Urban Dryad



Celina Page

(click images to to enlarge)

Other Credits

Hannah Anthonia - photographer, cat wrangler

Outline the story …

Thick thighs may save lives, but they destroy pants! I love practical clothing, but I want what I wear to be fun and look good, too. I also want my clothes to last, but I always find trousers wear out and get holes in them within a few months, and patches can be very obvious and not very attractive.

Since I’ve started making my own clothes, I’ve been trying to figure out how to solve this problem. The answer is to make the patches themselves attractive, as well as functional. With the theme of this competition being the natural world, I’ve chosen to applique flowers at the points of the garment where I get the most wear, and then to carry the applique throughout the garment to form a pattern that is decorative, as well as practical. When the patches wear away, they can be easily replaced while maintaining the intentional look of the garment. I chose to make vintage style overalls for the garment, as they are practical and I don’t yet own any, and they fit with the aesthetic of the solarpunk movement, which I am drawing inspiration from for this project. I have used solarpunk ideas around the importance of environmental sustainability, creativity and beauty, and married those with historical ideas around making clothing that lasts well and suits a particular purpose. I hope my design invokes the natural world in a fun, light-hearted way.

Outline the construction…

I used Simplicity pattern #8447 because I liked the design. However, their plus size patterns were too small for me, so I had to size up the pattern, which I had never done before. There were a lot of challenges in making the pattern fit my body while staying in proportion, and I needed to make several mockups. I also changed the location of the straps for accessibility, as I have poor shoulder mobility.

I wanted to use natural, biodegradable materials as much as possible, so the overalls themselves are cotton denim, the buttons are wood, and the patches are linen. I chose linen over thinner, easier to work with cotton, because linen will stand up better to repeated wear. While the patches are designed to be replaceable, I don’t want to have to do so too often. I have used polyester sew-all thread, because I am familiar with it and it was affordable.

I machine sewed the majority of the overalls, but did the finishing, details and applique by hand. I have used true flat felled seams for strength, which I have never done before, and these did present a challenge with the maths involved and keeping the seams centred. I also tried needle turn applique for the first time, although I have hand-sewn lace applique before, and I’m looking forward to doing more.

A major challenge I faced was spacing out my work to avoid exacerbating my chronic illness, and I’m proud that I was mostly successful.




  1. Avatar Christiane Christiane Edel on May 3, 2023 at 1:21 pm

    Great job, the bright design brings a smile to my face!

  2. Avatar Dawn-Marie deLara on May 7, 2023 at 4:12 pm

    I love the colors and design! And I do know what you mean about thigh wear on pants. I recently came across a tip to put in lining patches on new garments, before they start to wear. Haven’t tested yet, but thought I’d share.

  3. Avatar Anna-Catherine Sendgikoski on May 7, 2023 at 7:09 pm

    This is so cute! Simply adorable and looks great on you!!

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