December 5, 2001 |
Fabric plays such a major role in the Wilma Theater's production of Les Liaisons Dangereuses, it should have featured billing. In the first moments, as the Wilma's rarely used red velvet curtain rises, one layer of fabric after another is revealed. A great sweep of lace veils the back of the stage. Even the pillars at the side are wrapped in red satin and swathed in gold ropes. And the costumes . . . the extravagant creations boast as much as 22 yards of material in a single gown, and skirts so wide and imposing that set designer Dawn Robyn Petrlik began referring to them as scenery - an apt description, since some are made from upholstery fabric.
September 9, 1994 |
How are you lighting up these days? We mean the rooms in your home, of course. In recent years, table lamps have made a big comeback, illuminating dark corners or simply adding warmth to a room. In the past, emphasis was on the bases. Now it's on the shades. Many are designed literally top to bottom. In addition to fabric to match your sofa, if you like, or paper that may be hand-painted, metal-leafed or otherwise decorated, there are metal, mesh, high-tech plastics, glass and even mosaic shades from which to choose.
June 9, 1989 |
My wife and I would like some tips on covering our walls with fabric or sheets. Can you help? Using fabric to cover walls is a great way to redecorate and also cover a badly damaged or cracked wall. Unless you have something else in mind, you might want to consider using printed bedsheets. These are usually fairly inexpensive, and you can buy as many as you need. Most are permanent-press. To get started you must determine how many sheets you will need. Measure the length of all walls to be covered and total this up. Divide the total by the usable width of the sheet.
August 18, 2014 |
Behind a glass wall in Drexel University's ExCITe Center, a fully pregnant mannequin stands tall with nothing on but a strip of knitted blue fabric around its bulging stomach. The garment, called a belly band, isn't the latest trend in maternity wear; it's an all-knit, wireless fetal monitor. Drexel's Shima Seiki Haute Technology Laboratory creates smart garments with electronic circuitry knitted right in. So instead of a boxy device on your wrist or around your waist, the clothes themselves become a monitor that is flexible, comfortable, and soft.
January 28, 2001 |
For the first time in nearly a decade, the Danny Noble label is on a new collection. But this time it's not on the lively, whimsical sportswear that made the Philadelphia-based designer a fashion star in the 1980s. It's on pajamas. Elegant pajamas designed to appeal to sophisticated women who might feel they have been short-changed when it comes to bedtime. There is lots of young fun stuff out there, and plenty of lace and satin. But once you get into the really expensive sleepwear category, says the man behind the label, the choice is often between "looking like a young floozy or an old frump.
March 6, 1986 |
Harry Soviak's death at 49 in November 1984 interrupted a career that had hit its full stride several years earlier. His colleagues and students at the Philadelphia College of Art, where he had taught for 21 years, mourned him as a talented artist and an estimable human being who had been deprived of the fruits of artistic maturity. The current Soviak retrospective at Rosenwald-Wolf Gallery of the recently formed Philadelphia Colleges of the Arts commemorates his career by tracing its progress from his immediate post-student days to his death.
March 16, 1988 |
Dear Polly: Would you kindly provide the directions for processing woolen coating material into "boiled wool?" I'd like to make a jacket from this fabric. - F.C.G. Dear F.C.G.: Many of us have made "boiled wool" inadvertently by washing woolens in a machine full of hot water and drying them in a hot dryer! But the following directions come from Handwoven magazine. Use a 100-percent wool fabric with a loose, big weave. (For real boiled wool, the fabric should be woven, but you can get a similar effect with loosely knitted fabric.
April 14, 1993 |
Dear Polly: Do you know how to make those stretchy fabric-covered ponytail holders? I think they'd be so cute if I could make them to match various outfits for my little girls. - Sandy Dear Sandy: "Scrunchies," as we call them, are easy to make. First, measure a piece of elastic the length you want the finished scrunchy to be (8 or 9 inches is a good length), then add a couple of inches for overlap. Make a fabric casing of about twice the length of the elastic by cutting a strip of fabric 3 or 4 inches wide, folding it in half lengthwise with the right sides together, and stitching along the edges to form a tube open at both ends.
October 28, 1996 |
To see the light through their taut silky sides is like gazing into another time. These classic, cream-colored lamp shades, with scallops and gold-fringe trim, now cast an antique glow in a world gone neon. "Philadelphia was the mecca of lamps and shades," said Mark Blum, president of Alga Saxe Lampshade Inc. "Now, we're one of the last left. " In a loft factory building near Chinatown, Alga Saxe and its 20 employees turn out 1,500 hand-sewn lamp shades a week. The Philadelphia lamp and lamp-shade industry, which once sprawled through the city's industrial quarters, has mostly moved south.
May 2, 2008
If you've never made a pillow before, The Pillow Book (Chronicle Books, $24.95), by Shannon Okey with photos by Gemma Comas, is a good place to start. For one thing, it contains basic advice about fabrics and pillow accents: nothing too precious if you have kids; nothing dry-clean-only if you anticipate stains; nothing too tempting to cats (tassels, fringe and the like); no mixing materials with different washing requirements. Plus, the book offers a solid foundation in those core steps of sewing prep: pre-wash, pre-shrink and pre-press.