Creative Experimentation

School has me pretty busy lately working to understand the moulage. I’m at the final stages with both mine and my husband’s second drafts and I should be able to take them to slopers next week. It’s all pretty exciting but it can be mind-bending work at times. I like to break up these head-y moments with a little creative experimentation. Last night I took out my drafting paper and Tomoko Nakamichi’s Pattern Magic books and played around with adding bows to garments.

I ended up following the directions for the knot dress from book 1 and adding the bow to (none other than) the Sorbetto. I wanted to see how it sewed up and being low on muslin (not to mention that it would be pretty stiff for the draping) I found some scraps of cotton voile.

When I make this “for real” I’m going to redraft the bow manipulation to drape from the sides (I simply eliminated the bust dart) as well as the arms. It’s just a little too much at the top and doesn’t look balanced to me. In addition, I ended up with about 1 inch of fabric leftover near the “knot ease”. You can’t actually see it but if I were to use a fabric that frayed (like this cotton voile!), the edges wouldn’t be finished. I’m not entirely sure where this extra bulk is coming from though, so it’s proving to be a difficult problem to solve.

This project had me thinking about an exhibit at the Museum of Craft and Folk Art from earlier this year. The exhibit showcased the work of Sister Corita, an artist, teacher and activist. There was one particular piece that really caught my attention that I wanted to share with you. I find myself thinking about these rules and how they reflect what the creative experience means to me. Recently, Rule 4 has become my mantra.

The Rules Remade
Jenifer K. Wofford (
2011 Commission

What are you experimenting with lately?


11 Comments to “Creative Experimentation”

  1. I love those rules – thanks for sharing. My latest experiments have been in the kitchen, trying new vegetarian dishes. Happy weekend to you!

    • You’re welcome! I’m glad that you liked the rules. They have such a quirky freedom to them.
      I love experimenting in the kitchen but I must admit that I’ve been neglecting the pots and pans lately. It’s a combination of being too hot to turn on the stove and totally distracted by the sewing machine.

  2. What a stunning experiment! This one is so beautiful, I can’t wait to see the “real” one!

  3. Wow, so exciting! It is looking lovely, I can’t wait to see more!

  4. I totally like your blog. How can I follow you?
    Visit me to see my sewing projects. All the best

    • Thanks, Liz. I’m so glad that you like my blog. You can be notified of new posts by email below – just check the box below the comment form next time you leave a reply and it will sign you up. If you prefer to use a reader there is an RSS link in the upper right hand corner. Let me know if you have any trouble.

  5. I really like these rules, in particular numbers 6-9. I have been thinking often along these same lines lately. Bravo for experimentation! Are you going to Apparel Arts? (Did we discuss this already?) I would love to go there someday, but it’s a bit impossible at the moment.

    • I’ve been thinking on 7 a lot lately – I feel like I can’t see my path clearly lately and this rule is a comfort.
      I am going to Apparel Arts! I’ve been wanting to go to a fashion design program for ages but have been scared off by the tuition. I just can’t justify 30k a year for a career that might not be able to pay it back. Apparel Arts has been a godsend – it was everything that I wanted in a program but without the cost. Also, I feel like paying as I go won’t leave me with regret like a bill would.
      Are you from the Bay Area originally? Is that how you know the program?

      • That really strikes me, too, number 7. And I have been applying it as much as possible lately… not getting bogged down with thoughts, but simply acting. And having faith (for lack of a better word) that it will pay off. I found Apparel Arts a couple of years ago in a search for sewing and design programs that weren’t at a proper school. Re: there was no way I was going back for another degree in the arts, racking up loads of debt again. It’s just too far away for me to take extended time from work, find a place to stay, etc. One day…..:) I’m so glad to “know” someone who gives it a rave review!

        • We found it in similar ways, I see. One day, yes! The patternmaking intensives might be something to keep in mind. They are usually 2 or 3 days (in a row) and you could slowly work your way through the series over a few years. I met a woman at the orientation who was going to fly down from Seattle to take the intensives.
          Rave reviews here! The quality of the education is superb and I think the teaching style is exactly what I need in my life right now. I’m not sure I would recommend it to younger students who need the traditional college structure unless they are super motivated. The self-pacing might be too easy to let work slip.

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