With any project I love the sampling phase; this is when I really get to play and have fun experimenting with materials and constructions. I tend to put on Radio 4 and lose myself in the materials, not thinking too much about it, but just seeing what happens intuitively and with an open mind about the outcome.
I am also thinking about the construction and proportions of my shift dress for the seam shiftWorks project. I don’t have a fashion background so I will probably be building my dress directly onto the mannequin rather than much planning in two dimensions first.
Some great inspiration for different constructions detailing came from recent seam collective research trips to the Fashion Museum, Bath were we had a handling session with a selection of fantastic historic shift dresses from the archive (touch with white gloves on), and the Clothworkers’ Centre at the V&A (no touching – hard for tactile textiles people!). Here we got to see a Stephen Willats ‘Optical shift’ PVC dress with zipped panels that could be changed around and a ‘Dispo’ paper dress from 1967, suitable to be worn a few times only!
You can read more about our trip to the Fashion Museum, Bath on Penny Wheeler’s blog post for seam.