Clothing for the Body & Soul

GETTING STARTED

 

One of the challenges of writing about how I do what I do is where to start. As I was pondering my next blog entry, I got a call from a friend asking how I pull my fabrics together for my coats. So, I thought I would start by answering that question in parts. When I am preparing to do a garment, I approach each garment on its own terms. I don’t have a set place that I always begin. Sometimes it’s the fabrics, the buttons or an occasion like a wedding or a new pair of shoes. 👠👠

I often think or ask myself, what’s the story I want to tell?  Some of my coats tell a personal story. In the late 1970’s I began making and wearing watermelon garments on the 4th of July, poking fun at politically correct ideas about being a black women owning a love of watermelon. Over the years, these watermelon opportunities have run rampant, as watermelon vines can do. Now, I have at least a dozen watermelon ensembles. In 1993, I made a watermelon topper and called it Just Another Colored Girl Having Fun.

Just Another Colored Girl Having Fun

Just Another Colored Girl Having Fun

I had always wanted to revisit and adapt that design theme into a larger canvas. Having collected a variety of red and green melon print fabrics, augmented with hand dyed solids, I strip pieced a loose fitting swing coat with a chin collar for the watermelon stem. I then hand appliquéd watermelon slices over the surface of the coat and embellished it with black watermelon seed shaped beads. This became Just Another Colored Girl Having 2 Much Fun.

Front of coat

Front of coat

Just Another Colored Girl Having Too Much Fun

Back of coat

 

Leslie having fun

Leslie having fun

Leslie having more fun

Leslie having more fun

I may want to work in the same color group as in A Study in Beige,A Study in Beige

or the same pattern, which I used in Lotsa Dots The Polka Dot Coat,

Lotsa DotsBack of Lotsa Dot

or I might read my dominant or feature fabric to pull in other fabrics to add more color, pattern and texture to my project as I did in the Gray Poppies coat.

The Poppies CoatThe Poppies Coat

Also a collection of fabrics can inspire me to use as many of them as I can, like I did with Alaskan Fall

Alaskan Fall

Alaskan Fall

or French Strings.

French Strings

Other times I consider a theme as I did with Gazpacho,Gazpacho using many of the vegetable fabrics that I was collecting for a major vegetable coat project. That’s a story for another day. Then, because I consider myself a quilter, I like to use quilt blocks as I did with Orts. OrtsOrtsThese are just a few of the ways I answer this question: “How do you pull fabrics for a project?” In upcoming posts I hope to explore each of these themes in more depth.

 

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Posted by rachel on Thu, November 3 2016 » Garments

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