Saturday, December 27, 2008

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


draw Verge suit
add marker
cut out drawing
adjust on tea dyed fabric ground
cut out skirt for satin reverse applique
sew into place
applique fabric cut outs
gather tulle then sew under paper ruffle
add stitch lines
merge scanner seams with big brush tool in Photoshop
color adjust the lights of the paper
(optional-change handbag to snake picture -copy, transform and paste...Photoshop)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Education +/-

The self block by assumption life it hides that which is under our noses, like ever look for something that is in a drawer and you can't find it, then go back the next day and there it is.

The self hypnotist, the assumer, plays with fashion all the time. Consider minis with unattractive legs, the great shoulder pad excess, corsets that caused fainting, hoops and panniers were all part of being in fashion. When "in fashion" is the proper attire of the day, we overlook a lot because it fits in with the current assumption!

Yet that same assumer gets us from point A to point B because we know the route and can depend on it.
We best keep our wits about us and stay fresh -get a really good mirror...then again if you think you look good and that makes you feel good and so you work the illusion and it is effective, well then......ah, tis a puzzlement!

Einstein Hits

Chair refashion with "new" vintage barkcloth

"We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them." Mix with:
"The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education."
Got to love it. The ideas of the past cloud our perceptions of the future, yet they do show us patterns of human behavior, ie that which got us to the problem. So this is a problem that implies its own "cure"-its a giggle, no?

It's all full of downsidey/upsidey -a play of balance! So get good with change, with uncertainty and with that other 'knowing"... that core, center, solar (soul-ar) truth. Why not? as the rest is all hocus pocus in expensive suits. Then activate from body central and see what happens...dble dare ya!
More at the RIP

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Knit Picking

This scarf is the result of an untangling. The knitter volunteers at the Sanctuary and feels everything can be useful. When she decided to create something new from a knotty, mess of yarns in a bin at this drop in art center, she chose to spend time reclaiming what many would consider to be trash. She is a marker in sustainability. It is the overall outcome of all of our choices that creates the societies we build, accept and empower, please choose wisely. It wouldn't hurt to take classes in environmental science either!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

the Trees

White damask, black canvas and some Halloween special (cheap, minimal thread count) yard sale cotton became the backdrop i thought i was going to paint.

OK, i am getting deeper and deeper into this whole sustainable thing. As i advance i am asking more questions. It's a way to challenge myself to play with other possibilities and not do just whatever appears the easiest, most routine or otherwise obvious because of past teachings.

That this is good fun for brains and will keep them lively and sprite is a bonus. It is strange that what we sometimes think we want -comfort, is actually bad for us. What we need to keep fit and healthy are changes and challenges. (PBS, Brain Fitness and Neuroplasticity)

So i used what i had. The old damask cloth had a grape juice stain and the black fabric was culled from project remains. i am happier with these results than an old acrylic and butcher paper backdrop. (click on the detail shot to see fast, freeform stitch style)

Friday, November 28, 2008

When You Leave

leave an impression.

Last Saturday

at the Sanctuary, Patch showed up to work on his painting but the Art Center was too popular and the lottery system went into play. He had to wait on the porch with several other young people in the hope that a "winner" would leave. The place has the room and the inventory to host quite a few people but the staff/client ratio has to be kept in check; its a hard thing to have to shut doors against people ....
Patch is still working on his jacket....he says its always in life.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Not a Label

Well it has been awhile but before i move away from the London Experience i have to say a bit about Not Just a Label and that is...they are innovative because of perspective and they are a good source for independent and new design and designers.
The gent i spoke with mentioned shows and networking but if you go to their site they will speak for themselves.
The toy soldiers are readymades with glitter added. They were chosen because they are easy to come by...which goes to show how fear, the commodity, is a cultural (almost global) norm. It takes courage to speak up and challenge the whole of tradition, the foundation of power and all the many facts that really aren't!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

more FFS

Orsola de Castro started the label From Somewhere in 1997 to address pre-consumer waste and reproducibility in recycling for the fashion industry.

