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

Gruesome lecture

Me giving a lecture to first years on fashion and sustainability – yeesh, I need to make the content less apocalyptic.  

Pitter, Patter

With many babies being born to dear friends, I have developed a fail-safe gift idea. These little shoes, made from scraps of fabric and leather off-cuts, are good first walkers or slippers. I’ve used cordoroy for the outside and a bright print for the lining. (This post first appeared on Gussy Up Gals blog)

Fashioning Now

For anyone with an interest in sustainable design and fashion, a new exhibition will be opening at the UTS gallery in late July. Bringing together fashion design, textiles, illustration and digital media, the exhibition aims to present new models for the fashion industry to move forward for a less wasteful, more sustainable future. Most excitingly, …

A good yarn

Friday night is knitting night, or stitch n bitch, as it’s been called. It’s a little bit daggy, a little bit grandma, but perfect for bleak Mountains evenings. Above is a sample of last night’s efforts. For the style-conscious there is the Jo Sharp and Rowan patterns and wool to drool over. With moody fashion shoots and gorgous models pouting …

Piecemeal Production

I found a half-completed quilt I started years and years ago this week. It’s quite lovely, scraps in browns and reds forming interlocking circles on a dusty pink ground. Trouble is, I can’t see myself hand-piecing the remaining square metres required, yet if I stash it away again, whole decades of my life could pass …

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 …

Puffy playful curtains

This week I was asked to make a soft padded curtain for a local daycare centre, ideally using donated fabrics in neutral colours. The idea was to make the room more soothing and less echoing for the children. The donated fabric was masses of synthetic semi-sheer fabric, and I used nearly all of it for …