Monday 24 October 2011

Poetry and Clothing Project: September

One of the things I really like about this Poetry and Clothing project, is that it gives me a reason to create garments that aren't necessarily something I'd wear myself. You could say I am fairly limited in what I personally wear: generally I like a retro 50's/60's silhouette, prefer certain colours (navy, red, black, mustard), and have quite a low tolerance to garments without anchors. So making garments for other people, in this case my friend Harriet, is a good excuse for me to bring life to different ideas. It's another way for me to express myself, to have a kind of visual conversation about what I feel.

September's P&C garment is just such a piece. I'm really pleased with this batwing dress. The style is really cool: it's loose and casual yet slinky. The fabric is a jersey, super soft, very fine and ever-so-slightly sheer, so the overall effect is subtley sexy without being revealing. You could also get a fair bit of trans-season wear from it with wool tights and boots when Autumn comes 'a knocking. However, I can't take all the credit for the design: my boss developed a batwing top pattern inspired by an H&M garment she saw. Then I refined it a little and elongated it into a dress version.

As you can see, the fullness of the batwing is gathered into the sleeve sections. The whole thing was stitched together with an overlocker using really fine jersey needles in about 15mins. I then used a normal flatlock machine to turn up the hem and sleeve edges.

I also found a bit of tomato red poly/cotton twill from goodness-knows-when in my stash. I'd been messing around with the pattern that I made my navy capri's from, so thought I'd make Harriet a pair in red. Now, this was always going to be a long shot, making well-fitting trousers for someone who's in another country isn't the easiest task (spoiler alert: they didn't fit, but she's going to find a suitable recipient).

And on to the poetry side of the bargain. This one was written about the top I made and sent in August. Now, apparantly Harriet has recently developed a skin sensitivity to some synthetic fabrics, and unfortunately that includes whatever the hell that fabric is I used for her August top. Around that time, she was host to a French cyclist called Sylvie who was making a stop in Barcelona whilst on her way down to Morocco. After a long time spent cycling around, Sylvie was in need of a bit of freshen up and make over, so Harriet passed on a few garments she could no longer wear, including this top which Sylvie apparantly totally loves. She has promised to take a photo of herself wearing it when she reaches Morocco! It's sad that Harriet lost out on a top she thought was cute, but it's great a happy owner was found. I really love the idea of putting beautiful lovingly made garments out there for inspirational people to enjoy as they push boundaries and have an adventure!

Sylvie (August)

What makes one itch
makes two happy
we spent three days
talking about how two wheels
are better than four
scratching each other's itches.
She was so small
fit into five-year-old clothes.
She left on the 6th September
at seven in the morning
and before she left, we ate
cereal with dried fruits for breakfast.
At 9am I thought of her,
wearing a new top, then
wrapped inside her bivouac tent

And I will count the days that I have lost
against the ones that she will gain
and each time I look insdie
my moth-eaten wardrobe, I will imagine
all those bird-like white shapes
flying over a sea of mint green
and I am certain
that when I see her again
she will have grown

I'm sure it doesn't need to be said, but I LOVE this poem and I love this particular month in the project. It was an unexpected twist, the addition of another garment recipient, one who clearly left her mark. I really hope she does take that photo and sends it to us.


Scruffybadger said...

This is such an awesome dress! Fab style and totally live the fabric. I'd love to see it being worn .. And the trousers are so cute. This whole project is so sweet & I'm really enjoying the poetry too :-)

Shelly said...

I love these two items. Shame the pants didn't fit. Fab colours!

Sølvi said...

I adore this dress and I love the fabric choice! :-)

Anonymous said...

LOVE the dress! How cool is that jersey. And the poem. My, oh, my...made even better by the use of "bivouac"!

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