Friday, 1 March 2019

The first make for March


I enjoyed the process of making the Murra Coat and thanks to all those who followed the journey and especially those who took a moment to comment. As a textile artist making one of a kind garments is a significant part of my daily practise and if they get sold its an important source of income. If you’re interested in being the proud owner of this piece of art to wear the Murra Coat is listed for sale in my Etsy shop at the moment.

Boho Banjo art to wear

For the last few weeks I’ve perservered trying to involve myself in Instagram. It’s always challenging for me to learn new things due to the cognitive weirdness of being autistic, especially exacerbated when it involves being in communities of people. Fortunately communicating on the interwebs means no hugs, air kisses or eye contact, all things I find quite distasteful. However, adding my yammer to Instagram means that is another way you can keep up to date with what I make in the studio and new PDF patterns I publish…If this interests you here is the link to follow me.

pearlredmoonart on Instagram

Yesterday I came across a picture on Instagram of this intriguing dress by the indie pattern company Elbe Textiles. When I looked into it I discovered Elbe is an Australian business located in Perth and the designer is Lauren. The dress I saw is this lovely PDF pattern – the Maynard dress. Not only is the dress beautiful but it’s a zero waste pattern! So straight away I wanted to investigate this ethical and sustainable driven business and was very impressed. The website is beautifully presented and Laurens designs are fabulous. I bought the Maynard dress PDF and embarked on my new project yesterday.

Elbe Textiles Maynard dress, is a PDF sewing pattern


Not only did I like the Maynard dress for its aesthetic but being a zero waste garment meant it is made from a rectangle of fabric that it is completely used, without any offcut wastage. This is a wonderfully sustainable use of fabric and I wanted to investigate how well I could use this concept to use up some of the fabric wastage in my studio. I never throw any fabric out, except for perhaps the smallest shreddy edges and miniscule scraps. Everything that is more than about 10cm square is saved for re use. For my interpretation of this design the intention is to make a rectangle of fabric that is patched together from large offcuts and pieces of scrap fabric.

The first stage to make a new garment, for me, is always to rummage around and collect all the textiles I think will combine well together. So this is the pile I gathered on the work table. My favourite and inspiration piece was the stripey cotton table cloth I bought at Scone Vinnies on Tuesday. Its the 3rd piece on the top right. This lovely wash softened, slightly worn and faded piece of fabric measured 120cm x 180cm and cost $2. As soon as I read Lauren didn’t recommend striped or directional fabric for the Maynard design – heh! I knew I wanted to use lots of stripes.

my selection of fabrics to make my Maynard dress

I decided to cut mostly thick strips of fabric and overlay them and sew with the wide 3 step zigzag in the method I use a lot. This allows the fabrics to fray a bit on the cut edge. It is also very economical with the use of fabric as there aren’t any seams turned to the inside. I was going to make the largest version of the Maynard dress, size I, which fits Bust 116cm. This was still going to be a size too small for me, I’m an Aus size 20 and my bust is 120cm, but of course, I’m in no way daunted to upsize the garment. I’m also considering perhaps adding a sleeve, but will wait to see how the dress works as a layering piece with a teeshirt or other sleeved top worn underneath before making the decision.

To make the dress I needed a rectangle measuring 140 x 216cm. So by the end of my working day yesterday I’d pieced the fabrics shown in the picture below.



In my next blog in a day or 2 you'll see how things are progressing

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If you are interested in buying an artwork or booking a commission, please email me at pearl@upstairs-art.com.au