Monday, July 30, 2012

Milinery: turban hat

One of my assignments this semester was to make a turban hat.
I know that, as soon as I said turban you had in mind this huge scarf that people complexly roll around their head in several countries. If I could have done that, I probably would have needed to stitch it in place so it does not have to be done over and over.
But in milinery a turban hat would mostly have a stiffer understructure to easily keep it's shape.
That's this kind of turban hat that I did.


I blocked the base in buckram and then covered it with the draped fashion fabric. Then I did as few hand stitches as possible in oder to keep the fabric in place without making it look stiff. Because the whole beauty of a turban hat come from the apparent simplicity of the drape and the "I'll stay in place magically" effect.

To be totally honest, I have to tell you that I first draped a squre of fabric on the top of the hat and then added some batting around the outside to give more volume. This was finally covered by a long bias strip of fabric.

And as usual, I added the lining and the sweatband. For the lining, I used a comfy cotton knit.

My original plan was to add some kind of bow in the back/side where the top creases meet. But I gave up on that as I realized I loved it simple, just worn tilted on the head.

I know that those pictures does not do it justice, but that's all I've got for now. Maybe some days I'll have pictures of the hats worn... who knows.

Happy Monday!

Monday, July 23, 2012

White sinamay summer hat

Since my millinery class, last spring, I have been willing to make hats. But I do not own any blocks and those are expensive. Plus, I wanted to learn how to make felt and block it.
Those were excuses good enough for me to take the class again.

Therefore, I was again in milinery this spring. My assignments weren't the same than the beginners'. But I really wanted to block sinamay again. So that was my 1st project:

I still had some off-white sinamay leftover but had to reorder some. After blocking 3 flat brims the last time, I picked another shape this time.
Also, I had mainly been working with neutral colors (balck, white and brown) and wanted some colors. That's how I decided to go for pink and orange. I love those colors together. Their are refreshing and definitely call for the sun.

This hat could be worn for the royal ascot as well as any ceremony. It makes me want to have a 5pm english tea:

Here are some close-up on the trimming:

I making hats again and I really enjoy it. I can't wait to post here everything I've done this spring semester... and I'm still finishing!

Have a nice week and see you next Monday.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Sketching class

While posting my work from the fall semester, I forgot to show you what I did for my sketching class.
To start with, I'd like to really thank my teacher and friend for teaching me how to sketch. Seeing where I started, it was a challenge. I wasn't able to draw anything and now I can sketch the fashion figure and dress it. Isn't that awesome. It might well be the class were I learned the most.

I want to show you the final project, but before let's explain it.
The goal was to create a small collection, starting with 3 inspirations. We had to do 4 full figure sketches plus 1 close up of either a face or shoe. They had to be presented on 4 boards with pictures of the inspirations and fabric swatches.
For the inspirations, we had to choose 2, and we had to pick the 3rd one in a bag.

I decided to go with something I love most in the whole world: the white, snowy mountains. I could stay hours in awe, looking at such a landscape, and here in Texas, I just miss it too much. So here was my main inspiration.
Also, because I don't like when thing are to obvious, I decided to do a Spring collection (I know what you're thinking right now...but I assure you I'm not crazy, I just love challenges).
And from my inspiration I got 2 themes:
- the first one is the apparent calm, softness you can see while looking at such a landscape
- the second is the strength, level of preparation and awareness you need to reach if you want to face such a climate
I do love this contrast.
For the 3rd inspiration I was lucky to pick the Menil collection. If you're not from Houston, you most likely haven't heard of it. But if you love art, you probably should plan a trip there as this private collection is one of the most amazing. The art pieces you can find are as fantastic as the architecture of the buildings, which is what i used as inspiration, along with some installations.

Here is my final project:

Being a collection the sketches and boards had to be cohesive.  I thought it was fun to use 2 of the Menil art pieces to link each board as a story, staring really stiff, with angles to evolve slowly to a soft silhouette.

And because you most likely can't see much my sketches on this big picture, here is what I did with them while playing with Gimp:

It was my first time designing a collection. What do you think of it?

And just for the fun, here is one of the sketch I did. This homework was to draw in 8 minutes a live model (Thank you Vale!) in a continuous line and then shade it. I like it a lot, though I'm not sure why. The bottom of the jean probably.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Strapless cocktail dress

During the spring semester I took a class called Advanced Bustier-Strapless Dress. The goal was to learn how to make a lightweight bustier (corselette) and attach a dress over it.
The purpose of the hidden bustier is to keep the dress where it should be, instead of having to readjust it to avoid any boob-showing issue (I'm looking for a more appropriate way of saying that, but can't figure anything) and you don't have to shop for a special bra either!
You would find that in any couture dress and maybe high end garments.

I kind of twisted the assignment when I decided to actually show this bustier. You know, the way Jean-Paul Gauthier does...
Plus the bustier itself is really pretty and take quite some time to make (at least the 1st one!)

I made a headpiece to go with it for my school Spring show.  Can you see the heart shaped headband, bringing romantic touch?
Isn't my model super cute? Thank you J. for always helping me to find models!

Spring fashion show

I'm just annoyed with myself that I realize only now that the right part of the skirt it obviously tucked in some ways in the bustier. I should have pull it before she walk! For my defense, backstage was a real crazy house.

And yes, this dress, but the bra cups, is made only of sheer fabrics. The layering makes it almost not see thru anymore. But to be on the safe side and stay far from the slutty effect, I did sew a boyshort in the cotton/spandex knit I used for this gown. I'm not sure it would have been needed for a Couture show, but this was just at school!

organza butterflies

Let me add another romantic touch.
The burgundy organza butterflies are the one I used to decorate for my wedding.
This winter, I was cleaning up the box full of treasures from my wedding when I found those butterflies. I just figure that instead of letting them end in a box, they were better in the spotlight once more. So my newly design and sewing skills where just the perfect way of using them. Therefore, they were the first and main inspiration for this cocktail dress.
Isn't it a nice second life forthem?

I'll be curious to know for which event could you see yourself/others wear this cocktail dress?
See you next Monday!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Red knitwear evening gown

The final project for my knitwear class was to drape and sew a dress. Draping knitwear was a bit challenging but it's also forgiving.And the sewing and finishes are soo fast! In knits, you can make a garment in no time.
I did enjoy the freedom for this project. We knew about it since the beginning of the semester, so I had enough time to find this gorgeous red cotton spandex blend.

I wanted the dress to be elegant, and I'm fond of low back. Since this fabric would have been to heavy to drape a nice cowl, I did a more simple low back. I added the straps to make it more interesting.
I wanted to keep it simple so the front and skirt parts are just plain fabric. The top part is self-lined so the dress can be worn without a bra.
low back and straps

I love the final result. I think it's just what I wanted. It's also really simple... so me!
I'd love to be able to wear it!
Do you like it too?