Many of you have been curious to see what I ended up making this year for Runway Repurposed. I apologize (especially to my friends who have yet to see it in person because I'm a forgetful human being and leave it at home) for the long wait, and am excited to finally share my garment with you all :-)
As you already know from my previous post, I didn't have a clue what I was going to make or a Hollywood inspired idea. Therefore, I started playing around with scraps of fabric, trying out different techniques to find an interesting way that would utilize both sides of the shimmery blue and red material. While playing around with folds, I remembered a dress I'd once seen which showcased an intricate pleating design, and I quickly began experimenting with the method. Instead of making actual pleats, I cut the fabric into strips and layered them, allowing me to bring out the red ("wrong") side of the fabric. The depth and textures created by this technique reminded me of dragon scales, so Smaug from The Hobbit movies became my garment's Hollywood inspiration.
I planned to make a vest, but later, using tulle from the red and blue dress, decided to add sheer sleeves. Due to time limitations, I wasn't able to include all of the bead work shown in the photos by the deadline. I did, however, manage to stitch in some scattered beads along the edge of the sleeves while riding in the car to the contest. I don't recommend beading in a moving vehicle, Lol!
When the crop jacket was about 75% finished, I switched gears and started planning a second piece. I needed something that not only complimented the textures and colors of the top, but also represented dragon fire. On my floor lay a wadded bunch of black tulle from when I'd deconstructed the thrift store dresses. This gave me an idea to use it with the red material to create a halter, mid-waist cutout gown.
Unfortunately it became a frustrating, time-consuming garment that was never meant to be. While it draped beautifully on the dress form, the materials refused to cooperate when fitting it to my actual body and wouldn't stay in place. The entire bodice had to be sewn by hand, which equaled long hours spent stitching woven tulle together, inserting the lining, putting in misbehaving closures, attaching the bodice to a solid piece of tulle, and sewing it to the skirt. When wore underneath, the bodice would poof out the jacket, giving it a very unflattering shape. There were several other problems that should have been obvious warning signs to cease progress, however, I didn't heed them. It wasn't until 1pm , the day before the competition, that I finally realized the dress was a bust. What followed was a nervous breakdown... I had less than half a day to come up with a new idea and sew it together!
Thankfully, my mom came and kept me from completely stressing out (I don't know what I'd do without her!) and I didn't dropout of the contest. I also did not get any sleep that night, but the resulting dress was worth the frenzied evening.
Needing only to cut apart a few seams, I was still able to use the skirt portion of the dress, thankgoodness, with minimal changes. This allowed me to put all my focus into redesigning and constructing the bodice. Since the focal point of the overall look was the jacket, I decided to make the top simple and concentrated on keeping it "hidden" when worn with the second piece. It's basically my original idea with a few tweaks. By 2:30 a.m I was exhausted and hungry, but the dress was complete and I could walk down the runway with confidence!
I hope you all love the final design as much as I do :-D The crop jacket has become one of my favorite creations! Believe it or not, I used parts from all but 1 of the recycled dresses to create this garment. Now I just need an excuse to wear it again!
All photo credit goes to my amazingly talented friend, Stefanie Kapusta (Instagram: @stef__with__an__f_).
I'm Jasmine, a young designer passionate about creating! I hope my work inspires YOU to think outside the box and use your talents to do amazing things!