Kayla Nimegeers, B.C. Canada
Inspiration and Mood Board: Pinterest
Supportive husband and photographer: Dustin Nimegeers
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 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.
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.