Sunday 21 February 2016

Design time!!

Since returning to TAFE, I have been happy to be immersed in a design project, which also relates to my patternmaking/studio project. Basically, this means I get to do the whole process, from research and concept designs based on Spring/Summer '16 trends (more on this in a moment) for the category of Streetwear, to be worn during Paris Fashion Week, to the patternmaking and construction, and finally, to see it on the catwalk at the mid year show. Whilst I am quite happy to design to parameters, I still find this 'trend prediction' thing quite, let's phrase it as 'challenging'. I usually manage to find a way to work around it! With this one, I have managed to direct it towards one of my comfort zones of the richness of insect body colours, textures and designs, with only a mild limitation of colour palette that largely suits me. In order to try and keep it somewhat within commercial realms, I have channelled this rich imagery into an asymmetrical digital print, which will become basic leggings. In here are bee legs, crocodile skin, ant bodies, and ant eyes filled with the feathers of hummingb
irds. Having not really done this kind of work in Ph
otoshop for over a year, I was pretty pleased with the result. I just hope it meets the print requirements. Initially I had all sorts of ideas about stitching into felt, and reverse appliqué - but these may now find their place in the sculptural jacket I am now planning.... Okay, I can't let it go..... I really wanted to design an interesting jacket, but it must be based on research of 'trends' and what people might wear to Fashion Week. Are you kidding me?!! I have seen pictures of people wearing ball gowns, to slippers and rain coats - you can justify anything! And really, why do we have to? I cannot believe that this way of thinking is considered valid and still adhered to. In daily life, I don't base my choices on anything more than what pleases me! So anyway, I found plenty of sculptural jackets within the forecasting i
magery to back up my ideas - I'm sure I could find plenty to back up any idea I had! After lots of research on the many aspects of this project, it was time to start doing some designs, and after a little while doing some initial work, I decided that I could only progress by play. I can't draw it if I can't see it. So, I dug up some nuno felted fabric out of a box, and started pinning it on a mannequin to get a feel for it. This did the trick for a while, and then I remembered my 1/2 scale mannequin! This is perfect for getting a feel for the whole effect without cutting up or treating masses of fabric. It was whilst I was in the studio playing with this that I looked over and saw a leather piece that I had made last year during my Craft & Quilt Fair tour. And this is what I love about creating in the amazing resource that is the studio - a place already dripping with ideas, samples, materials, and things that you can just pick up and pin onto things, and sometimes just nuances. This is the extraordinary blessing I have, which I recognise and am so very grateful for. Sure, it's taken me years to amass this 'stuff', and thousands of dollars in tuition at workshops, and I'm sure at times many people wonder what it's good for... but every now and then, it delivers a golden nugget, and that's when it all becomes worthwhile.

Monday 1 February 2016

Back to School 2016

This week I return to TAFE to continue my fashion studies, and I can't wait! My return is made even more exciting by what arrived in StudioSvenja today..... we welcome Bertie the Brother Industrial sewing machine!!
Bertie is the latest whiz bang model, and was installed by the fabulous Barry Goff of Sewmac - he liked him so much I don't think he wanted to leave him!! Bertie is so quiet, you can't even hear that he is running! I am ever grateful to my fabulous Patron of the Arts, Matt!! Thank you so much! I suppose I'd better make you some new shirts, eh?!

I did some creating in the studio on the weekend - not sewing, but in the felting studio. I'm not sure why - it certainly wasn't on my large list of things to do! I guess I just needed to, and the studio drew me in. At the end of last year when I was making lots of felted wraps, I covered the printing table in colourways of wool, silk and fibres, ready to create. I made quite a few then, but haven't for a while, so it was great to just pick up a pile and start laying out! Turns out it was a wrap for me, as I included the last piece of my favourite sari offcut in it. I really caught the bug, and picked up another piece  of silk - some crinkle silk chiffon which had been sewn for a panelled skirt and dyed during the process of Morphology II and didn't get used. Inspiration struck - I could unpick one of the seams in the centre to turn it into a poncho, and finish it by felting a very fine ruffle around it. I was so pleased with the result that this too, became mine! It's unbelievably light, and feels just gorgeous to wear!

Ice dyed rayon

Large nuno felt wrap
Whilst in the felting studio, I began to pack the goodies Jenelle and I are going to need for our fabulous week away in the Grampians - exactly one month away!! Well, we're away for the week, but we're only doing a 2 day workshop - Bunnehs work smarter, not harder!! We'll be felting with Pam Hovel, using wild and wooly locks, raw fleece, and adding bamboo, tencel, flax and silk fibres. Delicious! I've also decided to participate in the market event on the Saturday night of Grampians Texture! It just happens that my travelling kompanyun has special status and is allowed to take two bags - thanks very much, I'll have that!! I will stuff it with as many scarves, silk tops, ice dyed rayon garments, and unique nuno felted wraps as I can fit in that case!
If you are visiting Halls Gap, come and join us for what I'm sure will be a few hours of fun!