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The ArtBarn Team Sews Indian Cottons

Summer Sewing Projects From the ArtBarn

Our ArtBarn team works with fabric all the work-day long, cutting schlepping, shipping, shooting, naming and...dreaming of what we want to sew! This summer we've been having BIG love for our ever changing collection of Indian cottons. The bundles of fabric come straight from Mumbai, and it is fun to slit open the package to see what is inside. Each piece is unique. The hand sewn fabrics come in 10 yard lengths. The hand dyed fabrics can vary with different shipments, while the hand woven ikats are perfectly imperfect because they are hand dyed and hand woven. The presence of human hands is palpable and adds to the pleasure of working with these special fabrics.

At a staff meeting we decided that it would be fun to each make something using these fabrics. It happened very quickly - here are the results.

Nellie sewed this vest for Beth using Katherine 's Butterick 5891 in our Beautiful Balloons Pieced Ikat + Sultana Ikat. Nellie says, 'these Indian cottons are the easiest fabrics in the world to sew!' Nellie is in charge of shipping, but in her other life, she plays in a band, and in her past life, worked for 14 seasons with the SF Opera Shop.

Diane's version of Vogue 9171, fondly referred to by us as 'the pumpkin dress', made in our Amina Ikat, sewn straight out of the pattern. Diane works with Marcy in the photo studio, is in charge of swatch requests, also cuts & ships & is one of those wonderful people who see what needs to be done and does it. In her other life, she is a yogi and gardener and the best kind of friend.

Carol used Grainline Studio's Farrow Dress using our Steel Blue Gray Pieced Ikat. Carol is a cutter, often rolls fabric from tubes onto bolts, loves talking with customers on the phone and has taken competent charge of our End Cuts. In her real life, she is a garden designer, a gardener extraordinaire, lives at 'the farm' with a massive garden, and when she tells me what plants to buy and where to place them, I do it!

Nellie combined 2 patterns and 2 fabrics. She used the body of Vogue 9112 with the asymmetrical neckline from Butterick 6283 in our Blue Dusk Hand Dyed Cotton paired with Walking Rain Ikat.

Beth's personal challenge was to use small 1 unit (1/2 yard cuts). She took home a small bundle and celebrated the 4th of July by staying out of the heat and whipping up this jacket. She used our Radha Ikat and Square Dot Ikat. She used an out of print pattern, Vogue 8090, no image found. Beth handles cutting, customer service, keeps an eagle eye on inventory, comes up with smart strategies and is queen of Buy of the Week. In her personal life, she lives at 'the meadows', 200 acres of pristine land with a formidable garden, outdoor kitchen and regular wildlife spottings. She is a master of the Alabama Chanin hand sewing techniques, and has a wardrobe of beautiful hand made clothes.

Marcy used a tried and true favorite, Vogue 9193, using our Black On Black Dots Cotton with these changes:

  • Cropped the length
  • Narrowed the width
  • Used a single layer knit for the yoke
  • Eliminated the drop pockets
  • Added patch pockets at the drop pocket location

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© Marcy Tilton