Tag Archives: Textile

Authentic Creatives & designers a dying group


Designers and original makers are dying out. We are going extinct and being replaced with big machinery and cheap overseas labour. Not only that whenever we make something that is authentic it is copied. That I don’t mind. I just want to let people know that working with our hands and a sewing machine is an art form and the fact that you meet someone who can sketch an image, draw their own pattern, cut and sew from start to finish is rare nowadays and I’m amongst the youngest in this field in Australia that can make anything from the beginning.

When you look at a dress in a retail store that costs $350 it has went through so many hands for each piece and the fabric sourced all over the world but made in less than an hour. When an authentic creative makes you something for $350 +++ it would of taken many more hours or days to produce. The sewing of retail clothing is hardly done in Australia nowadays and is mostly done in India, Bali, China, Phillipines, Turkey etc where the dollar is cheaper. I don’t mind that but do not compare an authentic designer or creative who makes one off designs or capsule collections to the mass produced market or to something you buy from the retail store.

For 19 + years I have been slowly learning my craft. Just bits a pieces here and there picking up every piece of knowledge that I can from people, from books and just generally learning as much as I can of anything at all that I can apply to my field. It is my obsession and my dream. I am young to be running my own business as a Designer Dressmaker but I created my job because I saw a need in the market. Plus until I started calling myself The Designer Dressmaker nobody else had put those words together. The decline of dressmaking and especially dressmakers that make their own patterns is obvious in Australia adding further value to what is left. We are a dime a dozen. Help contribute to Australian dressmakers or local dressmakers if you aren’t Australian because otherwise we may just die out and who shall you buy an authentic designer dress from.

I’m going to rock this year. You should too. ūü§ėūüŹĽ


Bright Purple & Orange Pleated Flower Pot Formal Dress


 

 

50 designs in 50 days 5-6 010

Upcycled Designer Dress!!!!
This is for someone who is just that little bit unique!
Here we have a Bright Purple & Orange Pleated Flower Pot Formal Dress  made from Satin fabric.
Cross over straps and covered buttons.
Organza Flower
The skirt is a fish tail that falls quite nicely.
It has areas exposed on the back and side yet still covers the bust quite neatly.

Side lap zipper.

Standard Size 12.

Made from Recycled Fabrics!!!

 

 

 
50 designs in 50 days 5-6 009 50 designs in 50 days 5-6 007 50 designs in 50 days 5-6 006Buy it now $99.95

On Ebay: http://cgi.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=200876969785#ht_572wt_1186

On Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/listing/120013538/bright-purple-orange-pleated-flower-pot

 

 


Welcome to the Garden of Eden Collection 2012 ~ Secret Culture


Hi all this is my final collection that I made to finish my Tafe major work……There were trials and tribulations.Moments of sheer delight and overall a feeling of nausea. Here you will find the ups and lows of a design student.

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Ok so It all started ¬†whilst I was at Tafe last year in 2011 completing my diploma of Fashion Design & Technology…..

I had arrived home after completing a day of Tafe only to find that my mother was having tea with her best friend Sheryl. Something seemed wrong like my mother was deeply upset about something.I asked what was wrong…the words seemed to¬†siphon¬†from her lips.I could hear them but the moment was surreal.I was lost for words.I had lost one of the most important friends that I had ever had.Someone who had not only shaped my ideals about life as I grew up. This person had been the boy that I had loved like a brother my whole life. We had wrestled and we had fought just to laugh. We had climbed trees and danced like we were in the 1920’s. We had climbed mountains and abseiled off cliffs. Canoed down rivers and swam in inter tubes.We had hiked hundreds of kilometres over the period of knowing each other. We had visited Adelaide as scouts and we had visited Tasmania as venturers. I had lost a piece of myself that is only now a memory. Nicholas Brice went to school with me. We lived approximately 15 kilometres from each other in a small town region and Nick had went to primary school with me at Bodalla and then high school at Moruya on the South Coast of Australia. He had lost his brother just 2 years before and his brother Christopher was just as important to me and had been there through all the same.He was Nicks tag along. Everything Nick did, Chris did too. They were so much fun to be with. The energy that they had was so very amazing. It had a way of exciting you into doing just about the silliest things and sometimes the funnest things.

