"Written in the Stars" and "Celestial Mother", Jennifer Stanley, 2022
The purpose of this design was to combine the fabric manipulation techniques of laser cutting and digital printing. It has been proven that using fabric manipulation techniques in design broadens creative thinking and encourages innovation (Burns, 2022). Combining the laser cutting and digital printing into one ensemble encouraged me to develop a way that both techniques could support each other in my design.
The inspiration for this ensemble is my personal journey in motherhood. The ensemble is a suede strapless gown with cotton asymmetrical skirt, and suede collar piece. The laser cut design on the blue suede fabric are the Pisces and Leo constellations (Figure 1). I chose these specific constellations to represent the birth months of myself and my son. The digital fabric print is a galaxy painted digitally using colors of our birthstones: amethyst and ruby. The combination of the blue suede with the colors in the digital print represent my child’s premature birth. The stars in the constellations are laser cut out, allowing the digital fabric print to peek through the cut outs. The layering technique used for the different fabric manipulation creates visual interest for the design by emphasizing color and texture.
The ensemble was started by draping the bodice, skirt, and collar pieces. After the drapes were transferred to patterns, I used Adobe Illustrator to digitize the pattern pieces. I used Procreate and Adobe Illustrator to create the laser cut design and added it to the pattern pieces (Figure 2). After the file was complete, I used an Epilog Fusion M2 75-watt laser cutter to apply the design to the fabric as well as cut the pattern pieces. The digital fabric print was painted using Procreate and edited using Adobe Illustrator (Figure 3). The printing service through Spoonflower was used to order 100% cotton fabric with my digital fabric print.
Using technology for fabric manipulation techniques is an opportunity I have never attempted before, but the end result was a design that displays the two methods in conjunction with each other. This ensemble meets my goal of using the laser cutting and digital printing techniques to translate my inspiration into my final design.