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

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!!πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰

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!πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

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.πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

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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! πŸ˜£πŸ˜‚

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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!πŸ˜‰πŸ˜‰Β Link Here

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: First Toile

The past 2 weeks have been slow on the collection front. I adopted a rescue pup 2 weeks ago and I have been spending a lot of time with him, to insure he settles in. I managed to get a few things done this week so here is what I accomplished!

First Fabric Samples

The fabric samples I ordered from Top Fabrics arrived sometime last week. I ordered 6 swatches, these included a stretch flesh coloured mesh, Silk and Satin.

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I was honestly disappointed with the Satin fabrics, they weren’t as heavy as I expected and the texture wasn’t what I thought it would be.

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The Silk fabrics were very nice, in texture and colour, but I felt they were just a little too light for the garments I have in mind. This collection is aimed at Autumn/Winter, so a heavy fabric would be required.

The mesh fabric was perfect! It is the perfect tone and stretch, as well as having a soft texture!

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If I was to pick any of the fabrics it would be the ones shown below, they are all silk and the mesh.

I will continue to look for the perfect fabric, because I don’t want to settle until I have the exact ones I want!

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I visited another website called Truro Fabrics, they are also based in the UK. I have ordered fabric swatches from them in the past and they were really good quality and fairly priced!

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I have made a list on the website of 14 swatches I want to order. I have a range of colours and fabric types. I decided to look at some Wools, seen as it is an A/W collection, the Wool will add a nice texture mix and some warmth!

New fabric Order

First Toile

The first toile is a top from one of my garment designs, which was included in my first line up!

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To create this pattern I used a dart-less bodice block. This way I won’t have any seams on the top, apart from the sleeve seams.

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Once I have traced the block out on some spot and cross paper, I need to add my seam allowance and then cut them out to create my pattern.

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I usually use calico for my toiles, but my local fabric shop was out, so I had to make do with some linen.

I simply pin the patterns to the fabric and then cut them out.

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After they are cut out I just quickly sewed them up to get my first toile.

I forgot to take pictures of the sleeve patterns, but you will see all of that later when I am focusing on some different sleeve styles.

Once all the seams are ironed flat, I put the toile onto my mannequin to make sure the fit is right.

Here I make notes on any changes that need to be made, for example the sleeves didn’t fit into the arm hole, so I will need to reduce the sleeve pattern by 1cm to make sure it fits nicely.

Working on Illustrator is also a technique I like to use when I can’t print out multiple image of the top to edit by hand.

Here I made notes that I could shorten the sleeves, lengthen the top and change the neckline.

Frills

I felt like my collection needed something else, so I went back to my research and decided to look at adding Frills.

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Firstly I went to Pinterest to do some image research on frills, I looked at styles, patterns and how other designers used Frills.

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Inspired by what I seen, I sketched out some sample ideas to get me started!

I will create some basic samples which I can work with on the stand, and then some more complex samples to hopefully create some surface design and texture.

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I went through some of my old work, I remembered I had some samples that I created using elastic gathering, which created a frill effect. I then started doing some stand work with this sample to help drive some new bodice designs!

I LOVED how this sample worked on the stand, and I definitely want to bring this into my collection!

By working on the mannequin, even if it is just with fabric, you will be amazed at what ideas you can come up with!

Straight after the stand work, I went and drew up some of my favourites, these I will further later and possibly toile!

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It is amazing how you can start with something simple and end up with something so creative and unusual!

Although it wasn’t a huge productive week, I do feel like I got something done!

Now I have to go sample again and then start more design sketches!

If you would like to see some behind the scenes follow me on Instagram: this_is_tanya_ or add me on Snapchat: velvetvogue

Thank you so much for reading!

Love Tanya

xxx

 

The Design Diary: Embroidery & Line Up

Line up #1

I continued to do sketches based on the paint sample I completed in part 4.

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I like the idea of having a full skirt, with a large section of the skirt having the pattern painted onto it. I want to keep the top half simple and let the skirt be the star of the show.

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Now that I have my colour story sorted, I decided to do my first line up of choices for the first dress. I picked my top 4 and quickly coloured them in with markers to see what they might look like.

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The 3rd garment is definitely my favourite! I like the idea of a two piece, with the top being simple and the skirt having the painted print.

I will need to start looking into fabrics and collecting some samples, then I will need to start sampling the garment in calico.

Embroidery

The rest of the week was spent working on the embroidery samples, it took me a little bit of time to get the hang of the fine detailed one, as I was using a metallic thread.

