Category: Bespoke garments

05 Nov

Tasmanian Blues Robe Dress and Nigella Blues Smock

Features hand dyed silk painted decorative collar of gold dyed silk from natural Tasmanian eucalyptus tree bark dye

Original silk painted samples dyed with eucalyptus bark dye on my photography site resonant-visions where there are the photographs of the nigella seed pods I used for the applique designs.

Tasmanian Blues Centre front print and applique details

BLUE Patchworks

Abstract with text print blue/white cotton-viscose.

Feather print navy-white cotton.

Navy blue lace lined on gold.

Stylised flowers blue-gold-navy cotton print.

Gold embroidered cotton.

Gold plant dyed silk.

PLUS – Leopard print blue-black-grey and  Chinese Bird of Paradise with gold texture cotton.

Applique Seed Pods Nigella 'Love in a Mist'

Robe Dress has applique lace pod dyed in eucalyptus dye bath after the collar piece. Colour took well, which is a guide to fabric content being cotton or silk. Dark centres to seed pod designs are cut from eucalyptus dyed silk (iron modified).  Light centre to pod is from bundle steam died silk with seeds and petals.  Nigella blues has variable on same pod idea.  A motif is a good means to join over a seam (smock left top). Also provides contrast to break up a solid dark or light area.

NIGELLA BLUES Smock Top Dress

When there are enough patches prepared, another garment can be made.  Size and shape was dictated by the blouse used as an underlining, the colours of which were a perfect match, being cream brown and pale blue.  Short sleeves made in dark blue lace.  Coconut buttons with bound buttonholes.  Applique patches again created with eucalyptus dyed lace and bundle dyed silk.  Back hem is drooped lower.

Nigella Blues Smock – Bound buttonhole sewing – Click to enlarge

Tasmanian Blues Making Procedure

Lining (blouse) is put inside out on model, then outside patchworks pinned to it.  First cut blouse neckline according to style wanted) allowing extra cm for seams.

Short sleeve (blouse) as lining, needed lengthening with cream floral thin polyester fabric.  Fitted on dummy to check desired finished length of sleeve, before cutting length.

Llining of sleeve (partly made in patches), except small join at shoulder top which can remain after cutting open and flat most of the lining blouse.

Shaping sleeve top fit fit curve of bodice armhole.

Lining sleeve having patches added.  Bodice top right has outer fabric pinned.

Floral patch added to upper arm with blue lace.  Floral fabric used for top back bodice top. Leopard print added.

Sleeves layers visible ready for inserting into dress armhole.

The floral patch has gold in which was a pointer to add the gold dyed silk for collar

Fused vylene interfacing ironed onto inside of outer sleeve extension.

Blue and gold floral fabric used for decorative interest. Seam pressed 1cm away from outer hem, for added decorative interest, before cutting rough edges equal.

Pin in place cuff and upper sleeve (when open and flat).  Join seam down length of sleeves.

After outer sleeve patches also seemed to close sleeve, smooth down outer sleeve patches to lay behind sleeve cuff. (Cuff folded over first and pressed). Pin cuff to sleeve; machine or hand stitch down, all around sleeve.

In order to increase the dress size to 38",  to be larger than the lining, and to give a loose arm feel, sleeve inner and outer was left unseamed for 8 inches with 2 inch extra at armhole line.  Two gussets were cut, and added one to dress and one to lining. (see machining images).

Machining gusset side to dress side, from arm seam slit point to empire bust line bodice cut.  I used viscose weight for outer gusset to match with fabrics, and the blue lace for inner gusset, for light weight in the under-arm area.

Lace used for the inner gusset lining; also machined to lining down length of sleeve slit, and joining bodice front and backs.

Join patch pieces to form a facing (take shape from back neck centre, around to front, on dummy). Pin to cotton to make a pattern to cut vylene interfacing.  Or use two thicknesses of cotton tacked in.

Lining fabric (black/blue/cream floral) (interfaced) used as an upper back section to be inserted into a loose neckline.  Smart patch colours (with gold dyed silk painting) joined to form facing, which when turned outwards, becomes the open collar.  Note 'pointed angles' - when turned right way out, become collar points.

