I have to say this one is my favourite. It went along swimmingly at every stage. My first step was to draw the dress design, then create a life-size paper mock-up. You can see them side by side:
The next step was to make this into a pattern. I chopped up the mock-up and recreated it with layers of cotton and interfacing.
But I didn’t use just any cotton. These patterns I digitally designed using close-up scans of leaves. The day they arrived from Spoonflower and I opened up the package: magical.
Each piece of the carapace is separate and self-contained, so that they overlap like armour. Once they were all machine stitched into plates I pinned them on the dressform using my meticulous photo-records:
I hand sewed them all to each other. It was at this point I realized two things: I am really glad I didn’t make this out of stiffer cloth, and I really really need to buy a thimble. Stabbed fingers aside, I love the control of hand sewing, and it went along a lot quicker than I had imagined. I wouldn’t begin to know how to accomplish this on a machine.
If you didn’t get to see this lovely lady in Saint John, she will be making an appearance in Fredericton! I have the luck of taking part in the bi-annual show for the Textile Dept. at the NB College of Craft and Design. A lot of really incredible designers come out of there every year, you don’t want to miss it. Check out the last one if you don’t believe me!
See you at the opening in The Gallery at NBCCD tomorrow evening (Feb 6) at 4:30 – 6pm.