You may have noticed a change to my branding. What started out as a purely fashion related blog has evolved to include items other than garments. There was a few reasons for this change and the most important being sustainability. I have been reorganising my wardrobe and realised that the majority are clothes that I have made with a tiny proportion being vintage garments that I have sourced around the world. This got me thinking that I can no longer make clothes for the sake of making. Thoughts have to be given the materials used, the longevity and the purpose of the garment.
I also wanted the garments that I make to be special and become a visual form of communication for my views. The more I experiment and try a different way of pattern cutting, the more I wanted it to be part of my DNA. Also, I believe that integrating other art forms whether it is sewing, jewellery design, painting or handcrafts can feed and inform my pattern cutting. As I embark on a new voyage with this blog, I hope for your continued support.
To start this off, may I present you my latest project. During the lockdown, I realised that our household was consuming more food especially eggs (I am partially to blame as baking has been a hobby of mine). This resulted in a lot of egg cartons and cardboard going to the recycle bin. I decided instead to reuse this waste and make something.
This was when a picture of my family trip from a year ago popped up on my social media feed. I reminiscence the happy times where you could hug your loved ones, mingle in the crowd and eat everything under the sun. I also remembered buying a ‘Hariko No Tora’ (papier mache tiger) from the flea market in Kyoto to give as a present. Need I say more?
I googled how to make papier mache and realised that I only needed the paper source and PVA glue. Before long, I built the frame for the nodding tiger and started plastering the papier mache to the frame.
It’s been a while since I have been so engaged in a project. As it took time for the papier mache to dry, it meant that I was able to stop and reflect on the process while planning my next steps. All I needed to do next was glue strips of paper to create a smooth surface before I painted the tiger.
With a blank canvas prepared, I decided to paint a Tibetan tiger. It’s something I am familiar with and not something I have seen before. As I couldn’t buy any acrylic paints in the shop, I resorted to the fabric paints that I already have.
It took me a week to make this beauty as I also had to figure out how to get the head to nod but I am so pleased that all it took was waste in the recycling bin, bits that I had at home and some patience.
I also noticed that papier mache can work well as buttons as it is malleable when wet but is dries hard.
So here is a nod to change.
That is FABULOUS. Well done for the patience, neatness, and ingenuity!
Don’t forget the sticky fingers! I now know why parents dread PVA glue!
So cool! I too have grapple with the sustainability vs sewing thing. For example I would have created lots of waste just in the process of learning how to makea garment t I can wear proudly.
Having an awareness of sustainability is a great start. I hope that in the future we have a machine that we can chuck all the off cut waste into, press a button and new fabric comes out. Until then, I see lots of quilts or stuffed toy projects.