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The Design Diary: Sampling

Now that I have my sample ideas brainstormed, it is time to start building the sample collection!

Sample Prep

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Before making the samples, I like to roughly sketch them up, so I know exactly what I am planning to sample.

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For the first batch of samples I like to use calico as it is an affordable fabric and is easy to work with, as I develop samples later, I will use different types of fabric.

Typically I like to keep the samples between an A4 size or A3.

Once I had all the samples complete, I laid them out and photographed them. Later I will print these images to keep in a sketch book and to do some sketches on.

Finished Samples

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The first sample I done was paneling with contrasting colours, as simple as it is I think it would work really well with the right colours and right fabric.

I definitely want to further this idea, so more sketches will be the next thing to do!

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This sample was supposed to be piping but I ended up turning it into pleats! When sampling this tends to happen, I will started sampling one idea and end up with something completely different. This isn’t such a bad thing because a lot of the time it can be the best sample!

In this case I’m not sure about this sample, simply because I have had similar styles in past collections and would like to try something new.

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Next on the list was pleats, so I started with a basic pleat going in one direction. It is a simple sample but it is just a starting point. I’m going to sketch up a few ideas for more pleats and I will develop them later.

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This is another pleat sample, it is actually the same sample as the previous but I folded the top pleat over by 1cm, this creates a double layer pleat. I actually find this very interesting and I definitely want to further this style, I would like to try making this again but in a heavier fabric.

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This sample is a straight forward one, it is simply some string going through fabric which makes it easy to gather the fabric. I don’t think I will further this idea as it is too straight forward and it isn’t inspiring me!

New sample sketches

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I’ve made a new list of samples to test out, I decided to continue testing contrasting samples and mixing them among the pleated samples to see what effect it creates.

I also noted I should research fabric printing and embroidery. I think the fabric printing could work well with the contrasting colours.

Embroidery and beading seemed very popular back then, so I decided I will research some techniques that may work well among my work.

Stand Work

After photographing the samples I moved on to pinning them on a mini mannequin, this gives me a better idea of what the samples would look like on a much larger scale. Again I photographed every which way I pinned the samples, and I will print these later. Here are a few on my favorites.

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In the next section you will see how I work with the printed images of the samples, and how I begin my first round of garment design sketches.

Although this part of the design process can be a bit boring at times, I do hope you will stick around to see the more fun side of the development 😀

If you have any sample ideas, drop me a comment I would love to hear your opinions 😀😘

Love Tanya

xxx

 

 

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The Design Diary: Research

Hey There!!

Today is the first day of this fun and really exciting project! I hope you are looking forward to seeing my progress in creating my first evening wear collection. Each post will be a different stage of my design development.

This post is all about the beginning, finding my inspiration and starting my research!

Inspiration

For this collection I have found my inspiration in the Titanic!

Growing up I loved the Titanic, the history, the style and of course the movie. So I thought this would be the perfect inspiration!

I like to choose inspiration based on subjects/objects I have a passion for, as I can then channel that passion and love into my design work! This way I will always stay motivated and inspired!

Research

I went onto Pinterest and looked for images of the Titanic, before and after the disaster. The structure of the ship will help drive some structure in my collection. I found images of the interior of the ship, which are also very interesting and may help to drive detail.

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While looking at images of the Titanic, I started looking at the clothing worn by the women in the images. I then decided to research the clothing of that period, this research will help drive my fabric story and garment detail.

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Research Boards

I printed out all of my found images and purchased 3 foam boards.

I then divided the images into the right category, the Titanic ship, the interior and the fashion worn by the women. I stuck them down with blu tack, so they can be easily removed.

Having research boards is important and very helpful, all of my inspiration and research is all together. I can then go back to these at any stage of my design development and I wont have to go hunting for the images on Pinterest.

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Brain Storming

I bought an A4 size notebook, as I will need this for keeping all of my ideas and notes together! The first brainstorm I did was for the clothing worn by the women in 1912. I studied the images very carefully, looking at the finishing’s of the garments e.g the buttons. I looked at the shape of the skirts/dresses, and at the fact that they layered a lot of their clothing using contrasting fabrics.

Anything I found I added to the brainstorm, this will help me later when I am beginning my actual design sketching and fabric shopping.

