Today I sewed all my panels together. This was pretty hard. I am used to sewing the same material together in previous work. But all the different materials used and trying to sew them together was a task. The thinness and softness of the silk compared to the thick hairy felt was the most difficult to sew. When I sewed them together I noticed lots of puckers in the sick painting and it looked horrible! It looked so badly put together I decided to unpick it all and do it again. The second time I put the dog teeth down on the machine and sewn with the silk on top. This way I could manage the silk a lot better.
Batik was the easiest to sew as it is quite stiff and moved any way I wanted. Once all the panels were sewn to form my jacket I realised that the felt was pulling the fabric downwards and making it fall in a different shape than I desired. The silk was so light it started to fold in half. After having a conversation with my teacher, the best way to correct this is to add interfacing to the silk or flat felt to make it sturdier.
Silk painting reveal
Today I unfolded my silk painting panel, it was so successful! The patterns and shapes created by this ink is so pretty and really resembles the ocean. I added dark purple so it ties in with the felt. There are parts of the fabric that the dye hasn’t reached so its left white, however the shapes resemble white horses that waves produce and links in well to my theme. The trickiest part of this method was the ironing. This was because the way I folded it, it kept wanted to stay in that position and ironing it was a nightmare. Once ironed I believe that the pattern looked even better than before. This is probably one of my favourite panels alongside the felt. These two side by side look phenomenal and the theme ocean rust is clearly shines through.
On to my last panel of my jacket, which is of course silk painting. This is the panel that is quite experimental. When doing my samples I just experimented with folding the silk fabric and placing the dye on. I tried to use the same technique but whether or not it works is a different story! What I did was I folded my fabric in a constentina fold fashion with the help of a fellow textile friend Libby. I asked for her help as it was so hard to fold a slippery fabric and I needed an extra pair of hands! After I folded it I twisted the fabric all the way up and sellotaped it down. Then I picked all sea related colours and dabbed them on. Next lesson I will see if it has worked.
This was the one I was most looking forward to! I brought felt online and it cost around £19 for a whole set of colours. I did not plan the pattern of this felt panel I just created it and changed it along the way I liked until I thought it was perfect. Half of the felt panel was ombre (dark to light) and the other side was all the blues and purples mixed up altogether. I then wet it and scrunched it all together and manipulated it for about an hour. I got home and put it in the tumble dryer to knot it all together even more. There were some holes in the felt but with a lining underneath I don’t think it will be that noticeable.
After dying my fabric I cut out strips and sewed them to a dark blue fabric. Using embroidery thread I hand sewed in vertical lines and added beads along the way. This one is quite abstract and I decided to added strings onto it to give quite a different look to anything else on the market. Green beads were used to represent seaweed and also to tie the garment all together as there are splashes of green throughout the other panels. This panel took around two hours to do but it was really worth it. This panel could only be used at the front otherwise the beads would be either sat on or could scratch up the arms when worn.
Dying my fabric for my beading
Moving on to the 4th panel now which is beading. I was looking through the scrap bins at school and there were no light blue fabrics. I had a lot of cotton calico left over from the batik so I thought why not dye it to the exact colour i’m looking for instead of going for a big search in all the fabric shops. So I just cut out the fabric I needed and dyed it a nice blue colour.
Adding the Dye
My wax has now all dried to its time to dye the fabric. These two panels are the ones that most represent the rust element so I used mostly browns and oranges. I had a method to painting on the dye, I first painted on yellow, green, light blue, brown, dark blue and then at the end I added random splashes of purple. I started with the lightest colour fist as once the darkest colour is one there, there is no going back, no adding any more light colours. This only took about an hour as I can paint rather fast. I was not too sure on the outcome as it did not really look much like the sea, however when it dried the blue started shining through. I then ironed out all the batik it took an hour but the fabric is still quite stiff. But I decided to keep the stiff fabric in to add more texture.
After completing my tye-dye, It was time to create the next panel. I found a lot of cotton calico in out scrap fabric bins at school. There was nothing wrong is it so I thought id recycle it and it would also keep the cost down of the production. I cut out enough for 3 panels when I was only making 2 panels from batik. I did this in case it went wrong or I did not like the pattern on a certain part of the batik. Batiking this large amount of fabric took around 2 hours to do. I kept the pattern very loose as I wanted the shapes/swirls to represent the shapes metal creates when it erodes. I made sure some lines were thicker and others thin so it adds more of a unique look.
After untying my tye dye and ironing it all out it was time to embroid all over it. As the tye dye created some wonderful patterns I wanted to enhance them. I decided to choose a gold thread as it compliments the blue well and also links in to the rust part of my theme. This was very time consuming to do. It took me around two days to do however, I spent all my frees, break and lunch getting on with it. What I did was I went round the outline of the shapes produced. I make sure I didn’t sew sharp edges as I wanted the idea of it to be free flowing and create movement just like the sea. The outcome was amazing. I didn’t expect it to turn out as it did. Once I have done other panels I feel this one is although quite subtle will really stand out.