Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Shrug Update

I've been so busy lately that I haven't had a chance to show you the completed "Tribute to the Women of Jane Austen" shrug.

I added the surprise elements of butterflies and spiral fringe with a flower at the end. The butterflies denote the ever evolving awareness of Jane's heroines and their surprise and delight in the outcomes of their situations. The spirals indicate the twists and turns that the heroines take before they become totally aware of the true nature of those around them. They are then able to recognize the blossoming of a faithful relationship. It also gives that element of fun!

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Creating Work

I seem to be going along on the "Shrug" road these days. I've had fun looking through my extra handwoven fabric and seeing how I can combine the pieces into an acceptable garment. The Shrug is an interesting garment. It has been around for a very long time. Some fashion historian can probably tell you how long. It is a very easy garment to make in that it is a basic rectangle that is sewn together to make a "pseudo" sleeve closing.

When I began making these they started out very simple. As usually happens to me, they get more complex in design as I develop each one. It seems I can never go back to just the simple design. Of course this means more hours of work. So what started out as an easy inexpensive, less time consuming project becomes more labor intensive with every new piece. This of course increases the price. Can you ever go back for the sake of producing an item that is more affordable? I think many of the fashion designers are trying to do that by having more affordable lines selling in places like Kohl's and Target. But how do you make your creative mind stop and say, "It's enough!".

My husband and I have been watching the Jane Austen series on PBS. The six episodes have been wonderful. Of course I can't help but notice the fashions! They too have been wonderful. But have you noticed that the fashions of Jane Austen's day are being repeated today? The empire waist has returned. The little cropped jacket has returned. And the shawl/shrug has also returned!


My new creation is a tribute to the women of Jane Austen. I "dare say" that it required a very delicate hand and I hand knit the trim on size 2 needles to reflect that. Here's a preview. It is not finished yet. Just as the women in Austen's novels always surprise us with their understanding of the truth, it will have a few design surprises also. I just haven't come up with them yet! I'll let the work speak for itself!