg Expo, she had created Inspiration Packs.  Each pack contains 6 different pieces of Kimono Silk approximately 7” wide by 14” long, an inspirational explosion of pattern and color.  You can bet a few of these little treasures came home with me with the hopes of making a unique Carpe Diem Tunic.

Projects like these are perfect for the dark days and nights in January and I hoped to have one made for the ISAF and Road to CA shows where both Fit for Art and Laura would be vending.

Commune with the Fabric

I opened up the treasure packs and began to visualize opportunities.  The one that jumped out at me was simple color blocks separated with neutral sashes. It would really set off each unique piece of fabric. I began arranging the contents of two different packages looking for common colors.  Purple was the color I found to be calling to me.

planning with fabric

Next a visit to my stash unearthed some large chunks of light weight dark purple faille, black linen and purple cross weaves that seemed to tie the pieces together.

A one sentence description makes this sound quick and easy, but looking for a favorite combination of fabrics is a process to luxuriate in.  To assist the process, I used my Carpe Diem Tru Grid Pellon pattern to see how the fabrics would block in my size.

Thinking about the back with additional fabrics

Laura’s fabrics always push me into an expansive color pallet, often one I have not previously considered.  The final combinations are the happy marriage of available materials and personal size requirements.

Plan and Complete the Piecing

Only the front and back of this Carpe Diem is pieced.  I created the pieced front and back, then trimmed it to the perfect size using the Pellon Pattern.  One of my rules of piecing is to use each fabric at least 3 places but that was impossible here since each fabric is totally unique.  I did follow that rule with the finishes.

Trimming the pieced section to size.

Choose Coordinating Finishes

After the initial construction, I spent some more time deciding on the finishes for the neckline, sleeves and hem.  It seemed the tunic would be better if it was a little longer and I needed to work with the remaining fabrics on hand.

Pondering the finishes.

There was enough of the vertical sashing fabric to add sleeve cuffs and, just enough of an unused purple and black cross woven silk to use at the neck, cuff and hemline.  Watch Instagram and Facebook this week and I will show the process of adding the color blocked extensions at the hemline.

Finishes added last.

Be Inspired – Try Something New

Sadly, the ISAF show has been canceled due to the continuing health crisis, but Road to CA, the established quilt show in Ontario CA will still be held January 18-22.  Laura will be there with her inspiration packs, my Carpe Diem to inspire you and our patterns to sell.  Be sure to visit her booth and stock up.  (Laura even has a couple groups of inspiration packs in her online store.)

This spring, I will be teaching a class at the virtual Sewing and Stitchery Expo and the Atlanta Original Sewing and Quilt Expo called Sew Garments that Scratch your Creative Itch. If you want to add more unique artful garments to your wardrobe, plan to attend.

Since I am not making the trip to CA, I hope spend some time trying out another inspiration pack idea on a Tabula Rasa Jacket variation we are developing.  Stay Tuned.

Happy Sewing, RAE

4 thoughts on “Fabric Inspiration – Pre-Packaged

  1. The fabric is exquisite as is your design.

    1. It did all come together nicely. Thanks!

  2. Just gorgeous, Thanks for sharing this Rae. Very inspiring. I have some small bits of sample silk acquired randomly that are way too small to do much with, but this post excits my spirit to have the courage to look and play!

    1. enjoy the process. If the pieces are small, consider just piecing a yoke.

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