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Brocades
I love them, but what to make with them?
Stephanie C.
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Stephanie C.
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Date: 8/12/06 0:41 AM

I have always loved brocade fabric and have recently bought several different patterns on clearance at Joann's. However, the only thing I know for sure to make with a brocade fabric is a jacket and I don't want a jacket. What other suggestions do you have? Any specific patterns for brocades? Home dec? Crafts? Any and all suggestions are welcome

tlmck3
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tlmck3
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Date: 8/12/06 1:31 AM

Handbags. All kinds of handbags. Home dec stuff-- pillows. How do you feel about piping? And piecing?

I have a really gorgeous Pojagi--which is a traditional Korean pieced "gift" cloth, used instead of wrapping paper when presenting someone with a gift--(the gift is often secondary, the hand -pieced cloth made with love and good wishes is usually the REAL point of the gift-giving exercise.) Traditional ones are made with Ramie scraps from old garments, but fancy ones are sometimes made with brocades. Mine has brocade pieces of different colors worked into the patchwork motif with complemetary silks and the whole thing is bordered by a mono-colored silk jacquard. I use it as a wall hanging. A friend of mine asked me to make her some simple gift "Bags" with rayon corded drawstrings for her birthday present last year.

Someone recently reviewed a book here on Omiyage, which are tiny Japanese hand-sewn fancies--that will use any scraps.

Brocades also make really nice, slim, just above or knee-length, tailored skirts-but build in a rear slit (or two) so you can walk and sit and use really wide seam allowances and, line them--the stuff frays like crazy.- and that kind of skirt takes a lot of stress at the seams. (There's a great tutorial in Power Sewing for these.) They look fabulous with close fitting knit tops and flat shoes for the holidays.

New Look has quite a few patterns in their catalog that are shown using brocades. Several jackets, yes, but also tops and a dress or two, if I recall. McCall's and Simplicity also each have simple kimono patterns that can be made long or short in their costume sections. McCall's has a couple of dresses still left from the past couple of years, when there was a lot of Japanese/Chinese styling in all of the big 4 pattern lines.

------
I am going for a level of perfection that is only mine... Most of the pleasure is in getting that last little piece perfect...Inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us just keep showing up and doing the work.

Chuck Close, painter, printmaker, photographer

Hope has two lovely daughters: Anger and Courage

St. Augustine

beangirl
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beangirl
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Date: 8/12/06 8:26 AM

I used to use brocades quite a bit in pieced quilts, usually with silks. That worked pretty well, although you have to be extra careful about the fraying and piece large shapes. I also like the idea of brocade pants (sort of a 50's fit) but you'd have to have a fairly drapey fabric and also the right figure to pull it off.

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kristine

quote of the day:

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ZenOnWheels

ZenOnWheels
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MD USA
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Date: 8/12/06 8:45 AM

I use brocade in small doses in apparel. I've used it for fitted shell tops - looks pretty spiff under a plain jacket.
-- Edited on 8/12/06 8:45 AM --

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When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.

- Hunter S. Thompson

Nancy K
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Nancy K
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In reply to Stephanie C.


Date: 8/12/06 10:27 AM

Narrow pants if you are thin enough would be amazing.

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www.nancyksews.blogspot.com

Rhonda Noah
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Rhonda Noah
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Date: 8/12/06 10:30 AM

And somewhere I read that silk/rayon brocades drape well, but the polys are stiff. Personally I've always wanted a brocade skirt after seeing the one Sandra Betzina made.

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Life is mostly froth and bubble; two things stand in stone: Kindness in another's troubles, courage in your own.

Rustybobn
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Rustybobn  Friend of PR
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In reply to Stephanie C.


Date: 8/12/06 10:48 AM

I know what you mean. I bought a couple of yards of a pretty pink one a few weeks ago. Although it won't take 2 yards, I had something like this brocade bra in mind.

Also, Threads had an article about making slippers, which might give you some fuel for thought. (There may be another one, but this is what I found with a quick search. I'm remembering green brocade.)

Be sure to let us know what you make!

------
Beth H in Georgia
Blog: http://www.rustybobbin.com/blog/

Debbie Lancaster
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Debbie Lancaster  Friend of PR
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Date: 8/12/06 10:32 PM

Here's a brocade vest. It was made with a poly/rayon brocade--I've never worked with the rayon/silk version so can't tell you whether it's drapey-er or not, or easier or not. It ravels like heck, fine little frays (like China silk) that stick to your fingers and everything else. Of course, I lined the vest with China silk, so had two different types of fine threads floating around the sewing room!

Folkwear patterns are great inspiration for using brocade--see the Chinese jacket and the Cheongsam dress, as well as the Japanese interior decoating stuff.

------
Debbie

candyo
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candyo
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Date: 8/12/06 10:52 PM

The current Threads mag has a nice obi-style belt on the cover that would be nice in brocade.

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Nikki Medved
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tlmck3
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tlmck3
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Date: 8/13/06 0:34 AM

I've got several pieces (small pieces) of all silk brocades --and a couple of thrift-store purchased dresses made out of it and they are not drapey at all. The silks are also really heavy compared to ones made of poly or rayon. Washing sometimes softens them, sometimes not. Probably depends on the age of the silk and how clean it's been kept. Ones that have not been kept clean quickly let you know what is meant by the term "shattered" silk. They pretty much disintegrate. (That could also be from older silks that were "weighted" with metallic salts that degrade the fibers. I don't think weighting is typically done anymore.)

The rayon ones are sometimes pretty drapey--especially after they've been (gently) washed. They lose some of their sheen, though, when they are washed. Rayons are much drapier than most of the poly ones I've seen lately. There used to be a Korean-owned fabric discounter across from Vogue fabrics that used to get much lighter weight, drapier rayon-poly and all poly ones, but I haven't seen those since they closed. The all poly ones, though, do not lose their sheen or change hand when they are washed. Rayon shreds like crazy...it's a pretty weak fiber. Poly shreds, too, but more because the weave pulls apart at stress points than because the fibers actually tear.
-- Edited on 8/13/06 0:36 AM --

------
I am going for a level of perfection that is only mine... Most of the pleasure is in getting that last little piece perfect...Inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us just keep showing up and doing the work.

Chuck Close, painter, printmaker, photographer

Hope has two lovely daughters: Anger and Courage

St. Augustine

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