Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Summer dress

Last spring I took a class to learn how to make custom made patterns. The final project was to sew anything we wanted for ourseleves.
Summer was already there and I was super busy with my 2 wedding dresses, I decided to go for a super simple cotton knit summer dress. And yes, that's kind of cheating since knitwear don't need to be custom fitted. But really, at that point, that's all I could reslove myself to do.
And here, I'm wearing it in the warmest day of summer (it was 40celsius, so above 100F!) to try a real Texas bbq before going tubing at the river:
NB: I'm not so fond of the hat, but it protect me against the sun quite well, and cover my face for the pictures I post here!

On the next picture, you can see how we do custom patterns: we create a copy of ourselves that can then be used as a dress form for draping.
To do it, we took our measurements, then picked the regular pattern size closest to our size, and finally draped it on ourselves (we were in teams) to make it fit perfectly, with no ease. This was quite long to perfectly achieve but we did it! And I was lucky to work with 2 really talented friends on that one. So once this is done, you sew it in a sturdier fabric (duck cloth) and fill it with bating so it fits on an existing dress form. And you're ready to use it as your new dress form!

I must say that it's quite weird to have a mini-me.
It was also quite long to do, but it was our 1st time. So it should become faster and faster as we get used to it.
And it's so useful!
Happy halloween!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Mod Wedding Dress

I also did this wedding dress for a contest and I think that's my best piece so far. I love everything about it: it's simplicity, elegance, the concept behind and the craftsmanship on it.
If the shape clearly remind of the mod/60's, the transparency give it a modern edge.

my dream photo shoot

The picture above is my dream photo shoot. I just childishly played with the picture from the school end of the year fashion show on Photoshop (ok, I must admit it's not Photoshop but Gimp... it's freeware little brother). This was my first try at altering a picture so please be kind.
And for the photoshoot to be perfect, I would love some of those white lines to come in front of the model, and maybe have one in sone kind of plastic to be crushed by the model hands in front of her face. But ok, let's stop dreaming and just go back to the dress.

You can see it on the catwalk of the contest I made it for:

If I didn't win anything, I was so pleased to see both of my wedding dresses opening the show. That was a sight I won't forget.

Opening of the show!

Do you recognize my other wedding dress? If not, you can see it here.

Let's now talk a bit about the concept and construction.
This dress was actually my first take at my "point of view" concept. That exact same concept I'm now working on full time to do my first collection.
I wanted the lines to be absolutely parallels and equal in width.  By absolutely I mean that I wanted them to be seen that way from the unreachable but so widely acknowledged infinity point. I feel I might have lost you right here. So a more simple way of seeing it would be to say that I wanted this dress to prefectly disapeare behind some parallels white line like the one in the first picture.

But where it becomes tricky is that the body has curves. Therefore, to look parallel and the same size, the stripes have to NOT be the same size and parallel.
To achieve that effect, I had to mark my lines directly on the final shape. I did a "muslin" (I used paper on the skirt part for the stiffness and to cut some steps) and then used a laser pen parallel to the floor to mark the lines:

I know it doesn't look much like sewing and people at school were just stoping by looking at me with the "what the heck is she doing" kind of look.

This is the first time I'm fully happy with something I made.  And that's because the craftsmanship on that one is really good. I've never sewed so nicely. This dress is actually more of couture garment when it comes to the finishing: self-lined white bands with a lot  of hand sewing, french seams, covered bones on the sides.

And I even got the Best of Show Award at school for it. Isn't that amazing?
Well, I think you got it: I love it!

Could you imagine yourself wearing it? For your wedding or a fancy event? Daytime or night time?
To what event can you imagine yourself wearing it?

Have a wonderful Monday.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

New school year = New title design

With the school year starting, I want some changes here. So today, I designed a new title banner. I know it's a small change, but it make it more personal... and more appropriate. I loved the previous picture:

But birch bark was probably not the most appropriate picture for a sewing blog. The new one is a detail of one of the garment I made:

Do you remember my up-cycled dress made last year? The banner is a close up of the plastic bolero:

upcycled fashion 

I also want to express a special thank to my 10 followers and all the people reading me.

Have a wonderful Sunday afternoon!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Wet felting to make hats

Making felt hats it THE reason that made me take the millinery class again.

Wet felting is a long and tiring process but, in my opinion, the wonderful feeling of the wool and to see it change under your eyes to become a fabric make it worse it.
To give you an idea of the work required to make felt I took some pictures during the process of my 1st attemp at making wool.
Here are the main supplies I used:

You can see the grey merino wool in the middle. Merino is know to be the easiest to felt. Since is was already quite long and tiring (in a work-out way), I must admit being shy over try other fibers.
You can see here some of the work involve in felt-making:

The pictures are mostly from the beginning of the process as I was way to busy during the rolling/throwing parts to even think about taking pictures! And yes, the second pair of hands are my teachers'.