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The next brain storm I done was for the Titanic and its interior. Again I examined the images and pulled out any information or details that may influence my design development. An example would be the round windows on the ship, these could influence me to add some eyelets to my garments.

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Sample Brain Storming

Sampling: Sampling is done to help come up with ideas for features on the garments.  Example: Pleating: a sample could be done for several types of pleats, the designer may decide they only like one or even none at all. It helps to eliminate ideas that won’t work and to help further ideas that will.

I went back to my research boards so I could start brain storming ideas for samples. I took some of the ideas from the previous brain storming, for example studs, these I spotted on the chairs on board the Titanic ship. I used sticky notes to put these ideas on the board, so I can go back to them later, if I need more ideas.

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I began to trace some detailing from the images, this can help pull patterns and shapes from the photos. By doing this I can create patterns based on the images which could be used for embroidery or for fabric printing.

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I also used some paper to create pleating, as the steps from the grand staircase reminded me of pleating!

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It is very important I come up with as many ideas as possible, so I can have a better chance of creating really good samples, and to have more of an option when it come to eliminating samples that don’t have much potential.

Now I have the first half of my research complete, the next step is to create some drawings as part of some primary research and start sampling ideas based on the brainstorming I completed!

Leave me a comment if you have any questions, and stay tuned for part 2!

Love Tanya

xxx

 

 

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The Design Diary

I have always wanted to have a fashion blog, but I also wanted to have a fashion blog that was different and offered more than just outfit ideas and hauls. To achieve this, I have planned a new series called The Design Diary!

This series will show my step by step process to completing an evening wear collection. The design process is long and has many stages from research to sampling and then to the final product!

I have always found the process very interesting and fun, watching my work going from an idea to a finished product.

I thought this series would be interesting for anyone who loves fashion, and who likes to see things come to life.

If you enjoy fashion and love design, I hope you will join me in this journey and hopefully enjoy the process as much as I will!

The first post of the series will be posted midday tomorrow!!

Love Tanya

xxx

 

Coby’s Collars

I recently set up a small shop on Etsy called Coby’s Collars, here I sell handmade 100% Cotton bandanas for dogs! These come in all different sizes, so there is one for every dog!

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My rescue dog Coby was the inspiration for this little adventure! When I adopted Coby I bought him a collar which had a cute bandana sewn onto it. I couldn’t get over how badly it was made, so I decided I would make my own! I made one which I could simply slip on and off of his collar, this way I could wash it when it got dirty and I could change the bandanas without having to buy a whole new collar!

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When I put the bandana on him for the first time he looked so cute, and it really showed off his character! Every time I made him a new one he would get so excited and would start nudging me to put it on him!

People started complimenting them and telling me I should sell them online, I thought it was a great idea, I love making them and would love for other dogs to have them too!

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Some people think it is silly adding accessories to your dog, but in my opinion if your dog feels fine with it then why not! I think it adds to their characters and I couldn’t imagine Coby without his bandana!

I started off with a few different fabrics, but I am slowly adding new fabrics and soon new styles. The business is still only new but already I have sold some bandanas and all the reviews have been very positive. I have even received pictures of the dogs wearing their bandana, and it honestly makes me feel so happy!

I have set up a Facebook page for the little shop and an Instagram account, here I can keep in touch with customers, share pictures of the happy dogs and show case new products and deals!

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I’m so excited to have started this little adventure and Coby is also very involved in the process, he helps to pick out the fabrics and tells me if he likes them, which is pretty much all the time as he thinks the bandanas are his, but its cute!

I would love if you would check out the Facebook or Instagram page and share some love😃 I have a Giveaway coming up shortly which will be open world-wide, so keep an eye out for that!

Thank you for reading!

Love Tanya & Coby

xxx

My Top Places To Stay In Dublin!

Taking a trip to Dublin is one my favourite things to do! My fiance and I like to take a trip down 2-3 times a year, whether it is just to get away for a few days or to do some shopping!

I have stayed in a few different hotels in the city center and thought I would share with you, my top 4 to stay in!

#1

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The Morgan Hotel is by far my favourite place to stay! It is located in Temple bar, which is one of Dublin’s most popular tourist spots!

