In the cinema watching the Dior and I documentary, which I loved, Designer Raf had Ruby Sterling’s work printed onto fabric and I wondered how amazing it could be if it was actually painted onto fabric rather than printed.

When a local gallery wanted to do a wearable art fashion show I suggested my idea and now it’s actually happening!

It’s a wearable art show that allows all artists not just textile artists to make wearable art, some artists have collaborated with a textile artist for embellishment, and some have paid to have the art sewn into a coat by a seamstress.

Each artist was given a piece of cotton canvas with a basic kimono style coat pattern drawn onto it with basic sewing instructions. They then paint the fabric like would a canvas. The only rules were that it was a coat (one size fit all to be respected) and that it includes a brush of paint somewhere on the coat. Everything else is up to the artist(s)

I drew the pattern onto fabric over 30 times for each artist…..although life means not all artists coats have been made in time for the fashion show.

Each one is so unique and different, some have been lengthened the coat, added pockets, collars, cuffs added, some are wrap around, some are just painted no stitching others have more stitching than paint. All are amazing and unique and I can’t wait to see the final fashion show with all the coats on display. Each coat will be in the silent auction at the end of the fashion show and a percentage of money raised will be donated to Sunshine Coast Community Services. I’m also very excited to have a performance artist painting a coat live on a model to open the show.

All pictures of the amazing coats are here

The response and enthusiasm for the fashion show has been amazing. As soon as I started the Facebook page people from Europe, US and across Canada have contacted me to see if they can join in or run a similar event in their community. As a newbie to the Sunshine Coast so many people have helped, given advice and volunteered for the fashion show. It’s been a great way to meet the art community.


The fashion show will start events happening at this year’s Sunshine Coast Art Crawl which I’m also participating in. My first Art Crawl. It’s all very exciting.

I’ve not just organised the event I have also been seamstress for a few coats and embellished 2 which artist Ruth Rodgers has painted.

The first was waves and ocean…..totally my thing to embellish! It’s covered in stitching; hand dyed and beaded yarn, corals and sponges. Stitched 3D waves on water soluble fabric were appliqued on and of course a jellyfish pin to fasten the coat.


The second coat is a prairie field. I stitched rayon waves in amongst the grasses, cotton swirls in variegated greens and then painted wonder-under in red, golds and copper and cut out the leaf shapes. I ‘picked’ at the edges of the wonder-under to give a rough edge and fused them over the leaves Ruth had stencilled and then stitched the leaf vein 54 details. I added pockets and lining.

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