Second Skin offered lots of possibilities for learning-by-looking through the admiration of plant-dyed clothing. India Flint was wearing her own creations every day and it was a delight to have that opportunity to see them in use and to think about their construction/reconstruction/dyeing. Other participants wore clothing they had dyed sometimes too–also a pleasure to admire. And India brought along some garments to show. She gave permission for me to show images of this dress. The upper part (bodice?) is a knit fabric–I am assuming it’s silky merino. The neckline and armscyes have been bound with a different fabric: a sheeny silk that has taken up dye differently. There’s a lovely leafy detail heading toward one shoulder.
The skirt of the dress is asymmetrical, and composed of a variety of fabrics, some repurposed. There is a large pocket in the skirt that might once have been the neckline and part of the front of a shirt, replete with buttons. I found that a delectable detail.
This view shows how lush the skirt is. I loved the generous, undulating hemline and skirt. India gave a demonstration of how it had been created. I loved the idea of using a variety of fabrics and textures in a single garment. I’m a plain sewer, as you may have detected, and my mind was abuzz with ideas for using some of the lovely pieces of fabric in my stash of eco-printed fabrics in this way. Hand-stitching clearly has advantages in creating this kind of garment and coaxing all its component parts into a sweet relationship with one another.
I found it really interesting to observe this use of eco-printing as a way of creating a series of colour and texture effects, rather than the way I tend to use it, in which I am aiming for images of leaves as a predominating motif. Here is the same dress again, drying after a dip in indigo!