Thursday, April 14, 2011

The red Chinese linen

I have decided to whip up a dress and hopefully some kind of jacket combo in the red linen.
My big problem to start with, is that I don't know which way is "up"!
I remember the student who gave me this as a present, told me that one of the characters was "horse". I think it's that block at the bottom, which means that it is right side up. But I can't identify the other two big block characters - the other red one and the gold one. Does any reader here know? All the little gold characters go both ways, so it doesn't matter for them.
My other problem is getting a jacket out of the fabric. It is nice and wide and I am not worrying about matching characters and I am sure I can get a short sleeve (if not a 3/4 sleeve) out of it. But it's going to be tight. (Don't worry - I will make sure the pattern pieces are all the same way up, not like they are in the photo!)
I'm going to make this Vogue dress again. I made it last year in linen and wore it to a fundraiser as it was a hot day. I want to wear the red linen to the same fundraiser this year but I have no idea what the weather will be. It's at the end of April which shouldn't be that hot and it's freezing right now. I have another unlined jacket pattern that is much closer fitting (uses less fabric) so I'll see after I sort things out, which one it will be.
Finally, I made some pot holders for the wedding gifts and now I just have to decide how to wrap them. If I can't find the right sized box, I think I will go with the tried-and-true gift bag.


Wendy TC said...

This may sound silly, but you could always take your fabric to your local Chinese restaurant and ask someone who works there to "read" your fabric. I'm Chinese but can only recognize a handful of Chinese characters; however, it seems to me that from the photo of your fabric, up is to the left, at least for the character on the upper left of the second photo. None of the characters look like "horse" to me.

JuliaR said...

Great idea Wendy! I also have a couple of Chinese neighbours who I didn't want to bother but I guess I can if I see them out and about. I have a great view of the neighbourhood from my sewing room window. I can just see me now - dragging the yardage down the stairs and flying out the door with it trailing like Superman's cape. "Please help me read my fabric!" I shall shout at them. I can see them now, running away. :)

Does that one on the upper left look like a particular character to you? I was scanning Chinese character images on Google images and couldn't make anything out. I thought maybe if one was "horse", the others might be animals of the zodiac too. But I am really, without clue.

Wendy TC said...

Hi Julia: the characters are so stylized that I don't recognize them, and I don't know many characters at all. Good hunting for their meaning! The fabric will make a beautiful, unique outfit. BTW, I love Ottawa, having spent many summer vacations of my youth visiting all my relatives. The city holds many happy memories.

sewistafashionista said...

That red fabric is incredible!

May said...

Hi Julia,

The large characters are stylized and a bit difficult to recognize. The smaller characters look like they may be based on the style of the ancient characters.

I have a book of characters and I'll drop it off today. It may help you decipher which way is up. Also, if you are searching the Internet the characters in Taiwan and China are a bit different.


JuliaR said...

Thanks again Wendy. My neighbour came through for me and I should have the pieces cut out later today.

May, thanks so much! I just didn't want to have people thinking I'm so foolish that I have all the words on my dress upside down. Like that episode of the Bog Bang Theory where it turns out that Penny has the character for "soup" tattooed on her back but she thought it was "courage".