Birthday Garments: Celebrating Color

Birthday Garments: Celebrating Color

 INSPIRATION: From my photo library, some armchair traveling reminds me how much I enjoyed the visual delights of downtown Denver. The collage below is a combo of photos and fabrics...and more info about the cool ladders below! 
INTENTIONAL DESIGN: One of my rituals over the years has been to create a Birthday garment each year. It has been an exercise in stopping, noticing and celebrating where I am. So as February rolls around, I am continuing that tradition with  a dive into more color and a combination that makes me happy!  Inspired by the image above, here is my pattern ( Thank you Katherine Tilton), fabrics and notions that are calling me.  
Once I start, I partially construct from several directions, creating PARTS. Next, working on a dressform, the process allows for my intuitive design eye and technical maker to come together. It informs scale of details, placement of contrasting pieces and overall silhouette. It feels like sketching, when everything is still fluid and change is possible.
After making some decisions on the dressform,  how to finish comes into view: How much raw edge? how tall the collar will be) and how full the sleeves will be?
DETAIL NOTES: Collar-Once the collar was made, it felt to tall for this spring garment. This collar is on the bias grain, which allows for more shaping at the ironing board. A shorter collar with more space at the back of the neck was the answer. 
Sleeves: Recycling makes everything better! The fabric in this linen jacket was perfect! Left over after The Scissor Vest  project, I loved the contrast. The stripe was repeated in the foldback facing, with brown topstitching. 
STITCHING A  LADDER: SO how cool is this!! To stitch your own ladder, place pieces of stripe fabric on background fabric. Pieces can be fused down as needed. Next, using your favorite machine (or hand) stitches, finish the vertical lines and rungs of the ladder. 
 This ladder image continues to hold meaning for my going forward... see more about ladders in the previous journal entry. See my ladder stencil here. What is the symbol that holds meaning for you? you want to fold it into your work now? 
A quick selfie in the mirror as I decide on the fit on me- (made a medium).
The aluminum disc buttons...combined with round elastic feel a bit of hardware....tying the buttons on with big knots in elastic felt direct, not fussy.
As I start over with a new wardrobe, a gift from the fire, I know I need my clothes to feel like me....not only expressing my style and skills, but the casual, playful and intentional  way I am defining my life going forward. Diane
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Dear Diane, You are an eternal joy and inspiration for me. I’m always here in the background loving your blogs and creations. I can’t wait to see where the ladders 🪜 lead you too next. I will be here reading and loving your creations. Your fan, Barb 🥰

Barb Kuhlmann

It’s a joy to see your new ideas unfold! I love your creative ideas. The button attachment…. awesome idea! You look fabulous!

Cheryl Ramage

So inspiring and it looks celebratory perfect on you!

Wendy Bauer

Fabulous Diane. It has all great ideas in a way only you can do. Great for spring.

Mary Glenn

Oh wow, Diane! Wonderful! Love love love the video! Keep that in the mix for sure!!


Gayle Ortiz

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