Making of a silk dress with a wing painted on it.
With dye in color blue black.
Realistic feathers placed unrealistically.
A long story told as is.
By artist/escapist Yuko Nagai, currently Miss Sore Thumb in a rural Japanese town
who rambles about random stuff as well.
Read on.
Thank you.

June 21, 2010

wing dress update: summer returns again

happy solstice to you all

at my end it's officially summer again
cycle of life, hellos and goodbyes
ebbs and flows for evermore...

no, this ain't the beginning of a poem


my wing dress panels, sent off to steam-set
as explained on the last post
are now returned and...

looking just as i hoped them to look
right (with red trim) is the 1st version of the dress
painted much lighter in blue black acid dye,
then touched up with pigment black-blue mixture
post steam setting
lying next to it on left is
the current -2nd- version,
painted much darker with blue-black acid dye

next task will be to put them all together but
that's a bit of a job
i gotta have some encouragement along the way
that gives me an assurance, hope, something


pepping myself up
2 of the back-side panels held on front
can you see it soaring already?

by the way, that dramatic red cuffs
are part of my "girl-groups" shift dress

(i've always wanted to wear something like this)

the wing dress project is now expanding and
there will be a whole new series in "shift" shape
and this is part of an experiment on that

trying to tone down the
be-my-baby sugaryness in the
best way i know how
(nice flare, no?)

the current version is expanding, too!

the next one's drawing
accelerating the speed of flight

much more to imagine
and to dream, scheme, implement

but for now, i'll leave you with my
best wishes for your summer or otherwise


ms. kirsty hall has made a beautiful "feather art" flickr gallery
and included my humble photo in it - thank you!
so please do go see and savor---bye!

June 14, 2010

wing dress update: darker than ever, slower than most

yesterday, i sent all the painted panels of my
wing dress number 2
to have them steam set

yes, that's right, believe it or not,
(i can't)
i had been working on the thing
all this time!!!

feathers all painted in, using acid-type dye
laid out flat before the dispatch

one "bad"
steam setting is done
while holding the fabric airborne,
by pinching corners of the work cut in rectangular
as in hammock-trampoline

they be steamed but must not touch dew drops
delicate business, isn't it?

hey, someone cut the fabric in bias!
...and tried to bring back the lost corner

i stitch-marked the shape of the pattern
life may be easier this way

what's different from the wing dress #1 is that
i am not planning to touch up after the dye is set
some shadows are painted as dark as it can get

you can see the difference by referring to this past post

the "fade into white" look, although i'm very fond of,
that i experimented on wd1
is no more

with this version, all the feathers are well-defined

several pics of details
stitching giving them a slightly decadent touch

you can find more photos on
my flickr set

thanks for your visit---

June 7, 2010

party purse with a touch of ambiguity

hello again, blogosphere
this is your process lady, returned from hiatus
to tell you a story of a party purse newly born just the other day
so here we go,
long story long

your usual kimono-obi-japan affair

although i do like-like the
borderline tacky trad-j color combos
(i said it as a compliment, for it's an
aesthetically risky hence bold move
to match colors as such)

i wanted to de-japan and
make it into something with a different flavor

first, tried insanely triumphant red-gold combo
golly gee, mighty sunny

then naturally, a little toning down occurred

wrong side started looking right as well...

decided on silver and red
victorious enough but not so much so that
it'd steamroller the bag carrier

cut in strips, ready to be stitched together
can you envision how this will look when put together?

oh, by the way,
stitch a little "in"
so that no black/ gold will show up at seams

lookie, stitched!
pretty, no?

although i have "party" in mind
i wanted to make it

not too elegant
not too ritzy
not too formal
nor too presentable

heading for
no man's land of bag-making

circles, what for?

yes those are to go on the both end of cylinder shape
then came a mishap...

ow what's with those corners?
not the look i was after

this is when i gave up and gone to bed

during sleep i was granted
an insight, and the will to go on
that's a winning combination

now that i know what to do...

about to take them apart and
do the right thing

see, this is what was causing the boxy ridges
the brown "interfacing" material
was fused after all were assembled
creating texture differences
where interfacing was not directly applied

with renewed enthusiasm i ironed interfacing cut in strips
on each red-silver strips to provide even backing

redoing stitches, and doing it better than before


zipper(s), straps and trimmings
determine the look of the bag
or so i say, so i picked the...

sage-mint coil zipper
just because something clicked "yes!"

shortening it clumsily
no, that's not blood stain
thank you for your concern tho

about to sew it on then i saw the unignorable
can you tell, the stripes not meeting?

certainly, but
i can't get no inner clicking
(that "yes!" thing i told you about)

... it looks like this!


by the way, speaking of meticulous,
look closer until you see...

(hint: colors of the stitches)


let's get choosy on straps
in fact, i already decided on this when
i picked that zipper but
why not show you why i say not red

what do you think?

which one's better,
horizontal, vertical or diagonal?

went diago
added red trim and now i'm good to go

what, how big is the bag?


if there were 5 process ladies...
will we have the dress making process sped up by 5 times
or a beach just a little crowded?

the answer's blowin' in the wind my friend

thanks for your visit!