Sunday, January 4, 2009

Scraping off the rust

Many years ago I could do some pretty tricky things with clothing...

Clothing-as-sculpture was my thing. I wasn't interested in conventional garment shapes. It was more about "What DOESN'T a jacket look like?". I was obsessed with exploring the potential of patternmaking.
(BTW - These jackets were designed before Montana did his away-from-the-shoulder numbers... I'd been watching The Scarlet Pimpernel on telly and this was my 1980's interpretation of 18th century dandyism).


I also worked as a designer-patternmaker for businesses that wanted their skirts to look like skirts and their jackets to look like jackets. I could do that, too. I also used to make LOTS of clothes for myself, and put thought into them.

And then....

...I stopped. Having a small business (and then a small business and baby) meant that I had no time for anything but absolute simplicity - tried and true patterns that I knew would fit, stretch sewing that could be whipped up on an overlocker in no time, kids clothes from commercial patterns.... No fiddling. No thought. No play. All my patternmaking time has been on hat and bag patterns for work.

...And then....

I bought this book a year or so ago, and have been poring over its lovely matt pages ...feeling my old patternmaking fingers beginning to itch.... and twitch...

Until now there's been no time to play with it.

Today I MADE TIME for it!

I scraped off the rust, oiled the joints and started working on this bodice. It took all afternoon and I only made it to toile (rough sample) stage. It's holidays and I'm learning to slow down, re-work things, and enjoy the process. No quick-fix t-shirts today.

There are a few issues, (like "This looks lovely but how do I stop it un-weaving itself...?") that have to be worked out, but I'M SO HAPPY that my fashion-designer's brain has come alive again...
I'm loving the fact that I can't stop thinking of new design solutions, different fabrics, the range of garments that could be made from it (so far I have summer top, winter top, dress.... various knotting arrangements.... and I doubt I'll sleep tonight, thinking out more ideas!). Stay tuned for more Pattern Magic!

I don't want my sewing holiday to end!!!

15 comments:

Di said...

I love the look of the pattern - I hope you work out the unravelling issues and I can't wait to see what you make with it!

I also love the red jacket!!

Handmade said...

Nikki - the photos are awesome! WOW! Can't wait to see the top finished. I know I've said it a gazillion times ... but ... you're a legend!

RachelMM said...

Wow. That is really cool. Can't wait to see how it comes along. I've seen that book recommended on several sites but haven't had the nerve to buy it yet.

Jodie said...

Yes ...legend....undoubtedly.

Sherrin said...

I have been thinking about getting this book for ages. I'm looking forward to seeing what you make!

CurlyPops said...

Hmmmm Project Runway Australia Series 2 perhaps?

angelique said...

The book looks incredible. Good on you for making time to do it. I always seem to be making dolls cloths or associated stuff these days. It's fun but.....:)

thornberry said...

What fun you're having on your holiday! It's such a great thing to rediscover yourself and connect in with that mojo. That woven feature was my favourite in the book too. Can't wait to see how it progresses!

Tinniegirl said...

It looks amazing. I hope time slows down and your sewing holiday lasts forever.

handmaiden said...

nikki, great that you have some me time onyr holidays to rediscover yr talents....looking forward to what may come of it

Kirrily said...

Is it finished yet? Is it finished yet?? I wanna see!!

Hoppo Bumpo said...

Your sculpture clothing is amazing. (Is that velvet I see there too? I'm in awe, Nikki!)

Hope you get to squeeze in a bit more holiday sewing and that we get to see the woven bodice in the finished piece. Gorgeous!

cindy said...

I am with Miss Curly Pops Project Runway definately. It is great to do the love projects that you never have any "time" for and not feel guilty. Great job.

muralimanohar said...

Umm..wow?? I want whatever is happening with that sleeve, or whatever it is. That is COOL.

Louise said...

You are such a clever clogs - they are all divine!!