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The Morgan is an incredible boutique hotel, it is modern and fresh! I love how creative they are with their interiors, it really adds to the overall feel of the hotel! As soon as I walked inside I felt like I was in a whole new world, I had never stayed in a hotel like this before!

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The staff is incredible, every time I have stayed they have been very welcoming and friendly! From room upgrades to complementary cocktails, they really made my stays amazing!

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The rooms are fantastic and the beds are unbelievably comfortable! I love the fresh interior of the rooms, and the few pops of colour! I have stayed in the contemporary rooms, the deluxe rooms and the apartment suite and all of them were amazing, they were all so luxurious, spacious and very comfortable! May I also not forget, the complementary apples!

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I have also eaten in the restaurant, and let me tell you, the food is just as amazing as the decor! Honestly I would recommend that everyone go and have a meal here, the food is perfection! (Also you must try the breakfast, it’s so good, they have a Pancake machine!!!!!)

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The cocktails are something else! They have a wide range to choose from, there is definitely something for everyone, from The Morgan bubbles (my favourite) to the strongest long island iced tea that you will ever have in your life! (trust me).

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This hotel will always be close to my heart as it is the place my fiance asked me to marry him! He knew how much I loved the hotel and thought it was the perfect place to ask me and it was!

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I can’t recommend this place enough, it is a very lively and fun place to be, even if you are not planning on staying, I would still recommend going in for a cocktail or two, you wont be disappointed!

www.themorgan.com

 

#2

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My fiance and I stayed here for Valentines Day a few years ago when it was still known as the Maldron Hotel. Although the ownership/name has changed much remains the same. The hotel is situated on Cardiff Lane, close to the Samuel Beckett Bridge and great if going to any events in the 3 Arena, Board Gais Energy Theater and others.

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Although the Hotel is within walking distance of town and all the major attractions I would recommend getting a taxi. For the few euros spent you will get there a hell of a lot quicker. It’s a good 15-20 minute walk from O’Connell Bridge.

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Once inside the Hotel, we were checked in by very friendly staff and informed on all the hotel has to offer including Food, Drink, Gym and Swimming Pool.

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The room we booked was great, an executive room with a balcony, As it was Valentines Day my fiance purchased a few extras I didn’t know about. When we got into the room it was stocked with Champagne on Ice, Chocolates, Strawberries and there were Bathrobes and slippers laid out on the bed for us.

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The Restaurant was very nice, we were taken to our seats and given menu’s. The room was dimly lit and quite romantic. The food was very good and was well presented.

www.claytonhotelcardifflane.com

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#3

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The Jurys Inn is located on Parnell Street, it is right around the corner from Henry’s Street, which is packed full of my favourite places to shop!

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I stayed here only recently, I traveled to Dublin for the night to do some shopping and this was the perfect spot as I didn’t have to walk far to find all my favourite places!

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The room was very nice and perfect for my short stay. The walls were very high so it made the room look huge, but I loved that. The rooms have Air Conditioning which is a big plus. The bed was very comfortable, enough that I actually struggled to get out of it the next morning!

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I had a few drinks after my shopping and the bar staff were very friendly, unfortunately they didn’t do cocktails (will be shortly).

The interior was very inviting and comfy! They had gorgeous little bowls on the tables with floating flowers inside, it is the little things!!

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I didn’t eat in the restaurant, so I can’t comment on their food, but I did peek inside and it looked very inviting! Just off the restaurant they have a hidden courtyard, which is perfect during the summer!

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I really enjoyed my stay here and I definitely want to go back again! The next time I will have to try their food, everyone in the restaurant seemed to be enjoying their meal!

If you are looking for somewhere close to the shopping centers, you should definitely consider this hotel!

www.jurysinns.com

#4

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The Maldron Hotel is located on Parnell Street which is only a few minutes walk from O’Connell street.

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The hotel provides a luxury atmosphere on a budget. I always stay here coming up to Christmas to do my last-minute bits and pieces as its usually one of the best value hotels at this time of year. The staff is warm and friendly and are quite helpful.

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The rooms are very cosy, like any other hotel they have tea and coffee making facilities and WiFi. Another bonus, the rooms are fitted with air-con which is perfect for the summer months, nothing worse than a hotel in the summer with no cooling system!

