Clothing for the Body & Soul

Whatnot Wallet

I promised several people that I would share how I made the Whatnot Wallet.

I do not have a pattern for sale. I am just sharing here. Should you find gross errors in the writing or have a question, shoot me an email or a message.

This is usually taught as a quick class. People usually get their wallet done in a couple of hours.  I recommend that you make a paper pattern, now I know some of you will want to jump right in and that is ok,  but I am the person who will make a paper pattern to make a handkerchief. I also recommend that you read thought all of my chatter before beginning. I am posting the paper pattern directions that I have created. Use these directions to create your pattern before cutting your fabric. Have fun and post your Whatnot wallet.

creating the exterior pattern

creating the exterior pattern

lining pattern

lining pattern

completed pattern

completed pattern

What Not Wallet

Material needed:

2 coordinating fat quarters

Exterior fabric

Lining

Fusible medium weigh interfacing

Sew on Velcro (opt)

Button (opt)

 

Making the wallet

Iron the interfacing to the wrong side of the exterior fabric and the lining.

 

Laying the exterior fabric right side up on your worktable, working from the lower edge, turn under 3 inches; finger press, bring the folded edge up 3 inches to form a pocket. Press and pin in place.

Set aside.

 

Laying the lining fabric right side up on your worktable, working from the lower edge, turn under 5½ inches; finger press, bring the folded edge up 5½ inches to form a pocket. Press. Turn the folded edge down 1 to 1¼ inches, press and pin in place

 

Place exterior and lining pieces, right sides together. Pin or Wonder clips together.

TIP: The top of the exterior pocket should nest just under the lip of the lining fold.

Sew down each side and across the top. At this point you may want to shape the corners by rounding them or removing a small triangle.

For this operation, I draw my line, stitch and trim.

Turn the wallet inside out; press. Flip the exterior pocket over to the lining side covering the open edge forming the second pocket just below the lining pocket.

Press well.

Opt.  Add Velcro or a button for closure.

You now have your Whatnot wallet.

Note: The directions that  I posted is for the larger sizes of the Whatnot wallet. If you want to make the smaller size these are the numbers.

Exterior 12×6 — the turn under/turn up is 2 1/2 inches

Lining 17×6 — the turn under/turn up is 5 inches and the fold down is the same.

four different sizes

four different sizes

Posted by rachel on Thu, November 17 2016 » Miscellaneous » No Comments

A detour – Upcycling

One of the highlights of PIQF 2016, was having Corlis and Gayle come and hang out for a couple of days. We had fun doing the fashion show, seeing the quilts and checking out the vendors. One of the many vendors we visited was Paganoonoo. Michelle Paganini, is the owner dedicated to creating refashioned / upcycled fashion designs.

I will go on record as to not being as excited as Corlis and Gayle about this look, but when your buds wants to do a fun project together you get on board.

Corlis left on Sunday, heading back to Alaska. On Monday, Gayle and I hit Goodwill looking for shirts. My enthusiasm still hadn’t kick in, but I did have fun gathering up a series of shirt I could use to make at least one. We came home that evening loaded down with our pickings and proceeded to make our shirts. We had a great time sorting out what shirts went with what. I know now that you shouldn’t leave the store without having at least 2 of them work together.

I was happy with my first shirt. (no photo)  I was beginning to get a little more excited about the possibilities. My next one was the white shirt. I used three shirts to redesign the basic white shirt. By now, I was beginning to find my voice. The back has a pleat, less fullness and I added 2 more pockets to the front, using the cuff from one of the other shirt to make a pocket. I know you can’t tell but I added a different fabric to make the sleeves roll up cuffs.

The white shirt

The white shirt

Today, I completed my third one.  I would like to make a couple of more for gifts, then I will get back to doing my own thing.  Every once in a while it is good  for me to take a detour and explore another artist technique. It  gives me a fresh perspective on my work. I love Michelle’s philosophy behind what she does and I am glad that I played with redesigning these shirts. It has open me to the possibility of reworking a shirt, a blouse or jacket that I love the fabrics, but for whatever reason it is not working.

img_1502

In redesigning this shirt I replaced the buttons with vintage mother of pearl buttons, used a fabric to face the sleeve for a roll up cuff. I liked the simplicity of the front. No pockets added.  On the back, I did the cut, added part of another shirt. Repeated the fabric for the band connecting the upper and lower back instead of  using the button band from another shirt. I added a mother of pearl buckle for accent.

back of grey shirt

back of grey shirt

Posted by rachel on Sat, November 12 2016 » Garments, Miscellaneous » No Comments

GETTING STARTED

 

One of the challenges of writing about how I do what I do is where to start. As I was pondering my next blog entry, I got a call from a friend asking how I pull my fabrics together for my coats. So, I thought I would start by answering that question in parts. When I am preparing to do a garment, I approach each garment on its own terms. I don’t have a set place that I always begin. Sometimes it’s the fabrics, the buttons or an occasion like a wedding or a new pair of shoes. 👠👠

I often think or ask myself, what’s the story I want to tell?  Some of my coats tell a personal story. In the late 1970’s I began making and wearing watermelon garments on the 4th of July, poking fun at politically correct ideas about being a black women owning a love of watermelon. Over the years, these watermelon opportunities have run rampant, as watermelon vines can do. Now, I have at least a dozen watermelon ensembles. In 1993, I made a watermelon topper and called it Just Another Colored Girl Having Fun.

