FOUNDATIONS REVEALED COMPETITION ENTRY
Wild Card Prize - Vulnerability expressed beautifully through design and texture.
Content Warning: References to Self Harm
Outline the story …
The inspiration for my entry came from the main character in the novel "Sharp Objects" by Gillian Flynn. I found it difficult to read this novel because of its disturbing subject matter. Camille Preaker identifies herself as a cutter as she has a long history of carving words into her skin. Words like "petticoat" or "vanish". There are some insightful passages in the novel. For instance, on the first night back in her mother's house after several years, she has unsettling dreams. In one of those dreams, she is getting ready for a summer holiday and realizes she's laid out all the wrong clothes including thick winter sweaters. She also spends time in a hospital that specializes in the particular kind of affliction of cutting. Everything is smooth edges and the goodness of touch is encouraged. My entry is a sweater composed of pieces of several of my old, soft sweaters in complimenting, heathery colors. I put all the seams and the stitching on the outside because I wanted to symbolize scarring, but focus on healing. The sweater is intended to be very soft in texture, as well as warm and protective. I wanted it to be something that would focus the kind of energy that might go into self harm and channel it towards creating a symbol of safety, comfort, and self love. When I put on the sweater, I feel this goal is accomplished in that it is the most comfortable thing I've ever worn.
Outline the construction…
For my entry I used several old sweaters that are all a soft, nubbly wool blend. Firstly, I did make a general pattern on Christmas tissue paper after examining some cardigan-like sweaters that I tend to wear. I altered the pattern to fit me better in my shoulders. It was difficult, because I never made a pattern before and I had to do a lot of estimating. I made a mock-up with some polyester material from an old skirt, but then I had to put it aside once I felt I had a general idea of what I wanted to do. I was terrified that the sweaters would unravel once I cut them into pieces. Thankfully, they didn't. I cut them as neatly as possible into as big pieces as possible to get the most out of them. I hand sewed all the pieces together with a running backstitch twice with a double threaded needle. I thought the seams would be stronger if I did that and also I don't know how to use my sewing machine yet. After I got the sweater put together, I made several long darts around the middle and back to shape the sweater. I did this by pinching the sweater and basting until they were as even as I could get them. Then I hand sewed around all the edges and dart seams and some of the sleeve seams with a polyester teal green thread. I am still sewing seams.