After the lecture we had looking at the ‘Dior’s New Look’ I thought this would be a good starting point for my project. I thought it would be interesting to compare this with the 40’s fashion and coming with it ‘Make Do and Mend’. This developed into looking at the men’s wear of the time, I focused in on the military as well as looking at the masculine tailoring of the woman’s wear. As I progressed through the project and attending the lectures on sustainability and craft and the new artisan, I knew this would help me working out my designs. In keeping with the make do and mend idea of taking old bags or old clothes to make something new, I sourced my material this way. Pulling all of my research together my end result is a 40’s inspired military waistcoat produced from recycled and unwanted materials. I am pleased with how this has all worked together ending in a beautiful wearable piece that is transformable.
To fit in with my theme of the 40’s, I wanted to photograph my piece on a model with 40’s styling. I collaborated with another member of the class, Becky Furniss, for the photo-shoot as we both looked into the same era for this project. I knew of someone willing to model, Emily Hargraves, and Becky knew a photography student who was willing to do the shoot for us Vivienne Samuels, so this was perfect. We agreed we wanted a look similar to the image, simple plain make-up with red lipstick and a wave to the hair.
To produce my piece I made each piece separately, bagging them out as you do when making collars. This way I didn’t have any exposed seams. From the one side that is left open from this process I joined all the pieces together.
Stages of production.
After de constructing the bags I then had to cut them further and reconstruct them into the size and shape of my patter pieces. I did this through a combination of hand stitch and the sewing machine.
Created on photoshop using images I found that were inspiring in colour.
I originally wanted to use a green and brown colour scheme fitting in with the military trench coats, however after sourcing my materials for my piece I found that old jeans would make a good lining for the piece. Also because I was not able to source enough second hand leather bags to create the whole piece. I do think this has worked out for the best though, I like the contrasting dark and light colours and it does work well with the ‘Make Do And Mend’ concept.
Final Design in paper.
Still playing around with paper to get the final design right, I was able to get the exact size and shaped pattern pieces to use when producing the piece out of the recycled bags. I marked on the notches so that I know where the piece will line up, just as I would do when following a block pattern.
After Sue’s lecture on craft and the new artisan I felt more inspired with my project. As I originally wanted to look at the ‘Make Do And Mend’ movement, listening to Sue speak about the revival in this movement and hand made craft over mass produced products, it gave me a boost with getting on with producing my piece.
Once designing a few initial ideas I began to play with the shapes in paper on the stand to work out the designs as well as creating the pattern pieces for construction.