Step # 4 – Turning Everything Downside-up

11 January 2021

A Transformation from Skirt into a Cape

Remember that original Liberation skirt that was losing colors and me losing interest in? (

I decided to make a cape out of it. It is progressing with adaptations of fit and decoration.

Actually, another one came out of the box of fabrics with coreopsis-dyed shades. 2 Capes?

The original idea of having a Coreopsis flower emerge from the bottom of the skirt (see now is emerging in the cape.

Or I may make that cape reversible. Which, actually, was my original idea for the cape.

Skirt and Top

Also dyed – limited to ONLY – Coreopsis, rusty water, and sun print, the skirt is in progress, as well as the top (together they can be a 2-piece dress). These will have a more “modern” look – simple, with balls and pleated stitches.

I like this skirt. I may use it as a pattern for a blue one that I'd actually wear.

Wearing the The Skirt, Top, and Cape?

Will I wear the garments myself? My only issue is that the colors to which I limited myself (dye from Coreopsis grown in our garden, with modifications from rust and lemon juice) do not look good with my skin color.

The Skirt, Top, and Cape as a Statement and Discussion-starter

As an installation piece, the garments together may be part of the current discussion about the waste in the fashion industry (, as well as about locally-produced clothing with recycled fabrics and dye materials locally harvested, designed, and sewn.

Stories of the Garments

My intention is that the garments together tell stories not just of the materials (the fabrics, notions, and process), but as well of my own story of being born in the country of the House of Orange (the Netherlands – see below under Notes) and most of the rest of my life having lived in the State of Turquoise and all its symbologies (Arizona). Oranges and Blues are my fave combinations of colors: the blues of Sky and of Space, and the orange of the riches from the gifts of Nature.

Future Project to Tell the Stories

I’m planning to present a word-and-images presentation about the wardrobe in a physical artist’s book, as well as an online version of it. The book would present the complete process of how the garments are made, as well as the sources of the materials such as stories and info about the Coreopsis Plant, the Recycled Cotton Sheets, making the dyes and the samplers.

About Capes

There is some interesting info on capes on Wikipedia – see in Notes below. BTW- they also are fabulous for hiding sagging skin of elder women’s upper arms ;-).


Some fun images of capes in fashion here: and here – in history, military, fashion, religion, fantasy.

4 Replies to “Step # 4 – Turning Everything Downside-up”

Wow, I love what you have done Monique! Really interesting shades, seams and pleats! And I love your handstitches And embroidery!


Monique, you are such an amazing artist! I absolutely love the end result!

Diane Baker

Monique, your work is exquisite and inspiring. I appreciate you sharing your thought process and experience of dying applique and stitching. Thank you for sharing the beauty you have created!

Playing catch up, so love your professional but free approach to this project!!!

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