That is why I would like to dedicate my major collection to Nicholas Brice and Christopher Brice who both died of tragic causes and both through life and death shaped the person that I am today. I would not be where I am without either of them and they are two people that I can never and will never forget.

Last year after finding that Nick had tragically passed away after solo abseiling in Sydney at North rocks I was no longer able to concentrate on design.I became very upset and depressed and lost a huge amount of weight. In that same week as his passing I had an examination of my pattern making skills.Which I failed. The teachers had given me a second chance after failing me for my notching in a prior examination.I have to say in examination circumstances I turn into a¬†marshmallow¬† A written examination is easy for me but a practical examination is really not my forte.I had failed my pattern making after passing every other weekly practical for the last year. This was my last chance.I was not going to pass this year however the teachers had offered that I return and complete my pattern making this year in 2012 and complete my final or major work in 2011.I decided that as there was no mercy for my situation and I was not going to get another chance that I would just leave.I couldn’t bare to do what I love. What I love is to design and to make dresses.I have loved it since I was a child sitting in my mothers sewing room playing with her threads and sewing my own pin cushions and pillow cases. I felt lost but I became hardened. I was angry at myself and ashamed. I knew that I could do so much better. The fact of the matter was the teachers that had been teaching me had really not understood me from the beginning. I was not the atypical fashion student. I was rough on the edges and perhaps a real tomboy. Not perfect and preen and all in between. I wore what I liked. I said what I thought and I was that typical country girl who liked to drink and act like a bit of a boy the majority of the time. I ¬†had moved to Newcastle to live with my brother who was a farrier who has worked for the likes of Kerry Packer and now works for Bart Cummings and Gay Waterhouse shoeing their horses who run in weekly race meets.My brother now has his own shed at one of the Sydney race tracks but that is a whole other story. I fancy making a hat for Gay Waterhouse one day but I guess so would most!

After moving to Newcastle I worked at various places and ¬†only just managed to make ends meet….a few things happened and I ended up meeting my future husband who I just had my second year anniversary with. I am so lucky that he has been with me through all of this.He was the man behind me who kept me strong when times have been tough. Through richer and poorer and through my terrible bought of depression that was brought on from my friends passing.I am happy now and I am stronger than I have ever been. I really feel that Nick would be proud of the work that I have done over the past few months even over the past two years.I didn’t get to catch up with him after I met my husband as things really had been busy. That is one thing that I regret as I would of loved to show him what I had been up to and heard about the amazing things that he was doing with his life.

I came back to TAFE in 2012 after 8 months break to finish what I had begun. I had regained my confidence after being named an up and coming designer by fashion palette and being able to show my work that I had designed. I wanted to make my collection and dedicate it to Nick and Chris. I wanted to pass my pattern making examination with flying colours!I ended up picking up two extra subjects which were shaped grading an extension of flat grading which I had done in prior years.The other was environmental fashion design which was based on decreasing wastage and increasing recyclable materials.

Whilst at Fashion Palette I had visited my favourite fabric wholesaler Else Good Silks who sell the most beautiful fabrics at the best and most reasonable price…Sorry guys I am not a Tessuti girl…..According to me Tessuti is a fabric store that is primarily aiming to rip off young up and coming designers by over pricing fabrics that are really not worth the money that people pay for them.I would not buy fabric ever that was $80 metre to produce dresses as it would be too expensive. I would rather let my design speak for itself!

