You know that special spark you feel when you meet a kindred spirit? There’s electricity when such souls connect. At Quilt Market in Kansas City last Spring, those synchronicity sparks were flying around Carrie Bloomston’s SUCH Designs display. I loved all Carrie’s work, especially her finger puppet sets and her Mandala Yoga Mat (Good Karma Quilt). I loved that she used fabrics from the gorgeous Marcia Derse lines, which not enough people know about, in my opinion.
Kansas City 2012 was my accidental Anti-Marketing Conference Trip. I went to simply enjoy the Quilt Market Atmosphere and see my little Goodship Dresses on display. I forgot my business cards at home. Rae and I met loads of people, reconnected with old friends, and had a blast. Naturally, I was surprised and delighted (blown away, really) when I received an email from Carrie that she was designing her OWN LINE for Windham Fabrics and wanted me to make her a dress to wear from her own fabric. COLLAGE is fascinating, unique and so, so fun.
The result of back and forth emails about styles, inspirations, and ideas led to Carrie’s Rock and Roll Princess Dress:
A knee-length strapless dress, with boning, a side zipper, and shirring in back, the dress features Carrie’s beautiful Bird Dot fabric in Ivory and some sweet pink cotton trim. In fact, when Carrie wore it to Anthropologie to style the outfit for her photo shoot, the sales people thought the dress came from their store. I guess that means we hit the Anthro-vibe nail on the head?
I loved working with this fabric. It washes into a soft and gorgeous feel, and presses nicely. Quilting cotton is notoriously crisp and wrinkly, but I’m telling you, if you pull it out of the dryer right away, you can wear it without bothering to iron.
She designed her fabric with such love and care; I was compelled to give her garment the same love in the details:
Carrie is a force for good in the universe. I cried when I read the mail she sent the designers revealing that she had truly achieved her mission to enable the inner artist:
“My whole life I have been the artist–even my brand is about enabling the inner-artist for others. But, this is different. In designing fabric, I have become…the PAINT.”
Dear Carrie, you truly have become a medium through which garment and accessory and textile goods designers can express ourselves!
I loved the entire line, so I requested some fabrics to use in my menswear for the latest Kentucky Derby Fashion Party (last weekend here in Northville). Janna was kind enough to rush over some unedited photos of the darling Michael Pack in his Bauhaus Red dress shirt:
I bound the unlined Jacket seams with bias strips of the same print:
I love designing menswear with unexpected details. This outfit was a huge hit at the event. That little peek of collar in the stunning red really pulls a fashion punch in an otherwise traditional outfit:
I loved the selvedges so much that I used them as interior design details:
And I couldn’t resist playing with some of the not-quite-solids in the collection. I used the Charcoal for the inside cuffs, sleeve plackets, and the inside yoke of the shirt:
So, you see, quilting cotton CAN be used in garment sewing; and is practical, comfortable, and surprising.
If you’ve been following along with the Collage series, you know there’s a special opportunity for you to get your hands on some of Carrie’s fabric. Windham is offering a Layer Cake to a lucky winner from each stop on the blog tour.
If you would like to enter, leave a comment here, telling me about your experiences sewing garments with quilting cotton.
The collection is just now hitting the road with the Windham reps and it will ship to stores July 1st. So Carrie needs your help. Please forward these posts to your favorite online and brick & mortar retailers. Let them know about the line and tell them to order it for their store!