Friday 22 March 2019

Fido and Bags

Well, I’m crying into my beer again (actually it’s green ginger wine)…
....chalk up yet another curated market that has rejected my application to be at their venue. Sorry Melbourne folks, the Slow Fashion Market, on Saturday 27th April at Coburg Town Hall, won’t be having me present my humble wares. Apparently they were inundated with high quality applications which meant there weren’t enough stall spaces left over to accommodate me. On this occasion of getting the thumbs down I was able to desist sending a bitter and twisted email of acknowledgement, so perhaps I haven’t sunk my boats to make another application sometime in the future….

I’m thinking of instigating a regular “Friday Upcycle Showcase” on this blog except I know my bright ideas always exceed the time I have available to keep up such intentions. So we will do one today and perhaps I’ll have time on another Friday.

Before getting to the inaugural Friday Upcycle Showcase I must show a picture of the completed jacket made from the lime cotton blanket. In honour of that blanket having been salvaged from the thrift shop pile nominated “dog blankets” I’m going to call it the Fido Coat.

Fido Coat, turned inside out

Our local "Vinnies" shop is open 3 days a week - Tuesdays, Fridays and half Saturday - so I try to call in at least once a week. Today I got a couple of nice cotton mens shirts. Well worn, slightly faded and soft but still plenty of wear left in them. Blue prints and denim are always so popular I keep a big bin of these fabrics in my studio so I knew they'd be lots of lovely potential to combine the shirts with.

The picture below is before I start to chop them up. The 2 shirts are on the left, next to them a striped curtain bought at Vinnies 2 weeks ago. Below that some offcuts of stenciled fabric from other garments I've made and next to that some scraps of cotton upholstery fabrics bought on other thrifting trawls. 

Theres a bit of a formula to how I'm going to alter these shirts to remake into dresses. Some styles seem to stay in fashion for a very long time and I was making dresses like this 40 years ago! Back then I called them "bag dresses" and so shall I continue to call them.

To make 2 bag dresses you'll need 2 shirts and a pile of other fabrics to patch together for the skirt.

Step 1, cut off the lower part of each shirt below the patch pockets in a straight line. I also cut off the sleeves of the striped shirt.

#2, cut off the bottom curved part of the shirt in a straight line, so that the shirt is now has a top section, middle and hem section. Sew the placket openings down of each middle section.

#3, swap the middle sections between the 2 shirts.  Right sides together sew each to the bottom of the top (collared) section.

Now a large rectangle of patched together fabric will be made for the skirt and sewed to the bottom of the middle section.

I finished one dress today. Perhaps the second one will get done tomorrow and I'll show how the patch skirt is made.

Monday 18 March 2019

dogs breakfast becomes gourmet fare, part 2

The Jacket was lined with a light knit. The lining pieces were cut from the pattern, overlaid on the green cotton and stitched on in a grid pattern. Attaching this lining was intended to make the finished garment reversible. The busy-ness of the print would also help disguise the stitching that was going to show on the inside as the appliques were sewed on.

Going through my pile of fabrics I found some cotton broadcloth in a matching lime green and another in orange. These pieces were selected to make stencil prints on with the intention that they would be cut into patches to applique onto the jacket as an element of the surface decoration.

stenciling orange textile paint onto lime green cotton broadcloth

stenciling cerise onto orange cotton broadcloth

finished stenciling on the lime green background

When completed I was happy with the stenciled prints and decided another print fabric would needed for the right balance. Diving into my piles of "resources" again I re-discovered the partly cannabalised doona cover I'd used for the backing of the Wiksten Haori Jacket a couple of weeks ago. The colours of its print tied in with the lime/orange colour theme so it was selected as the suitable candidate.

In the next step the front bands were cut from the lime green stenciled broadcloth and sewed to the coat. From a bright pink cotton voile I cut circles and sewed them following the front bands and across the back. At home later that evening I stitched the spots with lime green embroidery thread and running stitch. In the picture below you can see squares cut from more of the stenciled broadcloth as I was arranging them on the surface to decide if I liked the collage. They are then pinned in place and sewed.

beginning to arrange appliques on the surface.

laying up more appliques. The large tapered shapes are cut from the same doona cover fabric I used to line the Wiksten Haori Jacket a couple of weeks ago (shown in an earlier blog)

At the end of the day most of the appliques had been attached to the surface.