I’d like to introduce you to Ms. January aka Beth Nordlund. We became friends years ago when she wandered into a quilt shop looking for a long arm quilter.
One of my goals this year is to create a new line of sweaters made from felted up-cycled old sweaters. I started this project last October, and thought I would be done by now. HA!
The new and more realistic goal is to work with one model a month to create a sweater that compliments her body type as well as works with her fashion aesthetic.
I would say I am a good seamstress when it comes to garment construction. I can follow a pattern and make minor design changes which typically result in things I can actually wear. But before this sweater project, I had never created my own garment patterns. I am slowly learning to create my own designs just like I have done with my quilts.
Since October, I have successfully designed one sweater style.
I will eventually post a story about how the MOD came to be, but right now Ms. January is waiting.
This month, instead of designing a sweater, I will be designing a garment made of up-cycled felted wool for Beth to wear in this year’s Object Runway.
Object Runway is Anchorage, Alaska’s response to Project Runway. The event is sponsored by the International Gallery for Contemporary Art and held at the Bear Tooth Theatrepub.
It is not your everyday runway show. Artists from all media put their work on the human form. The body becomes a foundation for three dimensional art made from found objects, wood, and cardboard. Last year there was a dress made of tea bags as well as one made of girl scout cookie boxes. It is an amazing event.
This is the fourth year for the show, but it is the first year I will be participating. Walt and I have attended every year, and every year I say I’m going to make something. This is the year.
My inspiration for Beth’s dress is QUEEN OF THE NORTH. My notion of what that is has evolved since I first had the idea.
Right now I’m thinking ice as in glacier.
And I’m thinking BAD ASS as in of course the Queen of the North would be a hunter and a warrior. Shooting a moose–no problem for this queen.
I’m also thinking I want Beth to rock the runway in something that looks incredible on her.
And I’ve got a week to do it, and I kind of sort of know what I am doing. YIKES. And to make things even a little bit more interesting Beth is in Washington DC attending the inauguration. She will be back in Anchorage on the 24th. So that’s a little crazy.
How close am I to making this happen?
Well, about fifteen years ago, I made this dress out of some vintage drapes. I have always liked the cut–it is a great dress for dancing.
I managed to find the original pattern in my stash.
I started with the original pattern pieces and used them to create new piecing lines as well as alter the pieces to fit Beth’s torso. Then I exaggerated the collar and modified the bodice to fit the sleeve I have been using to create my sweaters.
The interesting thing about working with these felted sweaters is that they are NOT yardage. You really have to think about adding lines of piecing into the garment and those lines must to be attractive.
Alright-I’m off to my studio to piece the first version of this dress. Wish me luck!