Nymph.

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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:

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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.

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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.

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The next piece in the collection is Nymph, the juvenile insect. It is very closely inspired by the stunning patterns of the dragonfly larva, as seen in the charming book “Zoom in on Nature”:

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:

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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!

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See you at the opening in The Gallery at NBCCD tomorrow evening (Feb 6) at 4:30 – 6pm.

Nymph

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Nymph
Original digitally printed cotton from leaf photographs, cotton, corduroy, interfacing, reed.
Size small dress © Allison Green 2013.

The second piece in the Time Flies Collection, this dress shows the burgeoning juvenile insect. It is designed after the dragonfly nymph.

See how it was constructed, and the other items in the series: Nascent, Nubile, and Nesting.
Exhibited with Foundation at the Saint John Arts Centre, Saint John, NB.
Pricing available upon request.

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Walk like a Cretacean.

Somewhere along my journey I realized glee and wonder are not merely childish, but the mark of a well-nourished adult. In fact, the word “silly” originally meant happy or blessed. In our world of logic and profound detachment, this is a fact we would do well to remember.
Dinosaur dress process_7But fear not, it is plenty easy to turn up the wonder in your life. Paying attention, shutting up for a while in your head and just paying attention, that’s all it takes. Bright clothing helps too.
Dinosaur dress process_5In honour of silliness, and also dinosaurs (which fill me full of wonder every time), I have created a spring jumper. It started with a line sketch, and then a tesselation. These are very fun very meticulous patterns where all the negative space is filled with motif, no spaces between them. Think Escher with his birds and fish.

Then I sent it off to Spoonflower and they printed me a couple yards on cotton. Nothing more satisfying than having something you made on a computer arrive in the mail. Talk about the future.

I designed this little dress jumper, half inspired by Margaery’s dress, and half inspired by tattered caveman clothing.
Dinosaur dress process_1Mocked it up first, which I can’t recommend enough, especially in the case of special fabric. I’m not supposed to use pretty fabric on a sample but I couldn’t help myself. Everything was mostly okay but there were some changes to be made to the hip shape.

I sewed it all up with a co-ordinating cotton lining. It was a little tricky figuring out how to sew this up correctly. A lot of pinning and unpinning, and stogging of pieces inside other pieces. But it all came together nicely and I will never again forget how to line a jumper. If you need help let me know!
Dinosaur dress process_3Along the bottom I followed the line of the pattern to get that jaggedy caveman feel. Boning was fed in all along the collar so it would have some substance. The result is pretty pleasing and even a little joyous.

Photo credit: Drew Gilbert
Photo credit: Drew Gilbert

And, suprise! It’s completely reversible. The inside looks like one of them rocket pops from my childhood.

Photo credit: Drew Gilbert
Photo credit: Drew Gilbert

Spring fashion advice: find yourself a pretty dress, and don’t listen to anyone else’s idea of pretty.

Photo credit: Drew Gilbert
Photo credit: Drew Gilbert

But for the record, dinosaurs are the prettiest.