Saturday, September 18, 2010

Project Runway Challenge #6: You can Totally Wear that Again….today

12 gore, mermaid style, backless, iridescent baby pink/purple, 87% Rayon, 13% Polyester, strappy Jessica McClintock bridesmaid dress… I don’t even know where to begin.

I have 12 hours, $50 budget and can only by 2 yards of fabric. Can I do it? OH GOLLY I HOPE SO.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Photo Shoot on Friday

I am a little swamped.  Need to finish the leather cape.  Re-hem grey dress to make it shorter! Find two pairs of shoes for the talent.  Source jewelry...  Perhaps I can buy some time at the local clock shop...

Monday, September 13, 2010

Project Runway Challenge #6: 'You can totally wear that again!'

The 'something blue' is covered, but I don't think they got the 'something toothfairy' right...

Ahhh the bridesmaid dress, worst feared by friends of future brides, often made of polyester, ill fitting, terrible solid colors and way too expensive… were those brides really your friends to begin with?

Three of these things just don't belong here!

Well, I have never been a bridesmaid; in fact I have only been to 4 weddings, one of which was my own. I didn’t have bridesmaids and those friends that did tie the knot, knew better not to have me in a poly frock standing next to them. So when I saw the Project Runway episode that aired on September 9th, I was already pretty disgusted.

Why do these ladies have their bras on over their dresses?

I have been working in the Alterations business since May and have had my fair share of wedding dress and bridesmaid dress alterations. Most of the time the dresses are made from cheap, plastic looking and feeling fabric, can you even call this crap fabric? Shiny. Rough. GLUED?!?! No, those embellishments aren’t hand sewn on by a couturier in France; they were spray glued on in China! And you paid HOW MUCH FOR THAT?

These Yoga Bridesmaids are ready to do some sun salutations!

Blows my mind and my spirit.

I am very excited to repurpose a dress, a dress that was purchased for a one time only wear. A dress that has sat in someone’s closet for too many years waiting to make it to its next stage in life: a thrift store and then a landfill.

Orange you glad your not a banana?

I will take you on poly-extravaganza and turn you into a Tony-Danza! (Errrr maybe not).

I get the dress Thursday night and start sewing Friday. Are you ready bridesmaids around the world? Are you ready to strike in the name of One-Time-Wear-Landfill dresses?

Ok, it was the 70's but I would rather see a wide lapel white suit!!!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Project Runway Challenge #5: ‘There is an I in Team’ FIN

Ahh the sweet, sweet steaming iron of success!

I just finished challenge #5, a little under 10 hours spread over the course of 2 days, and I LOVE this dress! Let’s get into the details, shall we?

Challenge #5 was a team challenge, where each team chose a concept and a textile from a list of Fall Trends Tim Gunn provided. I didn’t have the luxury of having team mates (if you can call working in a group of head-strong designers a luxury) nor the $1000 budget, but I did have the help of friends and family that chose my wonderful concept and textile for me!

My parameters were:
½ hour to sketch
12 hours to sew

My Concept: Minimalist
Textile: Metallic & Lace (there was a tie)

I took on the challenge needle and thread strong. I even added to my challenge by trying to use two textiles, since there was a tie between Metallic and Lace.

Going into the sketch I thought about what Minimalism in design means to me. I had visions of 1960’s short, mod dresses, architecture, and the designs of Mary Quant (British designer noted for popularizing hot pants and the mini skirt). The dress would have to look effortless and would need to be sewn impeccably.

Purchasing fabric was easy. I found a delicious wool coating, (wool coatings are thick fabrics that protect the wearer from the cold and damp). Because wool coating is so thick, it drapes nice and stiff over the silhouette and requires minimal seams and darts; for the more fuss in the design of the garment the more bulk you get with such a thick fabric.

Being more inspired by metallic then lace, I found my metallic element quickly. PVC baby! You got it! Poly-vinyl chloride, stamped to look like sequins no less!

Patterning and sewing was a breeze since I had a strong vision to begin with. I was slow and methodical, making sure every seam was stitched and pressed to perfection, seam allowances trimmed down, armhole facings weren’t bulky, and so on.

Although this garment was very time consuming to make, it wasn’t difficult sewing, the only element of construction that gave me a hard time was the PVC. PVC sticks to the presser foot and plate of the sewing machine. Unlike fabric, it doesn’t want to glide under the needle. PVC is also easily marred by pins and so can not be pinned down to the garment before sewing. PVC can’t be ironed, so getting a crisp edge is difficult. PVC is a pain.

I think this dress is Hawt, Hot, Haught, Haute! And is perfect for when you are smuggling chinchillas. The giant 14” single welt pockets are dreamy and deep and the exposed zipper is very utilitarian. Paired with tights and sky high boots or little ankle boots for fall a gal couldn’t go wrong!

