the big reveal: my collection

Finally, pictures of the collection I’ve been working on for the past 8 months or so! (See here and here for the work in progress – especially the second picture in the first link). I’ve called it “Traces of Thread”, and the pieces were inspired by Norwegian folk costumes, with a dash of Victorian era and some nostalgia thrown in for good measure. I think that shows!

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The key piece of the collection – the wool melton coat. Between the wool fabric, and the magenta silk charmeuse lining, facings, and interfacing  – there are a ton of pattern-pieces! The most time-consuming feature is in the back – cartridge pleating, with the lining fabric showing on the edge. This is definitely strongly inspired by the “bunad”; the skirt of mine has this kind of pleating all around the waist. Just imagine how heavy that skirt gets!

The seamlines in the front and the back are also inspired by the seamlines of my particular regional version of the “bunad” (click the image to see it larger!). The wool was an absolute dream to work with, like sewing in butter! This was by far my most tailored piece, and I have a post coming up about what sort of techniques I used on the coat.

(Wool from B. Black and Sons, silk charmeuse from C & J Textiles, cotton sateen from Mood Fabrics)

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The lace top was also quite an undertaking! I knit the top from a lace-weight yarn, and I think there must be multiple thousands of stitches in this thing! This will also get a post of its own I think – I guess I like to talk about stuff I’ve made, and how I made it! The skirt is made in cotton sateen, which has a wonderful feel and weightyness to it, but can be a little difficult to sew with since pins and needles leave marks in the fabric. The draping on the side is a nod to Victorian bustles, but also the hiking up of heavy skirts when climbing  stairs or such.

(Ravelry page here, yarn from Loopy Yarns, buttons from ages ago from Panduro, cotton sateen from Mood Fabrics)

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The cartridge pleating strikes again! This was actually also a bit of a technical challenge  – and I have pictures, but that’s for another day and another post. The fabric is a silk gauze, and it was my first time working with that. It frays, it’s really shifty, but it’s all worth it for the fantastic way it drapes, and for the richness the gauze weave. Because of how it’s woven there is a subtle pattern, as well as some dimension to the fabric. Beautiful!

The fabric for the belt is screenprinted, with a design I composed. It’s been a lot of fun to be the creator of the fabric, from designing, to prepping the screen, to actually printing the fabric. Hmm, I smell another separate post coming…! The skirt is in a lovely wool flannel. I just love working with wool – it  does exactly what you want it to do, especially with  steam and gentle prodding!

(Silk gauze from Vogue, cotton sateen twill from my stash, screen from Atlas, wool flannel from Fishman’s Fabrics)

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And lastly, my knit jacket ensemble. The jacket pattern is based on traditional folk wear, with largely geometric pieces. For example, the shoulder has a couple of rectangles inserted, and then gathered into the collar just like the “bunad”-shirts I studied (don’t worry, there are more details coming up in a separate post!). The vest underneath is bound with bias silk dupioni, and has a front panel that attaches with snaps. And the leather belt cinches in the waist in good Victorian fashion, while the clasps bring back the folk and traditional feel.

(Ravelry page here, yarn from BrooklynTweed, Cotton twill from my stash,
silk dupioni from Vogue, wool flannel from Fishman’s Fabrics, leather from Tandy Leather Factory)

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Well, there it is! It has, not surprisingly, been a lot of work these last months, but a tremendous learning process. I’m more sure than ever that I *love* making things, and making them in the most beautiful and well-constructed way possible. I’m also really glad to have been able to include knit-wear, and textile manipulation, like some dyed fabrics for the linings, and the screenprinting – to be part of the making of the fabric itself! The next step I guess, is to go further down into the hierarchy of making – spin my own yarn, weave my own fabric? Regardless, now it’s time to step back, pat myself on the back, and be proud.

Photos – John M. Burnham
Hair/Make-up – Ingrid Feder
Model – Sally Freeman

(If you’re in the Chicago-area, do come check out the upcoming fashion show I’ll be in! May 17th, Garfield Park Conservatory, great collections, nice people? Good combination!)

20 thoughts on “the big reveal: my collection”

  1. I love the knitted beige caramel shirt, if it was available I would get it.
    Very nice.
    I love simple pieces in neutral colours.

    1. Thank you! I am very pleased with how this came out, and I’d love to start making them for sale. I’d have a bit of ways to go before that could happen… Thanks for the compliment!

  2. Oh wow, your collection looks stunning! I’ve never heard of cartridge pleats, but they look beautiful, both in the coat (and with the colour of the lining showing!) and the blouse. And those amazingly draped skirts!
    Can I say I’m in love? Especially with that outfit featuring your screen printed belt…

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words, it is really lovely of you! I really enjoyed trying out new techniques with this project, from the pleating to the screenprinting to leather to knitting. It was an exploration!

  3. I am going to slap myself! I recently switched all my blogs from google reader to bloglovin’ and must have missed yours! I’d thought you’d just been quiet on the blogging-front due to busy-ness but NO, I just hadn’t subscribed! I have missed SO much, and will have to take an hour or so to get caught up. Just breezing through the pictures just now to see how much I’ve missed, everything looks amazing! Well done, indeed. Apologies for being so daft!

    1. Haha, Kristen! That’s funny!

      I feel like *I’ve* been a bit quiet this summer too – I’ve spent lots of hours in a car and a tent, and that’s been quite internet-less! But thanks! And I’ve felt the exact same way at many times during the summer – after weeks of not being connected, the blogreader was so full I didn’t know where to start! Oh, regardless – good to have you back, and no apologies needed! ;)

  4. Wow! I have so many comments, I don´t know where to begin. Maybe it´s a good thing you´re breaking it up into several posts, that way I can read and learn more, and comment on each of them. But the whole of it looks amazing. a bit of bunad, a bit of Victoria, and a big bit of Birgitte! Hats off to you, my friend! I am so proud to know you!!!!

  5. I follow your blog for some time now and I’m always inpired by your posts. This collection is just amazing! Congratulations! I don’t even want to imagine how many hours of work went into all these beautiful pieces with all these lovely details. Again, congratulations and have a wonderful show!!

  6. Your collection is gorgeous! I want the first coat for my own, and I love the delicate lace knitted top. Well done! Beautiful combination of knitted and sewn items. Are you thrilled to be finished? Congratulations and hope the show is just as wonderful!

    1. Thank you Tasia, that means a lot to me! I am very happy to be finished, but I don’t feel quite “done” with it all yet – maybe after the shows, haha! Now it’s your turn! ;)

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