A piece a Week – Bias detailing on a Black Dress

This week was the final week of teaching the Arts Focus program at school and for the final class I thought I would wear a new dress. As one of my students likes to observe what I am wearing! She is one of my students who absolutely enjoys the class and everything sewing encompasses – so hopefully I will see her in 5th grade if she chooses sewing again as her final Arts Focus class 🙂

I did not have much time to make something from scratch as other projects and life generally take over my creative time. But I did have a chance to jazz up a dress with some bias fabric I made that I was using to add detail to cashmere cardigans I cut and bound in the center. The bias fabric idea is from a great book called The Party Dress book where you can see the use of bias fabric on the dress on the front cover. It is just beautifully applied in so many of the dresses in the book. My job was more experimental and to see if I enjoyed the process? I found it was like throwing on the wheel where I am working on the machine in a spiral pattern first attaching the bias binding and then continually going around and around in a spiral on the skirt. I love how my the symbiosis of my art projects sometimes blend together.

This dress I wore when I was a witch one Halloween and had not worn again since but as it has long sleeves and pockets it works as a great dress for teaching. I like to have pockets when I am teaching as I can have my phone for photos or even a pencil for drawing lines ready to go! So as I enjoyed the application and adding an interesting detail to the dress I think I will use this process in skirts for my upcoming collection in October for the Textile Art Boutique.

Detail of the bias on the dress
The dress hanging with pockets and all

It was a rainy weekend and we enjoyed our Saturday catching up on things and preparing to Spring forward for daylight saving!! Yes I lost an hour of sleep and it was quite annoying but still we managed to get up in time on Sunday to drive to Modesto – 1.5 hours away to check out a Poultry Show. Yes, why drive all that way to see Poultry LOL?? Well it was our family excursion for the day and my daughter has taken on the Poultry Project at our local 4H Club Rolling Hills. She is enjoying it so far and really wanting to get chickens for our small little garden! We will see as there is a bit of research first we have to do before setting up a coop in the back garden. 

We eventually managed to find the Agriculture Pavilion at the Modesto Junior College campus after many failed attempts at finding a decent map! I was already feeling very tired as I came home from hanging out with friends the night before starting off with a happy hour with friends from my dance class and afterwards a Downton Abbey finale party which finished at midnight – which is way past my bedtime!! Still stay positive I thought and see what you can learn from this experience! Most of the judging had happened by the time we arrived at lunch time but all the chickens were on display. I had never seen so many breeds and such beautiful birds too! So with that positive spin check out some of the fancy breeds we saw at the show…

Cool looking chicken – White Crested Black Polish Cockerel.
You really can tell the difference between the males and females in the bird world, this guy is very fancy!

A Seabright Chicken – I love the feather detail

Super cute chicken

An arty chicken butt

A Frizzle chicken – their feathers are everywhere and such a mess but they still look good!

Fancy chicken feathers

Ash and the New Jersey giant – the biggest chicken I have ever seen!!!
Yes it was bigger than his head – there is no distortion in this pic!

Now I know I am in the country with the trucks and the tractors

A chicken at the judging table doing the funky chicken

Another unusual breed – the naked neck chicken


Someone who should be doing the chicken project – who loves chickens more than his sister

This chicken had enough and was ready for bed!

So there you go a lesson in chicken breeds and how beautiful chickens are! My vegetarian diet appreciates these little guys and look in their eyes to see what a lovely companion animal they can be. The kids seem to enjoy them very much, so maybe we can build a coop later on in the summer as a project? Their favorite chicken is a bantam – not very fancy at all. They are a a nice size for handling and a Pullet is a hen less than a year old – so I am learning new things about chickens too!

One day the kids hope to get a couple of these chicks

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