#9

It’s really about time I catch up here. While Facebook is all very well for sharing the instant, a blog is the place to tell the longer story, or post all the pictures. And pictures we shall have this time (albeit not all of them!), as I wanted to share some of my  recent adventures with Dolly, my dressmaker’s dummy!

It has taken me so many years to come back to cutting and sewing garments. The reasons are many; too much unyielding pattern-making, too much cutting and sewing while I lived in Nigeria, doing just that; cutting and sewing… Too little time, space, patience. This time around though, I’ve found ways around all the old “musts” of traditional dress-making. First I had to say that finding my creative self through Linda Hough‘s gentle coaching made all the initial difference. Then I stumbled on the eminent Julian Roberts and his theory (and practice) of free cutting, or subtraction cutting. This technique lets me work on the garment the way I always wanted, even though I didn’t know it was possible. By building, draping, shaping. As with much else that I do; using my flow, making it up as I go along. Julian Roberts came my way through India Flint, my one big inspiration in dyeing and printing on fabric and paper. India’s work and work-shops span the whole world by now, and  I really hope to meet this Australian wandering wonder-maker  one day. Not only for her extraordinary workshops, but also because of her way with words, look on life, and how she treats Nature. As I’m waiting for that to happen I dabble in the technique she more or less invented, using the results for building my collection of clothes. Once that’s completed, I’ll be sure to let you know what’ll happen next!

So… for some “show and tell”;

Dolly and I started out with cutting and shaping this dress. My "Hiking Dress"...
Dolly and I started out with cutting and shaping this dress. My “Hiking Dress”…
The final result.
The final result.
P1010785
My “compass” to keep me on the trail..

Dolly and I went on to invent an Early Spring dress in wool and lightweight cotton…

That started out like this...
That started out like this…
... ending up like so.
… ending up like so.
Detail with a little talismanTo keep the bearer warm!
Detail with a little talisman. To keep the bearer warm!

This is the path I’m treading now, hoping to create by re-creating, re-purposing and re-designing. I love the challenge of vintage fabrics, second-hand garments, the natural printing. The slow hand-stitching to embellish my products makes for a lot of time to just sit quietly and think. I feel at home with this, and hope to be able to continue. Alongside this I’ll continue to take my photos, play with techniques and generally explore my creative flow. I’ll also continue to keep you posted about the bends in the road to come. One such bend is a small exhibition in Vence, that you can read more about here. Until next time…