Update: Design 2 was this month’s winner!
I called this challenge the Semi-Impossible Design Challenge because I could not picture what I could design that would do these two statement pieces justice. Black jeans or a pencil skirt? There is navy but not black in the sweater, and the t-shirt would look boring. I could imagine of lots of designs that would compliment one piece but would look flat or awkward with the other. What made this a challenge, semi-impossible wink, wink, was that I wanted to design something that not only compliments both pieces but that brought the already vibrant pieces to life. The new design should not compete with the tops but be a solid, supportive base for tops that seem to scream look at me I’m FAB-ulous!
I always start with a different inspiration for each of my design challenges but usually follow a similar design process. One part of this process is to think of who will be wearing the garment and decide what style not only fits the brief but what will compliment the wearers style, body shape and the type of occasion it will be worn for. In this case the bottom, it will be a skirt, short, or trouser, will be worn by me for everyday casual use. I am a curvy pear shaped woman who does not like figure-hugging garments on my hips. Jeans and workout tights being the only two exceptions. From there, and with the two tops in front of me, I began sketching.
My first round of sketching is like brainstorming. With the brief in mind, I sketch anything that comes to mind. I do not worry too much about how the drawings look in my sketchbook. They are often crowded and messy. It is more about getting all the ideas down on paper. From there I looked at all the sketches and flagged my favourites. With the first round of cuts done, I redrew the sketches with one of the tops. I then looked at the illustrations and thought about the brief, what suits my body shape, and what fabrics would work well with each design. I am trying to use fabrics from my fabric haul to complete my challenges. With these final four sketches chosen, I touched them up one last time before I took to Periscope to ask viewers which one they liked the best. I almost always have a favourite amongst the narrowed down designs, and I make sure to include that illustration in the final design. The other one I choose according to the feedback of the viewers. Watch the Periscope broadcast below to learn more about the process from initial sketches to final illustrations.
I have always wanted to make a pair of culottes. I used to own a pair of years ago when they were not in style. I would wear the denim coloured linen beauties all the time. They were comfortable and perfect for the summer weather. They made me feel like I had stepped out of a European scene where I was riding my bicycle, with a basket full of flowers of course, through a small seaside town. As you can tell, I watch far too many classic movies. The only question is will they look as good as I imagine?
To modernise the design I designed them in a bright colour and included a slit part way up the side seam. How will the wide leg culottes with the slit work when walking, I guess I will find out soon enough?
This skirt ticks all the boxes for me. Volume at hem, check. Comfortable, check. Cute as a button, check. It does all things and acts as a solid base for the vibrant tops but with its pop of colour, this skirt does more than hold the outfit together it helps it soar to new heights. I could see making this skirt in many different colours and prints.
The shape of the skirt was inspired by all the ruffles I have seen walking down the runways. I illustrated a few rough designs with various amounts of ruffles, but I could not at the end of the day see me wearing them with these tops. So the final skirt for design 2 is my way of dipping my toes into the trend of ruffles without diving right in. That might have to wait for another challenge. I am not sure if it came across clearly in my illustrations or not, but I see the skirt with an A-line shape on one-half and the volume of circle skirt on the half. I am excited to try the patternmaking for this design.
Do you want to see the designs that did not make the cut? On the Periscope above I revealed the final garments to my fabulous Periscope viewers and we discussed our favourites and narrowed down the voting to just two designs. I would love to hear what you think of the designs and how well they will go with the tops. Feel free to watch my next Periscope broadcast to give your opinion or contact me in the comments below or on social media.