Tag: batik

22 May

Design Philosophy

Harmonisation with Discarded Fabrics

Design inspiration comes from seeing themes evolve between disparate fabric prints and colours, rescued to be recreated into a new unique garment artwork.

As an artist and trained textile designer, I have a keen eye for the illustration and patterns in textile dress prints. The prints I source and collect are variously of classical floral illustrative, mille-fleur coverage (tiny flowers), geometric, and astral (space cloud blurred, dotted and muted effect).  A combination of all these together with coordinating plain colours makes a good patchwork.

Not all prints are of personal favourite by themselves, but depending on their colours, I will see a way they would contrast or blend within a theme.  A dress full of rose bouquets can be cut up to introduce patch areas highlighting the best flowers.  A smaller piece of fabric can become more special than the full repeated print area.

Cotton lace tops (often cotton/acrylic mix) are another good find, as they can be layered over other colours.  Most synthetic lace fabrics also surprisingly take up plant dye to some extent, which removes any stark whiteness, too brilliant for patches amongst colours.

Choosing a print fabric to start with, start to make a pile with other colours and prints (5 is usually sufficient to start with).  As you do this, one choice may be removed and replaced with another, as the combined effect literally ‘shouts’ too dark, too light, too blue, too pink, etc., depending on the theme in mind. The most subtle patchwork is when the overall effect is of fabrics of a similar tone; i.e. nothing too light, nor too dark, on its own.  I often do include black with a strong colour collection, due to its fashion favouritism, but am more careful with lighter tones and darks mixed, when making patch-worked garments using panels larger than traditional patchwork.

Silk Painting Inspirations

The print designs in each fabric collection suggest new design themes using their elements to create a silk painted panel, or I may simply use some elements to copy combined with other images of my own.  It may inspire towards a new design theme to be developed further again; .  Colour mixing dyes to match the existing prints is an essential skill.

Scale can be considered here: a specific image from existing prints can be enlarged as a feature.


22 May

Butterflies and Pansies Silk Dress

Amelia Hoskins / Batik, Plant Dye / / 0 Comments
Butterflies and Pansies dress in part silk

Feminine pinks and frivolity in quirky patchwork and 3 silk types.

Petal bundle-dyed fine silk sleeves, and unique hand painted and embroidered front silk panel.


Back and side view dress with longer patchwork pieces: rose pink taffeta, cotton and maroon silk.
Pink Tafetta, pansy cotton and Maroon silk panels

Starting point for this dress was an Ahimsa silk painting.  Ahimsa is similar to light-weight cotton, matching the weights of cotton and poly cotton patchwork in garment.  This piece incorporates an experimental batik process, which resulted in a mottled background after waxing and dipping in a logwood dye bath,  before final painting over.  [see link to logwood dyeing]

fabric colour coordinates for painted silk panel

Suitable for parties, weddings.

SIZE: 36/38" - max 40 inch bust. Length: shoulder to front hem 36", shoulder to back hem 38".  Pink silk top is on bias stretch, so adjusts to size smaller and larger.  Available in ETSY when added.. [£175.00]  Value is assessed on only the silk batik/painting/embroidery (not full making time)

[Site reconstruction 2020: Post in progress of reorganisation to new site: Additional making images resizing  to add]

Making of Butterflies and Pansies Dress [image gallery to add]

Pink silk top - fabric co-ordinate taken from a blouse: colour is similar to the palest background in the logwood batik. Pink bodice top sewn to silk painting just under bust; simple overlap stitching. Original V-necked pink blouse was cut on the cross, so will stretch over varied bust fullness.

Front bodice - Contrasting armhole band taken from neckline of co-ordinating fabric (dress). Pinned to pink silk bound edged armhole for stitching join by hand.

Back bodice - Contrasting armhole banding cut from back and underarm of co-ordinating fabric (dress).

Decided to add sleeves, a petals bundle died silk for upper sleeve, just enough silk; adding sleeve frill from original up-cycled pale dusky pink dress. Overall effect is balanced but the banana leaves on painting need deep crimson stitch decoration.

Silk Painting 'Nigella Butterflies' made into dress centrepiece

The green butterfly came from a photograph I took, and the red butterfly came from another printed fabric design.  Pansies added came from cotton print.

Added embroidered lines on pansies give sparkly effect.  Nigella seed pod is enhanced by dark seeds inside pod (arial view) and light embroidery on the pod ends. ...The banana leaves would benefit from embroidery also.

Dressmaking process: Silk painting summer 2019 - Dress finished September 2019, but decided to add in sleeves February 2020. Slow fashion!

Shamanic Nights background image