I had this idea.The collection was forming in my head.I wanted to make dresses with snakes panelled into them wrapping around the body and hugging every curve.I wanted it to be dark and seductive. Sexually appealing and visually enticing.I wanted to make the collection one colour.Black.I made and produced three dresses. Conscience dress, Eve’s dress and Judgement dress.I have given them to the fabulous models Phoebe, shell and Natasha who I made them to fit!.They are going to have fun wearing them.I am definitely sure of that!I absolutely 100% enjoyed every moment of the adrenalin. Producing the dresses, organising the model, getting the graphic design team in on designing me a new logo and overall found that my collection has been a huge success.There were times where it was hard to get out of bed because there was so much to do and so little time to do it. But there were also times where everything went as planned.For instance the photo shoot went absolutely fantastically but the fitting on two of my dresses was terrible.Lack of time meant I was doing some pretty quick pinning …..after the photo-shoot I altered one dress two more time taking it in a whole 16cm…my model had lost two dress sizes and I had added extra to the dress because the toile had not fit correctly.Another dress had to be taken in a full 6cm from the underarm and 4cm from the skirt……Huge amounts of tailoring and fitting involved to get the dresses to sit right.Also I had to alter bust cups on both the dresses which meant I basically had to take the whole dresses apart and start again on the bust section…..This was huge!I learnt alot about resizing and dressmaking that I didn’t know prior but I did it!I got the dresses completed by the parade night. I presented my collection in front of a board of nasty old bats……and I have completed my diploma just about anyhow.I am still finalising the details on a couple of things….This time next week I should have a certificate in my hands and a smile from ear to ear ūüôā .Make-up was done by Lucy from Mary Kay and yes for the parade we decided to go with greens instead of purples and shimmer lips instead of black lips.The dresses fitted perfectly and overall I am content to give the dresses away and dedicate the work that has been done to two of my favourite boys of all time.Rest in Peace Nick and Chris.

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Designing a Fashion Range Based on a Brief


With many design companies you will find yourself having to design to a brief. A Design brief will tell you what the company you are working for is wanting you to design, hint at the fabrics that are trendy and the current look that the company is going for based on their own trend research.Here is an example of the Design brief that I was given for my first major work in TAFE  and I will show you the process of design through this example. My work is in no way special as this was the first collection that we were actually allowed to design from the beginning using the whole process.When you first begin a design course they teach you many bits of information about all different aspects. In this project it all comes together for me and so it is a little more than messy although it is a good example of a variety of techniques.

Brief:

You are required to design a Spring/ Summer 2010/11 five piece cohesive range, targeting women aged 18-30 years of age. The range will be suited for day wear and the australian middle market and involve a fresh, clean pastel colour palette when considering fabric choices. One piece must be a dress that will be produced in the pattern making & sewing classes. Present to a ” Design Team” to sell your ideas and range.

A post hippie romantic theme inspired by the seventies and a handmade spirit with a dark undertone. A focus on basic high summer fabrics like pure cotton, plain to colour wovens and stone-washed, bleached denim. Prints focus on bucolic motifs, photography landscapes. Botanical and insect plates that are treated in a naive romantic vein with a strange edge. The colour range is made up of fresh clean pastels that are offset by a pop of pink and a somber brown.

The dress design and garment must be of a stable woven fabric & include either lapped or invisible zip CF (centre front) or CB (centre back) button opening.It must include one or more of the following features – yoke, gathers, pleats, ruffles, sleeves, sleeveless, collar and facing. The dress design and garment must NOT include: Evening/ sheer fabrics or linings or strapless, halter, raglan or wrap opening designs.

Creating a Design Diary

Title Page & Mood Board:

This is the beginning of your design and so make a quick mood board of what direction your thinking about heading.In this case I am thinking about the romance from the brief and decide to base my designs on Italy:

Mood Board

Mood Board Italian Romance

Brain Storm

so now that you I have decided on the mood and the basic idea it is time to develop this idea. So Cutting out heaps of magazine images or collecting heaps of pretty pictures off the internet helps to find inspiration.

map Italy

Italian Map Design idea

Also Writing in what you like about your chosen idea and what things you think of once you have decided on a design really helps in developing those initial idea.

