This weekend is the first uncommitted weekend I have had since November! By “uncommitted” I mean that I am not traveling, teaching, or panicking about a hard deadline. I am caught up on my 400 unread emails, and have pared my to-do list down to six or seven items, most of which are simple tasks like mailing things. I no longer have to feel guilty about stealing creative time when there are urgent things that must be done!
In short, I can kick back and relax. What a relief! I hadn’t realized how stressed I was until the pressure was off.
I took some of my gloriously free time yesterday and went up to Sharon’s to get her opinion on the dress. Alas, my original idea simply will not work: the bottom needs to be cut on the straight grain and the top on the bias, meaning there is no way to get my beautiful phoenix stripes into the dress without having them fly at odd angles below.
So we spent some time sketching and came up with a new idea, based on this dress by Christian Dior (also part of their Spring 2013 collection):
I don’t particularly like the colors, or the way the flowered insert disappears right at her waist, but it did bring up some interesting ideas. Here’s the idea we sketched out:
This is basically an oversize scarf wrapped around a simple black dress, gradually decreasing in size as you get near the top, then floating out over the shoulder into a drape/scarf.
The phoenix stripe should, in theory, be cut on the bias, but I think I might be able to get around that by tacking the stripe loosely down (instead of tight to the body), giving it some room to move. I’d also leave it full-width and just gather it in spots to bring it in.
I will, of course, need to drape samples to know for sure.
The black fabric underlying the dress will be a crimp cloth, like this sample I wove in my workshop with Diane Totten:
I’m going to make the crimp cloth black, with either a variegated metallic polyester embroidery thread weft (if I can find one variegated in shades of orange and red) or a solid color metallic polyester weft, in gold or red. I do want some glitter in the black background!
As a bonus, this should be much quicker to weave than the other dress, for which I was looking at about 40 yards of fabric in very fine threads. The requirements of this one should be much more modest, maybe four or five yards of 13-15″ wide phoenix fabric plus eight or so yards of the crimp cloth. I can do that pretty quickly! so it’s possible it might be ready in time for Convergence next year. Too bad the Pikes Peak Weavers’ Guild Firestorm show entry is due in April. It definitely won’t be ready by then, so I’ll have to enter a more modest piece for that show.
I’m still mulling over the design – it doesn’t quite have the wow! factor I’m looking for yet – but it’s definitely got possibilities, enough to make it worth developing further.