I spent a good chunk of yesterday going through various fashion books and my study group samples, looking for ideas. Â Fortunately the Fine Threads study group is pretty big, so in just three years of membership I had over a hundred samples to peruse! Â And then I have started collecting fashion books and clipping pictures from the haute couture shows, so I am slowly amassing quite a collection of fashion ideas.
I started by clipping all the interesting-looking bits into my Evernote notebook. Â Then I went through them and wrote down all the things I liked (or didn’t like) about the piece. Â Then I jotted down some of the ideas/thoughts/feelings that went through my head as I thought about the piece. Â And then I went back and looked at the ideas again.
Here are the two fashion plates I liked best:
The bodice of the first, if converted to red/orange/gold,Â would make beautiful “flames”. Â The devore would be fairly simple (I think) – rayon chenille on a 60/2 silk tabby ground – and well worth trying. Â On the second ensemble,Â I liked the skirt, which (converted to yellows and oranges) would capture the feel of fire.
I then drafted up a Photoshop mockup to see roughly what it would look like:
I like this idea a lot, and will work on making it a reality. Â I may do the phoenix in devore, or I may change the title to “Fire” and just do it without the phoenix imagery.
The real challenge to the outfit is the bottom. Â The fabric is very light and sheer, meaning the handwoven fabric should also be light and sheer. Â Which means a godawful amount of yardage in superfine silk. Â But I have over five pounds of 140/2 silk that Lillian Whipple was kind enough to sell me, and that should be more than enough to get me over the learning curve of working with such fine silk. Â Now I just have to drape a mockup of the skirt to figure out how heinous an amount of yardage would be involved (and how much hemming!). Â If it’s more than twenty yards of 24″ fabric, the deal is off. Â I think I could weave 20 yards of 140/2 silk, if I kept at it and ate it in small bits. Â More than that seems pretty daunting. Â I’ll weave a sample beforehand, of course. Â I could also weave it in 60/2 silk, but then the fabric might be too heavy.
Since I still have fifteen-ish yards of white 60/2 silk on the loom, I think the next step is to do some experiments with rayon chenille and devore. Â There is quite a bit of experimentation I can do, so I better start dyeing! Â This will be super exciting.
I think it’s also time for me to get back to my draping exercises. Â I could draft the bodice as a flat pattern, but the skirt will need to be draped, probably in a sheer fabric. Â Which means getting my act together and learning how to drape things properly.
Whew! Â What a lot to do. Â It’s a good thing I have almost two years to the next Convergence.