The beds are very comfy and I always have a good night sleep when I stay here!

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Although I have not had a dinner here the breakfast is quite good, serving both continental and Irish breakfasts in a buffet style.

It is definitely one to consider, if you are on a budget!

www.maldronhotelparnellsquare.com

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They are my top hotels to stay in when I visit Dublin!

I hope you enjoyed reading!

Have you stayed in any of these hotels or do you have any recommendations for me to try?

Thank you for reading,

Love Tanya

xxx

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June Obsessions 2017!

A post I used to love writing on my old blog was my monthly favourites and I miss writing them, so here they are, my obsessions from the month of June!

Fashion

Primark Fur Mules

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I found these little gems on my recent trip to Dublin and I fell in love with them straight away! As ugly as they are, I cant help but love them!

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They are so comfy and they make the perfect statement piece for a simple outfit! They are a mild dupe of the Gucci fur mules, just a little less furry!

Nike Stefan Janoski Trainers

I have been clearly loving shoes for the month of June! I bought myself new trainers as I was in desperate need of them! I found myself reaching for these for most of the month, they are so comfortable!!

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I have bad feet and walking for too long can cause me a lot of pain, but these trainers are so comfortable that I was able to walk for hours and I didn’t have as much pain as I usually would!

I love to style them with skinny black jeans and a slouchy white T, very casual!

Beauty

Glam Glow Supermud Face Mask

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I know I am a bit late on the band wagon, but better late than never! I had been dying to try this face mask for a long time, but I honestly couldn’t justify €45 on a face mask. I decided to buy the sample pot, so I could finally test out the product!

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I wasn’t disappointed! The mask was so much fun to try, I love how it showed the areas that needed the mask the most! I will say I did find it burned a little on application but once it dried it was fine. I have used it a few time over the past month and I have to say I am very happy with the results and I am considering investing in the larger tub!

Kind Natured, Body Lotion, Bath Soak & Sugar Scrub

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I never tried this brand before, but they were on offer in Boots and I thought it would be the perfect time to try them. The Coconut & Monoi is by far my favourite scent from the range, it is very sweet but I think it is perfect for the summer.

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The sugar scrub is amazing, it is super grainy, so you know you are getting a good scrub! The only thing I would have liked from the product would be if it foamed up a little better.

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The body lotion is amazing, it spreads really well and smells delightful! My skin always feels super soft for days after applying it!

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The bath soak is also a lovely product, it adds a nice generous amount of bubble to the bath and it has a very relaxing aroma!

I was very impressed with these products, especially considering they are 97% natural!! They are also affordable with starting prices from €6.79!

Lifestyle & Entertainment

Graze Salted Fudge & Peanut Cookie

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This stuff is my version of cat nip, I seriously can’t get enough if the stuff! I should be embarrassed to say I went through 3 bags of this stuff, but I’m really not!

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It is the perfect mix of sweet and salty and for €2.50 a bag!! I need to go and place a new order!!

The Gilmore Girls

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Brace yourself, I have never seen this show before it was put up on Netflix! I decided to sit down and watch it one day, and 4 seasons later I am still glued to the screen! You can blame the lack of posts on this show! I have to say I am surprised at myself for not watching this before, it is so good!! I’m still not finished, so no spoilers please!😉 If you have never seen this show, go and watch it, seriously!😘

The Weeknd – Secrets

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I LOVE the Weeknd, and this song is just 😍! I have this song on serious repeat on my phone and now that I am done writing I am going to go and listen to it on high volume 😉😂

That is what I have been loving for the month of June, leave me a comment with something you have been obsessed with over the past month!

Thank you for reading!

Love Tanya

xxx

 

 

 

Distressed Band T-shirts!

One of the fashion trends this Spring and Summer is the distressed band t-shirts! Shops such as Primark, Topshop and River Island have been killing it with the band t-shirts this year. Although, I find they are quite pricey for something you can simply do yourself, especially if you have a lot of band t-shirts!

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So for today’s post I decided to show you how to distress your own t-shirt!

Design #1

Before

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Process

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Design #2

Before

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Process

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I hope you enjoyed this quick D.I.Y post, if you would like to see more like this, do let me know!

