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Denman Island, British Columbia, Canada
Jean Cockburn retired from her professional career as an academic librarian in 2008 to become a textile artist living on Denman Island, British Columbia. She draws, quilts, embroiders, knits and crochets, makes wearable art, weaves baskets, dyes fabric, and paints watercolours. Her work has been exhibited locally in juried and group shows on Denman Island, in Courtenay, Comox, and Duncan on Vancouver Island, in West Vancouver, and across Canada with the Surface Design Association.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Wearable art jacket completed today (and a skirt to go with it)

Our Comox based wearable art group will be meeting again this year at the end of July.
The plan this year is to make a jacket according to a theme that we picked out of a hat. I picked "ethnic".

Here are the guidelines:
1. Work with a theme as a starting point:  polka dots, stripes, plaid, animal print, lace, ethnic prints, floral, paisley.
2. We will make either a jacket or a coat to our liking, we choose our own pattern to work with.
3. The garment must include at least one recycled/used fabric on the theme subject. Any other fabrics should be mostly on theme but can have some complementary pieces that come from our existing stash, if at all possible. When looking at your finished garment, there should be no doubt about its ‘theme’.
4. There should be at least 3 embellishments beyond just the fabric choices. i.e.: piping, beading, stamping, embroidery, painting, etc.


The completed jacket, and  the pattern that I used. The outer jacket fabric is a black stretch cotton that I bought at Fabricland earlier this year with no fixed plan. The lining is navy silk gazar that I obtained in a trade with a fellow fabric artist on the island several years ago. The cotton velvets that I used for the trim are leftovers from my art show two years ago, as is the gold silk for the flat piping. The wax cotton for the lower sleeves came from a trading day at the the quilt guild. Gold beads and hooks and eyes were already in my drawer. And I already owned the pattern, so nothing new was purchased to make the jacket.



I was using up scraps of velvet and piping, so the facings are in a variety of velvet colours. I attached the raw edge applique velvet circles with #8 perle cotton, and embroidered the centre of each and added a gold bead.

The centre front closes with hooks and eyes.




My friend Barbara, who is a wonderful and creative sewer, offered me a whole bag of recycled clothing and fabric for my project, but in the end I used my own fabrics entirely. However, this length of gorgeous fabric matched my jacket so perfectly, that I used it for a skirt to make an outfit. I used the width from selvedge to selvedge for the skirt length, and did not make a hem, leaving the selvedge as the finish. I cut a length 1 1/2 times my hip measurement (I cut about 64 inches length) and seamed it into a circle, then attached that to a circle of 2 inch wide elastic. Easy to make, fast, comfortable, and it does not interrupt the fabric design.

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