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The 2020 Competition is now over.
The 2021 Theme will be chosen by our Members in April!

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  Mother Nature      Mother Nature

Mother Nature

Mother Nature

Mother Nature

 Mother Nature

 

 

Mother Nature

Kayla Nimegeers, B.C. Canada

Inspiration and Mood Board: Pinterest

IG:kayla_sews_wonders

Other credits:

Supportive husband and photographer: Dustin Nimegeers

 

The Design

My family is geared towards the betterment of our planet. We strive to reduce our environmental footprint in any way that we can. So this year’s theme of renewal made me think of our planet and how we can create fashion with items we already have or give new life to old fabric.

My inspiration for this entry is mother nature and the bringing of spring. My corset was made to resemble a plant's new bright green growth while displaying its future dark green through the rips in time represented by rips between the layers. It was more difficult to make a corset look wrinkly like a leaf while still resembling a corset than it would have been to make it nice and smooth.

The skirt represents the sturdy tree trunk with thick roots. From up-cycled curtain panels, I was able to get the bark-like texture and colour I desired, then decorated it with flowers I got from my husband’s grandmother. I took my inspiration on design from Victorian natural form trained evening ensembles.

All in all it took a few months of searching through my local thrift stores to find all the items I required to depict mother nature, but with perseverance I was able to renew discarded fabric into my entry which included thread so there might be a mix of greens and browns.

 

The Construction

The corset pattern is from Corsets by Caroline’s Celia 10 panel over-bust with straps. It took two toiles before I got the fit right. Then I proceeded to use scraps of cotton coutil left from other projects for the straps and bust gore pieces. That's why the different colour.

I constructed the corset as a one layer corset with coutil then added my green fabrics when attaching the zipper front and securing it in multiple spots to create the leaf-like wrinkling. The back has two wide flat steel bones that I had left over from a hoop skirt. The rest is boned with synthetic whale bone that I purchased a while back. All trims were also thrifted.

The tree skirt is supported by a petticoat that I’ve used for years. A gorgeous six meter roll of taffeta showed up at the thrift store one day that was $10 so I had to buy it! I used all six meters to make the underskirt and train liner. The underskirt is Truly Victorian pattern TV221. The overskirt was self drafted using two curtain panels, one for the train and one cut to floor length, pleated at the sides, and all attached into one waistband with the underskirt.

A fun little journey I had was the dying of the Victorian nightgown I got at the thrift store. My son distracted me and the fabric did not end up being stirred and became uneven but I liked it. Nature is always chaotic and uneven.

 

Materials Used

Thrift store fabric for skirts (window panel and synthetic taffeta), flowers, green dye, nightgown (chemise) and fashion layers of corset (satin dark green and organza light green). Herringbone coutil for the corset inner layer was a mix of scrap and what I already had. Mix of synthetic whalebone and flat steel. Front closure by zipper.

 

What was it like to compete this year? What would you say to someone who is on the fence about entering next year?

I was on the fence all year until the January live call! It made me inspired to compete again. I had some pieces but when I went back to working full-time I didn't think I had time but I made time. Life gets crazy but creating and sewing is my self care and we all need to keep doing what we love.

 

