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).


Aika Krecek said...

oooolala! I cant wait to see you rock this dress! Another job well done.

Ingrid De La O said...

Is this dress for sale? If so where can I find it? I want it!!