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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Design Diary: Frills Frills Frills

Picking up from my last post, I started working on the frill samples which I drew up in my notebook.

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These samples were quite easy to make, I simply drew up the patterns and then cut them out of the linen fabric. I started using brown paper to do my sample patterns as I only have a limited amount of spot and cross paper, as I still have to order a new roll.

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I cut out small and large sizes of each frill sample, having different sizes can actually give you different effects, the weights can be different, creating different drapes.

As soon as they were all cut out, I went and started working on the mannequin, straight away I loved the ideas I was getting. I find working on the mannequin sometimes doesn’t work for me, but when I am in the right mind, it can work out amazingly and that is what happened for me this time!

Stand Work

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When I am working on the mannequin I tend to go straight to the neckline and the armholes! This is different for everyone, everyone has an area they go straight to without even knowing it, its only when someone points it out that you realise it 😂

For the sample above I used 2 spiral samples, this worked quite nicely, and could look very interesting in a sheer fabric!

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For the above sample I used 4 small square samples and pinned them to the shoulder seam. This was one of my favourite samples, I love the folded drape. I will further this sample later!

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This sample is my favourite of all, I used all the small squares and 1 large square. This idea is definitely working for me, I will develop it further through some drawings.

Taking the shapes I liked the most, I went and cut them out from different fabrics, from satin to chiffon. I wanted to test different weights to see did the shape/structure/drape change!

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This sample is a heavy satin, it drapes nicely and the weight of the fabric works as an advantage!

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This sample is 100% cotton which I folded and ironed flat. I actually like this sample, especially if I was to layer the cotton. I do feel like it has lost something by simply being flat!

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This sample is definitely a strong contender! I layered blue and black chiffon to create this awesome effect! I want to sample this further by layering even more!

Sketches

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The first round of sketches I done where a follow on of the gathered sample from my previous post.

I chose the draped sleeve idea and tried to develop it further. I don’t like any of the ideas I drew, so for now I won’t be developing it any further.

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The next set were again developed from the same sample in my previous post. I loved the gathered drape as a statement piece to be added to a simple garment. I started looking at it in a much larger scale and even adding more than 1 to the garment.

I’m quite interested in the 2nd sketch, which is a larger version of the sample, attached to a simple draped dress.

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These sketches are based on my most recent samples! I feel so inspired when I see these sketches and samples! I feel this idea is going to be a huge part of the collection, but it definitely needs to be furthered more! I feel excited about experimenting with these samples and I can’t wait to see what I come up with! 🤞

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Here is my second line up, I picked my favourite designs out of my most recent and put them together. Again this just makes it easier for me to look back and decide which to develop and which to scrape!

Which one do you like?

Skirt Toile

Going back to my first line up, I decided to continue to toile my chosen garment, which is highlighted below.

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I have already made the top and I fixed the size of the sleeves, they were too big and they wouldn’t fit in the arm holes! To fix the problem I simply reduced the back seam by 1cm and now the sleeves fit perfectly!

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I didn’t take any picture of the pattern drafting for the skirt, mainly because I was so indulged in it I completely forgot I was supposed to be photographing everything 😂

I will photograph the pattern drafting for the final garment.

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I shortened the skirt so it comes to the middle of the shin instead of the ankle. The skirt isn’t as wide as depicted in the sketch.

A netted under skirt could be added to give more volume, or I could use a heavier fabric and add more width to the skirt.

For part 8, you will see me work a lot with this sample outfit, moving toward a final first garment!

I will also continue to work on the drape samples and the frills!

Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram: this_is_tanya_ and Snapchat: velvetvogue to see some behind the scenes of my collection!

Thank you for reading!

Love Tanya

xxx

 

The Design Diary: Design Development

I put all the sample images onto an A3 page and got them printed. I also printed out an A4 page with two images of my favourite sample, which I will work with later.

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Printing all the sample images together makes it easier to pick out the best, and to add notes and sketches. I then put them into plastic sleeves to keep them safe, so I can look back on them later if I need any inspiration.

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Now that everything is printed, I sat down and added notes to the images and done a few sketches. These included ideas I could add to the samples, or even how they could be a full garment.

This is definitely a very handy and quick way to start the flow of design ideas. Before designing anything I like to do this, as well as working on Photoshop, which I will show you now!

Design Development

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This may take a minute to explain!

In Photoshop I like to crop out all the samples from the mannequin, I then add them to a picture of a model. Here I begin to use the warp tool to create actual garments, or what could be part of the garment. This way I can see the sample on a person and how the sample may look in a larger scale.

I also like to create new samples using this technique, which I then recreate with fabric, if I think they will work. I can save money on fabric by testing out the idea in Photoshop first.

I hope that made sense 😂, here are a few I created!

Now it is time to start sketching down some design ideas!

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When sketching designs, I like to get at least four ideas onto one A3 page. I also use the same model for each design, I like to keep my sketching clean and simple so it is easy and clear to understand!

