Every two years I set myself a challenge: weave fabric for a garment for submitting to the Convergence fashion show, a biannual conference sponsored by the Handweavers Guild of America. This year, the conference will be held July 6-13 at the Peppermill Resort in Reno, Nevada -- and I'm happy to announce that two garments of mine were juried into the show.
This coat took me two years to complete, from conception to winding warps to dyeing them to weaving the fabric to dyeing the lining and sewing the coat.... It's called "Summer's Lease I," after William Shakespeare's beautiful words, "Summer's lease hath all too short a date" (from his sonnet, "Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer's Day").
I wove the fabric on my 12-shaft Macomber, using a draft I created with extended parallel threading. Then I wound two warps of 20/2 silk, painting one in a range of fuchsia, rose, pink, and lavender and the other in gold, lime green, sage green, and turquoise. The fabric is woven in Echo Weave and Turned Taquete and the weft was 60/2 silk in orange.
Here's the image that inspired my pattern and colors.
I kept it on my computer for years under the title "Paint this Warp." I have no idea where I found it!
For the lining, I purchased yardage of Habotai silk, then dyed it in a range of bright pinks using low-water-immersion dyeing.
I wove about 10 yards of fabric and, having taken Bonnie Inouye's workshop, "Opposites Attract," I began experimenting with other structures, alternating my treadlings for Echo and Turned Taquete and then venturing into Rep and Double Weave. The Double Weave wasn't successful because I did not re-sley my reed for a tighter sett. But the Rep turned out really well, with a weft of hand-dyed Habotai silk ribbon alternating with 60/2 silk.
Here's the second garment that was juried into the fashion show, this one named "Summer's Lease II."
The top is woven in Warp Rep and the skirt is Turned Taquete, cut on the bias. Here's a close-up of the top.
As for patterns: the coat is my own pattern, fashioned after a swing coat I own and love. The skirt and top are my own designs. Photo credits and thanks to Timothy Fuss of Pixelwave, who does a wonderful job photographing handwoven garments.
Hope to see you in Reno!