Fashion, design & sustainability // teacher / researcher / designer

Bakelite Buttons

Katoomba boasts quite a few antique shops, Mr Pickwick’s being one of them. I found some lovely bright buttons there recently, and used them on the dress below. The hexagonal buttons are 1940s casein, and the two toggles on the sleeves are bakelite, probably 1920s. The supplier, Button Bower, also has a stall in the Victory Theatre antique …

Creation’s Doom

Just finished, a belt and detachable pocket made from hand-dyed hemp silk. The belt was quilted with images from a favourite book of mine, a Pictorial History of Science Fiction. I stitched Icarus falling to earth from a Durer woodcut, a few monsters and lightening bolts, and ‘a city of the future’ as imagined by …

Jean Genie

With all the talk of recycling and upcycling and so on, I was intrigued by a DVD I watched the other day featuring Charlene O’Brien, a Western Australian fashion designer. One particular process was using denim offcuts to create a yarn. The scrap denim was colour-sorted, then shredded, then respun into a sturdy yarn (like an …

Dyed by her own hand

Enlisting the help of my dye-guru Leanne, yesterday was spent dyeing massive amounts of hemp/silk charmeuse. The fabric supplier warned it was a notoriously hard fabric to dye, so we did a fair bit of swatch testing first. Above is a shot of one of the steaming dye baths.     The final fabrics, with …

Eco-fashion collections

Last night I went to an exhibition ‘Stitch Made Hands’ in Surry Hills, of photography, fashion and illustration. Fellow ex-UTS-ite Rachael was showing her latest collection of couture garments, so I went along.     Rachael Cassar creates couture garments from luxury salvaged fabrics – leather, silk, lace… Her pieces are hand-embellished with thousands of …