How To Use Bias Binding

Bias Binding is a strip of fabric cut diagonally, it is generally used for covering raw edges on fabric, but can also be used as decoration on clothing!

Knowing how to work with Bias Binding is a huge benefit as a designer or as a crafter! If you don’t have the use of an over locker, binding will be a great option for you to have, as it is quick, easy and very effective!

Below I have created a step by step guide on how to use Bias Binding, I have also created a video to go with this post, so you can watch or read, it’s all up to you!

>>YouTube Video<<

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It is as simple as that! Once you get the hang of it, you will want to use it in all of your projects!!

This Bias Binding post and video is part of a new series over on my YouTube channel called Minute Lessons, each episode will consist of a 1 to 2 min lesson on different aspects of sewing and garment construction!

I hope you enjoyed this post!

Thank you so much for reading!

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DIY Glitter Shoes!

Have you ever had a pair of shoes that just wasn’t cutting it when it came to your style? Too boring or too old, but you just don’t have the cash to splash out on a new pair? well why not DIY them?

In this post I will show you step by step how to change these boring black heels, into something you want to boogie in!!

If you want to see how I done it just keep reading!

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You can also watch this step by step tutorial over on my YouTube channel >> TheDesignDiary

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I hope you enjoyed this post!

If you like these kind of posts do let me know and I will continue to create them for u!

If you decide to try this out for yourself tag me on Instagram @thedesigndairy_ so I can see what creation you came up with!

Thank you for reading,

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How To Make A Skirt Pattern/Block

Growing up I always wanted to know how to make my own clothes! This led me to study Fashion Design in college!

I’m very passionate about design and decided it would be fun to teach others how to make their own clothes, so I set up a new YouTube channel. This channel will be solely dedicated to Fashion Design and construction!

I will be making step by step guides on how to make different styles of clothing!

If you are interested in learning how to do it yourself check out my channel linked below!

The Design Diary

This post is s step by step guide on how to make a skirt pattern/block. From this block you can do a range of different styles simply by changing the length, width etc.

I will also leave a free downloadable version of this post so you can follow it along with the video or simply on its own!

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Download: DropBox

I hope you enjoy creating and keep an eye out for my next few videos, which will be a follow-up from the skirt block!

Thank you for reading!

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Zombie Bite Tutorial

It is that time of the year again, where we can all dress like our favourite movie characters or as a brain eating zombie and no one will judge!

For today’s post I thought it would be fun to show you all how to create a zombie bite, or a simple wound.

I have also filmed this for YouTube, so if you would prefer to watch here is the link: Zombie Bite Tutorial

Here is what you will need:

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Once you have all you need you can get started!

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Finished look!

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I hope you enjoyed this tutorial, if you would like to see more let me know and I will make sure I make that happen!

If you recreate this please tag me in any pictures so I can check them out!

Thank you so much for reading!

Love Tanya

xxx

 

 

The Design Diary: Testing Dress #2

It has been a while since I done one of these posts! Honestly I hit a wall with the collection and didn’t feel like my designs were going anywhere. I took a break but now I feel like I am starting to get somewhere!

New Samples

To get back into the design process, I went back over my research and started to do new samples, hoping they would drive new ideas!

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When I was in college I was introduced to this amazing water-soluble material! It is used as a fabric stabilizer, or to create your own motifs, which is what I had planned to do!

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Using the shape of the Titanic museum I came up with simple stitch designs. To create these I simply sewed back and forth on the machine using different colour treads.

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I haven’t rinsed the samples yet as I wanted to make a few more on the sample piece to save the material as it is not cheap! When I am dissolving the samples I will photograph the entire process and insert it in the next post!

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I planned to hand sew these onto a finished garment as a texture detail, I was thinking of a nude stretch mesh fabric, but I am keeping my options open until I have a final design for the garment!

Design Sketching

After looking over my research I began to do new sketches for the next garment.

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I had sketched up a rough idea for the collection and I really liked the 2 dresses in the middle, but I only liked elements from them. I decided to redesign them by mixing the elements together.

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I liked the idea of a straight skirt with a train at the back, and the deep v-neck bodice. I wanted to keep the drape detail from the previous designs so I decided to add them to the neckline. I do want to test out a few necklines with different weights of fabric, for example stiffening some Satin.

Toiling Dress #2

Once I had picked the design I began to work on the patterns to toile the dress!

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I was very happy with the first toile attempt! The shape is exactly what I wanted and the draped bodice is perfect!

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The only change that would need to be made is the length, it is too short for a standard height model.

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I am in love with the train, but I would like to make it longer, but for this collection I think it would be best kept at a small size.

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This dress I would love to make in a stretch satin, this would give the dress some weight and give the train a better drape! I need to stiffen some satin to see if it would hold the structure on the neckline, hopefully it will work as I really like the satin fabric!

Pricing Process

Pricing is a very important part of creating a collection, this information is used if you are selling into retail or simply selling for yourself! Pricing includes a lot of things from the fabric, to tread and to your labour cost!

IMG_0143-2Take a closer look here: CostingSheet

To make the pricing process easier I created a pricing sheet, which will allow me to simply fill in all the information, which can then be all added up at the end to give my final cost of the garment.

Final Notes

Now that I am finally on a roll again, I am going to work hard to finalise the collection. Once everything is finalised I can then start making the garments and getting the model to try all of them on, to ensure they all fit her perfectly.

Once everything is done my most favourite part can begin, which is the photoshoot!!

Thank you for reading!

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

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!

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Design #2

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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

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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