Once the basic skeletal structure of my textiles piece was complete and the fabric was dyed with Cochineal and Logwood - I was then able to begin to insert the plastic into the ruched 'sleeves'.
However I found the ruched sleeves really took the structural shape away, and it made the piece look bland and not what I had in mind for it at all.
So I then began to place the ruched sleeves on the structure in other ways to keep elements of the plastic without completely covering them, but I didn't like the aesthetic of this either - I toyed with the idea of creating a 'bustle' style skirt in the above photo also, but I found it didn't really go with the theme of my project.
I reverted back to my original paper models on the mannequin, and the above design was the one that really stuck in my mind but proved difficult to make out of plastic strips, so I developed the idea slightly.
I wrapped the ruched sleeve onto a strip that I then joined to make a complete circle, which I then bent in a particular way so that it was able to hold the shape! The above image is the result of this and I can happily say I thought it worked.
It may not be the strong, rigorous design I had in mind in the first place, however the structure is there it is just covered with a contrasting material. I also like how if people were to ask 'what inspired this piece' it isn't blatantly obvious what it was inspired by, as I didn't intend for it to look like a skyscraper, a bridge or scaffold - that is just what inspires me!
I began to experiment with different compositions on the front and back of the piece, however I had to take into account how the piece would be joined. So some of the compositions that were pinned to the mannequin were not functional but could perhaps be developed into a piece in the future?
I am extremely happy with the outcome of my textiles piece, I discovered along the way that natural dyes aren't as dull and life-less as my earlier preconceptions and can be infact quite vibrant and bold - however are quite hard to control and despite following recipes and guidelines, it is hard to create the same colour exactly the same.