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Showing posts from March, 2015

Section 4: Sewing Basics/Reading a Commercial Pattern

I was actually going to skip over this post since I know that all of you already sew a bit, but then I realized that there are lots of great links and resources to use for sewing and decided I couldn't skip over all of that!

I also might have a few things that I might be able to clear up on a commercial pattern for some of you - you never know.

We're going to go over a retro pattern - Simplicity 6959 to be exact - because that's a commercial pattern I have used most recently and am familiar with. Much of the information I'll be going over is standard for any pattern so it doesn't matter which pattern you have. Interspersed will be links for sewing tips, tricks, techniques so don't worry if you already feel like you can read a commercial pattern perfectly - there are goodies for advanced sewists too!

Alright, so here is Simplicity 6959 -




The first thing you will want to look at with a commercial pattern is the back of the pattern packet.


What size is the pattern…

Paprika Patterns' Jasper Sweater

Hey guys, I think I found a new favorite sweater!

I've been slightly intimidated by stretch knits for a while though. While I almost always have great successes with stretch knits, I shy away from them still for some reason. When I saw Lisa of Paprika Patterns post about her Jasper Sweater design long ago, I knew I had to have one!


While this pattern is designed for heavier-weight stretch knits, I purchased my fabric online and apparently can't read because it mentioned that it was lighter weight in the description when I bought it. Initially, I wasn't as excited about the grey fabric when I received it (fearing it looked too much like a subdued leopard print) but it grew on me and now I want to wear this hoodie every day!

Let's take a closer look:


 This pattern came together really, really easily. If you're fearful of stretch knits, please do buy this pattern! The notches led the way the entire time and even though I wasn't sure at times how things would go…

Section 3: Collection Planning/Concepting

Hi everyone!

Now that we know how to sketch and put our designs in the computer, let's go ahead and talk about collection planning!

In fashion design school, planning a collection is discussed throughout your time there, but it is perhaps the most important during your Senior Collection where in the first class you do the sketching, concepting, and planning of your sewing patterns. I'll be getting into sewing/patternmaking shortly after this post.

For my own personal process, I start out with images - inspiration photos, seam line ideas, photos of a particular place, etc.

Here is an inspiration board I did in 2009.


I personally like to do digital collages as I can edit them as I see fit, but you may want to use a corkboard with images. Some people cut images out and make collages in blank books, others even make Pinterest boards. This board (or whatever method you choose) should be what inspires you! It can be about anything.

Some really good visual resources that designers us…

Chloe Knockoff at the Dubuffet Sculpture

Finally here to post something new I designed!


Ok, if it looks familiar at all, it's because it's a sort of a knockoff of this dress by Chloe from 2013.

I loved the lines on the dress and with my love of colorblocking, I knew I had to find a way to make it my own. Initially, I was going to to the same overhang-thing on the Chloe dress but something in the patternmaking of it cinched the waist way too much. So I salvaged it by cutting the overhang part off and just attaching the bodice to skirt like a regular dress.

 This is actually the first thing I've designed and made in about 7 months (yikes) - I've been using commercial patterns for the last few things. So, being a teeny bit rusty I made quite a few errors somehow. I know how to fix them all, but ugh!

When I first tried it on, it was SUPER tight. I couldn't imagine why since I had made it fit my dressform and then it dawned on me - I forgot to include wearing ease on the pattern. Grr. So I ended up letting …

Section 2: Computer Design/Illustration

Hi everyone!

Hope you enjoyed the last post and got a few useful pieces out of it. As a reminder, this is not meant to be a comprehensive guide, but merely an introduction to what usually is an 11-week class at my alma mater (at least from 2004-2007).

In conjunction with fashion sketching, this next segment focuses on the computer design aspect of fashion illustration.

 Computer design board of mine from 2013.
This is personally my favorite way to do design work and to get a quick idea of where I should place colors, how something might look finished, etc. These are also very good ways to present your work whether online or to a potential customer.

For computer design you will need the following things:
ScannerMicron pensPhotoshop or similar editing software
If you don't have a scanner, you can go to a FedEx/Kinkos and use their scanner/copiers which is what I used to do before I had a scanner or a printer! (Poor college student solutions, y'all.)

First, scan your flats or cro…

Section 1: Fashion Illustration

Hi everyone, and welcome to my first post in this series in the Talks about Fashion Design!

This first post we will focus on the art of Fashion Illustration, since lots of fashion design starts with an idea in mind, right? Of course, different designers work differently so while this may not always be your exact starting point, I find sketching an idea helps you figure out how to design the garment.

In design school, fashion illustration is actually broken down as an 11-week class if you're on a quarter system like I was.

Let's get started!


Fashion illustrations by me in 2008/09.
There are some absolutely beautiful fashion sketches out there - ones that are a true work of art. But the basis of all fashion sketching is the croquis.

The what?! A fashion croquis! A croquis is basically a template of a figure. There are a few designers who draw freehand (no way is right or wrong) but I consistently pull out my 2 favorite that I have used all throughout my design career.

A fashi…

Introduction: Manic Pop Talks About Fashion Design

So... I've decided I'm starting a new, on-going series of posts that have to do with fashion design.



As many of you may know, I graduated with a BFA in Fashion Design from the Illinois Institute of Art - Chicago back in 2007. It was a great experience, albeit stressful but I wouldn't trade what I majored in for anything. (My 2nd and 3rd choices were journalism or psychology, so clearly I picked the best major!)

Over the years, many people have questioned how useful my degree is or snarkily suggest that I am "not using it" in my work life (the answer to that is actually, it's helped rather than hindered, but that's another post altogether.)

 At an exhibition of my work (the whole store was filled) at Lomo Chicago, August 2013.

And who cares how I use my degree anyhow? Right?! It's my life.

Especially within the past 2 years, I have been astounded by how many resources there are out there for young and beginning fashion designers. From Burda, to Pintere…