Monday, June 22, 2015

Slow Fashion Presentation on Saturday, June 27th

Slow Fashion from UNDERWEAR to HATS:
Making Everything I Wear for Seven Years

For seven years Brooklyn artist and designer Sarah Kate Beaumont has been designing and making her entire wardrobe, from underwear to hats. On Saturday, June 27 from 4.30--6.30 p.m. Beaumont will present a retrospective of this project illustrated with examples from her personal wardrobe. Beaumont will discuss her process, inspiration and the zeitgeist of maker-ism. The event is free. 

Saturday, June 27
from 4.30 to 6.30 p.m.

Proteus Gowanus
543 Union Street (at Nevins St.)
Brooklyn, NY
(Directions here.)

Monday, June 15, 2015

There's A Señorita

Señorita Dress (in process), 2015
Took this photo midway through draping a dress to wear to an art benefit. (Contributed a hat to the benefit.) The dress is ankle length with three tiers of fabric. The sleeves end in wide stretch lace cuffs. I replaced the grey silk rose seen in the photo with a smaller version I made with the shimmery black dress fabric. Had to design and complete the dress rather quickly. After wearing the dress to the benefit (photo below) spent two days finishing details on the interior and reinforcing the handstitched seams!

Then on a warm summer evening last week, when the sun had set so gradually that at 9 pm there was still faint light in the sky, I was again wearing the dress, walking along the neighborhood’s thoroughfare. A little girl playing with her sister on the sidewalk giddily exclaimed as I approached, “There’s a señorita!!”

“Is it my hat?" I asked, "Or the dress with all these layers?” I had paired the dress with black hat I'd made which has a distinctly Seville shape--a wide horizontal brim, straight-sided crown and flat top.

With 4 year’s old exuberance--arms raised, bouncing on her feet she explained: she and her sister (the relatively rooted companion standing next to her) were playing a game... "There was a señorita..."

It was difficult to gather the exact details from the excitedly and choppily told story. The girls' father, overseeing and enjoying their activity remarked that the timing was serendipitous. How much fun to enter the scene becoming "a señorita" in her imagination!

At the benefit a stylish woman chose the hat I'd made. I was so happy she chose it. May it bring her pleasure.
Photo Credit: Miska Draskoczy


Sunday, May 17, 2015

Sunset Hat

Sunset Hat, 2015
Where a hat rests in the evening...

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Gallery Show & Upcoming Presentation

Hats I designed are in the current exhibit at Proteus Gowanus, a gallery in Brooklyn recently named one of the "10 Galleries to visit in Brooklyn and Queens" by The New York Times (16 April, 2015).

Had a conversation with show's curator, Courtney Jordan, when she made a studio visit. She had been to many artist's spaces in preparation for the exhibit. Her perspective on how artists' approach their studio practice was interesting and affirming.

The gallery's press release for the exhibit's opening is below. (It happens to feature my hats!)  Was unable to attend the opening, however, I will be giving a presentation at the gallery. The date and time will be announced soon....

I would love to see you there!

Hats by Sarah Kate Beaumont // Verysweetlife

Please join us for 

Gowanus Marketplace

May 9th - July 11th

Opening Reception: Saturday, May 9th, 6 – 9 pm

The final exhibition of our yearlong COMMERCE theme, Gowanus Marketplace circles back to our beloved Gowanus Canal,  highlighting the uniquely creative, collaborative commerce that has sprung up along the canal’s murky waters.  The exhibition explores the intersection of contemporary artistry and industry along the canal by presenting artist-made functional objects as objets d’art in a re-imagined Old World marketplace.

We invite you to come support these local artists and artisans. The marketplace includes ceramics, retrofitted sleds and lamps, soap, knives, furniture, hats, robots, pickles, terrariums, coffee and more!

 Gowanus Marketplace Participants include:

Amanda Moffat Pottery; Brooklyn Robot Foundry; Chris Hackett; Ehrhardt’s Tempest; Haskieville Apparel; Jake Wright // Stockpile Designs; Lite Brite Neon Studio; May Luk; Melissa Dadourian; MQuan; Pete Raho // Gowanus Furniture Co; Phuong  Nguyen; Pickle Shack // Brooklyn Brine; Sarah Kate Beaumont // Verysweetlife; Soapwalla Inc; Stone Street Coffee; Textile Arts Center // Emma Cleveland + Natalie Phillips; Tony Stanzione; Twig Terrariums

Gallery Hours
Thursday & Friday, 3–6 pm
Saturday & Sunday, 12–6 pm
  Proteus Gowanus | 543 Union Street, #1C | Brooklyn, NY 11215

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Handknit Dolman Sweater

Dolman Sweater (front)
What, winter at the end of April?!

It's cold enough to wear the dolman sleeve sweater I knitted as a teenager. Rediscovered it on a recent visit with my folks. It's teal with blocks of maroon and sky blue mohair...kind of itchy. Also, it's boxy in that late 80's way. Heck though, due to less wear it looks pristine.
Dolman Sweater (back)

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Parapet: the Edge of Style

Linen Shift, Pair of Silk Stays, Bustle Skirt
Photograph: Robert Lucy, 2015
From the wardrobe I've made I find myself gravitating toward certain garments. This skirt and the white linen shift worn with it are a semi-uniform. The silk covered corset/ pair of stays is newly completed.