Brain storm

Brain Storm

Making a brainstorm can be a fabulous way of pulling ideas out of your mind. Here it helped me to name my collection:

Italian Romance

We have the title of our collection so now it is time to develop who our customer is.

Target Market Profile

Usually a target market profile can be any length. The larger the company the bigger it would most likely be (page wise) as companies spend humongous amounts of money identifying who their target market is.As it is the consumers who spend the money it is very important that you get this right when designing. So make sure you spend your time thinking about who you want to sell to and why you think your design will suit that target market you have specified. This will all connect to the selling points when you approach the buying team with your ideas.

My example is short as it is my first target market profile that I ever did.

Target Market Profile

Target Market Profile

Muse

It can be much fun to develop a muse so you can actually think more about your target market aiming at a specific type of girl or boy!Here is my Romantic Isabella:

Romantic Isabella

Romantic Isabella

 Colour-way selection and Fabric Sourcing

Knowing what colours you think would suit the collection is absolutely crucial so colour way selection and Fabric sourcing go hand in hand.In this example I am thinking about some make/up as well as my colour choices.Looking at trends of make-up can really help if you don’t especially know that much about make-up application.I am absolutely fascinated with make-up artists simply because they have found ways to use make-up that I could not even dream of.

Colours & Make-up

Colours & Make-up

More Theme Development as your ideas change:

smooth look

smooth look

pretty pink look

pretty pink look

love and freedom

Freedom in Lust and Love

animal fashion

animal fashion

Dark Seduction

Dark Seduction

Draw your Concepts

Using your theme selection and a combination of everything you have researched so far draw your design concepts. As many or as little as you want to. The more you draw the more you have to pick from.

Jackets

Jackets

Skirts

Skirts

Tops

Tops

Design Selection and or Fashion Illustration

Select your designs from your concepts and then begin Pattern Making!It is not important to draw illustrations at this time simply because you may change your mind half way through pattern making after toiling your design!

Pattern Making

Now this is the real designing because it is the pattern maker who gets to make the design based off the concept

Patternmaking 1

Pattern Making 1

Design analysis

The design analysis is what a pattern maker uses when they look at the concepts to define what the pattern needs. e.g. a zipper in the cb and a 4 cm hem. This can be very detailed or just a few quick notes. Even a good pattern maker can make mistakes so it is like a check list to make sure you complete each part of the design on paper before toiling the design.

Design Analyis

Design analysis

Block Selection

Is where you decide which block from your collection to use when designing. A Block is a silhouette of a design before the pattern is made from it. Designers / pattern makers keep these as reference tools when designing in order to save time and money in the design process. Many designs that are made by one company come off the same block. Block construction is a process where you make the block using mathematical equations that have been preset for the last 50 or more years. There are only a few different books in block construction available and so there are not many different ways of making blocks. The only way to get a more specific block is to use the measurements of a model from the target market you are aiming for.

Block Selection
Block Selection

Pattern Making Process

3 ways of Pattern making.

1.There are hundreds of commercial patterns in the world that you can alter.

2.You can trace a pattern from something you like and alter it.

3.You can use a block and make your pattern from scratch.

In this case I made my pattern from the beginning using a block. Placing in my design lines and so my dress looked exactly like the picture that I wanted.

Sewing Construction

A very important part of designing and pattern making is knowing how every piece goes together. This is something that everybody is hopeless at in the beginning. Even the daughter of a seamstress as I am. There will be hours when you grind your teeth. There will be unpicking and there will most definitely be mistakes where you have to re-cut pieces. But how else can you learn without unpicking a thousand seams and re-sewing a thousand zippers. Books on Sewing construction are available from libraries. So if your 16 or 32 please don’t put it off any longer.Just go and learn. If you put the time in you will learn no matter how many hours you cry….maybe put some money into a stress ball aswell.

Dress Complete

Dress Complete

Dress Complete


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