What (not) to wear!

I haven’t actually watched “What Not to Wear” on TV, but I’m sure I make every mistake in the book.  When I’m shopping for clothes (not a favorite task), I only notice the fabrics. If I love the fabric, I love the garment even though it doesn’t “Color Me Beautiful.”  After all, I look down at what I’m wearing as I’m wearing it far more often than I look at it on me in a

. Woven by Judith Shangold
.Loom-shaped jacket woven by Judith Shangold

mirror. Moreover, I have to confess, I especially like the way a beautiful fabric looks in my closet when I enter it on my way to get my usual pair of jeans and pullover.


I am reminded of how Sara Lamb, when she was doing a lot of warp painting for her garments, took the doors off her closet so she could see a spectacular line-up of the fabulous colors in her handwoven clothes (arranged aesthetically according to hue). Although there will never be a TV program on “What Not to Hang in Your Closet,” I have moved items that don’t work well in my lineup to other less entered closets, just to please my weaver’s eye.

Poncho by Berna Lowenstein and Eva Walsh .
.Poncho by Berna Lowenstein
and Eva Walsh

In view of this aesthetic need, my goal should be, as Anita Luvera Mayer’s has long been, to only own garments made of fabric I have woven.  Alas, I am stuck with a desire to weave textiles that I can see outside of my closet more than those I’ll put in it.  But there are many of you who do wear what you weave, and it is for you that the Väv Garment Challenge is designed!

April 1st is the due date for photos of a garment you have designed and woven. There are two categories: loom shaped and tailored. "Loom shaped" encompasses garments that require very little if any sewing (maybe a sloping of a seam and a dart, but not requiring a pattern or cut-out pieces). "Tailored" includes garments that do require sewing, made from a pattern. Five winners from each category will be selected to appear as projects in Handwoven magazine AND to be part of a runway fashion show in October 2011 at the Swedish version of Convergence, which is held every three years in Borås, Sweden, to a very large audience.


. Lacy Poncho by Esther Danielson
.Lacy Poncho by Esther Danielson

Readers of the Scandinavian weaving magazine Väv will be submitting entries to that magazine, too, so the fashion show will feature ten winners from Handwoven and ten from Väv—our combined best handwoven garments!

To create a project that works in Handwoven, you must submit something that you can tell someone else how to do. Your fabric should use commercially available yarns or substitutes that are essentially the same as available commercial yarns. Any dyeing or painting techniques will also have to be easy enough to include in an article in Handwoven.

For more about the specific rules of entry,  go to the home page and click on Enter the Garment Challenge Here and get started designing and weaving. And as they say in Sweden, "Lycka till!" (Good luck!)


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