1carpetflowers

there are carpets of spring flowers everywhere here; another winter with plenty of rain, especially in february, and then a lot end of march/early april.

1caminograssandflowers

it’s very lush, with nightingales singing on every corner, accompanied by the percussion section of sardinian warblers and corn buntings, though sometimes all you can hear from my house is about ten blackbirds singing at full blast.

1front

I have been spending some time finishing a failed Julian Roberts subtraction cutting top – I’ve turned it into a dress. I learnt a lot from the attempt, except that I don’t quite understand how the circular holes thing works; however I had too small a tube for it anyway. I am not sure that anyone would be brave enough to wear this one, the draping is a little odd at the back.

1back

I stitched circles into lines and ended up with lots of weird drapey things happening  - a perfect candidate for further exploration of local plant contact prints and dyes.

1firstfold

a large selection of flowers and leaves folded into it – corn marigold, vipers bugloss are the magenta flowers, camomile, ilex oak and olive twigs, plus some local eucalyptus leaves and buds.

1flowerdress

I wasn’t expecting these to give colour so much as impressions and possibly negative prints

1eucandencina

and not a lot on the already dyed velvet; it is viscose and silk and only gains subdued effects with the best dyeplants.

1bundle

it made a big fat bundle, so I cooked it with the windfall encina (ilex oak) leaves for rather longer than usual … hard to tell whether this was a good idea or not.

1wetdress

sopping wet. it took a while for the detail to show up

1velvet detail

it’s all quite low-key

1dryishdress

mainly a purple-ish brown, with little patches of greenish yellow, and needs to be seen on a person. it has become rather longer – really I should have dried it flat.

1detailarmhole

1blurry

1plantandgrid

1sleeve

1detail1

but lots going on, and encouraging. I put it on this morning, and it is quite a flattering frock, though I would prefer it about three inches shorter.

1meindress

perhaps when I wash it and dry it flat it will go back to the original length. my conclusion is that less is more and I should go for a few stems of marigold another time with the ilex leaves and perhaps some olive.

1sierraview

now I have a repeat dress to sew, lots of work, it has a lining … and lots of cotton fabric to assemble, plus more testing, all the while in a dream of delirious beauty – mountain-side, birdsong, flowers … it’s the most beautiful place I know of.