Thursday, October 7, 2010

Inspired By Threads: Issue 64 ~ Ribbonwork Flowers/Up Close

Hey Y'all! 

I just entered the "Inspired by Threads" Magazine contest:

And I wanted to share my entry with our Patterned History followers.

In 1996, when I was 17 years old, I was inspired by Threads Issue #64 to make my Senior Prom dress.  The issue featured an article as well as an "In Detail" image on Ribbonwork Flowers. 
1920's gown I *think* was on the back cover of Threads issue #64 "Up Close". 
I no longer own a copy of the issue from 1996, so I'm pulling this from my memory. 
This image is from the
Metropolitan Museum of Art Online Costume Collection
At the time, I was apprenticing for a very talented Costume Designer in Houston, TX.  I utilized every technique I was eagerly learning:  I drafted my own bodice pattern based on 18th century fit and design (my fav. time period) The body is made in black watermarked bengaline.  Each bodice piece is flatlined and boned with Ridgeline boning set into channels.  I created my own piping/facing from blush pink bridal satin.  All the flowers I made carefully by hand according to the Threads article. 
This past summer, I visited my Mom in Houston (I live in CA now) and found that this bodice had been lovingly saved and kept safe all these years. 
I was filled with so much emotion to see it again.

Front View of the my Senior Prom bodice inspired by Threads issue #64 featuring ribbonwork flowers. 

"Up Close" View of the ribbonwork flowers...did I mention I made this when I was 17?!

The bodice laces up the back with brass grommets, and was worn with a matching skirt, made from Folkwear pattern #216 Schoolmistress Skirt, and black Sam & Libby Victorian Boots...ha!! 90's!.

Inside View

I made this bodice when I was a girl, with dreams of getting out of Texas and becoming a costume designer or a museum curator.   Now, I'm 32, with a Fashion Design degree and a Technical Designer by trade.  It has been a long road, but I am still studying fashion history and making costumes every spare moment I have.... don't give up on your dreams EVER!  They give you hope in your darkest matter how nerdy they are.  For me, sewing is not just a creative hobby, but a livelihood as well. 
As my old Costume Designer boss used to say "As long as you know how to sew, you will always be able to eat." 
Good advice.

-Kathleen in Oakland

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