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Water and Jam (Proofed Pattern Piece Technique and Fleshed S...

Added Feb 25, 2010

by Passiona Cottee

Sydney (Inner We...






Techniques give coherece to Alabama Studio’s Style. And they are a contribution to art that goes beyond an aesthetic.

This project contributes a “proofed pattern piece” techinique and ‘“fleshed” seams, inspired by Alabama Studio. The proofed pattern piece techinique involves creating and completing each piece of the pattern separately, first. Cut each piece of the pattern you are making from two different fabrics. Place the two different fabrics right side together, stitch, leave a small opening, clip corners and curves (where necessary) turn and press. Each piece has two ’outsides’. There is no wrong side of a piece. They are independent pieces brought together only by the stitching you see.

This technique works well with fabrics that have no wrong side (weaves) – they are reverse applique ready. The seam associated with the technique is “fleshed” seams. These look similiar to the Alabama studio “open felled seams on the right side” and have no raw edges instead you see the finished seam of the inside piece (the “flesh”).

Although this is new fabric, it is organic. And the resourcefulness of the proofed pattern technique is… double the outfits. Fully reversible! Blue top and skirt; Blue top and pink skirt; Pink top and skirt; Pink top and blue skirt! Add a pair of jeans and that’s two more.

Creating each individual pattern piece in its “proofed” form is a slow process. During that time the maker can consider the final garment in different ways.

In this outfit I can see the coastal town where I grew up, the gothic victorian house in which I now live and the influence of Alabama Studio. The Australian native “flannel flowers” that dance around the skirt’s base are the kind you would see on a coastal walk…
And wait one organic cotton picking minute. That’s an Alice in Wonderland bodice, too!

Time spent focussed on pattern, fit, materials and technique. These are co-ordinates that can become more and more embellished as time goes by. I look forward to seeing what they become.

[I came up with this technique while waiting for the Studio Style book order to be shipped from the US – I didn’t realise the style was mainly jersey! And, so, this technique extends the look of Alabama Studio to non-jerseys… organic ones, of course!]

Material Notes

organic cotton fabric from Japan (“edo jam” and “edo stream”); linen thread from France (we don’t have Coats and Clarks button hole thread here in Oz!); wooden buttons; fabric paint



Related Techniques


Garment Type
Casual, Romantic, Victorian


background ambience

6 Comments Sign in to add a post

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    Jul 3, 2010, 09.03 AMby jackcher

    great ````~~~~i like it

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    May 2, 2010, 03.57 PMby kleinfee

    Breathtaking…and these photos…great!

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    Feb 26, 2010, 04.47 AMby carolyn-s

    Oh this is stunning. I love it.

    1 Reply
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      Feb 26, 2010, 06.03 AMby Passiona Cottee

      Thank you! And, hey I just noticed you are new to BurdaStyle. And in Australia, to boot! Welcome, welcome!

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    Feb 25, 2010, 10.30 AMby tamaracaracol


    1 Reply
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    Feb 25, 2010, 08.39 AMby nessys

    Wow Darl – looks like your trip to the stencil gallery paid off! This is so technical, yet so beautiful and resourceful at the same time, ie the fact that pieces are reversible (I am a big fan of that) and wardrobe stretching. You are really clever! No wonder you are studying law! Yet so creative at the same time! I am impressed!

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      Feb 26, 2010, 05.59 AMby Passiona Cottee

      Nessy, your comment TOTALLY made my day. The process you followed for your gorgeous vogue dress was an inspiration for me. And for the first time ever I made a muslin, like you did in that project. It really helped me get the bodice fit just right – I made quite a few changes to the design based on what did and didn’t work with the muslin. It was worth the effort and I honestly don’t think it would have occurred to me without you.

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      Feb 28, 2010, 11.47 PMby nessys

      Oh no! I think I just marked you as in appropriate! I am SOOO sorry!! I was trying to reply and say how sweet you are to say those lovely things! You’re a Darling!! (I’ll send a message to Alden and get her to fix it!) And you got picked a couple of times for the top 50! Once again – I am impressed!!! xxxxx

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    Feb 25, 2010, 08.36 AMby keren

    lovely! looks like a LOT of work.

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      Feb 26, 2010, 05.53 AMby Passiona Cottee

      Hi Keren, thank you for your supportive and understanding words. This is probably one of the biggest (longest) projects I have worked on. I found the hand sewing relaxing. Though the design and execution was demanding and I am thankful I fitted it all in, in time.

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