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Cathy Hay - About Foundations Revealed
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ABOUT FOUNDATIONS REVEALED

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"I created Foundations Revealed to help us all work together to realise our wildest wardrobe dreams."

Since 2007, we have been helping aspiring costumers, historybounders, corsetieres and dressmakers around the world to live their best creative lives. Founder Cathy Hay and the Foundations Revealed team are passionate about helping makers to learn together, stay inspired and positive, maximise their skills and realise their sewing dreams.

COMPETITION WINNERS

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FOUNDATIONS REVEALED CONTEST 2024:

Into Another World

#FRcompetition2024

Most of us have imagined escaping into other worlds. These might be the worlds of stories that seemed to leap right off the page, or magical places we’ve dreamt up ourselves. For this theme, take inspiration from fantasy of the past and present: whether from fairytales, folktales, and local legends or from an imagined world all of your own.

WINNERS

Perfect Landing

It’s bigger on the inside. The idea of a vehicle which can transport you to other worlds through space and time alone is mind boggling but add to it the idea that this vehicle itself is its own world and I was hooked. Stepping through a threshold has always felt a little like magic to…

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Heritage Rose

I will be making an a set of 1893 foundational garments based on a photo of my great great grandmother. The photo was taken of the family just before boarding the train in Chicago to start their new life of homesteading in the Dakota Territories. My mother taught me to handsew as a child but I've never entered into a competition. It's been just for me or my family members to wear to historical reenactment events. I decided to push myself this year and enter three entirely handsewn garments based on extant examples from The Met Museum.

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Medieval Fae Vampire

My inspiration for this piece actually comes from my close friends. They have often told me that I have two moods. One is my queenly southern vampire with a hint of an Irish accent. The other mood I have been told I have is my ditzy childish fae. I decided that I wanted to create something (this piece) to show who I am and what people often see when they look at me. I used to be afraid what other people think of me but as I have gotten older I have started to care less and less.

 

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ENCHANTED MOSS FAE

The idea for my design is a tree person that is completely dependent on nature. Maybe she was able to find some scraps of clothes or another tree folk gave it to her, but the fabric itself is scarce. She has to blend into the forest to remain unseen, but also it’s in love with nature. It inspires her and her people. I was also inspired by several of denarius Targaryen‘s outfits, as well as the Voynich manuscript( specifically the plants that seem to be both people and plants all at once).
I wanted an under dress that was very muted in color. The embroidery is this stand out of the under dress. The over dress I wanted to look like ethereal moss. Something that dissolves seamlessly into nature.

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CAPTAIN’S GLAMOURWEAVE

A bard turned pirate, Dom uses their changeling abilities to charm and deceive their way to power.
Once captain of their own ship, Dom sets aim on a more prestigious title, "King of the Pirates".
And Dom never misses.

My Dungeons and Dragons character, Dom, has a set of glamourweave clothes that can change form and style when they change their body. Unfortunately, magic doesn't quite work the same in the real world as it does in D&D, so I made something with both masculine and feminine elements from the fashion, and fantasy, of the great pirate era. I sketched out a laced bodice with multiple wide collars and military trim details. I have only been sewing for a year and this is the first close-fitting bodice I have made.
I’ve presented a feminine styling here, but it could easily be paired with breeches and tall boots when a more masculine look is desired. The look I've created makes me feel like a late Victorian lady going to a fancy-dress party in a pirate costume.

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THE CRAWLING CHAOS NYARLATHOTEP

Last winter I found myself immersed in H. P. Lovecraft's world of cosmic horror.
One character, or rather entity in particular, caught my attention immediately – Nyarlathotep, the crawling chaos.
It was around that time when a pupil of mine got a black kitty which, from the first moment, reminded me of it. The chaos, the crawling, Nyarlathotep – sounds like a great name for a cat.

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WHAT LIES BELOW

As long as human kind has known water, we have wondered what lies below. Global folklore tells us of kelpies, naiads, kappas, sirens, selkies, The Lady of the Lake, Ceto, Calypso; these are a fraction of the diverse array of water spirits, goddesses, and faeries found in mythology across almost every culture. Some beings are benevolent, but most are depicted beguiling monsters, lying in wait to pull bewitched humans into a watery grave. This garment invokes the fluidity and enchantment associated with water, and the darkness of vengeful spirits living just beneath the surface.

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MY LADY OF AUTUMN

Over the Garden Wall is a show produced by Disney, which follows two brothers, Greg and Wart as they find themselves in the Unknown. The first handful of episodes have a perfect autumnal feel. The vibrant background art overflows with autumn colors, and the patrons of the Unknown are distinctly otherworldly in a way that only the harvest season can produce. When I read the prompt for this year‘s challenge, my mind immediately jumped to Over the Garden Wall and my favorite time of year, autumn.

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ELANOR GARDNER ATTIRE

This project is a celebration of the first world I ever got lost in as a child, and one I still return to twenty years later: Tolkien’s Middle Earth. Because this world is beloved by so many, I wanted to add a fresh take to my design concept and branch away from the amazing movie costumes. The past of the LotR trilogy has been thoroughly explored, but the future is more open, and I think imagining it is a wonderful way to explore the theme of escaping to another world. I thought about what the hobbits in the shire look like to my own imagination, and more specifically, what Sam’s daughter Elanor would be wearing twenty years after the events of the movies. I took inspiration throughout dress history from medieval kirtles to Victorian lace to create my own fantasy aesthetic.

