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Radical Radial Rainbow Ruana

A friend suggested I take a day and play creatively in my studio. I got the idea for this radial ruana when I was awake in the middle of the night before my first Creative Monday. I’ve been watching fashion design reality shows, my guilty pleasure. I’ve never made a garment by draping on a tailor’s dummy. It looks so easy on TV. In MY reality it’s a lot harder than it looks. It’s one thing to drape and pin. It’s quite another to figure out how to cut the giant piece of draped fabric so it will hang on a body. My brain was overloaded just before lunch but I pushed through. And here is the result.

This new ruana is the first garment I’ve finished on the rainbow warp. The cloth blends through all the colors in the rainbow. I made the blends symmetrical and big. The color on both selvedge edges matches and the center is green-blue. Wow! It really makes a statement!

This ruana is totally different from what I usually make. What’s different? When you view this new radial ruana from a distance you get that great color ombre in the whole garment rather than the narrower blended stripes I usually make. And I love, love, love the way the bright yellow band with the bright rainbow twill circles the whole garment emphasizing the looping outline.

Well, for those of you who own one or more of my ruanas already, you’ll appreciate some of the other changes.For one, the length on the arm goes all the way to the wrist.

On my normal ruanas, the length of the part that runs down the arm is determined by the width of the cloth.And the width of the cloth is determined by the width of my looms.I make the widest cloth I possibly can at 60”.But then I shrink the heck out of the cloth.Some fibers shrink more than others.The rayon chenille shrinks the most so those ruanas are narrower than the cotton ones.

But on this radial ruana I can make the side length as long as I want.I admit, I tried it even longer but it looked silly hanging over my hands.So the sides are the length of a good long jacket and the front and back are about 10” longer.

Then I took massive darts to make a long flat piece of cloth into a body-shaped garment.

When you look at the photos you’ll see those darts as diagonal seams radiating from the neckline in the front and back. It makes such an interesting detail in the way the color stripes fall horizontally accented by the seams. Yes, I like it!

I made an extra large hood, well, because I can. And I left it square so I could add that little rainbow tassel. I think it adds just the right amount of color and panache to the hood.

I enjoyed my Creative Monday so much that I am going to do it every week!

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Apr 22, 2020

Annie, this is just beautiful! I love the different effect of the wider and full-spectrum-color stripes. I love the sassy tassel. And I particularly love your narrative of how you usually work and how you did this. Will I get an email prompt when you post something new? Thank you for this!

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