Week 5 Somewhere Over The Cowl Neck

There was a time when I believed if all the clothing I made was "natural" in colour, everyone would love them as much as I did!  Thankfully my sister helped me see the light and carefully hand painted and dyed all of the garments we made together.  With the addition of colour to natural fibres, my interest in natural dyes ignited. Shortly thereafter I dyed my first hemp hoodie with cochineal while visiting the Custom Woolen Mills outside of Calgary. Not long after that, at a trade show in Salt Lake City,  I learned that cochineal is derived from insects. I still pause to consider if that makes it "good" because it is natural or "bad" since it sounds taxing on natural resources. 

I think I have, intentionally or not, chosen to stick with plant derived natural dyes to explore the colours they can produce. But there is no doubt that the really striking, bold colours we have come to love are from synthetic dyes. Natural or synthetic, for now, I will just let colour be my inspiration.
The rainbow of colours and working without my dress form guided the design of this top. 

At the start, Easter was fast approaching, and there were cups of leftover colours from our short lived egg dying activities. Pouring the remaining colours over a corner of fabric like a rainbow created a wonderful watercolor effect. After some thought, it dawned on me that the rainbow had to be a huge collar, almost like a scarf and I went to work with my paper and pencil to figure out how to cut the rectangle of fabric into a dramatic top.  I cut the fabric in two, then cut off a square from one corner and a triangle from another.  Once it was all sewn together, I had created an over-sized, bat-wing top, with a rainbow cowl neck. Perfect for spring or maybe a superhero!
I am that I am.


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