Dorcas Mutombo made 1066 scrap fabric flowers for her statement jacket

by | Oct 21, 2019

A finalist in the Twyg Sustainable Fashion Awards, Dorcas is a fashion student at Elizabeth Galloway. She embellished a jacket with 1066 flowers made from scrap fabric. Here she tells us about her decision to be a fashion student, entering the real work world and about the making of her jacket.

“As a young woman, I joined the fantastic world of Fashion in 2018. I knew nothing about fashion, but I had a great desire and passion to learn about this fabulous industry. I have and am working really heard to learn as much as I can.

I have been learning how to construct a garment, make a pattern and how to do fashion research. I am learning about business and the different ways of drawing. As I grow and learn at school, I’m also learning in the real world. I decided to enter the industry while studying in preparation for when I have to deal with the real world. This experience allows me to make mistakes and learn from them while I am allowed to.

I started my own brand, Emelia D, in January 2019. For now I make printed t-shirts (I am developing a new project and new products). I started the business without capital, but used off-cut pieces. I used these fabric pieces to make T-shirts and I hand painted them with fabric paint. I sold my first stock, made money, invested it in the business and now I get T-shirts printed professionally. My business has grown to a point where I produce for other small companies and I have employed someone to help me sew. Since I started I have learned so much when in comes to production, marketing, customers service, making deals with other companies, etc.

I decided to embellish it completely with upcycled fabric flowers

All these different processes and knowledge got me thinking of many different idea. I have come to understand that there is a lot that goes on in the fashion industry, and sustainability and upcycling are big topics that are being discussed everyday in the industry. So as I student and a creative I asked myself, what can I create that will not just be beautiful, but sustainable as well?
When I got the chance to learn how to make a coat, I decided to embellish it completely with upcycled fabric flowers. I went around asking for scrap lining fabric that I could use to embellish this coat. I took the scraps, cut them in small circles, burned the edges to stop the fabric from fraying, sewed the small circles in forms of flowers and hand-stitched every flower on the coat. For this project I made over 1100 flowers and then sewed 1066 flowers on the coat.

I made this coat to be my forever and unforgettable masterpiece.

This was a very difficult project in term of time, but it was a sacrifice I was willing to take because I had a vision of how I wanted it to be. I made this coat to be my forever and unforgettable masterpiece. I know that it will be the garment that will put my name and brand on the map. This coat represents sacrifice, patience, dedication, sustainability, hard work and creativity.

  • Follow Dorcas on Instagram at @emelia_dorcas 
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