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Showing posts from July, 2013

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Ah boy... it's been a whole 10 days.

 I'm finishing up the last 2 patterns for the rest of my mini dress collection for the grand opening of the Etsy store. I severely needed a break on Tuesday to just not think about anything (I still work 40 hours a week, mind you!). Today was also full of running errands, sourcing fabric for my own personal fall jacket. Preview: I decided I'm making this one from BurdaStyle with color adjustments, minor detail adjustments.

It's obviously not because I cannot make jacket patterns (see New Militia jacket) it's just that they're time consuming, especially when this jacket is only for yourself. I also may be addicted to PDF patterns now that I tested one out for another independent designer. You'll see what I made when the pattern is released but it's reallllly cute!

In case anyone missed it on Facebook, here is a photo of Tatiana wearing the Sweetheart Dress from the current Manic Pop collection! She says she'll be …

Petra Dress: Completed

I've been crazy-busy lately... 
So here's the Petra dress! 3 of 5 dress designs from my line sheet.

I'm actually really surprised with how quickly I can make sewing patterns now. On average, I've gotten it to 3 hours max with any sewing pattern I need to make. Pretty good!
You also might notice that this one fits me much better than the Tower Midi. I was a little disappointed and thought that I had made the Tower Midi patterns wrong but I checked my pattern blocks to notice that the torso blocks I had been using were one size too big! I don't get it. We always used a standard sewing size 8 in school and that's exactly what all my blocks are marked. I've been finding minor mistakes with the blocks now and have been editing them as I go along. 
And if this dress looks familiar... 
It's because it's almost an exact knockoff of a 60s Pierre Cardin dress. I followed more of an armhole princess style versus making the style a little more straight from th…

Carnival & Cardin

Today I'll be working on patterns mostly, so nothing exciting for at least a week or so (I'm assuming anyway).... so I have something from the vault!

This mini collection was sketched out in 2009. Nothing was ever made from this, it was just an exercise in putting a collection down.  This is a good almost 3 years before Manic Pop came into being, but you can still see elements of Manic Pop in these sketches.

I rarely color my flats with color pencil,  but this it what happened with these! They look pretty nice.

Inspiration board. I did tons of collage work in high school so I'm a pro at grouping things together in fun ways. This is all done in Photoshop with many found images.

Flat sketches.


Also, while surfing images of "Pierre Cardin 60s" last night, I accidentally found my new fall coat! I must make this. 

Soooooooooo amazing! Not sure if I'll do the belt, but I might make a tie version. I'll be putting in the welt pockets too. When I actually do pay …

Tower Midi - Completed!

Well, apparently I'm on a roll lately!

Let me introduce to you the Tower Midi!


 Ok, so this one is actually a Manic Pop size medium (35" bust, 27" waist, 36" hips) but it was close enough to my measurements (I'm technically 33", 25", 34") so I tried it on anyway!

 The neckline is actually taken from a garment I made back in college:
This was a contour top project in college (circa 2005?)  but it ended up waaayyy too short. Just an old gem though - haha.

Back to the Tower Midi:
You can see that it fits my dressform a bit better than on me.
 I still love how the lace bits turned out. If it were for me, then I would definitely take it in through the top a bit, but she's going up on Etsy too!

Making the sewing patterns went by pretty quickly as did making the dress. I estimate all together it was about 12 hours including pattern making. I used my torso block for this one which actually seems to be a bit bigger than my other pattern blocks. Not r…

Creating a Cohesive Brand Identity for Fashion Design

Sometimes people ask me things....

Things like, "Why do you use the same colors all the time?" (technically, I don't but people see a common palette.) "Why do you do lots of stripes in your designs?", and "How do you decide what to design next?"

You notice that many well-known fashion designer's work is instantly recognizable (even if you're not particularly a fan): Donna Karan - famous for her wrap dress,  Missoni  - zigzag stripes, and Tommy Hilfiger - red, white, and blue, as examples.

Well, in this post, I'm going to talk about my personal design philosophy/branding here at Manic Pop, and how you can develop your own cohesive identity for your work too!



Playing Off a Theme/Inspiration: For Manic Pop - Stripes! Myth: You don't need to "do it all" - focus on what makes your clothing, YOU and work from that.  The stripes element comes from 2 places for me: one is my mod rainbow rings pictured above. I've had the middle …

New Militia Denim Jacket: Completed

Sometimes, things take me far longer than I actually wanted them to. Case in point: This jacket.

I designed a 5-jacket collection in 2008 with the intent to sell them on Etsy. They were awesome. Needless to say, I bit off more than I could chew at that point and although I made all 5 jacket patterns, I only ended up making 3 (out of 5!). 
They weren't hard to make or confusing, I guess I  just got quite intimidated.
Looking back, they all should probably have lining with the exception of this baby who has regular jacket facings. I'm kind of in love with this denim one I deemed "New Militia". Obviously, it's a military-based style with a mod/retro spin. 
I initially went up to my sewing room to work on the sewing patterns for the Tower Midi but was too spent from my day job to even think that day. So I looked at this jacket, decided to see if my buttonholer wanted to work that day. It did! 
 The little chest pocket things are mainly for decoration, but you mig…

Part 1: The Many Faces of Nicole, A 9-Year Retrospective in Chicago, IL

July 2013 marks my 9-year anniversary of living in Chicago. My mom sent me off to college in July 2004 and didn't let me have the summer off. In retrospect, moving to the city was a great choice and I definitely wanted to get the hell out of Michigan, remembering much of my life in Connecticut.

 So, should I save this post for a 10-year anniversary? Maybe. But who is to say I'll still be living here by next year? That's always been my thought process since 2007 but oh what the hell. Chicago has a way of sucking you back in.

Anyone who lives here will tell you that the summers are incomparable to anywhere else, and the reason we all endure the long, harsh winters. There are block parties every weekend during the summer (usually more than one), festivals, food, and fun.

I've been lucky to be a part of this crazy city for the past 9 years and have met some amazingly talented musicians who have had worldwide success, as well as artists I've been able to hang around an…