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Elle
Very beautiful! I admire how you did not give up but kept searching for the right fabrics for months! The symbolism comes through beautifully!
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kayla_nimegeers
Thank you! I must say this project has pushed me to be more eco friendly in my sewing. I try with most other aspects of my life to be eco conscious but it’s quite a challenge to only use second hand unlabelled fabric in limited quantities.
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kitty mortensen
It looks stunning, and I love that environmentalis m is part of you and your family's everyday <3 Yr looks stunning on you and congratulations on finding everything you needed for this to come together so flawlessly
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kayla_nimegeers
Last edited on 01.03.2020 18:12 by Kayla Nimegeers
Thank you! I was very nervous when I couldn’t find the right colours but alas one day in December I found something I could use.
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certainsundries
I love the layers and textures and range of colors you used!
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kayla_nimegeers
Thank you! It was hard to get the wrinkles so I had to add length to the fashion layers so they would fit the same as the corset underneath.
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kirstymitchell
Kayla this is a wonderfully heartfelt take on the theme. Your use of texture stands out.
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kayla_nimegeers
Thank you! I was quite challenged by this costume which I loved so much.
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bernadettebanner
I love the shape of that skirt! It looks particularly elegant photographed amongst nature, most befittingly!
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kayla_nimegeers
Thank you! I hope it looks like a tree trunk because that was the goal. I have quite a few Instagram posts on the process if your interested. Ps: I never miss a vlog of yours ❤️
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kayla_nimegeers
Thank you! I wish I could wear it always as it was so flowy and lovely to wear.
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eadownes
This design is incredible! I adore the colours and the beautiful mix of careful structure and soft, flowing shapes. So lovely!
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Kayla Nimegeers
As I was limited on words and had way to much to tell you all about my entry, I forgot to mention the dust ruffle was also made from scrap fabric and ruffles are a ripped up, ruffled curtain. It saved the skirt from the snow and it was a nightmare to fish all the twigs and grass from it. If you want to go to my instagram page for the process of making this feel free :) After the photoshoot I realized that I couldn't just make something, use it for an hour, then store it to probably never wear again! So I kept with the theme and took the fashion layer off the corset, rebound it and now it's my go to corset for my next project as long as it still fit me (downside of weightloss).
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Joy R.
The greens complement each other so nicely and tell a great story!
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kayla_nimegeers
Thank you!
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lyrisdesign
Beautiful work, I love all the symbolism and you brought it to life perfectly in your outfit!
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kayla_nimegeers
Thank you!
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jema
Your thrifting and dyeing experiments have created a wonderful natural ensemble indeed!
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kayla_nimegeers
Than you! I think I have found my new favourite way of living sustainably by following the thrift store rule I made for myself in this costume.
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Lenora
I am in love with this corset! I am going to have to find that pattern somehow. This entire ensemble speaks to me and is so very well done. Thank you for sharing! I am inspired to make a new outfit for myself. rolleyes
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kayla_nimegeers
Thank you! You can purchase it on the Etsy shop under corsets by Caroline and it’s called the Celia 10 panel over bust. Loved the customization of this patten so much!
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royalblack
I really enjoyed reading about the different ways you incorporated the competition theme into your outfit.
The colours work beautifully together and you have presented it in the perfect way, photographing it with mother nature as backdrop.

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kayla_nimegeers
Thank you! I will admit it was so very cold and hard to make it seem like it was early spring while it was -15c and middle of winter.
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lcostigliolo
I really enjoyed reading your interpretation of the theme. I love how you played with the texture of your fabrics.
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kayla_nimegeers
Thank you! I learn so much in this project from the use of the fabric textures.
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Sustainability star! Really love your use of colour to represent nature here. Great work (and nice to see Celia in action!)
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kayla_nimegeers
Thank you! It’s my new favourite corset and I wear it regularly.
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Beautiful work! I really love the earthy colours you've used, and the way you utilised thrifted materials. It's amazing what's possible! I love that you decided to give it a go in January. You achieved a lot in a short amount of time and I hope you're really proud of yourself for entering. Well done :)
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kayla_nimegeers
Thank you! It was a push to get it done but so proud today what I accomplished with my already busy life :)
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Gallagher Green
Really nice work!
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paulay71
Beautiful interpretation of the theme in the design and in the types of fabrics you used, lovely piece.
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kayla_nimegeers
Thank you!
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marloes dadswell
The palet of colours you have used are so well matched and seeing them braided together with nature in your photo's gives this entry a fairytale feel. And that you have managed to make all this in such a short time is so incredible.
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kayla_nimegeers
Thank you! It was quite a push to get it all done. Drove my hubby crazy I’m sure with all the late nights when I could have just worked on it months ago.
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saule_myrthe
It looks lovely, all the fabrics work very well together, especially for thrifted finds!
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