In 2006, Orsola and her partner Filippo Ricci, started Estethica, the sustainable fashion area at London Fashion Week. Her pro- active style has helped push sustainable fashion into the light of the everyday world.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Sanctuary Art Center

Michael in self style

Saturday morning i volunteer at the Sanctuary which is a drop in art making space for homeless teens. Next Saturday we are starting a quilt block wall hanging with patches, paint, fabric and what all ...if it can be sewn or applied in some way....well I am excited about actually having a project rather than just fixing the machines (again) and spontaneous sewing help.

This will be wonderful in multiple ways. I have met some talented, intelligent, eclectic, lovely people (new friends!) and i am happy to say that i have apologized for the mess some of us have made of this world out of ignorance, greed, fear and "its not my job" etc.

OK it's covered, we are forgiven; now let's work together for recovery, spirited growth and a better evolved look at our species, our capabilities and our responsibilities. No big deal just total 360 degree awareness and action and we can do it, pardon me
We Will Do It and the perk -it creates joy!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

F F More

Timothy Han
handcrafts all-natural luxury products for the bath body and home. In the home line are soy candles which are a healthier alternative to paraffin based candles.

Remember, scent is molecules that detach from their origin and float up into your nose; where they attach themselves to receptors deep inside your nasal cavity. SO you are not only what you eat but what you breathe as well.

Think about it!

If you want to know more about the cosmetic industries mad science approach do a search on toxic makeup or cosmetics or....
ps: the EU has more stringent cosmetic guides; known carcinogens are banned faster than in USA.
PPS: That is my calling card in his hand, repurposed from my out of date sewing class flyers.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Fashion Future Summit cont.

Elena Garcia ecoCouture:
"Small designers need more support and suitable business models to follow in the aftermath of the financial meltdown of late. We no longer need to look at growth for growth's sake. We need people to appreciate craft and give us back our dignity."
October 28th 2008

Thank you Elena; I believe she speaks for many designers, artisans, artists and thoughtful people that are following their life's work potential and not the marketplace and it's distorted visions. However, we of the aforementioned need the support of the people in order to be economically viable. That is how we will all build the new sustainable model of our species life on this planet.

economic sustainability
social justice
ecological balance

Monday, November 3, 2008

Fashion Future Summit photos

as designed by the students of the London College
of Fashion. It was dark and I tried to adjust levels but it was catch as I
could and yes, I should move around for shot variety. The show was very pro
and a delight with a good soundtrack; we've come a long way from the beige
hemp canvas that started it all. I know, I tried to work with it. There was a shop in Pioneer Square that sold it as yardage and there were maybe 3 weights and maybe a couple whites and blacks.....but the natural color was dominant.

Fashion Future Summit


This morning caught the underground and knew how to navigate the circus of Oxford Circus.
The day started with speakers and then we broke into one of 3 groups. I was in the luxury group.
What is it and how will we design it? How has it been appropriated by the likes
of Gucci and Lois Vuitton who have "democracized" it with a fast fashion business model?
What will be the new vision; olde world craftsmanship, will the full lifecycle of products be considered as well as their impact on the sustainable model (sustainable economics, social justice and ecological balance) will their be smaller companies, resource wise limited production....?

I have met and will connect back with some great people ..... designers, media rousers, professors and other stakeholders.
This is it for now as I need to shuffle my notes and get some concise outcome sentences formed. This has been one of the most exciting sustainable related events I have ever been involved with or even attended as a spectator.
More later, L, deborah

Fashion Future day 1

On Tue, Oct
28, 2008 at 11:46 AM, deborah barnes <>

hello SSF,
The Fashion show last night with student designs was amazing with good tunes and gracious hosts. It was an "I need a camcorder" event...I have pics to show when I gte back. Will need to run thru
Photoshop for darkness issues.....We got a bag from Adili with goodies so
will write on it later...too much for now.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Hall of Shame

I've been collecting ads that irk.

