Thursday, February 14, 2013

Metamorphis: cloth to couture

My very first hand-woven cloth transformed into a hand-made couture garment!

Inspired by Japanese design, informed by patterns in a wonderful Saori design book, here is my first garment. The weaving referencing the tidal sea and sands, the garment constructed using the entire finished woven cloth, with minimal cutting and not one scrap of wastage!

I purchased the book Fuku no Katachi ni Suru (or How to make clothes with SAORI cloth) in Japanese from Kaz Madigan at a few months ago. Pouring over the images and pattern diagrams (not even attemting to read the Japanese text), gave me lots of ideas for construction of a range of garments using the whole cloth. With their sizing based on a "typical" woman of 163cm (I am 170cm) I figured that using a wider weave would take care of fit and proceeded to weave my piece at 50cm wide x 300cm in length. After washing and pressing, the finished dimensions were 45cm x 280cm - which proved how essential this step was BEFORE finalising the pattern measurements!

Having sewn since I was 14 years old has given me a good grounding in garment construction, yet I first set to work to make a toile from some old fabric. Never having pieced together simple rectangles of fabric previously, I wanted to make sure the reality matched the theory. It worked! I then adjusted the proportions of my pattern pieces to utilise the entire piece of my hand-woven fabric.

Constructing the jacket, which I discovered with delight, can be worn in several distinct styling variations, was simplicity itself. I would love to know what you think of my Silken Sands garment?