This was a gift I made for a friends 21st but also a present to myself because it was the first block of time I'd got to spend on my new sewing machine. I'd gone from an old elna with 4 stitches all mechanical to one of these swanky new things with digital displays and a million different ways to sew a hem... I'm talking in the past tense because this is all over a year ago. I must also apologise for the poor photo, my camera was dying. In fact I think after this was taken it turned itself off...permanently. The face of the girl looks nowhere near that wonky after I ironed/frame/etc the piece but this is the only shot I have.
I started with the idea of doing something fashion-based. Disclaimer: this is much more my friend's area of interest: I don't read fashion magazines/venture into the high street often. but
I do have a whole heap of vintage and modern dress-making patterns so I was looking at those more than street or cat-walk fashion. I didn't want a passive stance that was just about being a hanger for a dress though (nothing wrong with this per se especially to show what a pattern makes) so it kind of morphed into being a depiction of the end of a party or big event, that mixture of pleasure of a good night, sadness at its passing and sheer exhaustion. In my mind the woman is watching the last of the action, the last few people on the dancefloor. There is an image that really inspried this and I should credit but it's so long (and a dead hardrive) ago that I can't find it.
I mocked up what I wanted using GIMP imaging software but I hate drawing onto fabric so roughly transfered the very basic shapes to some cotton then filled in the detail. Its stitched on a machine, if I'm doing it by hand I'm more partial to X-stitch and the yellow is dyed using a paste I made from turmeric. For historical record I would like to state how important it is to do this FIRST. I only decided to add the colour after stitching the whole thing and it was a huge nightmare but I'm glad I did, I like the yellow dress it brings back the sense of the clothes being central that was in the pictures on the front of the patterns I looked at but without - I hope - eclipsing the woman or her story (whatever that is for people).