Sophie Sidhu

Costume with Textiles BA(Hons)

For my Final Major Project I have adapted Elizabeth Lim’s Spin the Dawn, a YA fantasy retelling of the ballad of Mulan, to create Maia Tamarin’s Blood of the Stars dress. I incorporated traditional Chinese elements into the construction and silhouette, combined with modern textile processes such as digital embroidery and laser cutting, after being inspired by Chinese paper cutting. My motifs were also inspired by historical Chinese designs, as well as the celestial and mythological elements and locations featured in the novel. To push myself further in this project I hand-dyed all my fabric to create the perfect galaxy/sunset background, before foiling the whole costume to create the speckled starry sky, which as an embroiderer was a large, unfamiliar process for me. I also wanted to include traditional embroidery techniques that I’ve learnt in my specialism and from my placement year, through undertaking online embroidery courses and a placement at goldwork company Hand & Lock. After learning stumpwork embroidery for my winning WWF Just Imagine competition entry, I was eager to incorporate three-dimensional techniques in the making of my phoenix. I hope to further gain experience and continue my journey as a maker and embroiderer in the costume industry.