Fabric Collage refers to the creation of a new cloth from a collection of different types of textiles. I have been playing with my stash of handmade felt, fabric and scraps to make unique textiles that can transform into a vest, pants, wrap or a scarf.
I begin by pulling out different types of complimentary textiles and laying them out on a big table. I like to work with one bigger piece of fabric that will be the base fabric around which patterns and themes can emerge. Once I have my base fabric and a few anchor textiles, I begin the adding and subtracting process. My fabric scrap collection contains lots of little treasures that can be added as design or accent elements. I love working with selvage and raw edge scraps. Prints with words are also fun to incorporate into the design. I like to have my pattern pieces on the table as well so that I can begin to think about fabric placement.
The next step in my process is to start stitching some of the fabrics together. I like to overlap
the fabrics as this creates more texture and interest. Once I have a few pieces of my textile stitched, I place them on the pattern to see where they might look best. An important tool in this process is a dress form as it allows me to see where on the garment certain designs will fall. If you don’t have a dress form you can hold the pattern pieces up on your own body to see how the textile will flow.
Once I stitch all of the fabrics together for the pattern pieces, I am ready to construct the garment. If I am lining the vest, I will sew in the lining and then sew the shoulder seams. I try the garment on to make sure the armhole and bust area’s fit my silhouette. Next I pin the side seams sew them together and I have a one-of-a-kind piece of wearable art.