|Carmel - 2nd from left|
When living in Adelaide for a short period in my early 20’s, I enrolled in a Pattern Design & Construction course at TAFE. At TAFE I took night school courses and only once a week over 2 years. The technical aspect was learnt with a lot of set homework and most of the sewing done in our own time. So this was a very long drawn out process. However it was integral part to where I am today, I can confidently pattern draft, design direct on a dummy and adapt any commercial pattern as a result of this only formal training.
Yes! I’m always upcycling! As my girls were growing up and involved in ballet and drama, I became the resident wardrobe mistress & costume maker for numerous stage productions. I learnt to hone my ‘frugal & recycling’ skills here due to limited budgets!
I’ve chosen to use only white shirts in this challenge, echoing the look of the eucalyptus papuana, the milky white ghost gums ever present in my backyard. It will be a bridal gown - a symbol of love honour & protection. All shirts used have come with a story from each of their owners, from the town mayor, Council CEO, lawyers, surveyors, pastoralists, war veterans, grandfathers, fathers, uncles, brothers and sons.
What's next for you as a designer? What are your long term dreams?
I once owned a sewing shop in the mid 80’s selling fabric, dressmaking, doing alterations & workshops, so I feel like I have covered the business side of things. I guess I’ll continue on my present path of sewing for enjoyment, family & friends, entering the occasional award show, mentoring, and spreading the word about ‘slow fashion’ through the Sustainable Couture platform.
- Instagram - @carmylizryan_create