Wearable Art

November 18, 2010
I chronicled the beginning of these two pieces here.
I find it so interesting that the purple cloth I didn’t like turned into something I love. Both of these pieces were created on a severely limited time schedule. We were in the middle of having our floors refinished. The entire ground floor, including my studio, had to be moved out.
After dye work is done I love to lay down an overall texture by discharging some of the color. In this case I used some of my favorite images of ammonite fossils in a thermofax screen and discharged with Cascade dishwashing detergent. Great stuff! It’s thick like paint so that I can screen print with it and has enough bleach to take out the dye – but not so quickly that I can’t print several yards at once.
Next I use the same motif in similar colors to layer the visual textures in the cloth. Can I just say right now how much I LOVE LOVE LOVE my thermofax machine and whoever invented this process? The ammonite screens are available on my website by the way – and I can also do custom screens from your own images.

This was one of the first times I’ve simply played with the design of the clothing in a very free and improvisational way. I looked at the cloth and had a general idea of where I wanted to end up and took my scissors and began to cut. Bear in mind that I’ve been sewing clothing for almost 30 years now and have put in quite a number of hours doing things the “right” way with measuring tapes and patterns and such. I also knew I want to purposefully make these pieces larger than my size. The first layer is a simple tunic dress with very low arm openings, meant to be worn over a nice fitted t-shirt. 

The second layer is another tunic but the sides are open so it flows when you walk. I love things that flap and flow when I walk. It has lovely little buttons and beads and loops so that you can play with draping it many different ways.
The shrug has two lovely vertical lines extending down the front. Long vertical lines that bring the eye up to your face are a very good thing in clothing design. I think the shrug, with its lovely little beaded edge and some whimsical yet understated beaded fringes that hang under the arm will look lovely over a black dress all on it’s own.

The blue tunic is nice – but I think I’ll work on it more when it comes home. It’s cut on the bias, has raglan sleeves, and a veeeeery long tie so that it can wrap around several times. It’s also open on the sides up to the waistline. I sent it without the skirt. Not every experiment is a success. The skirt turned out to be almost a size six – tiny, while the tunic is very loose and could probably fit up to a size 18. I’m thinking something lovely with beading along the neckline – or perhaps some gorgeous mother of pearl jewelry to accentuate it. Who knows.
Again – scroll down to the last post to see detailed show information. These will be in Martinsville Virginia at the Piedmont Arts Association show,
The Art of the Quilt until December 30th.
I’d love to hear your comments. Any more ideas for the blue piece? Want to come try them on when they come home?
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  • Reply
    December 2, 2010 at 3:17 am

    Hi Lyric! I adore your wearable art! I remember you were hitting the wall back in Sept when you dyed the purple fabric. What a way to work thru that; you did a marvelous job with that fabric.
    I plan to get over to Cary to see the Solo Show very soon. Can't wait to see your work in person. What a rush you must be riding since the dam broke in Sept!!
    Thank you for sharing it all with us. Sincerely,
    Suzanne G in NC

  • Reply
    Nancilyn (Fiberdabbler)
    November 20, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    Amazing fabric! Cascade discharge — who'd've thunk.

  • Reply
    Deborah Younglao, Silk Painter
    November 20, 2010 at 4:57 am

    The purple fabric turned out just gorgeous. I love the layering of the fossil design, complemented by layering of the garment. Truly wearable art!

  • Reply
    Catherine Parkinson
    November 18, 2010 at 6:18 pm

    I really love the fabric on both pieces of work. Your surface design is really effective. I think a really stunning piece of jewellry would be lovley. What about tourqoise stones mixed in with the mother of pearl?

  • Reply
    Jane LaFazio
    November 18, 2010 at 5:07 pm

    that layer fossil really works! just lovely.

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