Just Another Colored Girl Having Fun

Just Another Colored Girl Having Fun

I had always wanted to revisit and adapt that design theme into a larger canvas. Having collected a variety of red and green melon print fabrics, augmented with hand dyed solids, I strip pieced a loose fitting swing coat with a chin collar for the watermelon stem. I then hand appliquéd watermelon slices over the surface of the coat and embellished it with black watermelon seed shaped beads. This became Just Another Colored Girl Having 2 Much Fun.

Front of coat

Front of coat

Just Another Colored Girl Having Too Much Fun

Back of coat

 

Leslie having fun

Leslie having fun

Leslie having more fun

Leslie having more fun

I may want to work in the same color group as in A Study in Beige,A Study in Beige

or the same pattern, which I used in Lotsa Dots The Polka Dot Coat,

Lotsa DotsBack of Lotsa Dot

or I might read my dominant or feature fabric to pull in other fabrics to add more color, pattern and texture to my project as I did in the Gray Poppies coat.

The Poppies CoatThe Poppies Coat

Also a collection of fabrics can inspire me to use as many of them as I can, like I did with Alaskan Fall

Alaskan Fall

Alaskan Fall

or French Strings.

French Strings

Other times I consider a theme as I did with Gazpacho,Gazpacho using many of the vegetable fabrics that I was collecting for a major vegetable coat project. That’s a story for another day. Then, because I consider myself a quilter, I like to use quilt blocks as I did with Orts. OrtsOrtsThese are just a few of the ways I answer this question: “How do you pull fabrics for a project?” In upcoming posts I hope to explore each of these themes in more depth.

 

.

Posted by rachel on Thu, November 3 2016 » Garments » No Comments

Gone missing and moving on

As promised I have begun my blog again.

I thought a lot about what I wanted to begin with. Well, I am going to begin by sharing a challenge that Karen Boutte and I are doing.

As some of you know, several of my coats stolen this summer. I took a moment to mourn the lost, but at the end of the day, they are just stuff. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am incensed that someone took 14 of my coats, particularly since they decimated the “Out of the Crayon Box” series. Only the brown crayon (coat) was left. I could have curled up into a ball, wailed and spent months lamenting my lost, instead I am choosing to do something creative to move on. I have since done 3 coats that I am pleased with. I will share more about these coats at a later date.

Meanwhile, whilst talking to Karen about whether or not to spend next year rebuilding the crayon box, she suggested why not invite others to make a bigger box. This conversation led to us creating the CRAYON COLOR BOX CHALLENGE 2017.

After the fashion show at PIQF 2016, we tossed out the challenge. We got 36 sign ups at the show. We expect to get more. These garments will be shown in the PIQF 2017 fashion show.

We are using Crayola 64 box of crayon colors as inspiration. For this Challenge 90% of the fabric used in the garment should read the color of the crayon selected, 10% can be an accent, highlight, wow, Pop color or use100% in selected color.

I am excited about this project. However, I am still on the fence as to whether or not I will rebuild my crayon box. Creating them was part of a 15-year dream. It’s hard to let that go. If I decide to do them I know that I won’t remake them as they were. I only had one “But it’s my Favorite Color” (created using 500 3 inch 9-patches) and “Purple Mountain Majesty” (mountain in the name quilt blocks drafted in a curve) in me. I just have to wait and see.

I find that I enjoy working in a series and I still have a bunch of coats I want do on my bucket list.

Posted by rachel on Tue, October 25 2016 » Uncategorized » No Comments

I am back!

I have been away for longer than I thought. I have decide to return to posting.

I will begin with posting some photos tomorrow. But here is one from PIQF.

img_1422

Me and Corlis at PIQF. Stalin’ in our Marcia Derse fabric creations.

Posted by rachel on Tue, October 25 2016 » Uncategorized » No Comments

Playing with Buttons

This is so uncanny,  three years ago this month, I wrote  in my blog that I was looking for a hobby. At that time, I was considering beading. Since then, I have been exploring different ways of playing with beads. At some point during the search, I realized that I could combine  buttons with the beads. It has been lots of fun and very satisfactory creating button necklaces and bracelets. As I was working on the “Out of the Crayon Box” series, I thought it would be fun to add necklaces and bracelets to the mix- using the same concept of working in the same color family as well as theme pieces.