Patch pieces chosen  for outer collar. This may be difficult to follow for beginner sewers. Whatever shape is the front of garment (e.g. a basic round neck cut down centre front): this requires a facing fabric, so when top neck is turned out, it becomes a small faux decorative 'collar'. To have a proper back collar would need additional piece inserting around back neck.

22 Aug

Clothes Treasure Paradigm

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'Stonewashed Angels' - (Angels in the silk painted panels) Designed by Amelia Jane Hoskins

 

A NEW FASHION PARADIGM being experienced by designers, businesses and consumers is one by which clothes are treasured and valued for a variety of reasons other than a traditional economical 'brand' and the buy-today, throw-away-tomorrow fashion business model.

THE SLOW FASHION CONSUMER enjoys clothes with individual stories which use upcycled fabrics.

Shamanic Nights uses fabrics from charity shops, mostly very new and good quality. 'Stonewashed Angels'  uses coffee/white dress prints, combined with original silk painted panels of angels and plants in colours to coordinate with fabrics used in dress.

VINTAGE FASHION FAIRS are enjoying a wave of popularity as consumers look for more original garments which offer a higher emotional value than the current season’s clothes.

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Shamanic Nights original, 'Guinevere', modelled at Cockington Court Vintage clothes fair.

CHARITY SHOPS are brimming with last season’s clothes. Textile recycling and disposing companies are selling old clothes to Africa, impacting indigenous economies by reducing artisan production.  There are now ethical fashion companies sourcing fabrics more carefully from local communities, such as small scale silk producers, and embroiderers.  

STOP CONSTANTLY MAKING CLOTHES - TO REDUCE TEXTILE LANDFILL

High street chain fashion stores rush to produce ever cheaper clothes to compete.  Perpetual demand is created by companies who put out seasonal fashion 'trends', providing clothes cheap enough for customers to buy new stuff every season: and every week.   Cheap clothes are only possible due to sweatshops in far away lands, where labour is very cheap, in order to increase companies' profits.  The Rana Plaza factory collapse alerted everyone to slack business practice outside of countries with safety regulations.

This merry go round results in a proliferation of cast away clothes, a wasteful situation.  Textile waste statistics are alarming: 13mn tons per year in USA.  UK statistics ?  The constant waste of materials, with their associated production costs, is both an environmental and health dilemma. If you value the raw materials, textiles of ecological origins, you may value your garment more highly, and wear it for many years with a focus more on your clothes being timeless.

A CIRCULAR ECONOMY FOR TEXTILES

Organisation are growing to help with this problem: via the Circular Economy. Repair company. Hiring company. 

Video Nov. 2020

SOME GOOD BOOKS

'To Die For' - 'Is Fashion wearing out the world'? by Lucy Siegle

'Shaping Sustainable Fashion' - Changing the way we make and clothes, edited by Alison Gwilt and Tina Rissanan.  Pub. Earthscan.

'Refashioned' - Cutting edge clothing from upcycled materials - by Sass Brown.

09 Aug

Robes First Designs

LILAC LOTUS and JADE GARDEN  (available:)

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Lilac Lotus
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Lilac Lotus
 

A feminine gown inspired by white linen and white embroidery anglais.

Fabrics: White/mauve/olive silk: Black/lilac polyester leopard print:  Taupe poly-cotton with pink and jade machine embroidery (see closeups)
Construction: Variety of oblong patches with high back pleat for ease.
Lining:  Fully lined in white brushed cotton, extremely warm - suitable cool bedrooms.
Buttons: Two pale gold and white metal 'compass' design Liberty of London buttons.
Pocket: Right hand pocket set in seam.
Collar, cuffs, Sash belt:  Thick white cotton embroidery with decorative 'embroidery Anglais'.
Back length:   46 inches/117cm
Bust size: 32" 36" for UK 10-12
(model is size 8) Robe will fit to max bust 38 inches
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Lilac Lotus
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Lilac Lotus patchwork full length
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Lilac Lotus sleeve patch details
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Lilac lotus front patch details
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Lilac Lotus back view with pleat
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Judith Christie singer songwriter at Pilton Green Man Festival
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Linen Cruise
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Jade Garden
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South Sea Bubble
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Lilac Lotus

Jade Garden Robe (available)

 

JADE GARDEN Robe is a substantial everlasting garment in furnishing cottons, with deep rolled collar which would stand up for warmth.  Also suitable as a summer coat

Suitable as a winter gift where warmth is a priority.  Traditional style with gold embroidery highlights on the jade green poly-taffeta.

