Costume Changes

March 13, 2015

Whilst the Waysides project is simmering out the back, I’d like to share another ongoing project that has been on my mind: Costume Changes.

Costume Changes is my clothes making project that seeks to address the paucity and incoherence of my wardrobe eight years on from having my first child.

Because I have a bit of time between gigs so to speak, I would like this wardrobe project to be a thoughtful one that can reuse existing materials and explore more sustainabley produced materials. Like many other folks, I would like to find ways to express my ideas and create clothes that are not shaped by glossy magazines. I want to make clothes that are comfortable and useful and that flatter the shape that I actually have. I want to make clothes that fit well and that will endure, that are joyful and playful.

Here is my first foray…my Floating World shift dress.

IMG_6192I used an old pattern I had in my stash as my starting point, adding two long back shaping darts and reshaping the neckline.

IMG_0057I wanted this to be something I could put easily over my head without zips or buttons but that had the silhouette of a sixties/seventies shift. A lack of a tight waist is so liberating in the summer or at mealtimes but I do appreciate a bit of shape.

IMG_6130The fabric came from two pairs old jeans from the opshop and an almost finished denim skirt destashed from a friend.

IMG_6201I used jeans denim cut on the bias to bind the sleeves and neck.

IMG_6199The pieced swoosh came from a trimmings pack from Umbrella Prints in South Australia.

IMG_6171These are offcuts collected into a regular sized envelope and mailed to you. I named the dress for the fabric trimmings collection. The Floating World is a Japanese term describing the urban pleasure seeking lifestyle that emerged in the Endo period. It generated many extraordinary woodcuts of everyday and erotic urban life.

IMG_6194This was a dress I imagined into being after seeing the trimmings packs online. It is such a thrill to see my thoughts made concrete and wearable! It is comfortable and hops easily onto my bike with me.

My second Costume Changes project was a sun hat from the Nicole Mallalieu hat pattern.

IMG_6151I have really struggled with sun hats for years.  The synthetic ones make my head sweat and my hair go limp…horror!  My last one was some kind of raffia thing that had wire around the brim to stabilise it.  The wire was constantly trying to escape and made every kind of wobbly shape but a flattering one.

My new hat is broad. It is stiff but foldable. It can be washed. It stays on and I think it looks rather elegant.

IMG_6149The pattern was loaned to me by a neighbour via another neighbour and I just drafted my size off the pattern. Thank you neighbourhood pattern library!  I used an old linen Australiana souvenir table cloth that I found in a second hand shop in Clunes.  The cloth has a few holes in it so I placed my pieces accordingly.

It is a brilliant hat pattern. The instructions are clear and detailed and take you carefully through the process, explaining the implications of cutting on the bias or the grain, resizing smaller or larger and how to use interfacing effectively.

Now back to my Waysides brew.