I like paper. It started when I was about 8. I would cut people out of the pages of old Sears Christmas catalogs. These were the paper dolls that I would dress in clothes from other pages. With scissors and tape, I could fashion all manner of wearables. That is how I started my designing life.

This penchant for paper and all the graphics, photos, ads, illustrations, and fonts that festoon it, is still with me. I cut or tear out and glue the best bits into old books. Books that are outdated or unloved make great scrappy design notebooks. The fun part is to keep the good stuff, play with color and glue in the new "art." Adding to it with paints or pens is good for the psyche.

Recently the baddy ads started hitting my radar. At first I was looking for eco sane ads but now that 'green" is the new black or something, that isn't fun anymore.


"A closet full of nothing to wear"
"If you think it's nice, Buy it Twice!"
"It's a Mall World"
"Buy More, Save More"
"Buy One Get One Free"

It looks to me that the reduce part of sustainable lifestyles has a way to go. I suggest we put a fine on overproduction, nipping the economies of scale manufacturing rule in it's arse. Singular pricing benefits and creative tools for counterattacking that most pathetic of pastimes, shopping; is a must.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

RecyCouture Tee

This short sleeve black tee shirt was a little too big ...but was a nice weight cotton. So it was a perfect candidate for a refashion make-over.

The baroque influenced design was drawn on freezer paper then cut out to make a stencil. This is a great and inexpensive way to create surface designs. Freezer paper has a waxy back that adheres to the fabric when heated and it is a reusable - press it on, paint in the holes, then peel it off.
After the paint dried I added reverse applique bits from an old metallic cloth costume I inherited from a friend of my mothers in Leavenworth.
Then a few black sequins were sewn on.
The sleeve was lengthened with part of a pleated sleeve from a yard sale shirt made in India and a tulle band aid covered the seam. Sometimes stretch variance makes for an unpretty attachment.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

London Calling

I've been invited to attend the fashion event of the decade!

Fashioning the Future Summit 2008
October 27th and 28th
The London College of Fashion is hosting this event, inviting key industry informers and decision makers to debate the question: Can fashion bring about a long term lifecycle change to move us towards a more sustainable economy and better lives.

This is an amazing opportunity and I am happy that my work has been noticed. I recently wrote (prior to this invitation!) a caption for a fashionRIP photo ..."follow your truth as it grows" This my friends, is a result of that seekers heart. The abstract heart where the universe connects with the personal energy, where we are but one and part of the whole at the same time....yup I am a believer.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Night Class

This class was just added. It will start October 22 from 6-9; 12 hours at $110. Work on a project of your own choosing with individual instruction. Bring your sewing machine or use one provided by the great people of the NW Senior center.
The sewing machine with the great Fgyptian motif was my grandmother's.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

More Classes

I decided to add a class before the holiday season in response to requests (thank you all for your validation!)
This one will start October 21 from noon to 3:00 and as before will be a 12 hour workshop session. The price went up a $110 but it is still a great deal. Check out Teachstreet for more Info.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Vintage Root recyCouture

Both of these dresses started way back. The top one one started as a chemise from the 20s with problems, holes. The holes were appliqued over which forced design challenges. How to cover holes and balance the overall look without being obvious.

The bottom one was a 1930s dress that was getting fragile, possibly due to the lead in the dye. The top was cut from the bottom and given a tulle hemline. The skirt was adjusted with a stretch band top from recycled pantyhose. Works great now with retrograde charm

