For years I’ve been wanting to translate my paintings into fabric. After I finished my BFA in Painting and Drawing at BYU, I filled out applications to all the coolest MFA textile design programs in NYC (a place I’d always dreamed of living). I had a blip in that application process that turned into me not actually submitting any of them, and instead going on to work as a display artist for an Anthropologie store outside Chicago.
Life takes on different paths and I firmly believe that God knows better than we do. Not going to those programs lead me to where I am today, with the experiences I’ve had. Today, if you were watching my Instagram feed, you’ll notice I unveiled the Sew Frosting project (in true dancing fashion!) I had been working on for weeks in “secret.” (I didn’t even reveal what my fabric looked like to my BFF until a few days ago!!)
What I’m getting at, is that even though I never became a textile designer, I continued making lots (and lots) of artwork and learning to sew, with certain people constantly telling me I needed to get my art on FABRIC!
In January of 2018 I made a list (inspired by Gretchen Ruben) of 18 things I wanted to accomplish in 2018 (that would make me happy). I put on there to finally make some fabric!! But it wasn’t until Kelli and Heather put out the “Sew Frosting” challenge that I finally set a deadline and MADE IT HAPPEN. (I love a good deadline/goal!)
PAINTING PROCESS PHOTOS:
The process, like all my paintings, was very organic. I started out with those tan blobs. I was painting on a nice wool suiting fabric, so I was praying that it would work. Then I decided to add the blue lines… okay, it was working, I was liking it.. letting the brushstrokes sort of show and being okay with it looking like paint. Next came the “v” shapes and then it just felt like it needed something else. I let it lie for awhile and then came back and knew what it was missing! HOT PINK OF COURSE! Duh. #katiekortmanpink
Once I had the dress cut out I had more decisions to make!
I only had so much of that wool to use for this project (it was gifted to me a year ago), and I ran out (hence the sleeves being pieced together as halves), so I had to add a band to the waist. There wasn’t enough fabric for the entire length of the bodice.
I had a pile of different colors that I thought would work with my painted fabric. I had a pile of bias tape as well. You guys, I didn’t buy one single thing to make this dress. The pattern had been in my stash for awhile, the fabric was gifted, and the bias tape was in a pile that I keep for when the need arises! I laid out several combinations.
For the waistband, I ran out of the teal tape that I used, and decided to use some of the florescent red-orange I had in my big bag of colorful tricks.. And then I sewed the thing up.
But you know what? That striped band around my waist bothered me so much. After days of being frustrated by it I realized I could just use the small strips I had left of that bottom fabric and appliqué it to the band!! YESSSSS!!!! And then I LOVED it.
So that’s my Sew Frosting 2018 story of how my hand-painted dress came to be! The painting took around 15 (Im guessing more) hours to paint, and the sewing added onto that. It was a true labor of love. I found immense happiness in this project though, because I was melding my love of painting and my love of sewing into one really fun project!!! I WILL be doing this again.
*I used New Look Pattern DO593 to make the dress.
…..and one more photo, because I’m one of those people who has a hard time narrowing things down to just one or two!