Thank you for reading,

Love Tanya

xxx

Trend Spotting: Summer Sliders!

Lets be honest, sliders are ugly, but it is the kind of ugly that has made them popular and wanted by many fashion lovers!

Sliders were generally a plain strapped shoe, they were designed for comfort and not for style. Designers and celebrities such as Rihanna have taken the boring slider and given it a complete do over!

Now when you google sliders you will see many different styles, furry, jeweled and even metallic. These new styles have made the slider popular among fashion lovers as it allows them to be stylish but comfortable at the same time!!

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Above you can see celebrities Khloe Kardashian, the Olsen twins and Rihanna sporting their sliders! Khloe is wearing simple black furry slider, the Olsen twins are rocking the original Berkenstock sliders and Rihanna its showcasing her Fenty Bow Sliders.

Where To Buy

Zara

€39.95

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Topshop

€40.00

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Topshop

€52.00

Topshop#1

Forever 21

€20.00

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New Look

€27.99

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How To Style

Topshopoutfit^^All Items are available from Topshop^^

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^^ All items are available from Newlook ^^

I personally love the new sliders and I have my eye on the Topshop buckle sliders! I’m already planning outfits in my head!

What do you think of the new fashion sliders? are you a fan or do you think they are too much? let me know 😁😘

Thank you for reading,

Love Tanya

xxx

 

 

 

 

The Design Diary: Finalising Outfit #1

Over the past week and a bit I have been working hard to finalize the first outfit of the collection, and low and behold I have finally done just that!!🎉🎉

Toiling The Design

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I have designed a few bodice ideas already and now I want to toile them to make sure they will work before making the final decision.

The first toile worked out exactly as planned, I’m really happy with the open back and I think it will work well with the piped fabric, which you will see again in a moment.

This toile didn’t work out as expected. The open back didn’t have the right shape, and didn’t sit well on the mannequin. I was inspired by the silhouette of the Titanic museum building, with the unusual angles. I thought it would work well with the surface detailing but I think the first sample will look better.

I definitely love these two together! The bodice goes really well with the skirt, mainly because there isn’t a lot going on.

Although they don’t look bad together, I feel like the shaped back works much better than the sharp angles. The shaped back also has a better flow with the skirt.

Fabric Manipulation

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In the last TDD post I talked about how much I loved working with fabric, especially when it involves manipulating it and trying to create something new and different. The image above is the sample I made using piping and I decided this was going to be the surface detail for the final bodice.

Now that I corrected some of the problems with the bodice pattern, it is time to make the fabric and then cut out the patterns.

Making The Fabric

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For the bodice I decided to make it in 100% cotton in a baby pink colour. I made the fabric by binding to layers with yarn. The above picture is a progress image from my Instagram: this_is_tanya_

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Here you can see what the fabric looks like once it is ironed together. As you can see it bubbled a little and it doesn’t give he full effect I’m looking for. This is why I like to do a top stitch along the piping, it helps it to stand out even more!

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Here I tested the top stitch using a white tread, it actually works pretty well as the pink is quite pale.

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I also tried it out using a dark purple to see if it would create a nice contrast, but I didn’t like as it cheapened the over all look of the fabric.

The Final Top

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Here is the final top! As you can see I decided to go with the white tread for the top stitch and I think it worked out very well!

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As you may also notice the piping doesn’t match up at all the seams and this is purposely done as I didn’t want it all to look together. I wanted to create a similar look to the design of the building of the Titanic Museum in Belfast.

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The open back was inspired by the shapes and curves of the wood paneling on board the Titanic ship. The bodice isn’t 100% done yet as it needs to be lined and a zip needs to be put in.

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I am very happy with the surface detail on the top, it is so simple but yet very effective and will look really nice against a simple plain skirt!

Outfit One

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I have to say I am over the moon with this outfit, it took a lot of time to get to where I am, but it was worth it!

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Now I need to buy the fabric for the skirt and finish lining the bodice.

