Elaine Fortune Designs

Garment Descriptions

                                                    Fantasies in Fabric

Below are brief descriptions of my masterpiece garments which explain just what you are looking at since photos sometimes do not do the work their justice....and you may not be familiar with my processes and embellishment techniques.   If there is a garment or wall piece you are interested in getting details on, just fill out the comtact form below and I will send you the description in full detail, along with its price if it has not been sold.

Thank you for your interest in my work!  I tried to keep it brief but there is much more going on as you will see if you choose to.

Elaine Fortune

Nowhere to Run...Nowhere to Hide:


 The news of cloning and living in the old growth forests of the Pacific NW (the last place on earth that these trees exist), watching the destruction of the habitat of trees older than Christ being destroed inspired this ensemble. I had the shivers at the thought of cloning any living thing, because we mess with "mother nature" too much as it is. The coat, lining, and hat are a tribute to Mother Nature's creatures, some of which are endangered or threatened species to extinction.   Using my interpretation of crazy quilting, turned collage, I created a collage of those fauna, flora, and Mother Nature herself with her ultimate power.   I realize this is very personal belief system of mine, but I believe others will understand what I am trying to convey in my garment and share my view.   Those who just enjoy the beauty of the creation will be sufficient for me, but a message can be a powerful tool at times as well.

COAT:  Fabrics for the coat include my own hand dyed raw silks, batiks,  animal fabrics from which I cut out and appliqued animals, metallic lame under the layered balloons, suede cottons for the borders that wrap the coat in purple and golden yellow. Insects and flora were cut from various cotton fabrics and appliquéd on both inside and outside of the coat. Mother nature's dress is crinkled taffeta, her face, cotton batik wihich I then emroidered, beaded and embellished with bone carvings, fish vertebrae, fresh water pearls and surrounded by thread painted and wired ribbon flowers, and insects created with silk ribbon embroidery.

The satin lining has a fish print cotton cut and appliquéd to bottom border in shapes of flames to signify the damage done to our oceans, lakes, and rivers, and above are appliquéd polluted cloud and sun shapes with birds and insects flying back and fourth in a panic/chaotic state.

Beads: literally thousands of seed beads, bugle beads, Swarovski crystals (elephant toes), freshwater pearls, Chinese coins, needles, threads, faceted glass beads, and found objects I made beads from.

Trims: Bugle beaded trim on coat in cobalt blue, woven floral ribbon trims from France, metallic ribbons from unknown source from my "collection".   I used Stamens to create flowers in miniature, worry dolls from Mexico to represent ethnic cultured destroyed with foreign influence to "civilize and Christianize"...it goes on and on....

Decorative Threads: came from Sulky, Kreinik, and Coats and Clark. I used 39 spools of thread!! Not counting spools that were not completely stripped of thread.

The Beauty "IN" the Beast:


Coat: A duster-style coat with hand-dyed raw silk as the "background canvas" for the design appliqués. Random pin-tucks and stipple quilting were added after I dyed the fabric for the coat. Batiks were cut apart, appliquéd, then embellished with decorative threads & beads. A "Tassel-tree" is sewn on the left front panel. Cording and yarns are wrapped with various threads and braids to form the "trunk". Then the tassel "branches" are added to this "trunk" of the tree. I texturized taffeta to resemble a "burned lava-like" effect, by free-motion stitching with elastic thread in the bobbin. This fabric is used on the hem of the sleeves and coat, side seams, and shoulder seams. Crinkled cotton triangles are appliquéd on the texturized taffeta. Purple bias strips are used to tie the design elements together and add an element of fire-like curves around the batiks. The sleeves are embellished with my "balloons" sewn into the tucks of the pleated hand woven purple/blue silk. Strips of ultra-suede are then tucked in an alternating fashion. This fabric is also used for the collar.

The coat is lined with crinkled plum taffeta. Machine embroidery, couched aquamarine flat braid, and antique beads from France, embellish the design. The lining embellishments are intended to "frame" the dress design when the model opens the coat front sections.   The hat is the same textured taffetta beaded with glass e-sized beads randomly and trimmed with the woven silk used on the coat.

Ecletic Ethnicity:




 As it's name implies, the coat is a "collage" of symbols and ethnic fabrics of many cultures in our world. Using the bright, bold colors of many ethnic folk wear and the animal kingdom, I've created a representation of how beautiful our world is when the best of all are combined. In the process of designing, I created a new fabric manipulation, which was just what the garment needed to be totally unique..

Coat: Inspired by the I used the Hungarian Szur, I transformed it into a cocoon type coat by box pleating the side panels. I made the collar taller and longer and added a 1" binding using the raw silk. Techniques used in coat are the following: couching, machine appliqué, machine embroidery, hand-beading, crinkling, Seminole patchwork, hand braiding, tassels, and my new innovative fabric manipulation --- I now call "Balloon Chain". This trim is used on the lapels, back flap collar, sleeves, and hat! Fabrics incorporated into the coat include: batiks (which are cut-outs and appliquéd), cotton/suedes, hand-woven raw silk, metallic, "sandwich" fabric (created with three layers of fibers and fabrics, crinkled fabric (in Seminole patchwork), a wall hanging from India transformed into the back collar flap, and very old embroidered (peacocks) on fabric from India, which I appliquéd to coat lapels (after much reconstructive work)

Dress: Inspired by the Hong Kong Cheongsam, I gave it a "bolero" look by reversing the way the flaps of the dress are layered. I then added machine embroidered and beaded bias tape, to which I attached beaded fringe. I hand-dyed silk charmeuse for the lining and used a metallic fabric for the dress.

Inspired by African design, fabrics used are copper tissue lame, raw silk, and moiré jacquard lining. The hat is quilted, machine embroidered, hand beaded, trimmed with "Elaine's Balloon Chain", and hand-beaded tassels and fringe. The hat was intended to be worn with hair tucked in, and the beaded fringe becomes the "hair".



Contact Information

For descriptions or any other information on these or other garments on the site or information regarding commissions, please fill out the form below (being sure to include your phone #) and I will get back to you immediately!

Thank you,  Elaine Fortune

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