My Poem in the Pocket
This tunic has a poem hiding in its pocket. Like a journal. Or a secret wish. Or a hidden tattoo. It's something like a worry stone you might rub between your fingers but instead of rock it's made of fabric, ink, and poem. Some of you might remember when I worked with my friend, Jen Hewett, to make hand-printed labels and poem tags on linen.
I couldn't wait to insert a poem in a seam or pocket or hemline somewhere but the moment kept escaping me. I'd design garments with the poem in mind but forget to include them before the bindings were added or the seams closed. But this time I kept the poem pinned to the pocket as I made my way through the pattern so that I would not forget to include it in the final piece. Hooray! There's a poem hiding in the pocket--my first garment with a poem stitched to its underside.
I posted about the Taproot Tunic pattern a few weeks ago. I love Sonya Philip's patterns and I was so excited to see this tunic included in the latest issue of Taproot magazine. I haven't had much time to sew lately and my momentum was halted by the challenge of French seams. (Thank you to those of you who offered advice in the comments.)
After three different attempts I finally asked the pattern maker herself if she thought it was possible. She simply said, "No, I don't think it is because of the bulk in the armpit." Exactly! Because of the bulk in the armpit. And with that I gave up on my French seams (Okay, I kept the French seams everywhere except for the side seam that creates the armpit) and then the pattern chugged along like a steady little sewing train. No more glitches.
The linen labels Jen printed are now a favorite. I love knowing that the entire garment is made from natural and biodegradable materials from fabric to labels to thread to binding. (I was just reading in Fashion & Sustainability: Design for Change that designers often overlook the material content of their notions and trims prolonging the landfill life of otherwise biodegradable fabrics. It made me think that I should also pay closer attention to my zippers, buttons, threads, and trims. So I'm making this effort. ) The fabric for the binding is a printed African fabric that has been waiting in my stash for many years now but it's finally found its mark here--a dash of pattern and color along the gray linen edges.
Now, I cannot wait to wear this new frock. I fear I might need to make another soon. Maybe very, very soon. Hey studio deadlines, you have some competition with the tunics. Perhaps you can all play nice and make time for each other at the studio table, okay? Okay then.