Adding notes is also important to me, so I myself understand the idea I have just sketched!

Samples

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I have started my design development, but I now need to go back and further my samples. Sampling and design sketching is a circle of work, I sample, then sketch, and sample and sketch!

This image is of the list I made in part 2, I have decided just to sample a few of the pleat ideas and work on the rest later. I wanted to test out the double pleat using different weights of fabric, to see which holds the pleat better!

The first is a heavy canvas material, which holds the pleat really well, but you can definitely see it is weighted! The black sample is made from grosgrain, this is a lighter fabric but is still quite stiff. It doesn’t hold the pleats as well but it definitely has more volume!

As you can see I put these samples on the larger mannequin, but I also put them on the smaller one like the previous samples.

It is great to have this comparison, the samples look completely different on each mannequin, but they give me extra ideas to work with for my design sketches.

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Another sample I made was the contrasting colour idea, this I created using a neon yellow fabric and regular calico. Although this is only a sample, I really like the colours together!

Working with this sample on the mannequin, was actually my favourite out of all! For such a simple sample, it has given me so many good ideas, and it will drive a lot of design work for my garments!

Printing

I want to include some print work in my collection, which I haven’t done before! I started researching some DIY style printing, mainly because I love to experiment with fabrics to see what I can create on my own!

One that stood out the most to me was lino printing, when I was in secondary school I loved doing lino prints in Art class! I thought this would definitely represent me and it would also be very interesting to see what I could do with it!

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I also researched companies that specialize in fabric printing. If my lino idea doesn’t pan out, I could always create my own design and send it to be printed by a company. It may be costly, but the end product would be worth it!

Embroidery

Lastly I researched some embroidery techniques, as I am keen to include it in my collection along with some beading work.

Now that I have researched these techniques, it is time to put both embroidery and printing to the test. But first I need to create a pattern for which to work on!

I hope you enjoyed part 3 of this series, if you have any ideas, or questions leave me a comment and I will get back to you 😀😘

Stay tuned for part 4, which will have a lot more sketches, colour and texture!

Thank you for reading!

Love Tanya

xxx

 

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

Wardrobe Wish List

Just when I think I have all the clothes I need, I find something else I want to add to my wardrobe!!

I am currently trying to build a collection of statement and essential items, similar to a capsule wardrobe. My main goal at the moment is to find shoes and jackets!

Mules

 

( V by Very / Lost Ink )

I’m not a huge fan of sandals, so mules are the next best thing for summer! There are so many choices this season, and I just can’t seem to choose one pair! I am torn between these pink embroidered mules from V by very and these simple black textured mules from Lost Ink!

Which would you choose?

Mom Jeans

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Topshop )

I’ve been living in skinny jeans for a while, and I just feel it’s time for a change! I was considering the boyfriend style jean, but because of my body shape they didn’t suit me at all! Mom jeans would definitely be a better fit! They would also be a better option for the summer!

Rain Coat

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( Zara )

When I was in Zara a little while back, I spotted this rain coat and straight away it reminded me of a coat I had as a kid, which in fact I hated, but clearly my taste has changed. I love the texture of the material! Funny enough I live in a country where it is raining all the time, and I don’t even own a proper rain coat!

Tulle Dress/Top

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( Zara )

I’ve been loving the new tulle tops and dresses, they are perfect for layering in the summer! I don’t feel comfortable wearing crop tops, but if I was wearing this over it I would feel a bit more comfortable! I like the embroidery on this top, but I would prefer a plain one, which I could add to.

Leather Ankle Boots

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( Topshop )

I know we are going into Spring, but living in Ireland the weather is very unpredictable! I have plenty of boots, but they all have heels. What I need is a plain pair of leather boots that are low heeled and will go with pretty much everything! I wanted these boots from Topshop but they are currently sold out, so I need to find something similar!

This is all I have on my wish list so far, but I’m sure I will have more very soon!

What is on your wardrobe wish list??

Love Tanya

xxx

Trend Spotting: Embroidered Jeans

 (recent post from my old blog)

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In the sixties jeans underwent a make-over by university and college students, when they began adding patches and embroidery work to their denim.
This style was seen a few times since the 60s but this year they have come back with a bang!
High street brands such as Topshop and Zara have many styles of embroidered jeans in there Spring/Summer 2017 collections, ranging in colour, size and design!
Not only have they different styles of embroidery, they also used the technique on different style of jeans, from skinny to mom jeans!
Although this style of jean wouldn’t be considered capsule wardrobe material, they would make for a cute Spring/Summer staple!

How To Style

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Jacket: River Island, Body Suit: Boohoo.com, Jeans: River Island, Boots: Topshop, Bag: Boohoo

Where To Buy

Zara

River Island

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Topshop
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Boohoo.com

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What do you think of this new trend? Will you be adding these detailed jeans to your wardrobe?
Leave me a comment here or on any of my social media, I would love to know what you think!
Tanya
xxx

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