Friday, March 21, 2014

Revisiting the Petra Dress and PDF Pattern

I've personally halted a bit on the production of the PDF pattern.

This is not something I wanted to have happen, but I have to be honest with myself in the fact that I am not stellar at digital design (although not awful). And come on! You knew I was an analog girl along, didn't you?

So let's revisit the Petra Dress -

I've actually worn this dress a bunch of times. I've been layering it with these fantastic fleece lined tights from Brooklyn Industries (looks like they are no longer on the website) as well as a long sleeve underneath, cardigan over it. 

On the sample here, I had to cut the center front panel off-grain since I miscalculated my yardage when I bought it. Technically, this dress takes about 3 yards to layout correctly in the navy blue, not accounting for the contrasts. I also made the pockets deeper on my PDF pattern since these are smaller than they should be. 

Onto the PDF pattern:

 I'm stalling on it because I think it looks messy. I think I can rectify the situation by deleting certain lines that are supposed to be one, clean, non-graded line but that's going to take some time. The line on the left pattern piece should be one clean line. Nesting the pattern is a little hairy, but overall the pieces look correctly graded to my eye. 

Another issue is the notches. I see how Burda does theirs, but I'm a stickler for them all matching correctly to where they should match to. 

This is a sample of the center front panel. This one actually doesn't look so bad!

I even got as far as doing a cutting layout. This one is for the cut 1 pieces. I have also started typing up instructions, pattern pieces, fabric requirements, etc. 

However, I currently plan on finishing it at a much later, unknown date. 

I just think it's messy and I don't want to release something in the world with my name attached to it that I am less than satisfied with at the moment. I think it will eventually be released, but I need a bit of time away from it. 

I've known for a long time that I am not a technical designer and yet attempted it anyway. I think it was a great exercise in pattern grading which I am super-grateful for and will use for any custom work I need to do in the future. Pattern grading was something I wanted to be proficient at for a long time and it's surprisingly easier than I thought it would be. 

I'm really enjoying the creative process of concept to creation - having an idea and then executing it well in real life. There is lots more pattern making I want to do which is one of my favorite aspects of fashion design. I figure if I love one process so much, why not continue on with it? 

After much thought, I (for now) decided that fashion design is something I don't want to work full-time in. Side projects like webseries, costume design, custom orders, etc? Yes please! Having my own PDF line? Not so much. Not right now anyway. 

2014 so far has been about trying things I always wanted to and finding out which directions in life I really want to go. I think you should never stop trying, especially when you're a creative. However, if you love something, stick with it! It probably means you're good at it. 

This is also why after almost 2 months of being unemployed,  I am returning to retail as an assistant manager. The company I am working for now seems to be exactly what I want, in the neighborhood I want, with like-minded creatives. 

I am beyond excited to be back in the world of retail. I just belong there! I don't start until the 31st, but will be training for a few days in Seattle. I've never been west of Chicago (I'm from Connecticut, you guys!) so this should be an all-new fun adventure. Maybe I'll be able to share some photos. 

There are so many exciting changes going on and what looked like a dismal start to 2014 is certainly looking up. Sometimes when things seem like they're falling apart, they truly are falling into place.  Struggle is only a sign of personal growth.

I'm really into collaborating with people lately on the blog. Look for an upcoming post of a 60s-inspired hat by Australian milliner Tanith Rowan of Tanith Rowan Designs as well as a new dress I completed featuring illustrations by New York-based artist and friend Jane Chu.


  1. Love the dress, your backdrop, and your style :) !

  2. I looove the Petra dress! I totally understand doing things like this for fun, but if you ever release the pattern I can't wait to buy it! ;)

    1. I hope I'll get it out in the world someday, but yeah.... I have a bad habit of biting off a little more than I can chew at times. Thanks for your support!

  3. You've got to do what's right for you, even though it is usually hard to know what that is. As much as I have a somewhat technical and mathematical brain, I also work much better with it on paper than on a computer. Those screenshots just look confusing to me!

    I'm very excited about seeing what you make to go with the hat. We should do another collaboration some time, I've really enjoyed this so far!

    1. Thanks so much, Tanith! I'd love to do another collaboration with you!

      I have a really good mathematical brain as well (love algebra, advanced algebra, stats, functions, systems, etc) but it's more like all the controls and how wonky Illustrator can be. I know what I want it do to, but I have to fight with the program. I have a pretty solid working knowledge of it, but I'm still more than frustrated with it.

      I technically don't have MUCH more to do on it, I just need to give up on it momentarily! Haha.

  4. cute dress :)


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