Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Party Dress Book - Mary Adams

I had the pleasure of meeting Mary Adams, author of The Party Dress Book, How to Sew the Best Dress in the Room, when she appeared at Ristretto Roasters, a very cozy little coffee shop in Portland, a week or so ago. Mary is a clothing designer living and working in New York City, but grew up and began her career here in Portland. I had pre-ordered her book at Amazon, wrapped it up and given it to myself at Christmas, and spent all of Christmas day reading through it! With a forward by Amy Sedaris, an enthusiastic customer, her story is interesting and will be familiar to artists in any medium.

The book is filled with sumptuous fabrics, ruffles, pleats, pintucks and layers and layers of color.

The inner spiral binding is a practical touch, much appreciated. 

 And if just being able to visually feast on the images in the book isn't enough, the final chapters are devoted to a tutorial in which you can create your own dress using the full size pattern supplied in an attached sleeve. You can take ideas and techniques from the book to create something quite unique, or use the pattern to go in a totally different direction. 

This book is beautifully done and if it doesn't make you want to sew, it can provide you with raw inspiration you can take anywhere!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Spring dreaming

Living in the pacific northwest, we see signs of the approach of Spring much earlier then in my home state of Michigan. By the end of this month, I'll be cutting heavily budding branches off my white quince for forcing indoors and creating small bouquets of camelias for the table and the snow bells are already poking up. Yes, there's rain, but the color of that new growth just waiting to burst forth is a fair trade in my mind.

          I created this collection in appreciation of what's to come. 
                                        I am so ready!
     You can get a close look at each lovely item in this treasury here.