If you haven’t met Sonya Philip of 100 Acts of Sewing, here’s your chance. She’ll be teaching our very first Pop-up Britex on March 14 where she’ll demonstrate all the skills necessary for making an a-line tunic dress. Here’s a peek into her creative process using two pieces of linen from the our online selection.

Why did you choose these fabrics for your project?

I adore linen. It is wonderful to work with and has a beautiful hand. Living in San Francisco, I find I can wear linen almost year-round. I chose the main fabric (Golden Wheat Linen/Silk Blend) primarily for the color–mustard and curry yellows just really speak to me right now. I wanted a strong contrast color and was taken by the richness of the Two-tone Raspberry Linen.


Tell us a little bit about your design process. How did you decide how each fabric would be used?

My design process is largely intuitive, in this case the fabric itself played a large role. I was so taken by the dark selvedge of the Golden Wheat Linen, I incorporated it in an exposed seam up the back of the dress. I knew I wanted to make large pockets and decided to pull in some brown. I made piping to frame the pockets, using the same brown linen as the bias facing in the neck and armholes. Many of the dresses I make are simple, but love to include hidden details.

 

Tell us a little about your background and experience.

I learned to sew in middle school and while adept, I always found myself frustrated. I began knitting in my 20s and as an artist, have incorporated knitting, felting, and other crafts in my work. I took a pattern making class at the beginning of 2012 with the wonderful Cal Patch. Within a week, I designed and sewed four dresses, then decided I would set a challenge to make one hundred. I created a tumblr site called 100 Acts of Sewing, where I uploaded a photo of each dress as it was made. Along the way, a social element evolved, engaging the public through teaching and a dialog about clothing manufacturing. The project now has its own website, www.100actsofsewing.com with information on upcoming exhibits and workshops.

 

What are you up to in 2013? Are you making 100 more dresses?

Even though I finished 100 dresses, I felt like I had almost just started and made the decision to carry on with a second year. I’m excited to participate in Pop-up Britex on March 14th and at the end of the month I’ll be traveling to Chicago for an exhibit of the project at the Lillstreet Art Center.