I've been exploring historic, inspiring downtown Denver, Colorado. It is influencing new direction in my work. The charming architecture, a blend of old and new, is very cool! It was the seed for this recent camelhair coat ReMake Project: The Welton Street Coat
You Ask: How can anything that inspires me be 'turned into' something else? DESIGN TAKE-AWAYS are an easy way to start. Here are some Design Take- Aways from my adventures in downtown Denver.
• bold, angled shapes & vertical rectangles
• dark accents: window shapes, iron hardware and textured walls
• color combinations
These 3 categories would inspire each of us in a different direction. I was inspired to remake a camel hair coat... just the kind of big puzzle project I like! Totally inspired by the colors of the building, I assembled a collection of favorite wools to work with. Here are some of the decisions I made in this remake process, starting with: What to keep and what to take away.
#1 Layering? Inserting? Replacing? These were all techniques I used on various parts of the coat. Mostly, I replaced pieces of the camelhair to keep the weight of the coat reasonable. I reduced the size of the armholes and replaced the original sleeves with ones of my own design. Adding a thin batting under-layer in the sleeves brings them up to a similar weight as the rest of the coat. By opening the side seams, the silhouette was shaped and new back panels were added and a panel inset above the belt. The belt was moved up to a more flattering position. Every decision hinges on the next and is part of the overall success of a ReMake.
#2 It was a mans coat....so very bulky in the torso with wide shoulders and big shoulder pads. The coat, lining and its structural pieces ( sleeve headers and shoulder pads) were in great shape, so I removed the shoulder pads and reworked them into thinner ones. The angles of the shoulder were cut down and re-sewn (above arrow) for a more feminine line before replacing the pads inside. The original coat, with 2 pockets, was replaced with one pocket to complete the asymmetry of the color blocking.
#3 The biggest change was removing the collar/front facings and making new ones from my cool paisley fabric. Love the results!!! I hand-stitched around the original buttonholes to keep them in use.
#4 Details can be the accents that finish a garment. Horn buttons and hand stitching were the finishing details here. I often use hand-stitched lines in various thickness and colors of thread. 3 strands of thread give a lighter line...while the stitching up the back of the sleeves is 6 strands for a darker line.
My Denver notebook is full of ideas for future projects....The Welton Street Coat is a great way to start my year! Have a wonderfully creative and playful year!!! Diane