Just to refresh, the pattern for the embroidery was taken from the pattern on the 2nd class dining plates used on the Titanic.

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I am really happy with the out come, and I want to include it in my final collection. I will need to start designing some garments that could feature this embroidery pattern.

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The colour of this sample won’t be the colour used in the collection. I will need to research some suppliers, to find the right shades.

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The design for this sample was taken from the shape of the Titanic museum in Belfast. I used a silver metallic thread for the lines and used silver beads for the other shapes.

I also like this sample, it is a bit more original as I arranged the design myself, but I’m not sure how I would like this on a garment.

I will have to do some stand work with the sample and see how it looks on the body.

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I drew up a few sketches of garment ideas featuring both of the embroidery samples. I sketched in the idea of using a skin coloured mesh fabric as a base for the embroidery, I will have to sample this to ensure it works.

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In this sketch you can see I came up with the idea of having two fabric panels with the embroidery on them. These panels would then be attached to a skin coloured mesh, to give the illusion that it is just the panels covering the body.

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This sketch also has the same idea, it is a v-neck mesh top with the embroidered shapes. The only problem is the embroidery won’t cover anything and will be very revealing, an under top may be needed.

Fabric

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I began looking at fabrics online and came across a website called Top Fabrics, which is based in the UK.

This website pretty much has everything I was looking for, so it would be a perfect suit as I can order everything together!

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I went through their fabrics and ordered a few samples, this way I can see the colours properly and feel the quality and texture!

Lino Prints

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The next sample I want to test is fabric printing using a lino print! I have already transferred the design, now I just have to cut it out and print it.

I’m not sure how this will look, but that is why you have to try everything!

Hopefully this week I will get started on a trial version of dress #1 and then start sampling and design sketching for dress #2!

I’m also hoping to have my fabric samples soon, so I can start planning out the exact fabric I want!

I’m getting pretty excited now seeing everything coming together!

Thank you for reading!

Love Tanya

xxx

 

 

The Design Diary: Surface Design

I printed out the images that I created in Photoshop, I lined them up on to A3 pages so I could have them grouped together.

Using a black marker I created full garments from the Photoshop samples, some turned out better than others.

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Picking out the best from the line up, I began to do my own sketches and developed them a bit further.

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As you can see from these sketches I took the first image from the Photoshop line up and then developed it into 3 other design ideas.

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After completing some sketch work it was time to start looking at fabrics, print and embroidery.

In order to sample embroidery and print I will need to create some patterns from my research!

Colour

For the first pattern I decided to take it from the shape of the Titanic museum in Belfast.

I outlined the building using the pencil tool and then moved the shapes to a plain page.

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After I picked out all the shapes I began to create patterns with them.

Here are the patterns I created so far.

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Now that I have some patterns created, I need to start exploring some colour stories.

These colour stories can be driven by the research, or by the trend forecasting for the particular season.

For my case I have decided to create this collection to be suited for the coming seasons, Autumn/Winter 17/18. I then began looking at the trend forecasting for these seasons and found some colour guide lines.

Next I went onto Pinterest to find images which have similar colours, these I can use as my colour story. Usually I would take my own photographs, but for this collection I decided just to pick one from Pinterest.

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Once I had picked out a few images, I began to create colour swatches from each image.

I haven’t fully decided on which colour story I want, but I will use these colours in my print and embroidery samples.

I went back to my patterns in Photoshop and began to fill them with colour. These are not final prints but a working progress.

Now that I have my colour and pattern research done, I can now move onto samples!

The first sample I done was painting the shapes I took from the Titanic building. I used ordinary fabric paint on white satin fabric.

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I was happy with the outcome, but the sample would need another layer of paint as it was blotchy. I definitely want to further this idea on a much larger scale!

For this embroidery sample I got the design from the style of plate that was used abroad the Titanic.

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I traced this design and then transferred it onto some pain Cotton fabric.

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Here is a progression photograph of the embroidery sample. I am using a metallic grey embroidery thread and a few different embroidery techniques.

This sample is not fully complete, but will be for part 5.

The next sample planned is another embroidery but this time it is of the same shapes taken from the Titanic museum.

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I haven’t fully decided on technique or colour yet. This sample should also be completed for part 5.

In part 5 I will begin some larger samples based on printing and painting. I will also start working on the large mannequin with fabric, while sketching up my first line up of garments.

Thank you for reading😘

Love Tanya

xxx