FOUNDATIONS REVEALED COMPETITION ENTRY
Nightfall in the WildWood
Outline the story …
Cyanotype was invented as a photography process in the 1840s. It has also been used to capture delicate botany by creating prints of pressed flowers and leaves in rich Prussian blue and white.
I deeply admire the process which feels like a mix of dye and photography, bringing me back to my college darkroom photography days.
Inspired by the paintings The Fairy Dance and Question to the Stars by Karl Wilhelm Diefenbach, I created an homage to the woodlands in evening. The foliage at the bottom is thick with ferns, spruces, wildflowers, and a tangle of leaves drifting upwards in a light breeze. The top of the skirt settles into small fern fronds and forget-me-not flowers reminiscent of the night sky.
The bodice unveils the woodland theme with a more dainty and magical floral note. Ferns spring up followed by wildflowers, foliage, and more forget-me-nots reaching softly into the sky.
The blouse extends the sky, in drifting cloud-like fabric with a hand painted, subtle star print. This fabric was inspired by John Atkinson Grimshaw’s Spirit of the Night painting depicting a fairy above a city draped in a sheer cloth speckled with stars.
I finished the enchanting ensemble with a handmade dewdrop glass necklace and hair pins for extra twinkle. It’s ready for star spotting on a warm woodland night as a full outfit or separates.
Outline the construction…
My goal was wearable separates, focusing on the fabric design.
I made a rectangle skirt with a large front panel, two smaller back panels, waist band, drawstrings, and rounded pockets. Edges finished with an overlock or pinking sheers.
I cut the bodice from a pattern by Lunneth on Etsy with pinking sheers and seamed it together to create a unified printing surface.
The skirt and bodice are cotton sateen to accept the cyanotype.
Cyanotype printing was the largest hurdle and had to be done indoors in a stable environment. Once saturated with cyanotype solution and dry, it was moved to the exposure area for print design.
In dim lighting I hand placed thousands of dried leaves and flowers with tweezers.
After a 4 hour exposure under UV LEDs the solution is rinsed, the fabric air dried, and machine washed twice.
I sewed the skirt together first, with a back invisible zipper and waist clasp with drawstrings in the back waistband and a hand stitched hem. The bodice has sew-over boning in channels with top stitching to secure it. I used a machine eyelet as a template then hand stitched each eyelet on top.
The blouse pattern is an adjusted Mood’s Onella top and two part sleeves from McCall’s M8123 by Angela Clayton. The blouse is a stretch nylon, hand painted with a star pattern using Speedball screen printing ink.
I finished it all by making a dewdrop inspired glass necklace and hair pins.
COUNTRY: United States.
What It’s like to compete:
I’ve never done anything like this before, the competition, or the garment. I’m so glad I did. It pushed me to try things I’ve never done, just to see if I could. I learned so much in the process and feel more prepared to take on larger or more complex sewing and craft projects.
That fabric treatment process you worked out is so cool! What a great way to incorporate nature in the making of the outfit, and the finished result is just beautiful!
Insane, I really love and appreciate your determination withe the cyanotype, it really paid off, just stunning!
First photo taken on snowy landscape elevates the design! It looks as if the white embroidery starts to climb up Your skirt!
I am clearly stupid.. as I didn’t focus on the technique used..
Hard work and the result is amazing!
The print result is just stunning! I never knew such detail could be achieved with this technique.
Wow…wow! I am blown away! I love Cyanotype and I barely know how to do it! So inspiring! I love this!!
I love how this turned out. It’s such an interesting technique.
What a wonderful technique and outcome! Very creative.
This is incredible I never thought this type of bleaching or photography was a think. I hope you made a video on how to do this. I really want to try it. Very creative and beautiful.