Thursday, December 23, 2010

Vintage maxi dress - 1979

A maxi dress is, apparently, a must-have piece for summer - however, often they look...well, MAXI. I have tried many on and always thought they looked anywhere from moderately unflattering, to a maternity dress, to sack-like and hideous. I must be wrong though, because come summer the C.B.D. where I live becomes a sea of maxi's.

So, I thought I would search for my kind of maxi - one with shape, drape, and vintage appeal...

et voila
(View 3 - light blue)

I used a lovely fabric my boyfriend picked out whilst fabric shopping some time ago. It is red with little yellow and white flowers, and green leaves. The fabric is a cotton blend (I suspect) with superb drape, and a really nice, soft feel. It also doesn't seem to wrinkle easily. I bought the pattern for 50 cents at an op shop.

I have never worn a maxi dress before, for all the reasons already mentioned, but I premiered this dress today (I finished it at 11 pm last night) whilst doing some window shopping and received compliments, so I think I may have cracked the "maxi" code - vintage styling, cinched in waist, great fabric.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Eco-dyeing workshop...

Our last two days at fashion school were spent manipulating fabric using "Eco-dyeing" techniques. Our teacher had participated in a workshop by India Flint who has written a beautiful book all about Eco-dyeing - Eco Colour . What fun it is too.

All but one of the samples were created by bundling various plant material - twigs, leaves, flowers, red & brown onion skins - along with metal objects - rusty nails, horseshoe, wire, bits and pieces of metal - in silk or wool, and tying tightly with string. the bundles were then simmered in pots of rainwater, bark and gum leaves for 45 minutes.

This final sample was created by placing petals between fabric and hammering them to release the colour - hapa zome.

It's very messy, and fragrant fingers are stained with colour. The results are much better in the flesh, photos just don't do it justice, and onion skins seem to be the most striking.

Last night, whilst going on my daily bicycle ride, I went to an old railway and scavenged several fabulous pieces of rusty metal just littering the area - railway spikes, bolts, bottle tops etc. I was so happy with my find...who'd thought rusty junk could be so exciting!!!

Have a nice weekend :-)