Cutting a fine line – technology versus tradition

For the first sampling I have been looking at ways to construct the shift dress that will represent the early days of flat-pack construction, the phenomenon that began in the 50s with self-assembly furniture.

After various experiments with tabs and interlocking I have looked again at conventional materials and decided to use small nuts and bolts.

JoyMerron sampling seam

JoyMerron sampling1 seam

JoyMerron sampling2 seam

As I investigate shapes and the use of light and shadow I have been drawn to the bloom of the Chrysanthemum as a flowing form that will give movement to the surface. It has a graphic simplicity that offers a simple repetitive shape that will be relatively easy to hand cut.

JoyMerron praticecuts seam

I’ve enjoyed hand cutting the sample pieces but now it’s time to see how well it translates into the technological world… I have scanned a hand cut dress and converted to an Illustrator vector file ready to try. The beauty with this is that once the initial time outlay on the file is done, I can try the pattern on different materials and surfaces to check their suitability. White is definitely more of a challenge than darker colours because of the sooting on the back.

JoyMerron lasercut seam

And a mini version is underway…..

So after a lot of thinking and experimenting, I’ve come to the conclusion that it l might be more time efficient to hand-cut the final piece. The vector file for the final dress pieces will be large and take me a long time to prepare for a one-off shift dress and I’m finding the sooting to be a bit of a problem. I need to brace myself for some long sessions and get equipped with a plentiful supply of sharp blades and tea.

JoyMerron handcut prep seam

So, is this the right decision? What would you do?

Joy Merron