Frock On! 2022

We are thrilled to be selected to be part of Frock On 2022!

Frock On! 2022 is a collaboration between Flying Fox Fabrics, Ikuntji Artists and Songlines Australia to showcase hand-printed Indigenous designed fabric.

Fabric from Flying Fox Fabrics

As part of being involved in Frock On 2022, we selected a fabric from the collection to create a garment that showcases the fabric.

It was a tough decision working out what fabric to select – the main types of fabric to choose from are a cotton drill, linen or silk dupion.

We were instantly drawn to this lovely design hand screen-printed on superb Princess dupion silk called ‘Silk Rockholes’ created by Alice Nampitjinpa Dixon.

The base silk is burnt orange, with ink colours of metallic gold and pink.

A wonderful feature of the Flying Fox Fabrics website is that they share information on each of the artists. For the artist, Alice Nampitjinpa Dixon, who created the fabric we used, they shared:

Alice was a Luritja and Pintupi artist; born in 1943 near Talaalpi: country east of Walungurru on the Western Australia / Northern Territory border… Prior to painting, Alice worked for many years at the Kintore School teaching the young girls dancing and the traditions of the desert people. Alice remains an active “dancing woman” who travels widely to participate in annual ceremonies and “Women’s Law” meetings. She was a lead singer in the Sydney 2000 Oympics. Alice’s personal Tjukurrpa (Dreaming) is Tjilkamata – the porcupine. Her story is told in bright colours often utilising orange and yellow to mirror the ochres that are used in ceremonial body painting. In her Tjukurrpa story there is often the porcupine scurrying about rock holes and hiding places looking for tucker while nearby the women are themselves hunting, laying in wait for the porcupine”

Pattern

We love ‘hacking’ together patterns – it allows you to create unique and individual garments which really suit your style, without the need to make your own patterns!

We were initially going to be a fitted bodice dress with thin straps. After the fabric arrived we knew we had to change our plans – this fabric needed to become a big, beautiful sleeve!

We decided to hack together:
1. Butterick B5850: For the front draped skirt.
2. Butterick B5880: For the wrap bodice.
3. New Look N6694: For the sleeve and back skirt.

You may be thinking, “how do you figure out what patterns to join together?”. Great question, it usually involves a lot of brainstorming our “vision” and folding together the front of patterns (just like the photo to the left).

The other thing we should mention… Butterick B5880 is described as a ‘mock wrap’ and utilises a side zipper closure for you to get in and out of the dress. Only… we hacked it into a real wrap rather than a mock wrap!

The construction on the shoulder pleating, neckline and finishing off the arm wholes is relatively consistent with the pattern. However, this hack does take some creativity to make work. Broadly it involves closing off the side seam where the zipper would usually be, not closing off the waist seam so that the right and left bodice pieces are free to wrap around the waist.

Construction on our Frock On creation

Once we had decided on our patterns, we cut and hacked them together. The key tip to hacking together is making sure all the key seams match like the waist theme and sleeve head.

After the key pieces of the fabric were cut out, we turned our minds to construction. The key issue we faced it not having enough matching thread for the overlocker… this problem turned into an opportunity. From the fabric straps we had, we could make bias to finish the internal seams of the garment and finish the hem of the skirt. On reflection, this bias created the perfect edge of the fabric and a clean finish to the seams.

Headband

No special outfit is complete without a Lauren J Ritchie Millinery headpiece!

Plus – a headband is a perfect way of making the most of fabric scraps!

This headband is the same shape as the base of the Stanley Bramble and Harrow Headband – only we stripped back the desk to remove the additional embellishment.

As an easy to wear style, this headband is perfect in the silk dupion – which allows the fabric design to be the feature.

Finished Dress for Frock On!

We are so excited for our garment for Frock on 2022 turned out! On a fresh Sunday morning in June we look the dress for a trip to the Botanital Gardens in Melbourne ito take the photos.

With the colours featured in the fabric, we wanted to find something complimentry yet contrasting – we thought the Arid Garden was the perfect place. The garden features around 3,000 cacti and succulents from approximately 400 species, so may different textures and colours.

We can’t wait to see all of the other fabulous entries in to the Frock On 2022 competition!

Photography Notes

Photographer: James Christie
Dress Fabric: Silk Rockholes by Alice Nampitjinpa Dixon in gold/silver on burnt orange available on the Flying Fox Fabrics website
Patterns: Bodice B5850, Skirt B5880 & N6694 and Sleeve N6694
Headband: Lauren J Ritchie Millinery