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Damage Control

This quilt is part of the collection shown on this site awhile ago. The holes and mottling occurred while being folded and stored in plastic bags. The mottling may be evened out with Biz but its a do at your own risk and I am not bothered by it...I am into the imperfect.
However the holes were another matter and skewered with usability. The largest hole was repaired by taking out the entire square block and making a new quilted one to set back in.
The triangle patch was laid on top of the problem and I cut out from under it. The backing and the batting were set in and then I quilted it; having to work with the whole weight of the entire quilt.
I thought I might have a "this is the better approach" but actually both had their plus/minus package.
Other small holes were repaired with fabric from the good bits of the pulled out patch when possible.
RESULTS: I saved someone's hard work and memories, someone's heritage and though I haven't any direct connection to the original quilter back in the 1800's ...I am connected in the larger space and it feels really good!
So just do it...human made reality when it connects to the "ultra real" world is the best!
Email me with questions if any on your own restoration projects.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Tee in Repose

So here is a shot of the recyked, label adorned Tee I wore as agenda to Task

NOTE: It is always a good thing to add a meaningful element; here, it is my initials stenciled onto a scrap -aka -wear your own!

at Task

Had some issues at this event, the mess was recycled...however ........Oliver Herring please use less stuff!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Olde School

This photo is of a cashmere wool plus blend dress I made from a Vogue Pattern with a few adjustments (I have always tweaked). I took the dress apart and tried to dye the remains ....but it did not survive the process.

I always wash my wools gently before refashioning garments but once in awhile the uglies will happen. It is better to take off a pocket, cut a piece from the hem or facing and wash it first to test outcomes before throwing it all into the washer. Just a warning, personally I am rarely that patient and won't dry clean unless I can find a green dry cleaner and the fabric is wonderful enough for that TLC.

The lamp is from a thrift store and the chair is vintage Art Deco.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Antique Quilts

You never know what possibilities spring up as the path unwinds.

Alyson, a sewing student of mine, had a mother that would trade wallpaper for quilts back in the '70s. Her parents had a decorating store and her mother loved the detailed handwork on these quilts. She displayed them folded on shelves and other flat surfaces, hanging one or two at a time.

Alyson inherited them but they were stored in plastic and along with the dry cleaning her mother had done; they are sadly breaking down. They are now breathing free and the orange stars from the late 1800s can be restored with tea dyed cotton and PATIENCE - to do all the itty- bitty stitching of the background.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Earth Day

This is a re-enactment of the fashionethos display I set up in the NSCC courtyard on April 22 and 23. Like many important educating efforts towards healthier lifestyles and paradigms -it was a volunteer effort. The school has a Sustainability link from their home page now as well and ...Yeah!

The generous fabric samples were donated by Pacific Fabrics in Northgate. They carry some wonderful wise fabrics. The bamboos now come in knits, suitings, denim and lightweights..they feel fabulous. There is(was) a hemp voille -the other hemps were sold out at that time, more on the way. There is a wide range of colors in both fibers. The organic cotton fleeces come in 2 weights, have a yummy hand and have far less allergens than the regular fleeces which are from petroleum by-products..

Dandified Bears

Recycled sweaters make suave bears and are the handiwork of the local Creative Goddess. Email me for more information-they are for sale.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Full Circle Yarn Shop in Ballard

The Full Circle Yarn Shop is a Ballard classic. Located at 2038 NW 56th featuring greener goods for the needle arts. Hemp, bamboo, soy, recycled silk, corn fiber, recycled and organic cotton yarns are on the shelves. Stop in to inspire your next project.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Energy Is

life ...funny how we expend it in exercise then regain more of it in a bounce back. Can this apply to the resources that provide us with the energy to heat our homes, transport us and otherwise help keep our lives interesting? Will we experience a bounce back?

Atoms never run out of energy and everything is made up of the little buggers (yes we could start at quarks -but so show offy...) therefore everything is largely space and "energy' and even inert objects are "moving. " Cool

Perhaps conserving at one level will ignite us in another ...a holistic exchange ...Sparks and delight. Wear vintage and sustain energy.

Vintage 1950s dress made from an unknown fringe fabric. The hat is probably earlier and too funny not to pop on once in a while. The white pouf needed accenting which brought me to the atom symbol and this little mind dance with words. Thanks for your tolerance!