This is my piece that is in the A Common Thread show at Textile Center this year. It’s a 3 piece “suit” with three different techniques. It started with the fabric for the skirt. I taught a class last summer about silk screening and I needed a sample of how you would create an all over repeat with silk screens. This is two screens – one printed in dark silver and the other in blue. So it took many passes to screen it to make sure that I wasn’t touching any of the wet paint where the edges of the screen might overlap. I made the screens using a thermofax machine and specially treated fabric – you print your design on a laser printer or copier and run it through the machine with the fabric. The coating on the screen is burned away whereever it touches your artwork. It is a very cool process. The fabric is a metallic denim and it is printed in metallic ink, so it is hard to photograph because everything reflects the light. The pattern is a simple pencil skirt because I didn’t want to do much to interrupt the pattern.
The top is digitally printed “silky faille” which is one of Spoonflower’s newer fabrics. I needed an excuse to get some and try it out. The pattern is the same rainclouds from the silk screen, shrunk down and colored using the Spoonflower color chart. The color chart is a piece of fabric printed with “chips” of about 1600 colors that can be printed. Each one has a code, so you can choose the color you want and enter the code in Photoshop as you create your design. Since I had already printed the skirt fabric, I could compare colors on the color chart to the paint colors and get a pretty great match. I forgot when I printed this that the pattern pieces are supposed to be cut on the diagonal grain for this top, but I wanted to keep the design running the same way as on the skirt, so I cut it with the grain. This is such a nice drapey fabric that it worked just fine.
The jacket is a simple bolero trimmed with a little blue organza around the collar and cuffs and then hand embroidered with rows of running stitch, matching the rain drops from the design. I laid out the stitching lines with masking tape that I stitched along the edges of. The buttons are vintage ones I found on Etsy.