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My friend Coral modelling
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Jade Garden Back view
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Jade Garden front view
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Print: trees
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Print: French farm maiden
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Jade Garden Robe front buttons and collar

Robe Construction is of oblong patches.  Belt has now changed to sash-belt in printed white/lilac printed cotton seen in other patches. Green fabric is embroidered poly-taffeta, and must not be ironed on 'hot' or it melts (iron with cotton piece over top).  Buttons are pewter coloured.  Lining is brown cotton lawn lower, with cream satin upper part including turned back sleeves.

Note: Coral is 5 ft tall, so this is an under knee three quarter length robe on taller women.

Linen Cruise Robe  (sold)

Early inspiration for these robes was after acquiring a roll of parchment white linen. Teamed with white/navy prints and cream/white based patchwork prints.

Black cotton with pale grey embroidery was chosen for contrasting  collar/under-collar front facing, sleeve borders and sash.

This garment was chosen to feature with three others of mine at the 2013 Exhibition: Innovation in Textiles. See post 

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Linen Cruise sash tied
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Linen Cruise front open
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Linen Cruise modelled in Totnes Museum of Costume Exhibition
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Left Silk Painted panel copied from one of the patchwork prints

See robes featured in Exhibition Totnes Museum of costume

Oriental Cruise  Robe  (sold)

One of the earliest robes in large long patches of Cream and White Linen, Cotton and Viscose Prints of navy/white theme with added silk painted panels.

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Oriental Cruise

Upper sleeve silk patch is hand painted silk, an enlarged design copy of a smaller print used in other patches.

I can copy any textile design for commissions, change its scale, or create a new one based on any prints.

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Oriental Cruise back pleat
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Oriental Cruise front sash belt
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Oriental Cruise lower patched border

See robes featured in Exhibition Totnes Museum of costume

Purple Raj Robe (sold)

Patchwork purple robe: cotton and viscose with polyester lilac lining.

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Purple Raj patchwork robe closed front

Patchwork Construction:

Back of robe starts with an experimental chevron layout: turning standard patchwork construction blocks 90 deg. which give a diagonal grain, forming a bias cut, which improves the 'hang'. 

Arranged patchwork continues over shoulders, where patchwork blocks extend down front on the strait grain.  Worth experimenting with, although sides had odd angles to join, resulting in a deep kimono styled sleeve.

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Purple Raj robe, back diagonal patchwork

South Sea Bubble Mini poncho style robe (available)

Made when living in Cornwall, this patchwork was inspired by the viscose 'Bali' style print in blue, navy, lilac, olive.  Coordinate cottons and linens match these colours.  Construction is long rectangular patchworks, arranged diagonally starting across back ( see Purple Raj ).  Very loose shape allows fit for fuller bust sizes due to waist deep kimono-style sleeve shapes.  Main lining: Pretty violet soft cotton with lilac flowers. Sleeve lining: Pretty lilac soft cotton flower print.   Buttons: 2 large black-mauve pearl.  Front fringed edge is purely decorative.

I plan to add a blue print or applique over the pale yellow which is rather pale in contrast to the black/purple, under grey English skies.  Once on the lookout, something will turn up to match.

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South Sea Bubble mini robe violet cotton lining
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South Sea Bubble back and sleeve
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My friend Coral relaxes in the sea air in South Sea bubble
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South Sea Bubble front view with fringed front buttoning
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South Sea bubble back view shows diagonal 'chevron' patch blocks
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South Sea bubble shoulder close up viscose print

A comfortable warm and eye catching robe. Good for weight disguising due to poncho style.  Will accommodate any sized bust. Size 16 on the hips. Length 36 inches (910mm).  Front is joined by button so garment flows freely. 

Images copyright Amelia Jane Hoskins Please email for use permission.