Large scale prints are a fast moving trend and so are panel prints. From an Italian mill, the base fabric is a superb quality ivory stretch cotton denim with crosswise stretch which feels good and washed like a dream. The digitally printed photograph is a soft warm black and the two side by side images morph across the width with no visible line where the image joins. Dubbed 'Easy Rider', each panel is 1 1/4 yards long x 54" wide. See the scale of one panel in relation to the dress form in the photo below.
The challenge is what to do with this one of a kind piece. Cut 2 panels, hung them in the studio and sat with them for a while. Knew I wanted to cut the panels up to use the elements rather than using the entire image. Auditioned a few different patterns. The weight of the fabric determined it would be a jacket or vest. It could also be a skirt, coat or narrow pant (if you have the figure and moxie to wear them). Finally consulted with Katherine who joined me in the studio for a design consult. Take a look at the video to see the back and forth decision making which changed right up to the final cutting. Hanging in the background are the final choices from the auditioning process.
I knew I wanted to use a current pattern, finally landing on one of Katherine's tried and true designs, a vest: Butterick 5891, sewn straight from the pattern envelope in a size 16. I started with 2 panels, and in spite of careful cutting, ended up using a third to re-cut certain pieces that were not quite right....headlight in the wrong place etc.
This piece is going to Paris, will be fun to wear and make me easy to find for our tour participants. Last fall I had a craving for a 'drama' coat or vest, something that stands out against the ubiquitous Parisian black and gray neutrals.
The line drawings and photo below show the lines, details and shape of the vest. Sewing was easy and fun, like putting together a sculptural puzzle. I kind-of, sort-of followed the directions, sewed it in stages. When it was time for the button decision, I hauled out all the button boxes but in the end settled on snaps. Sewing on decorative snaps is a sewing meditation, happened on a stormy day when our internet service was down, and it took me over 4 hours listening to a book on tape to stitch on the 5 snaps. Consistency, not perfection is the goal. Stitching with 4 strands of thread and using a stab stitch is the secret....and by the time I got to the last snaps my stitching looked better than at the beginning.