I have written about a lovely Preen collection that has inspired me. At first I just loved the colours of the Spring/Summer collection 2012 – the strong pinks, with grey, white, green, blue and turquoise. I went to the shop in Notting Hill, and was allowed to try everything on and really examine the clothes (thank you Miriam). I discovered that the textiles used were created using pixellated photographs of peonies, which were then digitally printed on silk.
Obviously not something a home dressmaker could reproduce at home. But I have taken the idea of pastel shaded cubes on white as my inspiration, and have worked on this concept at home and at the Mary Ward centre, where I go to evening classes once a week.
Here is my first attempt at home. I used some washable gutta to create rough squares on a piece of silk, then mixed some silk paints in suitable colours and filled it in.
As this worked quite well, I made up a 1960s shell top, from one of the patterns I used previously (for the 2014 SWAP).
I sewed the five sections together, leaving it open at the shoulders and CB so that it was more or less flat. This meant that when I painted the squares on it would continue across the seams – providing perfect matching! In fact what happened was that the colours seeped across on the underside creating some less desirable effects. I have yet to rescue this item!
I have tried a few other techniques too. Here is what happened when I experimented with screen printing.
I also experimented with the heat press at the Mary Ward centre. I painted several sheets of paper with heat transfer inks. These did not look very promising in the tube, and pretty dull on the paper. After letting the ink dry I used the guillotine to cut them into two-inch squares, before assembling them on a piece of very light translucent polyester and putting it into the heat press (which works like a large, very hot, dry iron). Here the fabric is displayed on white backing fabric as I would need to mount it on an opaque background when making up a skirt.
It was impossible to get all the little squares lined up due to the very high heat of the press and the relatively flimsy nature of the paper. Nevertheless I was very pleased with the result. As the fabric is transparent I tried folding it over to see what happened.
This has definite possibilities. Has anyone got any other ideas of techniques or approaches to creating this unique designer look?