Fabric collection #4: carkai.

Introducing carkai…

carkai fabric . carolyn friedlander

carkai fabric . carolyn friedlander

carkai fabric . carolyn friedlander

Bones are beautiful. At least I think so anyway, and that’s where this story started.

When I submitted the line, I simply titled the submission “collection #4” because, well, this is my 4th collection (which is totally nuts!), and I kind of wanted the artwork to speak for itself. While the shapes and lines emerged from a specific source of inspiration, to me they became something else while I was drawing them. I loved this and wanted that same opportunity to be open to the viewer as well.

When I was in Los Angeles back in January, it was a treat to be able to review this collection in person with everyone at Robert Kaufman. It was still “collection #4” at that time, and my favorite part was hearing everyone’s reactions and interpretations of the drawings. (On a side note, this really isn’t very different than birthing fabric, patterns and books, because whoever picks any of them up makes use of them in their own way–which is a wonderful and exciting thing to see and be a part of.)

But collections need names, and in actuality this one has had one for the few years that it’s been in my mind. Carkai is a totally made up word–it’s a bit playful–it speaks to my (sometimes) dumb sense of humor–and it just seemed to fit. My hope is that when you look and (hopefully) enjoy the line, you’ll be able to draw your own connections to it. While these drawings started in one place for me, I hope they can connect to you and become your own in how you use them.

carkai fabric . carolyn friedlander

carkai fabric . carolyn friedlander

On a more technical side, there’s a lot at play in this line which has made it such a joy to work with over the last few weeks while I’ve been sewing away. There’s a big (sorry for the pun!) play on scale–something that I felt was right with this collection, and something that you’ll be seeing and hearing more about as I start to share new projects.

carkai fabric . carolyn friedlander

There’s also an enticing play on color–which honestly, how could there ever not be a play on color, right? I love color–I know that you love color, and I can’t imagine not using color to uniquely convey the story of a collection. I’ll be sharing more specifically about the colors of the range as well when the projects start rolling around, but for now, I think I can say that there’s some pretty-ness here, there are some favorites here, and there is plenty of life expressed through the palette.

carkai fabric . carolyn friedlander

It’s been super fun, and I can’t say how much I appreciate all of your support. I’m eager to share more with you in the coming weeks, and then to see what you do…

Let’s sew.

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In the studio: Sept 2015.

15_0903 carolyn friedlander

I took this picture 2 weeks ago. My sewing room faces west, so it’s not uncommon to get a little bit of (sun-setting) drama towards the end of the day. This afternoon was one of those nice ones when I was working in the living room and just happened to look over to catch it. It’s funny how fleeting some of these moments are. Not 2 minutes later, it was totally different.

I think that I was especially struck by it, because somehow it captured my mood at the time perfectly. My next fabric line is launching super soon, and so the last several weeks have been some of the meatiest. It’s been the time when the rubber meets the road, and I’ve been sewing up the things that have been floating around in my head and seeing how they work out. From the initial drawings that inspired the fabric, to getting the fabric in hand, to making those last few stitches in the binding and flipping it over for the final reveal. I love it. And really, this is still just the beginning, because seeing what you guys make with my fabric is just as, if not more, exciting.

So here’s my peek before the polish. This is totally what birthing new stuff looks like for me. The floor is my design wall…there are piles of fabric everywhere…and where is the top of my cutting table? (Not long after this photo, I did find it, because basting called…)

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Summer shorts: Essex and Interweave Chambray.

new shorts_carolyn friedlander

It’s been a toasty summer–not that I’m complaining–I prefer the heat over the cold any day. But because of that, I can never have too many pairs of shorts. It’s what I live in, and I thought it’d be fun to adventure making some with Interweave Chambray and Essex Yarn Dye linen.

essex and chambray shorts_carolyn friedlander

The Denim color in Interweave Chambray is the perfect shade of blue and a great weight for shorts. These guys have been pairing well with many things, especially some of my new Mercers.

interweave chambray shorts_carolyn friedlander

The Essex Yarn Dye (in Espresso) has a really appealing texture and great color. I love a pair of linen shorts, and these are fitting in with the rest of my wardrobe so easily.

essex shorts_carolyn friedlander

I used is my go-to shorts pattern (Built By Wendy for Simplicity #3850). Unfortunately it’s out-of-print, but you can find copies of it floating around on Ebay and Etsy. (Or you can also try Grainline’s Maritime shorts pattern.)

chambray and essex shorts_carolyn friedlander

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