Soot Sprite Inspired by Emma Chante
My first inspiration was the soot sprites in spirited away. The plan was to do a dress from a gray wool I had in my fabric stash with a black dip dye on the bottom edge and some pastel star applice. But after patterning was done and I lay the fabric out to cut I discovered there was a large piece missing from the fold. As I thought about how I could incorporate other fabric(s) into the design I thought of contrasting the light, whimsical side of spirited away with the darkness. The boiler room, pollution, shadows and fear. The beautiful flowers, the flow of wind and water that are a signature of Miyazaki. This became my new concept. I pulled another fabric out of my closet, one I bought years ago because I loved it but never had quite the right project for; this was at last the perfect project. The fabric reminds me so much of the beautiful animation that is a signature of Miyazaki films in particular. I feel that this look, while less specific and obvious than my original plan, encompasses a wide range of Miyazaki films.
Sewing was fairly straightforward (besides finding a babysitter so my 2 year old would leave me be for more than 5 minutes at a time). I let out the hips on the sides by 1/4 inch and took the hips in on the princess seams in front 1/4 inch to get a smoother finish.