NOW, I AM READY FOR THE HOLIDAY SEASON
Wow, what a great month. I was lucky enough to get a lot of great feedback. Hearing your suggestions and opinions through the blog, social media, and Periscope made this month the best yet for me. Writing a sewing/fashion blog can make you feel like you spend all your time behind a computer monitor or sewing machine. It is so nice to connect with other fashion and sewing enthusiasts and feel part of a community.
Here is the recap for this month’s design challenge including photos, the Periscope broadcast where I revealed the finished design and this month’s report card.
I had a lot of problems choosing the final two designs for this month’s challenge. I think that the problem was that I had been saving the zebra-like print for years and pictured it as a show stopping dress. But the fabric on its own it didn’t scream Merry Christmas. Heck, I was hoping for it to whisper of the holidays to come, but there was no real trace. Adding the red fabric created a nod to the holidays without it feeling too forced. I have always gravitated towards clothing that is stylish rather than fashionable, but I feel the cut of this skirt flirts with being fashionable.
It was the first time using my new Surface 3 to create the initial sketches. In the past, I have sketched rough designs with pencils in a notebook and then scanned them into the computer to finish them off. I was excited to try completing the whole process digitally and thought it would be a huge time saver. I will admit that it did not work out as I planned. Sketching straight onto the monitor/tablet did not come naturally to me. The illustrations ended up taking a bit longer than they normally would, but I learned a lot along the way and cannot wait to try it again next month.
The patternmaking was challenging this month. I think I started from the wrong place. I should have traced the block on paper and just added in the design lines where I wanted them to go, taking into account the contouring rules. I tried to adapt the pattern instructions from a similar pattern manipulation, but they did not quite suit my design in the bodice area.
The only major changes to the design I made were changing the darts on the bodice to pleats. I think this was not only necessary but bloody brilliant of me.
Before I started sewing the final garment it had changed from the original design I sketched. During the patternmaking for the dress, I added pleats in the bodice and separated the inner layer of the skirt (made in the contrast material) from the top layer of the dress. I think these changes improved the final design.
Some of the challenges I faced with this design were deciding how to finish the edges of the garment, and the types of seams that I wanted to sew where.
How I finished the edges:
- Hem – it could not be sewn like a normal folded hem, as the edge is curved, so a rolled hem was needed
- Armholes – black binding on contrast fabric and the red fabric were self-faced.
- Open side seam (left side) – roll hem
Seams I used:
- French Seam – Since you can see the seams of the outer skirt due to the cut, and the inner skirt due to the transparent sections of the fabric, French seams were needed. The shoulder seams were also French seamed due to this reason.
- Sandwiched – where the two different fabrics attach at the bodice, I sandwiched the zebra-like print in-between the lower bodice and facing pieces.
I did something a little wild and crazy this month. I was the model for the photo shoot. I thought since the dress was for me that I should be the one to wear it. Modeling is harder work than it looks.
The photos turned out well but with the extra editing this month I am reminded of how much I need to brush up on my Photoshop skills.
I feel the finished dress met the design brief. I think it is suitable for the holiday party I am attending and gives just the right amount of reference to the holiday season without being able to be entered into an Ugly Christmas Dress competition. No subtlety there. I do love a good tacky holiday sweater, though.
Wow, what an amazing month for communication. I talked about the designs with people from all over Canada, the United States and even places like New Zealand. Look out world! I learned a lot about what people want to see in the designs and on my blog. The post about my favourite patternmaking books was due to a viewers request. I also learned more about blogging, sewing, and social media from listening to my readers. Thanks!
GOALS FOR NEXT MONTH
I think I need to push myself further with my illustrations and designs. I hope to change my illustrations to match the feel of the garment next month.