Planning a Fall Wardrobe

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Hello everyone! It feels like it has been awhile since my posts have been regular but that is due to school starting again and it has started with a vengeance. So far most of my classes have been all right but I am most excited about my fibres dyeing and painting class as I get to pick and chose my own projects along with how and when I make them with a few loose due dates.

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I think it is fair enough that I just want to make clothes for this class that use various natural dyeing and sewing techniques. I knew this going into the class and I was and am so excited by this that most of the summer in the back of my mind I was thinking about what I could make and the possibilities that exist. So this post is what projects I have chose to make which will make up my sewn fall/winter wardrobe.

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The requirements of the course are to make four projects that push yourself and your cloth dyeing further. So that is what I have based my plans on that and I have three shirts and a coat planned. I plan to use all natural dyes, draft at least two completely new patterns that explore some finer detail sewing work to make me focus on the sewing process a bit more rather than simply piecing together the garment, and to push my natural dye choices and techniques to something that would normally make me uncomfortable in my own studio but at the same time I’ll enjoy them in the end. And I’m going to walk you through them.

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First off I have a shirt inspired by a Lacroix design. It is based off of a dress that you can see in the September Issue of vogue from 2007, it is from the photo layout at Versailles. The colours and fabric effects and the draped skirt mostly inspired me and that is what I took away from this design. Then to make it my own and into something I would actually wear I put my own Edwardian twist on it.

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The ombré skirt is something that I took away from Lacroix’s design and I decided to replicate it as a top skirt of my shirt. As well as the mustard yellow, navy blue and crimson colours they look like amped up classy primary colours and that is what they are. So these are what I took from Lacroix.  And I think they will be very well suited to the fall/winter seasons that are coming up.

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I also plan on adding chiffon off the shoulder draped sleeves (there will be straps as well to hold the whole thing up) as well as twisted bias lining neckline.

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The second project I have planned is a shirt that uses the Russian folk art pattern that I made last year. I made a scarf with it last year and this year I am going to make a shirt with it! I want to use colours that are usually associated with Eastern European folk patterns so I am planning on a red and blue shirt however It has to be more subtle than that. I have to do a pale blue opposed to the vivid blue you normally see used in these patterns. If it isn’t the right hue or shade of a colour I won’t wear it to be honest and if I am putting all this effort in I think I would like to wear it so I’m making it to my tastes.

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I’ve wanted to make a pale blue and red or burgundy belt for a while. Years actually, since the first time I saw the Marie Antoinette movie (I didn’t even sew back then but I knew a garment of these colours and somewhat design would be mine someday). But I never knew what I could do for the design to make it modern and special and not just a plain blue and red shirt.

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I decided to play with the rococo silhouette and over-the-top style and just go for it. So I am going for a square/scooped neckline lined with double edges ruffles for the bodice. A red belt with a red rosette somewhere on it and a draped and gathered chiffon layer on the skirt, which I think, will have the Russian pattern on it. That is the plan so far. Oh and as a special touch I want to do a shell hem on the underskirt layer.

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Then the last shirt will be a cotton shirt that uses simple bundle dye techniques combined with shibori but uses finer finishing details for flare. I may experiment with a bit of layering but I can’t say for sure at this point but I know it will be a bit simple but a bit fancy with the details. My focus here is small details. And I’m using cotton because I think it is more important for me to know how to do the techniques first and then learn to fiddle and fuss with them later (aka I don’t want to fuss with slippery silk when I am learning to do pin tucks. I have to work myself up to that).

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And lastly for the jacket that I am making! I bought the pattern just so I wouldn’t go completely mental by drafting a coat pattern (something I don’t think I am ready for yet), and it is a 1916 pattern that has been adapted for modern sewers. Making it officially my first authentic Edwardian pattern! I have a few alterations I might want to make, such as shortening the sleeves and taking it in at the side seams because right now it looks huge for me. I plan on using linen for the exterior and my favorite silk-cotton blend on the inside as a lining. The exterior colours will be blue and grey/silver neutrals and the lining will use shibori techniques and mirror the bundle dye of the cotton shirt I am planning on doing. I want it to have that retro dress matching the coat look but more my style by having it be a shirt and not a dress.

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Overall I am chuffed for four garments and I hope they show off beautiful colours and will make good transitional pieces for fall to winter as over the winter break I plan to knit opposed to sewing. I hope you enjoyed this post and look forward to seeing my plans come to life, until next time!

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Adieu.

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