Blue Button Necklace

Blue Button Necklace

blue button bracelet

blue button bracelet

Yellow button Necklace

Yellow button Necklace

Yellow Necklace

Yellow Necklace

Theme Necklaces

Christmas Necklace

Christmas Necklace

Red and Yellow button necklace

Red and Yellow button necklace

Watermelon Necklace

Watermelon Necklace

Carnival Necklace

Carnival Necklace

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by rachel on Tue, September 17 2013 » Uncategorized » 1 Comment

What’s going on?

I decided I needed to get back to my website. A lot has been happening. I am working on getting the ” Out of the Crayon Box” series completed. I will be displaying all eight of the coats at PIQF next month. I have recently completed the yellow crayon- High Yellow. I am posting a series of picture of the work in process.

Pieced strips for the body of the coat

Pieced strips for the body of the coat

Pieced fronts.

Pieced fronts.

Paper pieced border

Paper pieced border

Back and front with border added

Back and front with border added

The completed coat with button embellishments.

The completed coat with button embellishments.

 

 

 

 

Posted by rachel on Tue, September 17 2013 » Garments, Uncategorized » No Comments

Rachel will be in Charleston!

On May 6th at 5:30, Rachel will presenting a Wearable Art Fashion Show at the  North Charleston Arts Festival 5th ART Quilt Exhibition. It will take place in the North Charleston City Hall Council Chambers.

Posted by kincy on Wed, March 30 2011 » Uncategorized » No Comments

A legacy of Hope: An Unabashed Supporter

For two years I have been “threatening” to make an Obama Coat. The threat is over and the work is about to begin.

I have decided to document the progress of the coat on my blog. It took me a while to decide how I wanted to approach the design and what I wanted the coat to say. In the end, since I am a quilt maker, I decided to begin with traditional quilt blocks, words and photos. For the quilt blocks, the obvious choice was Road to the Whitehouse. The added blocks are Hawaii, Kansas Dugout, Chicago Star, Iowa Star, Illinois, Montana, South Carolina Album block, Louisiana (my home state), New Hampshire Granite Block, Bright Hope, Follow the Leader, Whitehouse Steps. Added designs will include an Indonesian & Kenyan pattern as well as the campaign logo.

I am using a modified version of my Flare Coat pattern. Because I wanted a larger area in the back to work in, I added about 6 more inches of flare. I divided the coat in to 9 sections. My thinking now is: the center back will not have any photos, just the logo, Bright Hope block and a pieced design. Each of the other sections will include at least one or more photos; some will have words and a reassembled quilt block. When I say reassembled, it means I am using parts of the quilt block or stacking up the sections vertical format. The border will be Road to the Whitehouse. The color scheme will be predominately red, white and blue with a bit of African, Indonesian and Hawaiian fabrics.

201010142240.jpg

[[DESCRIPTION]][[DESCRIPTION]]

[[DESCRIPTION]][[DESCRIPTION]][[DESCRIPTION]]

I have collected the fabrics, photos, text, buttons and completed most of the design as in, it is enough to begin working on the coat. I don’t always do a completed cartoon. This is a first with me and I am not sure how this is going to work out. In the past, when I have attempted to document a project, I would get caught up in the workings of it and forget to write about what I am doing or photograph it. I am going to really try to remember to photograph at the beginning and end of each work session.

[[DESCRIPTION]] [[DESCRIPTION]]

[[DESCRIPTION]] [[DESCRIPTION]]

[[DESCRIPTION]] [[DESCRIPTION]]

The working title for the coat is: A legacy of Hope: An Unabashed Supporter.

Posted by kincy on Thu, October 14 2010 » Garments » 3 Comments

Cuesta and My People Dress

I was thrilled when I saw that this event is going to be taking place. Cuesta Benberry was one of my heros. I met her in the 70’s, when she was visiting California attending the Santa Clara Quilt show. She gave a lecture on African American Images in quilt and quilt makers. She was wonderful. I embarrassed myself by jumping to my feet applauding wildly at the conclusion of her speech. After a time, I had the great good fortune to meet her and visit with her on several occasions at different quilt events. At the end of her lecture she showed two slides of young African women attending a reception wearing patchwork dresses. I could only see the sleeves. I was beside myself with excitement, I rushed home and pulled all the green fabric from the shelf and proceeded to make my first “real” wearable art dress. I had no idea what I was doing, but I rode the wave of excitement and created “My People Dress”. It weights a ton and you have to feel very strong to wear it. When I had a opportunity to show it to her months later, she was delighted and even took a picture of me wearing it. Later on she showed me another picture of the dresses the African women was wearing and mine was amazingly similar.

a large variety of green cotton fabric. Machine stitching at the waist. Closeup of My People Dress [[DESCRIPTION]]

Cuesta Benberry was an author, editor, lecturer, curator and a collector of quilts. She was particularly interested in the contribution made by African American quilters and did groundbreaking work in the area of quilt research. If you are not familiar with the work that she did, google her and learn what a extraordinary person she was.

Symposium Announcement

Posted by kincy on Tue, September 7 2010 » Etcetera, Events, Garments » No Comments