My formal training as a Dress Designer, qualifying at the National Art School has laid a very strong
foundation for the development of creative machine work.
I spent many years as a designer in the 'Rag Trade', with such companies as Savvy (Jill Fitzimmon), Willikers and George Spiros. Other
valuable experience has been gained through working with the Elizabethan Theatre Trust and the
The ability to draft patterns, plus the extra skills gained through courses in millinery, fine
needlework, silk screen and photographic printing, numerous fibre and textile workshops have
broadened my teaching horizons. Regular articles for magazines and television, plus involvement
with numerous textile associations, keep me up to date with new
trends, products and ideas.
In my personal approach to design, the use of 'line' is of utmost importance, with the Art Nouveau and
Art-Deco periods being a strong influence in my work.
Applique is the most obvious way of
transferring ideas onto the garment for me, the tidy structure of this form of machining, then allows
me to build up on this foundation with the many other multi-layering techniques.
'Midnight' Art to Wear
I have been a tutor at Kuringai Art Centre for lO years, plus had the pleasure in tutoring in many other
workshops around Australia eg. McGregor Winter School,
Grafton, South Australia and in 2002, also Forum at Mittagong.
Design Development and Techniques
Treating the fabric as a canvas, I tend to develop the design from background to foreground;
layering across, fabrics and threads in varying sizes, textures and tones to bring to realization the
ideas in my mind.
The garment is designed, sketched and pattern then constructed, fittings and adjustments are
constantly made on the dressmaker's dummy in calico. I then can gain a truer perspective in the
positioning of colours, lines and shapes. The biggest influence on my work is the Art Noveau
period. Art Deco (with its stylization) and the book illustrators of that period.
Being a fashion illustrator, I seem to have developed a trademark in painting faces onto the
garment, with the arrangement of motifs, shapes and textures to hint at the body and clothing shape.
Line, pattern and rhythm are important visual aspects of my design development, not forgetting the
utter pleasure in researching the chosen topic or theme. Function, comfort and wearability are
priorities; the finishing touches and fabric suitability are foremost in my mind.
Printing, using blocks, lino, stenciling and silk-screening, are usually the first stage in the layering
process. Applique is the main technique in the design development; this is the most enjoyable part
of machining. Also.this method of applying colour or other machine-textured pieces is very
appropriate for clothing. These appliqued pieces can be constructed by cutting and re-constructing
other fabrics and fibres; water-soluble fabrics can be used at any stage, either developing a
machine-made fabric or towards the end, as motifs. The use of the sewing machine is usually
limited to straight stitch and zig-zag stitching, the variation is with the lengths and widths.
Couching, using the many new yarns available, beading and the use of found treasures, are all part
of the final layering and embellishment process. The choice of linings, pipings, buttons and trims
bring my garment to its conclusion; these are treated as an integral part of the story I am trying to
project through the garment.
Klimt inspired abstract shape silk coat
A Personal Note on Teaching -
I have been teaching Wearable Art for over 10 years now, with the many years experience as a
designer and patternmaker. I have the experience to create interesting, yet challenging
curriculae. An added bonus to Art to Wear Workshops, is the ability to provide my own
patterns, graded to any size, and demonstrating pattern adjustments and fittings.
Postcard 'Deco to Techno'
During workshops the students are provided with
practical demonstrations, comprehensive notes, illustrations and samples, with research projects.
My aim is to discover and develop each student's creativity, to inspire and
Teaching is a passion - - -
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