I should start with an introduction--Ann M. Lee, co-owner of Friends Fabric Art (with my daughter, Sonja Lee-Austin) and maker of art-to-wear jackets. I work in a studio at Western Avenue Studios in Lowell, Massachusetts. This is my first venture into blogging. But, I have been doing needlework since elementary school , sewing clothing since I learned to operate a sewing machine in the seventh grade, and making quilts since my son (now 25) was an infant. My plan is to share the details of my process, progress and learning as I create my art-to-wear jackets.
Like most new bloggers, I suppose, I am excited and nervous about starting this. I have been writing newsletters for our Friends Fabric Art business for years now, but somehow blogging seems quite different. I guess because this will be focused on my work specifically and that feels intimidating. By joining an on-line book club, though, I found that being forced to write a brief review of each book that I read caused me to think about each book and why I liked it - or didn't like it. That process is surprisingly enjoyable and seems valuable to me. Therefore it is my hope that this blog-writing process will help me with my art in the similar way and that perhaps my learning process will help others as well.
So for this first post, just a bit more by way of introduction...
I consider myself a fabric artist rather than a fashion designer. I create each of my pieces from start to finish, from the pattern work to cutting the fabric to sewing it all together to embellishing it. I generally start with a basic commercial pattern for the size and shape of the jacket but adding surface design to make it unique. My favorite surface design techniques include piecing, applique, couching, and lately adding peek-a-boo holes to let the lining show through to the outside of the jacket. In every case, I start with a selection of fabrics that "calls" to me, determines the style of the jacket, and suggests the surface design techniques needed. As I go forward I'll try to give you a sense of how that process works for me. Right now there's a project calling to me, so I think I'll get to work on and fill you in on it tomorrow--including some pictures.
Thank you for reading. I look forward to hearing your thoughts and ideas too.