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I am also thinking of retesting the skirt, the reason being I ran out of fabric and had to join two pieces together, so it isn’t exactly perfect. The last thing I need is to make the skirt in the good fabric, only to find a problem!😂😂

More Fabric Swatches

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I took a trip to Dublin recently and decided to have a little peek in the fabric shop. I ended up finding some AMAZING fabrics, so I asked for a few swatches and this is what I got.😂😂

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This fabric is quite thick and perfect for the A/W time, it also has this interesting texture. I think it could work well for a skirt or maybe even an evening coat.

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This sample is a pale lavender stretch satin, and I fell in love with it straight away! I am also considering making the first skirt in this fabric, even though I have already picked a fabric for it! 😣😂

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Both of these fabrics are pretty much the same, just a different colour. I was considering these for one of the dresses I plan to make, but I will have to wait and see if the fabric will suit the design of the dress first.

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Lining Patterns

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I am currently working on the lining for the top, this should be all finished for Part 11!!

Now that Outfit one is finally sorted it is time to started sketching for the next outfit. I was hoping to have the sketches done for this post but I spent most of the time making the bodice.

What do you think of outfit 1? Is it something you would wear?

Don’t forget to check out my Facebook page to see some behind the scenes of coming posts!😉😉 Link Here

Thank you for reading,

Love Tanya

xxx

 

Make-Up Wish List

I promised myself I wouldn’t buy any more make up until I use up what I have, but it is easier said than done! I’ve made a list of a few products I want to add to my make up bag and they are follows….

Benefit Hoola Lite

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I’m Irish and I have paler than pale skin and most bronzers are actually too dark for me! I currently use the original Hoola bronzer, which I apply very light handed, as it is too dark for my skin. When I seen Benefit had released the Hoola Lite I got so excited, I love nothing more than a natural looking contour and I feel like I will finally achieve that with this product!

Jeffree Star Liquid Lipsticks

I loved the idea of liquid lipsticks and how they are long-lasting. Out of all that I have tried, Jeffree Star is the only product that does as it says!

I have 2 of his liquid lipsticks and I can’t get enough of them, they are perfect for a long day when you need your lipstick to stay in place!

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I love pink lipsticks, I usually go for a more natural nude pink, but this shade would be so pretty for the summer months!

Rich Blood

When I first heard about metallic lipsticks I wasn’t 100% on board, I much prefer mattes and sheens. I expected the metallics to be a bit over the top, but when I seen Jeffree’s shades I was blown away!

This shade is just amazing, I love how it is a simple red but has been spiced up by adding a pink glitter!

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Although it is summer I need this liquid lip, I don’t think I even need to explain why, just look at that swatch image!! 😍😍

Jeffree Star Androgyny Palette

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I have so many palettes already and I hardly get to use the half of them, but this palette is definitely a must buy for me! The shades are so pretty and the pigmentation is supposed to be incredible, well if it is anything like his liquid lips then I am happy out! That blue tho!😍😍

The Jaclyn Hill Morphe Palette

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I am beyond excited for this palette, it has every possible shade a girl could need! I love how Jaclyn even included some cream shadows, which I cant wait to try, as I never tried them before! The pigmentation of the glitter shadows is just life! I am just hoping I will  be able to get my hands on one, I bet they will sell out in seconds!

Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation

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Last but not least, I’ve seen loads of Youtubers using this foundation and every one of them make it look incredible on! Iv been using the Revlon Colour stay for a long time now and before that I used M.A.C’s studio fix, but I want to try something new, something more luxurious, to see what I am missing out on! 😂

This is the end of my wish list, for now, I am sure something else will creep its way onto it soon enough!😂

Have you got any of these products? or are they on your wish list too? let me know here or on my social media, I’d love to hear from you 😘

Thank you for reading

Love Tanya

xxx

The Design Diary: The Final Skirt!

In my last post I was working on skirt designs, and during my week off I began thinking of ways I could make the skirt have more drape and more folds in its body.

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When I was confident that I figured out the best way to do it, I began working on the patterns and I made a toile of the skirt.

The Final Skirt

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The skirt toile worked out exactly how I expected and I am over the moon with this design! Although the toile is made in calico, which is slightly heavy, it still has great movement!

Now that I have my final skirt design it is time to start finishing up the top half so I can finally set aside the first outfit.

