From 2015-2016, in IGCSE textiles we had to create a textile product and a project on a specific criteria; for me, it was to create a culture-inspired product. I chose China, but with a twist. I wanted to make it less predictable but also current, something that teens my age might actually want to wear. So, instead of using traditional fabrics, I opted for plaids. (!!)
Honestly, what I think was most successful about my dress is that it didn’t just receive lots of good compliments on the design, but there were also some mixed feelings. I’m glad that people were honest when they expressed that they felt that the plaid didn’t go with the dress, because then I can consider how I can improve the dress next time (I’ve been thinking with little plaid accents instead of a full-on plaid skirt).
Bearing in mind that this was the first time that I’ve ever formally created lined a garment from scratch (or done anything that requires such intensive sewing, invisible-zipping and bias-binding), I was really happy with the result. In particular, I am so done with sewing plaid for the rest of my life – the minute my teacher saw the fabric she warned me “if only you told me you’d be sewing plaid or stripes, I’d have told you not to because you’ve got your work cut out” because if you don’t align the stripes, it doesn’t look neat! So I spent about 3 hours just aligning…and re-aligning (that bit of tough love really helped though, thanks Ms. Mackett 🙂 ).
The sleeves and mandarin collar are edged with polyester satin bias tape, and I added beading and embroidery on the collar with a frog knot. The Chinese aspect also came into my decision to make a red bodice. You might not be able to see it very well here, but there’s a diagonal seam along the bodice to mimic the traditional Chinese cut of a top. The sleeves also have little gussets.
I received my results about 2 months ago, and really was so surprised that I did so well – I got full marks on my coursework (60% of my grade) and overall an A* for both theory and coursework!! I was predicted a B, so that was hella shocking.
(and yes, I am aware that the shoes don’t match the dress because they are my school shoes and this photo was taken on school premises, don’t sue me 😦 )
Photo Credits: Sophie @glompermonster