The first skirt of this design was paired with a slip. The next incorporated a lining. This version has a deep ruffle added to the lining's lower edge, widening the circle of the hemline when the skirt is worn. An additional development was to come...

A long skirt amplifies movement and cozily blankets one's legs when one is seated. Nevertheless climbing up and down subway stairs required lifting this long skirt's hem--graceful or a bit of a nuisance depending upon whether or not my hands were already full. (In tandem with living in a pedestrian city with fluid public transportation is the tendency to tote along a day's worth of provisions, pack-mule-like.) It's awkward to raise the skirt an inch or two off the ground when carrying packages. Eventually solved the dilemma: bustled the skirt!

Detail: Ribbon Tie at Front Shoulder
Photograph: Robert Lucy, 2015
The pair of stays (i.e. corset) evolved from a previously made pair. Recently had modified the original in ways that made it unexpectedly comfortable and wonderful to wear. Those adaptations are present in this pair. Seen here is the marine blue silk taffeta exterior. But this pair is reversible! There's scarlet silk taffeta on the other side. It's structure is comprised of eighteen steel bones inserted into channels in a muslin core. There are thirty hand sewn eyelets. At the most rapid each eyelet took about 10-15 minutes to sew. Many subway journeys were spent sewing eyelets and hand-stitching the edge binding over the course of three months. Decided to modernize and grommet the front lacing holes of which there are twenty-two. Wearing this I feel utterly myself.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Cut from the Same Cloth

Long Johns, Bloomers, Long Sleeve Tee, Socks. Merino Wool.
Muslin is a woven cotton cloth. Unbleached it is the color of pale sand. Available in several weights, it is frequently used for creating a prototype of a garment, also called a muslin.

Details are worked out in the muslin. This requires that one use material with properties similar to the fabric in which the garment will ultimately be made, such as elasticity and weight.

A few years ago found pale rose, shallow ribbed merino wool at an excellent price. Bought yards of it. It has served as a muslin for many projects to be sewn in a knit fabric. Note similarities between the long sleeve tee pictured here and in the post below? The construction of the cuffs, the cut of the armsyce (where the sleeve meets the body) as well as the finishing details for the neckline and hem were developed in this fabric. Soft, warm and with the natural stretch of wool jersey it's also ideal for long underwear. It's a wardrobe staple!

Cut from the same cloth: long johns, bloomers, a long-sleeve tee [wearing it as I write] and heck, socks.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Swiss Cheese Tee: The Pleasures of the Threadbare

Swiss Tee. Wool jersey and velvet, 2015
Thought about photographing clothing I've worn to bits like teddy bears loved threadbare. Put one tee shirt on the dressform to photograph it. It looked more swiss-cheese than shirt.

Mending only goes so far; there have to be fibers strong enough to support the mend. Recently labeled a small bin: Clothing in Retirement.

For a new tee began with an idea, shaping the pieces without bothering to make a paper pattern first.  Based the sleeves and the U-sweep neckline on a 'retired' shirt. Cut out the front, the back and sleeves in lightweight rose wool jersey. It had the glimmer of a swift project: a tee that could be worn to dinner that evening!

The process of making a garment refuses to be hastened. It's very odd. Even with well-honed skills and practice it is almost as though there's a muse who requires respectful devotion. "Oh, I will just whip this out," is invariably an approach that leads to the opposite results. It's uncanny.

Beautiful back drape
At the end of the day there were perplexing puzzles to solve about the design. Doubts had arisen. Had dinner with friends. (How good to be out and about!) The next day the road blocks were gone. Gathered the sleeve where it meets the shoulder, finished the neckline with pale chiffon. Decided upon a couple modifications. Cut a second version from dark purple wool (shown here). The neckline is bound with velvet, which does in fact glimmer.

All snowflakes are different. What if all tees were unique?

Saturday, January 31, 2015

The Conscientious Consumer

Announcing a new video!

We're surrounded literally and figuratively by stitched material: the sheets we sleep between, the sofas we sit upon, the clothing we wear. The goal of this video is to share some knowledge with you, giving you the ability to make more considered choices when in the market for sewn goods.

How can you tell whether the bed linens you are buying are well made?
Verysweetlife shows some details to look for before you make a purchase.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Leather and Rhinestones

Cummerbund. Leather with metal/rhinestone ornament, 2015
A cummerbund belt. Made to wrap around the back and cross over the front panel, the tapered ends are secured on either side of the torso. Love a low-riding belt!

The blouse is (rumpled) linen. The leggings, wool knit. Warm and sleek, am wearing them often this winter.  Glad to have made two pairs. When it works, it works!

This making all I wear... have been thinking about the ease of buying, of finding a beautiful item to acquire. The process of imagining, planning, experimenting and making has become second nature. I'm a stronger designer as a result.