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CHILDHOOD DREAMS

The design basis was envisioning all the fairy tales and princess stories I'd grown up with. I think back to many bright days of drawing fairies at the kitchen counter, digging out every color to add to construction paper, backs of envelopes, and every scrap of paper my mom could put in front of me. Or stickers that sparkled. I wanted to take this opportunity to let the unbridled world of child wonder to guide the design, to add layers, and beads, and embroidery, and pearls, and fur, and whatever was shiny and lovely. I found a few old drawings of mine from that time as well as favorite story books to guide me towards a blend of medieval and Italian renaissance styles for a gown as dramatic as the stories I was captivated by.

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ELLOWEEN

In the mystical realm of Obsidiana, where shadows dance and whispers weave through ancient forests and the fairy-tale castles, the vampire Elloween reigns with immortal grace.
Drawing inspiration from Anne Rice's vampiric tales, the mystique of Morgan Le Fay, the sanguinary Countess Bathory, and the seductive Lilith, Elloween adorns herself in attire oscillates between audacity and elegance, casting a charm as enchanting as it is perilous.

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THE SPRING GOWN

The gown is based on one worn by a character in a novel I am currently writing, set in the 18th century. When I started researching the period, I realised that I cannot fully understand the setting or the character without understanding the gowns. And what better way to understand a piece of clothing than to make it?

The idea of the Spring Gown was born in fantasy first. A gown that is subdued but courtly and beautiful, that brings a bit of brightness and life in the depths of autumn, a gown of contradictions for a ball that’s really just a trap.

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GOLDEN KNIGHT

I was inspired by the theme of “into another world” by interpreting it as high fantasy with knights in shining armor. I’ve always enjoyed the idea of women warriors like Eowyn from Lord of the Rings or Snow White in Neil Gaimen and Chris Riddell’s Sleeper and the Spindle who ride into battle in armor. The former also speaks to Christian tradition of a woman, Joan of Arc, concealing her identity as an armored solider. For my interpretation I wanted mix these elements of armor with a classically feminine underdress, like a warrior queen or saint who is both beautiful and battle ready. As with many high fantasy stories, I wanted to play with anachronism in the silhouette with nods to Medievalism in the armor and even to late Victorian and Edwardian fancy dress interpretations of Medievalism.

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QUEEN OF AUTUMN

My Queen of Autumn has been inspired by two series of urban fantaisy books : "Folk of the Air" by Holly Black and "Les Royaumes Immobiles" by Ariel Holzl (not translated in english yet). I was also inspired by my passion with Cloak and Sword movies (especially movies with Jean Marais, "Beauty and the Beast", "Le Capitan", "The Hunchback". But also "Fanfan la Tulipe", "Cartouche", "The 3 Mousketeers" etc.).
The Fae Queen of Autumn is the main character of the Royaumes Immobile serie. She's a very powerful character, a warrior. I made my own interpretation of a Fall Queen, crowned by her own golden horns. I was very inspired by the aesthetic of the outfits described by Holly Black : the rich colors and textures, the various fantasy and historical inspirations.

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GODDESS OF THE HARVEST

“She was wrapped in purple, deep and rich as the colour of the harvest berries, the fabric seeming to twist and writhe as it emerged from a mist of nothingness at her feet[...] She moved to sit, and the fabric moved in a cloud with her, settling over one of her arms like a long, draping sleeve.”

This description is taken from the writing of a good friend, the image of a goddess of the harvest whose powers have taken a more vengeful turn since the murder of her people long ago. During the pandemic, escaping to the worlds written by this friend got me through the worst of lockdown and kept me inspired, transporting me away from the inside of my house and a scary world, to somewhere imaginary, magical, and exciting.

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FOUNDATIONS REVEALED

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Foundations Revealed is an online membership community where you can learn all the skills you need to create the eccentric wardrobe you've always wanted.
Live online workshops, a vast, exclusive library, and mentoring from the world's best and brightest makers ensure that you'll soon be stepping out with confidence in a style that is uniquely your own.
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ABOUT THE TEAM

Foundations Revealed is the work of a dedicated team, who are driven by a common mission to help our Stitchlings grow in both confidence and skill. Learn about our Founder, the Mentors who guide and nurture our Stitchlings and their work, and the team behind the scenes who ensure a smooth, friendly service.

ABOUT THE WRITERS

Since 2007, over 100 skilled professionals and passionate amateur makers have contributed to our unparallelled library of articles and tutorials, giving our Stitchlings step-by-step guides to everything from bullet bras to Medieval bliauts, and from tailored corsets to Victorian walking suits. These are their stories.

Check out some of our amazing Student work

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Leah Christlanda

“If it wasn't for FR, I wouldn't feel brave enough to try or learn how to do the new things that I used to be hesitant about. Bring on those big sleeves and bonnets 1830s, I'm not afraid of you any more!”

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