So, I am not sure how to write an explanation of this dress, execept that it came out very far from my original intention. I guess it is a very personal work that took on a lot more meaning as the holidays drew nearer, and my grief has slowly been creeping back in stronnger as I made this. As a result, The base dress, in my opinnion id extermely well and carefully constructed, made with time and care, and the two other elements are compensations. Drama meannt to pull away from how little work actually went into them.
The sleeves are a replica of sleeves from 1893 but made out of this sheer fabric. I chose this kind of sleeve becase of how it kind of swallows you, yet the sheer fabbric makes it so you cant ever bee fully swallowed and pulled in.
For the spine, I thought about alot of techniques, nearly chrocheting it, but instead I ended up going with a kind of ruffling technique because I felt there was a certain protectiveness to the ample fabric, but the protectiveness isn’t very meaningful.
For my final project, I plan on making a dress/pinafore thing representing the lingering effects of grief. I wanted to capture botht he physical effects I have experienced, and the emotional. The above shows the emotional. It is not a traditional “mourning dress,” but the black pinafore is still there. Underneath it is a blouse made of a white fabric printed with moons and stars representing progress that I have made over time, even if it is not so obvious, clear, or colorful.
On the cuffs of the shirt, I plan on adding some subtle embroidery that represents the time that has past.
For the physical elements, I want to play around with quilting and a few other techniques to create wearable sculptures about lingering pain, that, when worn with the pinafore as an overlay, draws the dress firmly into art. One thing I plan on doing is using a black chiffon (chiffon is far too generous a term for it) and quilting it into a sort of spine.
Nov 25-27: Draw basic block and draft dress pattern
Nov 28-Dec 1: Mock up and patter finalize
Dec 2-4: Work on Spine Thing
Dec 4-8: Make Pinafore
Dec 8-10: Make Blouse and have stuff ready for pres
Here is the final pattern of my Toile, colored in the second colorway. In the end I did 5 vingettes of the 1740 famine, two of individuals, two of actual loss of food, and one of the lives lost.
The top left shows a member of the Protestant Ascendency turning their backs on the after, top right shows food from Ireland being shipped away by the England, lower left shows an empty field come time to harvest, and lower right shows a individual rioting in Dublin. At the center is a mass grave below the snow, with a mother and her children walking past. The gaeliege text, “Bliain an Air”, is what the Irish called the famine – “The Great Slaughter”
So For my pattern, I am playing around with Toile and history. Since toile tended to be manufactured in Ireland for England and France, I decided to depict vingettes of Irish history. I only have completed one such vingette so far, showinng the 1740-41 famine (one of many irish famines) and the little food that was produced being shipped over to England.
My future, like many others, was split into two, one of a dystopian sprawling wasteland and one a pastoral utopia. I made two pieces, each representing one part of the world, and the way the two work together.
The first part is the corset, representing the distopia. I drafted a 1890s underbust corset pattern, and cut it entirely out of a old blazer. The lining is also the blazer lining, and the boning of the corset is from old zip ties which makes it mostly recycled.
The corset is meant to look fast made. I would normally do alot of hand sewing on a project like this, but this is entireliy machine sewed, which leads to to some oddities in construction.
Normaly flaws like the ones above would be mended, but they are honestly quite loveable in the piece. The pop of the neon zip tie that lies within the bleak exterior is quite meaningful.
The corset is meant to represent the understructure, a foundation which the dress on top of it is tied to.
This dress was a CHALLENGE. The fabric did not want to do what I wanted it to do. So It went through quite a few iterations before it finally became this. This dress is suppossed to be nautral and pastoral. So I really tried to lean into this motif. Unlike the corset, it doesn’t pull from any historical period.
By contrast, this dress has alot of hand worked details: the finishing on the neckline is done by hand, the buttonholes are hand worked with a blanket stitch and there are a lot of pleats. The buttons that I had on hand were arranged to they fit a ombre pattern.
The overall irony of the two pieces is that this pastoral farmland haven dress is far more wasteful than they corset (and the dress is honestly more uncomfortable since the neckline is very wide). Its made of six yards of new fabric, much of its details are purely aesthetic, and it is built on the foundation of the corset.
The future is conflicted. A part of it is dark, grim and dystopian, succumbing to constant, oppressive smog, enviromental disaster, and pervasive overcrowding. The other part, though, is lush, green, and pastoral. It always smells of morning dew on rolling hills. The downside is that there is little of significance to do, its dullness is simply a novelty for most.
The two parts only exist in harmony because of a single thread, if one encroaches too far onto anothers space, the thread might snap in the world would be thrown into disaray.
Creating this tapestry was far more frustrating then I expected. I originally had a grand plan to do a beautiful floral pattern with different textures. I dropped that idea a few rows in. Then I started to just mess around. I purposefully skipped rows, experimented with rya knots, and pulling the weft into different shapes. Most of the results of this experimentation is very sutble, but I really like how it turned out.