Slightly worn work of art

MOST of the people who asked Annalise Burton where she bought her formal dress were surprised when the 17-year-old Casino High School student told them she designed and made it herself.

"I had heaps of people coming up to me and commenting on my dress," Annalise said.

"Most of them were stunned when I told them I made it."

They probably would not have been surprised to learn that the dress, which took five months to make, was one of only 20 HSC Textile and Design major works selected from more than 3000 submitted to be part of the 2013 Texstyle exhibition.

The hand-crafted gown, which is more a work of art than a piece of clothing, features 374 handcrafted organza and chiffon leaves, each individually hand- sewn onto the skirt.

Each leaf was embroidered by Annalise using free-motion machine embroidery, and each was crimped and curled using a tea light candle.

Annalise created the bodice of the dress out of lace doilies which she cut up, joined together and finished off with a mass of intricate beading work.

The bubbly 17-year-old has no idea how many hours she spent creating the gown but says she worked on it "pretty much every day" from the beginning of April to August 13, when it had to be handed in for marking.

Despite the gown's obvious appeal, Annalise says she never once thought it would be selected to be part of the Texstyle exhibition.

"I'm good at sewing and stuff but I'm not that good at the theory," Annalise said.

"To be selected for Texstyle your portfolio has to be really good and I didn't think mine was.

"But apparently it was."

By the time Annalise found out two weeks ago the gown had been selected for the Texstyle exhibition, her heart was set on wearing it to the formal.



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