Sunday, 22 June 2014


I had intended to end up with three garments inspired by my native american research and that is what I have ended up with. I went back to the British Museum and drew more pictures of artifacts, this time more in depth looking at the shapes and textures of these objects. The last time I went my drawings were very sketchy and quick but over the time of the course I have learnt to give myself more time when it comes to drawing so they end up successful. I wanted to create three garments with a range of textile techniques to embellish them and it is evident that I have done that in what I have produced. I am very pleased that within a few weeks I have created not just one but three successful garments. I faced some technical difficulty when creating the garments but I managed to work out the problems and get them fixed. Some of the dresses were changed slightly so I could end up with a better outcome. I am please with the small collection I have created, I think Its clear to see the inspiration behind the three pieces through the patterns and colours I used. The three dresses were simple in shape and decorative in embellishment and that choice was inspired from the fact that the native Americans would have simple garments but were decorated with beads or embroidery like my collection. I started off by designing my own pattern pieces, I really wanted a princess bodice style dress to make it fit nicer on the body. One of my dresses involved me cutting up strips of fabric and then attaching them onto the fabric using bondaweb, although this process took some time the ending result was beautiful. I love how because of it being handled, the strips of fabric would fray a bit giving it that rustic look which really added to the feel of the dress. One problem I faced when making this dress was the fabric pieces becoming stiff because of the layers of fabric which altered the shape of the dress. However it wasn't nothing a couldn't of darts couldn't fix. Another part of embellishing this dress was the printing which involved me cutting out several templates from freezer paper and then ironing them on and printing over them using fabric paint. Despite the time it look the colours of the strips worked well with the black native inspired printed design. Both techniques worked well together so for that reason I wouldn't change it. To give the dress that finished look rather than adding lining to stiffen it even more I added bias tape to the top and bottom of the dress. Overall I love how this dress turned out, there were times where I thought It wouldn't work but I'm glad that everything did eventually work. I had designed one of my dresses to be full length but I wasn't confident in making it without having my model there so test out the length so I changed it to be short at the front and long at the back so it wouldn't matter as such. Again I made my own pattern pieces to make this dress. To make the shape a bit more dramatic I made the back piece quite long and a bit wider to give the dress more movement and volume when it moves on the catwalk. This dress also took quite some time to make because I was using the technique of melting plastic onto fabric. During my research and experimenting stage I decided to look at feathers, rather than just using feathers I looked at how I could create my own. I was then shown the process of melting plastic onto fabric using a heat press, this technique was something new and something that looked lovely. This meant I had to cut out a load of feather shapes out of plastic to then heat press them on my fabric. It was a fiddly process but it looks really nice on the chiffon. However I soon realized the more I moved and fabric to sew it up the plastic feathers were peeling off. There was nothing more I could do but keep ironing them down which was a little frustrating. If I were to remake this dress I would have to use another method of printing so the feather shapes stayed on the chiffon. Despite the issue of the plastic not working too well on the chiffon It did look lovely, especially when the model walked down in it. Because the dress was see through I made a simple bodycon dress to go underneath it. The third dress I made was inspired by the native american headdress, taking the element of the band and feathers. I used the same princess bodice pattern to make my third dress but taking out some seam allowance because the first time the dress was a bit big. The embellishment for this dress was just in the band and feathers that were going to go on the skirt. The waist band included beading, applique and embroidery which ended up looking beautiful. To make the band look neat I made my own bias tape and sewed it along the edge of the top and bottom. I am very please with how the waist band turned out with the different shapes and colours complimenting each component. The next part of embellishment for this dress was the feathers that were going to go down the skirt however upon placing them on top of the dress I realized it made the dress look cheap and tacky. I really wanted to incorporate the feathers on the dress because it was inspired by the native american headdress so I played around with the positioning of them. In the end I positioned the feathers on the top and at the bottom edge of the waistband. This made the waistband look even more nicer and gave the dress a drawing point for the eyes to look at. The black and red colour scheme of this dress just looked very beautiful and classy. I think the outcome of this dress was alot better than the original design. All the elements of this dress worked well together, just like the other two dresses I made. There are a couple of changed I would make to the one dress if I were to redo it but apart from that I am pleased with the garments I have produced withing a couple of weeks.

(professional pictures to come soon)

Websites used in this project

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