Monday, November 25, 2013

Update: Sketching, Tunic Top, and New Career Adventures

I realized recently that I left my readers hanging here - no worries! I'm still creating! Albeit at a snail's pace for the time being. 

I've been running through my head ideas for what I called "board collections" - flats boards, croquis boards, and inspiration boards for a "collection" that will primarily stay ideas and not become a reality necessarily. 

I've been having a really hard time with collection planning recently. I've had a Twilight Zone themed collection swirling about for at least 2 years now and every time I start on it, I can't really make it cohesive enough. I guess it needs to be surreal and weird but I keep designing cute, wearable but offbeat garments. Ah well. 

Here's a selection of some flat sketching I've been playing with, though I'm not too keen on anything to be honest.

I do want to make some really beautiful, time-consuming sketches in a collection so perhaps I'll make that a winter project as my sewing room gets impossibly cold in the winter.

Other than that, I had been inspired by a tunic top in a McCall's sewing book from the 60s I had. 

So I got to work with my trusty pattern making book (ok, didn't really need it for this) and drafted up a rough muslin for it. Mine will have a Mandarin collar while finished too.

It's not much to look at and my pressing is a mess, but it helped me work out some details. 

 Front of tunic top in fashion fabric.

Selecting this fabric was a happy accident. My normal fabric store was closing obscenely early (4pm? Really?!) and my boyfriend being the good guy he is took dejected and defeated me over to the local Joann's. WHY had we never thought to look though the quilting fabric?!

I spent more than I normally do, but hey. I think it's worth it. 

And no amount of color correction on the next two photos made the fabric look true-color. I guess the lighting in my sewing room is really yellow.

Preview of the tunic top on the dressform! I drafted long sleeves with a slight flare at the end. I decided on a tunic top because I still love the dresses I make but I have a minor issue with circulation in the winter while wearing tights too often, so this will have to suffice. It's a cute solution!

I've also not been sewing this too quickly because I have had a terrible cold for about a week now and lost my voice from Thursday onward. I actually thought I had strep it was that bad and my tonsil was swollen but... it is not. 

Another announcement: I GOT A NEW JOB! It's very surreal.  Not a whole lot of details to divulge, but it is more design-related just more on the interior design realm. I'm ecstatic either way because I am very close to production, textiles, sewing, design, yet will be working in the home office.

Also bonus: I don't have to work the holidays for the first time in 6 years! They close the factory for 2 weeks!

So you know what this means? Sewing up a few items for my new work wardrobe! My first thing I really want to make are a pair of dress trousers that are still in a fun, subdued color. I'm probably just going to draft my own pair of pants since I've been wanting to in my size for some time, thinking something like these. I had a super-hard time shopping for sorta-dressy pants at stores last week before my interview. Why is it that petite departments assume you're short AND fat? Ugh.

I do want to finally use this 60s pattern I've been hoarding. I want the button dress right there on the right! Probably going for a subdued color too.

It's bittersweet leaving my retail post after 5 and a half years, but I am ready for new adventures and a relatively normal life. It's basically a 9-5 job, no weekends, no holidays. I have never worked a "normal" job in my LIFE! I'm also beyond excited to have a chance to possibly eventually move into something a little more creative. There are sooo many departments there that the possibilities are endless. 

I've also made the decision that Manic Pop will just be my creative outlet. The Etsy site will still exist for custom orders (and I will be taking them!) but I may have decided that fashion design is not a viable career choice for me. Don't get me wrong - I love it and I am a designer and artist at heart - but I am someone who prefers stability in my job. It's important to know who you are and a  fashion design career wasn't exactly meshing with my idea of how life should be.

I still would like to do shows, be involved within the independent fashion community (and still release a PDF or two!) but I am not gunnin' for an independent career like I once was at the beginning of this year. It's just a lifestyle choice. My thoughts might change eventually, they might not.

In the mean time, I still plan on creating beautiful and/or fun garments, pattern drafting or not. I'll still be sketching, I might be making some art, I might be taking some photos. Who knows!

Here's to new adventures!


  1. The tunic looks like it is coming along great, love the fabric! Colour correcting can be such a pain, I've spent ages doing it in photoshop with not the best results. Congrats on the new job too :)

  2. wow such a talented lady, congrats for your new job :)

  3. how exciting! you remind me of when i got my first 'no weekends' job. I still love it and taking leave whenever i need to and Christmas leave! yay! Dont you feel free!? Anyway. I cant wait to see that finished tunic, the fabric is amazing, and that sweet drop waist dress. Sewing for work is always fun, but i have a situation at the moment where i have a lovely mustard silk that i cant decide if it should be for work or party! have fun in your new job! xo

    1. Cat, do you wear your fantastic mod craziness to work? I'd love to, but for some reason have this thing in my head that I should be super "professional" though some girls wear some rather casual things to work. We are allowed to wear (presentable) jeans. I've already worn my Petra dress and a super-colorful mod tunic top and gotten compliments on both.

      Gah! Tell me it's ok! Haha.


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