The Bodice

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I really liked the idea of this top (above) as part of the first outfit, so I decided to toile it in 100% cotton, which is lighter than the calico.

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The first problem I encountered is the fact that the attached pieces are too heavy for the neckline to hold, but this might fix itself once a facing is added to the inside of the top.

When I paired the top with the skirt, I realised I didn’t like the two together. I feel like a more simple and fitted top would work better with this skirt, simply because the skirt already has so much going on!

I decided to take a different approach this time when designing the top. I cut out and sewed up 2 half bodice tops in calico.

Next I took a marker and began to draw out new necklines and arm holes. I tried to focus on making a wavy neckline and arm hole to add a small bit of character to the plain top without over doing it.

When I cut out around the marker, I decided I didn’t like the style as it just looked messy. I then took the second half of the top as started the process again.

This time I made the waves wider and less intense, I also added a low-cut back.

This one worked out a little better, I want to make a few changes to it but I will do this when I start making a pattern for the top.

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I drew up a quick pattern for the top and made the small changes. I decided to make the top in 100% cotton instead of the calico. The reason for this is because I was planning on making the top out of a silk fabric which is much lighter than calico.

The top turned out OK, but again I have found small areas that I am not happy with and would like to change. For example the armhole is a bit big and is slightly revealing. I then paired the top and skirt together.

Paired together they look quite nice, I tucked the top into the skirt because it was too long over the skirt. The top would need to be taken in a good bit to reduce the bulk in the waist. I still feel more pushed towards making a fitted bodice that can be worn inside the waist band of the skirt without added bulk.

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I began some design sketches of more fitted tops, some of the designs are quite interesting and I will definitely have to toile them. As I mentioned above I was planning on making the top in a silk fabric, but if it is going to be a fitted bodice it will need to be something a bit more stiff.

Fabric Manipulation

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Something I used to love doing was surface detail by manipulating fabric or combining fabric with other unusual materials. I decided I wanted to bring this into my collection because it is something I love doing, so I began by creating fabric samples with raised surfaces.

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These samples were created using yarn and a bonding material to hold the layers together. The sample above was inspired by the surface of the Titanic museum building, which you can see in the image below. Once it was all glued together I then sewed along the sides of the risen material.

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When the sample was done I pinned it to the mannequin along with the skirt to get an idea what the two would look like together.

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I am very happy with the two together and I think now is the time to start toiling the bodice and then re-toiling it with the risen surface! This will be in Part 10.

Fabric Swatches

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During the last two weeks my new fabric swatches arrived! Honestly there is nothing like getting new fabric to play with!

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I sat down and started going through all the ones I ordered. I then picked out the ones I liked the most. I began placing them together to see if the colours paired well.

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After a bit of messing around, chopping and changing the different fabrics and shades, I finally have a solid colour story for my collection! Although this is my finished colour story, some fabrics may not even get used and others may be introduced, as I have said before nothing is ever finished or final!

Final Notes

This week I will be focusing on finishing the first outfit as I have definitely spent too much time on it. Once the first is out of the way the rest seem to flow nicely!

I will have to start a lot of design sketching to get my starting points for the other outfits. I will then be sampling again, but now I have some solid samples which will be worked into some of the other outfits to create a link and to keep the collection pieces closely related to each other!

Thank you for reading

Love, Tanya

xxx

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s a Nice Day for a White Wedding!

Last week I attended a wedding for the first time in almost 10 years! I love an excuse to buy an expensive dress and doll myself up to the nines, so you can imagine my excitement coming up to this wedding!

I had an idea in my head of what I wanted to wear, I searched high and low for the right dress! I ended up ordering 4 dresses from Littlewoods Ireland, and I fell in love with this gorgeous Myleene Klass dress!

This dress ticked all my boxes and more, when I seen the back detail I was sold!

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Where To Buy

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Thank you for reading,

Love Tanya

xxx

The Design Diary: Customer Board

In the previous post I completed a toile of a skirt, the next step is to work with the skirt on the stand and in Photoshop.

The reason I do this is to further the design development. The first toile is never the finished garment, simply because you are going to want to make changes, whether they are big or small.

Again I use Photoshop to edit the images, here I outlined that I could change the skirt to a long back and short front style. I could also widen the skirt and make it more full using tulle.

