Saturday 31 December 2016

a couple of Loopholes

My first pattern release for 2017 will be “A couple of Loopholes” It needs a few more twiddles then I hope to push the publish button within a few days.

cover page of "A couple of Loopholes" lagenlook style PDF pattern by Pearl Red Moon

I made the sample dress to the right on the pattern cover a few days ago. Its made in viscose rayon which is my all time favourite fabric. 

I did some research on Rayon fabric to be able to summarise its history:

·         *  The Rayon fibre was invented nearly 200 years ago in 1855
·         *  The first commercial quantities were manufactured and sold in 1881 by the French patent holder, the Count of Chardonnay and it was called “Chardonnay Silk”. However it was soon withdrawn from the market due to the dangers of its highly inflammable quality. In the USA in 1953 the FFA ACT (Flammable Fabrics Act) was created to ensure rayon and other man made fibres were produced within acceptable safety criteria.
·        *   By 1889 a better process had been developed – “viscose rayon” and large commercial quantities were being produced by 1905.
·         *  Though rayon is described as “man made” it is the only manufactured fibre not made from petro chemical processing (nylon, polyester, etc) as it is produced from wood pulp, a naturally occurring cellulose based raw material. Wood pulp is an inexpensive and renewable resource but the large quantities of water and energy required for processing mean costs to the environment by the resulting pollution.
·        *   Rayon is capable of absorbing more water than cotton or linen, which makes it a great practical choice to wear in hot climates…i.e.  Australia

What I like about Rayon:

·         *  Superb draping quality
·         *  Lovely surface sheen (why its often compared to silk)
·        *   Great range of colours and patterns its available in due to its excellent retention of colour
·       *    Relatively inexpensive to buy compared to other fabrics
·         *  It sews and irons beautifully
·        *   Easy to care for, quite durable for machine washing and good fade resistant qualities, as I always line dry laundry
·        *   Easy receptive surface to paint, stencil, applique and stitch

I     I wanted to make this plain black rayon fabric look more arty with some hand painted marks. After cutting out the Centre Front panel it was laid flat on the cutting table and I applied all over at random some scratch like marks with a dish scrubber dipped in fabric paint. After considering that I wanted to do some marks that looked less abstract (i.e. as opposed to …ooops, I fell over the paint bucket) so I made a simple stencil from tin foil by cutting out an approximately 3” circle and used this as a background resist to daub largish spots over the scratches. This seemed OK but I wanted to add a bit more detailing so after heat setting the paintwork I machine embroidered circles around the painted ones. To further “integrate” the centre panel with the whole garment I embroidered the same circles onto the left and right Side Front panels before seaming them together. Below are pictures of the Centre Front and Side Fronts during this process and the finished garment.

Loopholes, Centre Front Panel is painted and stitched, the Side Front panels have only the circle motif stitched. The whitish spot near the middle is the paper template I used to mark the circles before embroidering.

Loopholes VIEW 1 from the PDF pattern, with painted marks on rayon viscose