Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Mittens 2019

Winter sucks.
I know, Canadians, laugh at me. This is Seattle. We have hills all over and this happens once every five years. We forget. We lose our shovels and tire chains.
 But a week of no melt, of more snow, of ice all over everywhere, we grind to a halt. 
So please, stop it.
Eventually there were ten inches of snow. Right now there's eight inches of slush.
My neighbors took pity on me one day and shoveled my stairs.
I am very tired of snow.
The only way I know to make the weather change is to make winter clothes.
That'll make it warm up.
As usual, Ikat Bag has made them and done a far better job than I could ever. That said, I have different materials and different results.

Here is my version. 
This is the basic idea.

A u shape, with a plain back and a thumb cut out front.
Plus a thumb gusset (I can put one in everywhere)

You sew the thumb gusset on  and sew the one piece back on.

This is the pattern (see that grid? This is with a 1/4" inch seam allowance)
That's the basic idea.
Cut four. Cut thumb cut out on two of them.

It took me a few variations on this mitten idea to get a pair that worked.
This is the classic quick and dirty spare sock version. You cut out the heel for the thumb opening, you slice off the toe to make the thumb. Stitch it together and boom.

But I have a lot of scrap outerwear fabric and I wanted something more long term and functional.
So I have an outer layer in waterproof backed fleece. It was too heavy for a coat, but perfect for this.
The outside thumb assembly in the orange, partly sewn.

And what it looks on the inside (thumb sewn)
You add the yellow fleecy inside layer. I cut mine two inches longer than the outside to make a cuff.
with a thumb opening slit. Just a slit. 
Lining the thumb with the yellow fleece was too much with the orange layer being as thick as it was.
What do we say, your results will vary? They will. Play around with it. Make a model thumb. I did.

And you stick those slit edges down with double-sided fabric tape. ResQ tape works very well, for one example.
You could stitch it. I did not.
It's all stuck down. Remember, this is the inside of the mitten. The thumb is going through that slit into the sewn thumb of the outside orange fabric.
And then I sandwiched all the layers together. I'll be turning it inside out once I've stitched around.
You have to make sure not to sew the thumb into the side seam.
I pinked it on the top edge to make it less lumpy when I turned it.
That's what they look like. 
I handstitched the cuffs. It was faster than wrestling them under the presser foot. I could have added elastic inside the cuff, but they work for me without that. 
I have a seam ripper. I can always change my mind.
And yes, I should have flipped the  cuff seam that last inch, so it doesn't' show.
But you know me. When I see the finish line, I speed up.
Look. Mitten. Two mitten.
This is where I remind you to mirror the outside pieces if they are a coated fabric. Otherwise, you'd have two left or two right hand mittens.
You could make a friend and shake hands.
Uh huh.
I'll be honest. I didn't ask Mr Mitten for permission to post his face here. 
But he was wearing the sweater and scarf, I HADDA. 
I mean, Matchy! I finished the mittens and he came home from a trip, wearing this ensemble.
What are the odds?

So now I am expecting it to never snow again this season.
I've done my part.
Oh man. Bpffffffff.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Profounder reasons

The title of this post is a quote from this review.
Am I incorrect in thinking it should be "more profound reasons"?

from the NYT website

Jason Farago, our NYT reviewer,  has a problem.
He sorta reviews this show, but mostly, he wants you to know that Mrs Rivera is not his idea of an artist, nor is this a show he thinks matters.

"Love for her style has inflated the standing of her art all out of proportion, and in recent decades it’s become an article of faith that Kahlo was a more important painter than her acclaimed husband, indeed one of the indisputable greats. This is — well, not true, sorry! In Brooklyn you’ll find some engrossing self-portraits, including MoMA’s severe “Self-Portrait With Cropped Hair,” but Kahlo also painted half-competent still lifes, gross Stalinist agitprop, and ghastly New Age kitsch — including this show’s “The Love Embrace of the Universe ...,” a world-spiritualist tableau featuring a lactating Mother Earth that would make Deepak Chopra blanch. I’d name many other Mexicans, men and women, who drew more productively on surrealist, folk and indigenous vocabularies to force a new art after the revolution, including Rivera, the wily modernist Dr. Atl, the Mexico-based Englishwoman Leonora Carrington and the ripe-for-rediscovery Alice Rahon."

You can choose to agree or disagree with that assessment, but I'm not sure it needed to be said about the contents of the famously sealed and recently opened closet of the Casa Azul.

Certainly, it is incorrect to tag an artist with a slag term from 40 years after their passing. The reviewer is called to review the contents of the show in front of them, not the one they would like to review.

Sadly, our boy is stuck reviewing this show. The one with clothes.

"Do her outfits have the weight of art, or are they just so much biographical flimflam? My mileage varied from gallery to gallery, but it's worth considering, given her admirers' intense love for her persona, how much can be displaced onto skirts and shawls.

"Kahlo’s clothes are the prime draw here, though their splendor is dulled when seen in mirror-backed glass vitrines; in places they look like so many dusty Macy’s mannequins. (Where the V&A show went for visual splash, the Brooklyn version is highly subdued.)
from the NYT website

"Countless visitors, perhaps already following her on an Instagram account with nearly a million subscribers, will come to this show because of self-portraits like this one. I hope they also spend time with the even more powerful artworks in the same room: a dozen retablos, or votive paintings on metal by anonymous Mexicans, similar to hundreds of paintings Kahlo lived with in the Casa Azul. These artists knew, and Kahlo and Rivera knew when they collected them, that art has a much higher vocation than myth or merchandise."

Go look at the link at the top. Lotsa photos. Great photos.