Thursday, January 21, 2010

MycoAnna and Recycled Fabrics

While in Montrreal for a visit with my brother (who was staying with mutual friends), one of my friends suggested that I go and visit the MycoAnna boutique on St-Laurent. Although she didn't quite remember the name, when I finally found the shop, the name rang a bell, although I couldn't remember from where or when. Well, it turns out this is a company that started in Quebec City, right down the road from where I live (no wonder the name resonated!). I was stunned by the garments showcased on the store in Montreal. This is the first time I've really gotten excited over the aesthetics of using recycled fabrics (no doubt from personal ignorance - I haven't gone out of my way to find out more). Interestingly, MykoAnna has been in business for 15 years, long before the current interest in recycled fabrics developed. It seems that the store hit mainstream only about 8 years ago and has been expanding ever since.

I've always considered working with recycled fabrics to be an interesting but challenging task for a beginner sewer, and one that I would eventually explore but would leave until I mastered better some of the basic techniques. MycoAnna uses a majority of stretch fabrics in their designs, which is another area I have "left for later", although working with stretch fabrics is one of my spring projects this year. I don't understand much about stretch fabrics, but I was as much impressed with the shape as well as the eclectic colors and textures of the MycoAnna designs. Since different fabrics have different stretch properties, sewing these fabrics together higgly-piggly would no doubt leave a garment with odd shaping properties - their garments obviously do not do this. I also noticed that their fabrics are sewn without apparent attention to the grain, even when non-stretch fabrics are used. I'm sure this apparent inattention is an illusion, but it seems to me that doing this kind of sewing well would require a lot of knowledge and know-how about how fabrics work together and drape. One can shape a stretch fabric by changing its flat pattern seam shapes. It would be great to better understand this process.

The saleswoman in the Montreal boutique mentionned that these garments work well for both older women and for bigger women - the color contrasts draw the eye in interesting ways that result in a strong appearance for women across a range of sizes and body shapes. I get it, looking at the garments, even though the models on display on the runways are the classic thin models.

Anyway, MykoAnna turned me on to the possibilities of working with recycled fabrics. And I shall certainly check out the Quebec store. This is a story to watch as it unfolds. See MycoAnna Creations for more on their collections.

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