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Current Studio Research and Production-Part 1

Updated: Dec 8, 2020

After introducing my foundation and focus for the upcoming semester, I felt good. However, I realized there were a few holes I needed to patch up.

My professors suggested that I figure out what kind of story I wanted to tell with my work- specifically wedding gowns- as I was really suggesting that I wanted to tell a story through my final pieces of work. I had never thought of what kind of story I wanted to tell. I decided research further and fell upon a background for my story. My research concept so far will be to look into the lineage of the 2 individuals getting married-who the dress is specifically for. I want to take the history of these 2 people and take visual inspiration from their historical background and bring it into a visual story on the dress itself.Although this will hopefully be my finished Capstone work, I do hope I can at least get a decently formed dress pattern drafted using my dress form by the end of the term. I hope to at have the top part of my dress drafted by mid-term.

Another thing I needed to figure out for my research was what "vintage" inspiration would be brought into my work and from what era. Although I'm still figuring that out, it did give me some clarity and I do want to try to bring that back to the idea of the traditional wedding dress, how it started, the ideals of the white dress, how the dress connects with the concept of love, etc. I do still need to finalize this but I'm well on my way. My current era I seem to be going back to is the Victorian era because of Queen Victoria's wedding dress and it's large significance.

In my samples researched so far, I was able to test other fabrics to see about sewing ability and the best option for my final idea. I will be producing a small recorded booklet with my samples and write down my findings as I finish.

For another sample, I wanted to start working with devore and research which kind of devore was better to print with, which burnt out more efficiently, if it was better to be burnt out by an iron or the heat box, etc. ( I also included my devore samples in my machine and hand embroidery samplers as a way to see what looks better and if there are aspects that could also work for my final)

I also wanted to possibly connect deep coloured velvets with weddings in connection with the Victorian era. So I've been pot dyeing silk velvet viscose as samples in various colours. I also wanted to include my own personal projects on the side as they have value and research aspects toward my capstone.

Current Outcomes & Reflections

Sewing Fabric Samples:

I worked with about 7-8 different samples which ranged between Cotton, Satin, Silk, Velvet, Viscose, and Polyester. After finishing some sewing samples, I quickly realized that I didn't want to work with 100% satin polyester! It was extremely hard to work with and always pulled and frayed when I would sew with it. Otherwise, every other material was decent to work with and although each had their own form of frustration including stretching too much, they weren't horrible. I think that was because the rest of the other fabrics I used were more natural.

Starting to build up my sewing portfolio and fabric samples

Pot Dyeing:

I really enjoyed the outcome of pot dyeing! I was quite happy that I started doing it last semester because it took more time than I anticipated. When I did it the first time, I was going off of old notes from 3 years ago and since the red fibre reactive dye became more potent over time, it dyed my fabric a deep violet compared to the royal blue colour that I wanted. Even though it was beautiful, it wasn't quite what I needed

. Once I got help from the technologist Janelle, and re-calculated my dye bath, it came out perfectly. I did the process once more this past month and again, came out exactly what I wanted which was a nice deep forest green. I was dyeing with the silk velvet viscose every time that I did pot dyeing, so I got comfortable with it.

Setting the Dye to the Fabric

Rinsing out the Dye The Final Result

This is a video of my recent dye bath attempt at the Sheridan College Textile Studio. I decided to record my process and film it as if I was showing others how it's done. Enjoy!

Screen printing:

These past few weeks, I've started to screen print on the pot dyed samples using devore. The Image below is my blue pot dyed sample for my own personal project that also relates to my capstone idea. I had a screen ready to go with a floral print specific for this project, so I thought it be appropriate. I wanted to make my own devore mix and use the fabric -etch as sample research to see which would work better. I found the devore past I made was a little more watery than I anticipated. So when I worked with it, I felt the final line work from my screen wasn't shown in detail because the liquid wanted to seep into the screen design. The fabric-etch however, worked like a charm. I found a huge difference in the amount of liquid that came through the screen and the lines are more crisp. Even the burn-out effect was a better result.

Fabric-etch sample burnt out.

Preparing to screen print at Sheridan Made devore sample burnt out.

textile studio devore on pot dyed

fabric-pre-cut into pattern.

Next Steps

  • I plan on starting to sew together my larger sample that's also my personal project. I want to use that as research and build off that as I start to create pattern drafts on my mannequin.

  • I hope to start creating more drawn sketches of specific historical and lineage visuals that relate to these 2 individuals and building a pattern using these drawn images-I'll be starting to look at Celtic and Nordic visuals and patterns.

  • I plan on researching a bit more on the meaning of the wedding dress relating to love and tradition and really form a good collection of essays and books to in my repertoire. I will also be looking further into the Victorian era and the importance of Queen Victoria's wedding dress.

  • The specific items I'll be researching next are:

-Tcheng, Frederic. "Dior & I", 2014. Written and directed by Frederic Tcheng. (Movie)

-Bolton, Andrew. “Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty”. The Metropolitan

Museum of Art, New York. 2011. (Book)

-Barnfield, Jo; Richards, Andrew. “The Pattern Making Primer”. Quarto Publishing.

2012. (Book)

-Visual imagery/research:

Nordic Tales: Folktales from Norway, Sweden, Finland, Iceland, and Denmark

Celtic Tales: Fairy Tales And Stories Of Enchantment From Ireland, Scotland,

Brittany, And Wales

As always,


*Any photos and videos in this post are my own personal property.

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