Unbound for Suffrage125 the final coat in images

sewign table set up

All set, a sweet little domestic Bernina, a beautiful sewing chair

Swapping my workspace in The Hub at Otago Polytechnic for DEMO, Whitecliffe College’s project space, I completed the Coat I began for Unbound; Liberating Women.

Three women siging the coat in sewing space

People adding their marks to the coat as it was being sewn…

During the course of the Day of Making at the Symposium, I had visitors come and see me to add to their original contribution, as well as people who attended the symposium, but not the dinner, and who wanted to participate. The conversations continued and the work went on…It was important to allow everyone time to come and go while I was there working, and share stories with me or with other delegates making their marks.

CTANZ Unbound Symposium 2018 finished coat Low res

Shattered but happy

Feeling tired and frazzled by now, the outer of the garment was complete, and she was looking stunning. I needed to complete her, adding lining and hemming, so arranged another residency at DEMO, where she began as piece of calico, I had the space and a weekend. I was happy.

Unbound coat working on the hem on the table beautiful Low res

On the table to be pressed and hemmed

The choice to extend the length of the coat, beyond floor length was the right thing to do, it gave plenty of space for people to work with, and, I think gives the garment quite a presence, it also shifts it further from being a wearable object.

Unbound coat shoulders view detail Low res

Oh look at that drape…

Unbound coat front Low res

She’s standing at my height, I love the way the fabric pools on the floor

Unbound coat front close Low res

Standing tall

There are a wide range of marks, some, a simple signature and date, others a drawing, a quote or poem, or words of wisdom. I feel as though a lot of mana was infused in this object and it has been an honour to work on it and with the people who participated in the project, the enthusiasm that people brought, the intention behind the words and imagery was humbling and added more meaning to the making and the finished object than I anticipated.

This has given me plenty to mull over and consider for future projects.

Thank you….

With grateful thanks to Creative New Zealand and Costume and Textile Association of New Zealand for supporting this project, special thanks to Stella Lange for providing me with everything I needed for my sewing space at The Hub, including a very special sewing chair, and Elaine Webster for being such a gracious host and woman of wisdom.



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