Sunday, January 31, 2010

Harlequin Playa Coat Using McCalls 5092 Pattern

I finally finished my blue and green playa coat.  This is the first fake fur coat that I sewed entirely from scratch.   This coat is based upon McCalls 5092 in the medium size (size 14-16), but after making a muslin mock up, I found it was HUGE, like a cape. I  took out somewhere between a quarter and a third of the width of the fabric in the skirt.  I also narrowed the underside of the dolman sleeves considerably because dolman sleeves and backpacks are not a good combination.  Plus, I haven't liked dolman sleeves since 1989.  I like the way one can flip up the collar for when it gets really cold.

The fabric is a wonderfully soft, and somewhat stretchy, poodle-like fur that is probably nylon or some other synthetic.  The lime green lining is pure silk, which also lines the pockets.  To make sure the seams will last, I used French seams on the lining and I binded all of the seams of the fur with twill tape.  Because I wanted really big green buttons, I made them myself out of some scrap wood in the garage and some leftover green house paint.  Each button loop also has a second loop from which I can hang glow stick bracelets.  I can't wait to wear this on the Playa!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Beading another Kepler's Tiling

Today I ran across this article on "five-fold symmetry in crystalline quasicrystal lattices."   This figure of one of Kepler's famous tilings got me thinking about weaving beads.  I noticed that if I placed one bead on each pentagon, a little thread should hold them together nicely.  In search of a larger patch of this tiling of Kepler to guide me, I found this page on "aperiodic tilings" by Steve Dutch, and his fourth figure fit the bill perfectly.  (Thank you Professor Dutch for letting me post it here.)

The photo below shows the same patch of tiles rendered with size 11/0 seed beads and thread.

 My bead weave shows one bead for each pentagons in Dutch's illustration, plus I added exactly 10 extra shiny purple beads (red pentagons) around the perimeter to smooth out the edges and make the weave more circular and less scalloped.  Notice that this weave has holes in three different sizes.  The smallest holes (with 5 shiny purple beads) are the 5-pointed stars.  The medium holes have 10 beads around, and thus correspond to the decagons in the tiling, and the large holes are the double decagons.  This patch of beads measures about an 1.5 inches across, and when I smoosh it down, it lies flat.  I'm not sure if it would continue to lie flat if I enlarged the patch.

What I learned:  I learned that these matte brown and shiny purple beads look a bit funky together, but I was inspired to weave so I didn't think too much about what I pulled from my bead box.  Mathematically, I learned that this set of Kepler's tiles can be arragned in several different ways, including a nice periodic striped one that I had never seen before. (See the fifth figure.) This beading technique will also work with the fifth figure, but I haven't tried it yet.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Beaded Beads with Golf Balls and Tennis Balls

My boyfriend drilled some golf balls and tennis balls for me so I could weave them into beaded beads.  The top one with just golf balls is an Octahedral Cluster, and the one with tennis balls too is a Double Rose Window.  These are big and heavy!  What I learned: Weaving with large heavy beads is a heck of a lot harder than weaving with itty bitty beads.  Gravity is not my friend here.  Using a big bowl to hold my work in progress is very helpful.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Beading Classes at Naturally Jennifer

The good folks down at Naturally Jennifer Beads and Gallery in San Luis Obispo, CA have graciously asked me back to teach some classes.  I have a wonderful and faithful group of students there, which means I have to bring new designs and materials whenever I go there to teach.  Since it's out of town, I always go for two weekend days in a row, and I thought it would be nice to make a two day course instead of entirely different stuff on Saturday and Sunday.  So I'm designing patterns around common themes so students will learn a specific design on Saturday, and how the technique applies to other designs on Sunday. Here are the SLO details.  I'll post photos later this week.

Saturday, March 27: Herringbone Toggle Clasp and Cable 10:30-4
Sunday March 28: Herringbone Advanced Class: Beaded Beads 10:30-4
Canceled: Saturday May 22: Honeycomb Star Weave 10:30-4
Canceled: Sunday May 23: Star Weaves Advanced Class 10:30-4
September 4, 5 TBA

For those of you in the San Francisco Bay Area, here's info on my upcoming workshops at Beaded Bliss.

Here's more info on the March 27/28 classes.
Herringbone is a classic bead weave that is very versatile.  Typically, herringbone is woven with an even number of columns of beads.  This Herringbone Toggle pattern shows how to weave just 3 columns to produce a neat and narrow cable of seed beads.  We show how to add larger beads into the weave, captured and outlined by the 3 columns.  By creating angles at the larger beads, we can close a piece of cable into a square to make the loop for a toggle clasp.  You can weave the toggle directly into a necklace, or add a flat strip of herringbone with just 2 columns to capture a jump ring, and finish the clasp.

The underlying herringbone pattern is very regular, and can be repeated to make triangles, squares, pentagons, and so forth, in any size.   You can also weave long lengths of the herringbone 3-cable into necklaces and bracelets.  The pattern gives detailed instructions for the straight cable with captured gems and  both parts of the toggle clasp.

In the Herringbone Advanced Class on beaded beads, you will see different variations of beaded beads and pendants that can be made with the herringbone 3-cable.  Explicit instructions will be provided for the Hour Glassy beaded bead, but students will be encouraged to try other designs for beaded beads, pendants and earrings shown in the pattern, with the instructor's help, of course.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Crochet and Knit Textile Cuffs and Collars

I posted four new listings in my Etsy shop.  See my textile section for more information and photos.

Cuffs XI

Collar VII Necklace
Collar VIII Scarflette

Collar IX Lariat

Upcoming Classes at Beaded Bliss and a Fairy Chrysalis Necklace

I'm going to teach two classes at Beaded Bliss in Danville, CA
Seven Sisters Bead Cluster on March 20, 2010 (note date switched)

Rivoli Sunflower Pendant and Bracelet on February 28, 2010 (note date switched)

Beginners welcome in both classes; some experience with bead weaving or embroidery is helpful.

I was just looking through some old photos to advertise my upcoming classes, and I found this necklace.  The Fairy Chrysalis pendant is made with a big shimmering blue tourmaline and a fire orange cubic zirconia.  The asymmetric necklace is woven with more CZ and peridot.   I made this in March 2008, but I've never posted a photo until now.  I was very happy with the way this piece turned out, and it sold quickly.

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