At first, I did block this hat to be a cloche. But I later changed it for what you can see in this picture:

Yes, I speaking about the light grey hat at in the back. This is the only picture blocked I have cause I still haven't finish it. I blocked so many hat that semester that I will most likely not be done finishing them before next summer...

I also blocked the 3 other hats in the picture, but I can not brag as much about them as I simply bought the felt instead of making it!

I have to admit I loved blocking felt even more than sinamay.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Back to school!

Today was the 1st day of class. I was really looking forward to it as I'm now officially in the Collection Class. This one year class is probably the most stressful but the most interesting one. The goal is to create a 5 looks collection within a year.

I absolutely love thinking about a collection, making cohesive looks and not just some single, independent outfits.

With my best friends at school, we started thinking/working on it over the summer break. I already have the moodboard and 50 black and white sketches due in two weeks. I'm now working on colors and fabrics and plan on making my slopers this week because I do not like the ones we're using at school.
I find the fabrics and colors choices quite hard. Probably because I'm not that good at making choices & I will order fabrics online as stores around are too expensive. Also, I have to rework the moodboard to adjust some colors and layer/mask on computer.

If I do not plan on posting a lot of pictures of my collection before presenting it next year, I can already tell you the season and title:

Point de Vue
Fall/Winter 2013

Have a nice school year!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Bad pants fundraising fashion show

Our school was contacted by the Texas Children hospital for a fundraising.
They wanted to have some students to design "bad pants" for local media personalities for a fashion show.

I was glad to be amongst the 5 students who where asked to do that (and yes, it has something to do with the fact that I spent my whole summer hanging around school). On that project, my friend at school was my partner. It was my first time working with someone on a design project and it was really interesting.
We both had to work against what we like as none of our style is funky. We usually design neutral, simple, elegant looks. But it was really good to work outside of your confort zone.
Here is what we ended-up with:

Also, one challenge for us was to meet to work on that on the only short week we had to make that happen. But as fashion designers, we're up to any challenge!
Here is our model, backstage just before the show:

And here are the other students' designs:

Can you see how everyone is having fun? Aren't the pants so bad that they're awesome?
And I must say that they are all really well made.

The event was really nice and I would do it again...

Have a nice week!

Monday, August 13, 2012

My First Wedding Dress!

Last winter, I spent a great deal of time in every single bridal store in town to help my friend find her special dress. But I must say I wasn't unhappy about that. It gave me the opportunity to spy on thousands of dresses, looking for inspirations, finishing, techniques, materials...
If you're in fashion design, you know exactly what I mean.
Anyway, I loved it and wanted to try myself to sew a wedding dress but had no reason to do so. And seriously, with the amount of work & fabric involve to make such a dress, it is pointless to make one "just for fun".

When, in the Spring semester, the teachers started encouraging us to enter a fashion design competition in Dallas, I had what I was hoping for: a good excuse to spend time and money on this kind of project! I love school!

After sketching about 10 dresses, I choose to make a simple yet elegant one which would make me work on bustiers.

Here is my dress, walking on the Dallas Career Day runway:

Isn't it super pretty? Well, I know the model is not for nothing in that, but still!
I didn't win anything at the contest, but it did not matters. My design was part of the opening looks. It was so amazing to see my dress coming out on such a professional show.
I loved loved loved it.
I loved it so much that I'm now looking for as many runway as I can get for all my designs. And I'm definitly going back next year, even if I don't enter anything in the contest. I just loved this show!

But I'm here to talk about my dress, so here are some pictures who might interest the sewer among you:

From top to bottom & left to right, you can see:
- The skirt pattern in progress
- a try out of the draped part, just for fun, with the fabrics I had on hand, on top of the just sewn bustier
- The dress, waiting to be lined
- A close-up of the finished bustier with the draped satin on top.

And because a bride as to be the prettiest under every angle, here are different views of the dress:

Here is the same dress but at the end of the year fashion show at school.
I told you I'm now showing my garment as much as possible!

For this show, I made the head-piece during my millinery class:

I must confess that is the dress is exactly my style, I think the hat is a bit too much. Yes, I like simple things!

One last thing: I have something for see thru garments and thought for a while not lining the skirt but instead just make a matching satin short. Well, I didn't dare and just sticked with a more traditional gown. But don't you think it would have been cute?