Sunday, September 2, 2012


When it comes to designing and creating garments, it's this process that I enjoy most. 

Organizing pieces of fabric by pattern and color into larger pieces of cloth from which I can then make garments is something I began doing early on in my work as an independent designer. Only within the last few years, though, has it transformed into its current colorful mix. 
My very first piece that involved this process included much more subdued and neutral tones.  I can recall going through my scrap bin and grouping fabric pieces by tone: blue, red, brown, and green.  Then I patched the pieces together and created a very simple dress style.  I was so excited about that dress and even more excited when someone purchased it. 

Early patchwork piece, 2006.
  Following the production of that dress, my the form of flared and circles skirts as well as a few pencil skirts. Then, for some reason, I got away from the process for the most part.

When I got back into it a few years ago, I found myself working with knit scraps/pieces rather than the various woven pieces that made up the first creations.  It was a change that more likely than not was based upon what useable fabric pieces I had in my scrap bins at the time! 

I recently listened to an interview with a phenomenal artist named Ramel Jasir, and he spoke briefly about artists doing the work that *they* like to do without much thought of whether it will sell or not (paraphrased).  I'm sure I have heard and even participated in such discussions before, but hearing what he said really stood out to me at that very moment and got me to thinking about my own reasons for and approaches to doing the work that I do. Over the years I have produced so many garments, many of which were made simply because I had or came across some really nice fabric that just had to have something make from it. (The fabric often dictated the design.) Another important factor that played into my making garments from all these lovely fabrics was the money-making one.  It costs to make it from day to day in this society, so I see it as a natural tendancy to lean more towards or get caught up more in producing--as artists, designers, etc.--those items that we know are likely to sell. I'm definitely not saying that this is the norm, but in my experience I can relate to this approach.  For instance, I do alterations for several people who are local to me, but truth be told, I prefer to not even do alterations! However, there is a demand, I know I can fulfill it, I can get paid for it, so I offer the service. 
Well, although I'll likely keep doing alterations and making all kinds of garments, I've decided that I am going to make a conscious effort to get back to regularly doing my thing, which is what you see in the first image above.  It's my art... and I've gotta remain true to that.  Honestly, nothing else that i do makes me happier!

This "fabric creation" process is certainly a time consuming one that takes space.  Often times I will meditate over arrangements such as the one you see above for hours to determine if it's what I want. 

 I'll turn over and over in my mind how the finished product will look and how/wear the chosen color and prints will fall on the body. If I determine that I want the dark blue to fall on the left hip, for example, then before sewing it may have to be moved to a new location in the whole scheme just so that I can be sure it will in fact be on the left hip. Then, if the blue gets moved, that just might throw everything else off, and the arrangement has to be reworked yet again! Other times I have no concern with where the colors/patterns fall and am mainly concerned with how the overall layout works. It's an involved process. It's a fun process. It's a process that I love!
Although the massive clearance has ended in my etsy shop, and everything was removed yesterday, I ended up adding select items back to the shop, particularly those suitable for the cooler weather that'll soon be here (and is already here in many places).  All pieces are still listed at clearance prices. A few of the re-listed items reflect a small scale version of some of my original patchwork detailing.

I invite you to take a look!

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