Last term I printed a piece of cloth with a knife print. I have written about this before. On top of a light grey background I over-printed with small knives lino blocks, using navy, darker grey and a little bit of red. Eventually I finished the fabric left it to dry, then fixed the colour with a hot iron. “Make an outfit with the knife print” was one of the items on my to do list.
The issue when printing fabric in general is how much to make. More often I decide on the garment first, then print or paint the fabric, ideally having cut out or at least traced off the pieces. This saves painting or printing the parts that are wasted. However with a specific length of cloth (2m) I was restricted in what I could make. I considered a summer skirt, but when I draped the fabric on me I thought I would prefer a dress. I considered a fitted dress, but then rejected it on the grounds that I didn’t want to spoil the design with darts.
When Esme was pregnant I had made up a simple flared dress pattern for her. The idea was that in a wool it would be a pinafore dress, whereas in cotton it would be more summery. I made a winter dress for her and I think she wore it for work before her bump got too big. Anyway it isn’t a maternity dress as such – simply one that flares from the shoulder – and I thought it might work as a simple summer dress for me. It is such a simple pattern – just a front and back, no darts, no fastenings, just an easy to make and wear dress.
With self printed fabrics accidents can happen. As I was mixing the printing ink I managed to drop some blue on the fabric. I scraped it off and washed it out, but it was too late. Luckily it didn’t matter when I cut out the dress.
I used every centimetre of my cloth to cut out the dress and pinned it onto Camilla. She does look a bit expectant, doesn’t she?
Now I have to decide whether to line the dress, create facings or make some bias binding. I don’t think it is worth lining it as it is a little bit too firm for the design, and I don’t have enough fabric left for facings – of course they would be fine in white cotton. I do have a little bit of red linen which might work well as bias binding. I also have a few off cuts of the knife printed fabric which I would like to find a use for – perhaps pockets (mainly to distract from the paunchy look), or a little bag? I will have a think about how to proceed. I don’t want it to look too much like an overall (for a pregnant cleaner). Any views?