Thursday, May 7, 2015

Fabric Collage

Rosemary Eichon is the author of The Art of Fabric Collage. She's best known for her heavily embellished garments that are a combination of motifs and background images. The garments are typically built around a theme. Years ago, I took a workshop with her and although I don't remember the year, I do remember the date. June 3rd. My birthday.

When I was eighteen and worked as an accounts payable clerk, part of our union contract was to get our birthday off work. Since then, I've made it a habit to do something just for me on my special day. This year - like last year - I'll be at the Design Outside the Lines retreat. SO FUN!

This video shows some of Rosemary's work. Although it's quite inspiring and fun to make, I never went on to do a lot of this work probably because it's a bit too "flouffy" for me. I tend to like simpler garments HOWEVER...

... what I learned came in handy with the second pair of skinny pants I sewed yesterday. The pants started with two panels bought from Marcy Tilton a couple years ago. Instead of cutting the border around the hem, I decided to run it down the front right and the back left pant legs. As you can see above, the side seam created a harsh line.

To soften the line, I wanted to applique some of the floral elements onto the front left and back right pant legs and more softly merge the two sections. There were two short lengths of the floral border left. I started by finding the match and then...

... I ironed fusible web to the back of the floral section and cut out the left hand edge to see how far over the seam line it would sit. I didn't cut up to the shape but rather away from it in the background. On the opposite side...

... I tried to find a path through the image that would match up with the motifs already there and make sewing them together less obvious.

Above the applique is fused in place ready to stitch. I used a narrow, spaced zigzag stitch in a...

... dark purple that mostly disappears into the fabric. What doesn't disappear is the white line of the fabric's edge because the design is printed onto the fabric and the reverse side is white. I could have attempted to paint or color the edge in some way only any solution had the potential to make the line even more visible. Since it's not obvious from a distance and there is already a substantial amount of white in the design, I played it safe and just left it.

Here is the entire right side stitched into place. As you can see, unless you get up close to the fabric, you can't tell that the design has been pieced. And...

... here's the bottom of the front and of the right pant leg with the hem folded up but not finished. The imagery blends around and adds just a tiny bit of interest to the opposite side of the asymmetric arrangement. I sent these images to Diane since we've been working on asymmetric designs in my coaching sessions. I'll show you the finished pants tomorrow.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - rusty skills reused


  1. What a creative solution -- using Rosemary's technique on the side seam of these beautiful pants! Isn't it nice to be able to pull out something from lessons learned years ago and have them turn out so nicely!

    1. I think of skills as my "tool box" and even though you haven't used that one in a while, it's still there. YES YES.

  2. Just gorgeous!!!!

  3. oh, well done!!! I love these pants already!!

    Especially for you.

    1. LOL - they look like you pants too.


Thanks for commenting. I appreciate the feedback and the creative conversation.