When I make this garment again, and I will for it is a must have in my closet for fall 2010, I will need to invest in a Teflon or Roller foot for my machine ($17-$40). This will speed up my PVC sewing, unless I can find a better textile for the effect.

As for the lace? Well, the design couldn’t handle metallic, heather wool, exposed zip AND lace and still be Minimal… so she is packing a hanky in one of her pockets… or wearing a lace thong… or ____________________. (You fill in the blank).

Thursday, September 09, 2010

September is National Sewing Month

Did you know September is National Sewing Month!

The next 4 days I will be celebrating.


Friday, September 03, 2010

Sketch - Challenge #5

Minimalist to me is simple, clean lines, lots of structure, no frills, very limited color palate.  So I am thinking of Navy, or Grey, or White even with flects of metallic gold...and lace?  I don't know how I am going to throw that into the mix, but I am just going to have to make it work!

Exposed zipper is a must.

Really long, exagerated, deep whelt pockets in the front.

I am worried about the metallic in this challenge, because most metallic fabrics you can't iron, and to get a clean, crisp minimalist look I am going to have to figure something out.  I have ideas in my head, but won't truely know what avenue I am going to take until I get my fabric!  Off to the store!

(And yes, I know she doesn't have arms, and a REALLY long torso....)

Results are in, 25 voters total, this is how they threw their stones:

Minimalist: 10 votes
50’s Retro/Ladylike shapes: 5 votes
Menswear for Women: 9 votes
Military: 1 vote

Textiles/Color Story:
Gold/Metallic: 7 votes
Camel: 0 votes
Leopard/Cheetah Prints: 6 votes
Plaid: 5 votes
Lace: 7 votes

Going into this project I was really excited to have my friends and family act as my team-mates and choose the direction I would style my ‘Fall Trend 2010’ garment after. I truly thought they would be kind, rewind my VHS copy of Cool Runnings, and choose a concept and textile that reflect me as a designer.

Did they? Looking at the voting results, I think NOT!

I love to do vintage inspired 50’s style garments! And Menswear for women! COMEON!! Can’t you just picture a pair of wide leg plaid trousers, blousy, feminine top and smoking hot tight leather vest? I CAN!! And don’t get me started on the Military look!! Who remembers the jacket I designed after my brother returned home from the military where I used one of his name patches? HELLO? Voters, art thou not my friends?

On the upside, the Chico’s voice was squashed and I shall not have to deal in leopard! And what is wrong with Camel? That is probably the biggest trend for fall, which is a bummer because I Good Willed my camel coat years ago, and it was stunning! Oh, and then there is plaid. PLAID!!!! My favorite, most used textile of all time!!! Only 5 votes?? But no, my friends and family want a look that screams ‘Bardello’! Hooker chic with a minimalist twist!

Well good friends, I will take your challenge and turn it up to 11. Oh yes, I am not only going to rock a Minimalist garment, but will use both Gold/Metallic AND Lace. WOA! (I just blew your minds a little.)

½ hour to sketch
12 hours to sew

Thank ya’ll for your help. I will post my sketch before shopping!

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Project Runway Challenge #5 ‘There is an ‘I’ in Team’

In this challenge the designers were teamed up in groups of six and create a cohesive collection that is on trend for fall 2010. Easy? Well working with other head-strong designers is never easy, but another loop was thrown, where each team had to choose a concept and a textile from the “2010 Trend Board.”

Here is how it works; there are 4 concepts the teams were to choose from: Minimalist, 50’s Retro/Ladylike shapes, Menswear for Women and Military. And there were 5 Textiles/Color Story concepts to choose from: Gold/Metallic, Camel, Leopard/Cheetah Prints, Plaid & Lace.

By narrowing down each team’s concept, it allowed the designers to use their own voices in design, but helped keep the collection cohesive… at least that was the goal.

I don’t have the opportunity to pair up with 5 other designers and sewing a collection over the course of the day, nor do I have the $1000 budget for fabric, but I DO have your help! Altering this challenge to fit my parameters I will have $75 and you will choose my Concept and Textile! WEEEEE.

Starting now through Friday at 9am you, my dear, handsome/attractive, smart friend will choose one Concept and one Textile from the 2010 Trend Board and post your choice here on my blog, email it to me or Face book your vote to me. At 9am on Friday, September 3rd, I will tally all the votes and the Concept with the most votes and the Textile with the most votes will be my inspiration to create a garment to go in Fall 2010 line.

Are you up for it?

Let’s GO!

Concept (Choose ONE):
50’s Retro/Ladylike shapes
Menswear for Women

Textiles/Color Story (Choose ONE):
Leopard/Cheetah Prints

Your time starts NOW!!!