The next thing I done was created a few new designs using samples from the previous post, these were the square drapes made from satin. I made several designs for both the top and the skirt.

I really like the designs I created, the skirt design above with all the layered drapes is definitely my favourite! I quickly moved on to new samples, without furthering any of the designs above.

New Samples

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In the images above you can see the process I followed to create the following samples. This process is also used to make circle skirts, which is actually what pushed me to create these samples!

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I created several styles using paper first! Using paper to test a sample is a very handy and penny saving trick, this way you can test if the sample is worth cutting out in fabric!

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Above are the paper samples I created, all of the samples turned out perfect, so I began to test them in the calico fabric

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The first sample is a simple square, these samples are small and will be suited for working on the small mannequin.

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On the mannequin the sample looks interesting and is definitely worth developing further.

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The next sample was a square with the corners cut off.

On the mannequin I tested this sample out on the top half of the body instead of the bottom. I really do like this sample, but I also feel as if I have seen it before.

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The next sample is a rectangle shape with a smaller circle cut out, this will allow for better frills.

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This sample worked out even better than the previous ones. I would like to see this with a bit more structure!

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To make the structured sample, I ironed a fabric stiffener to the back of some calico. I cut out the rectangle shape with the small center, the same as the previous sample.

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I was actually a little disappointed with the structured sample. I was expecting it to look more interesting.

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Next I decided to test out the square sample in a light fabric and a heavy fabric. The sample above is made from a light chiffon.

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Using a light fabric creates a really nice drape! I think this design would look really good if it had more layers using different lengths.

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This sample was made from a double backed satin, which is pretty thick.

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This sample is very interesting! I personally love structure when it comes to design, especially structured skirts, like that designed by Zac Posen! I’m unsure if I want to have this kind of structure for this collection, but I will definitely refer back to it for later collections.

Design Development

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After working with the small samples I decided to do a few sketches based on them. I explored different lengths, layers and bodices.

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Choosing the skirt design I liked the most I drew up a quick line up for the first dress. I paired the skirts with my favourite tops I have designed so far. Still unsure about which I like the most I moved on to working on the larger mannequin.

Stand Work

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The first sample I made for the larger scale mannequin was the square shape. I was disappointed with how boring it actually looked on the large mannequin. Under the sample is the skirt toile I made in the last post.

 

The next sample I made was the rectangle shape. This shape definitely looks a lot better than the square! I placed it over the skirt so the long part of the sample was placed at the front and back, while the short ends are on the sides. This design definitely has a lot of potential!

Using the same sample, I simply turned it around so the short ends are at the front and back, and the long ends are at the sides. Again this design has great potential and could be developed further.

I moved on to remove the skirt from underneath the sample. It has lost some volume, but still looks interesting. I think if this sample was to be layered it would look really nice!

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I tried to layer the rectangle sample and the square sample together but it didn’t turn out like I expected. The square sample is too flat for it to create a nice drape. I would need to cut out more of the rectangle shapes in different sizes.

I also explored some design ideas for the bodice, I done this using the smaller version of the samples. In the images above you can see both the rectangle samples, stiffened and unstiffened.

I also tried the different weighted samples. To be honest I didn’t like either of them on the bodice. It just reminded me of a clowns collar!

The Customer Board

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The final thing I done this week was research for my customer board! A customer board is very important in the design process, and realistically should have been done in the very beginning. I completely forgot because I was too excited to start designing!

The customer board is all about the person you wish to aim your collection at. My collection is evening wear, for occasions such as weddings, cocktail parties and formal events. My customer would be a working woman, who loves her fashion, even at work she still likes to add her own touch to the boring work suit!

She lives in the city and commutes to work instead of driving, she is a very hard worker, but also likes to let her hair down and have fun. Most importantly she loves fashion and is very open to new trends and styles!

Final Notes

Now that I have found some designs that I really like, I will start to design ideas on paper, then I will start to toile them.

I will be taking a week off from The Design Diary as I have a wedding and unfortunately I wont have time to do a lot of work.

I hope you are enjoying The Design Diary so far, and trust me its only going to get better, especially when we get all the fabric!!

Thank you for reading!

Love Tanya

xxx