Friday, March 4, 2016

In the Studio: From Idea, to Sketch, to Product

My apologies, it's been about five or so days since I posted. The last week or so has been a lot of back and forth to Chicago and am currently taking care of many business logistics and details for my brand. Some other announcements: I will be doing my Cafe' Casual Chic series of posts on Thursday's. Additionally, I will be focusing this blog more on my clothing and all of the incredible things you can do with it.

What inspired this post was, I wanted to show you all that a designer goes through to create the clothes on your back. The creative process of designing clothes are both enjoyable yet challenging at the same time, but designers go through a lot just to get one end product. This is called a prototype. Clothing I create begins with an idea, then I sketch the idea, then, I select the best fabrics or textiles to use to execute this idea and make it a tangible, three-dimensional product. 

Everything anyone creates typically has a beginning, a sometimes tedious middle, and a concluding victory (we hope anyways, right?) Either way, I wanted to let you in on my creative process because one most frequently asked question I get is: How do you produce the work you do? So, here is one most frequently asked question answered.

My process is one I'd like to call painting with fabric. That's what I feel I am doing, really. Pretty draping fabric reminds me of a painted stroke; how effortlessly the drape hangs off of a figure and how elegantly it swings. I get so excited when I take an idea to the sketching process, then to the fabric selection, then to the pattern-making, and then to the construction aspect of the process which usually brings me to an exciting end design. Here it all is step-by-step, from start to finish.

1. The idea light goes off in my head like a loud siren I can't ignore, you know? The ideas come to me in the strangest ways; some ideas I get in my dreams, others from my travels, and all of my inspiration comes from shapes I see in different environments. 

2. From the idea, I go to the sketching. As part of this design process, I like to sketch with ink because it loosens me up, gets my creative juices flowing, and I get focused. 

3. The sketching and the fabric decision making part of this designing can be difficult if I don't already know what I'm going to make. In the fashion illustration I did, it's clear the garment I am designing will have a beautiful drape. Already, I know I should opt for light weight fabric, preferably in the silk family. Thankfully, my selection of fabrics contain those silks and found a beautiful royal blue silk fabric to make this draped blouse out of.

4. Then, I design the pattern pieces by first deciphering what pieces I need. Like in this design, I wanted real accuracy and perfection, so I drafted some pattern pieces from Vogue's patterns to ensure fit and then adjusted the pattern pieces to my liking.
5. After all of the pattern pieces are cut and placed on the fabric, I cut all the fabric pieces and make sure all of the parts I need to create the garment are complete. Once all the pattern pieces are arranged, I dive into the sewing and construction.

6. The sewing process for me is the most exciting because I am well on my way to a finished product. Like in this design, I worked hard drafting each pattern piece and though I had some small hick-ups throughout the sewing process, all was fixable and adjustable. I even restructured the drape at the top of the neckline so this item would look wrinkle free and cleanly assembled.
7. After the entire garment is sewn, then I do any necessary detail hand stitching. Once I feel every edge is perfectly sewn and finished off correctly, I steam wrinkles out of the fabric with a steamer or iron and boom! It's done and I can do a dance. I will only be showing one photo of this finished product because I will be including this item in a blog post in the near, near future (like, very soon!) so I didn't want to give it all away up front.

Did you like this post? I hope so! Make sure to subscribe to my blog and never miss a post, more awesome ones are coming on my spring collection, seven day styling with the Tessa Koller brand, and the best outfits to pick to plan for the week ahead!


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