Friday, May 29, 2015

What You Get When You Marry A Marker With a PaintBrush!

Up until 5 minutes ago I had NO IDEA Water brushes existed!!! But I'd been hearing how watercolors were great to use in fashion illustration but I wondered how people were using brushes to give such good results and even more importantly to do such fine details. Mind you they have fine tip brushes but I know they require a bit of skill to use correctly. Lo and behold, I didn't realize that many illustrators were using waterbrushes instead of traditional brushes! What a great idea! Why do I feel like the last one to know? LOL! I ran across this video and was happy I did.

Anyhow, I LOVE the idea of waterbrushes and will definitely investigate further. I found this review pretty helpful on how to use the brush. I'll do some more research and grab my supplies. I have to do 2 Mood boards so I'll look into incorporating this medium into them.

And this one was just fun to watch......I love the softness and shading variations water colors provide. It was also neat how she incorporated color pencils to also aid in shading and adding depth. Fashion illustration is pretty spectacular. It of course is it's own specialty and there's so much one can learn in developing their own style. I look forward to continually exploring this field!!!

Sunday, May 24, 2015


It's BEACH SEASON and I'm determined to lay out near the water in style! Last year I got lazy and wore the same old black bathing suit all season. It was cute but a tad bit boring. I ALWAYS need color and some cool prints in my life and besides it's been a while since I've made me a bathing suit. Last times were HERE and HERE.

Honestly, I can't think of anything more rewarding to sew, outside of fancy gowns and stuff, then a bathing suit. Mainly for me that's due to the price of store bought swimwear. I can't believe that swimsuits and bikini's COST SO MUCH!!! I mean we're talking about less than 1 yard of fabric in most cases! I've seen $40 & $50 price tags. That's just way too much for me. I'm a $10 or less kind of girl. Hence, the reason why it's best for me to make my own.

Well I've been collecting swimsuit fabric for some time. Well at least I thought I had and then I checked my stash and this was all I had. I think I gave away some of my other prints. But I'm loving the leopard print. I have enough to make a matching suit for my daughter.

I did spy some really bright swimsuit fabrics at a local fabric boutique called Measures in Savannah. I may need to hit it up to add a little more color to my swimsuit lineup. Who am I kidding, if I have just 2 swimsuits in my closet I'm good. So I'm guessing one bright colored one would do!

But I did manage to get some cute mesh for swimsuit cover-ups. For some reason my camera bleached this photo but the colors are really cute and they have a bit of glitter for a sparkle.

 I'm going to pull out my patterns and start planning. I see a beach trip in my future and I want to be prepared! Do you sew your own swimwear? Have you gotten any pieces done so far this year?

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Black Stretch lace and Red pepper knit Prom Gown--- McCall's 7047

Yayyyyyy.....this gown completed my Prom season work! I had this gown to construct and a bunch of gowns to alter. It was a busy season! This was a pretty neat dress to make. Ms. K is a lovely HS Senior and LOVED this dress! She described it as "being everything"!  As always I'm happy to please! It's all about giving my clients what they want:)

Design wise it wasn't anything complicated to construct (I used McCall's pattern 7047 ) and it served as the perfect palette for the gorgeous black lace I overlayed on top of the red pepper colored performance knit! That's right the red knit was actually a PERFORMANCE knit (like the kind you wear when you go running that wicks away sweat LOL) instead of a typical spandex. For the record this is the 2nd time I've used a performance knit in a way in which it's technically not intended. You may recall this dress HERE. I had some hesitations about using the performance knit since it didn't rebound as well as a power stretch spandex. It tended to "curl" a little when stretched. To be quite honest I was a bit nervous about this. But I followed my gut and went with it and it turned out well!

The only other challenge (not really a big one) was the pattern was made for only a 2 way stretch knit while my fabric duo were 4 way stretch fabrics. Of course I altered the pattern and too it in so I could take advantage of the negative ease. I also changed the size of the back opening from the original design by making it deeper and wider. I cut out the pieces for the lace and red knit separately (didn't overlay lace and knit together and cut out as one) and then I went back to overlay the pieces and basted them together keeping them flat. After basting them together I went ahead and sewed the gown together. To prevent any weird stretching from happening in the back I ended up running a channel of 1/2" elastic over each shoulder and on the curve sides and used clear elastic to stabilize the lower curve bottom. Originally I just used clear elastic around the entire opening and that wasn't enough to prevent gaping. As a precaution and to ensure perfection, I had my client use "Hollywood tape" around the opening to make sure her dress didn't shift in anyway in the back.

(black stretch lace over the red knit. Such a great contrast. The red knit was just bright enough that the black overlay didn't mute it down too much)

The only other change I made to the pattern is I widened and lengthened the train. The original inspiration pic my client gave me (not pictured) featured a train with slightly more flare and that would've been difficult to achieve in this gown without adding a center back seam to it. I didn't want to disturb the lace pattern by doing that or adding godets. Without the added flare the train turned out great and because she planned to dance the night away it was the perfect length.

Well I think that about covers all the gown details. Here's pics given to me of my lovely client wearing it. I loved the fact that she picked a style that was age appropriate and not too revealing!!! Half the prom gowns out there nowadays looks just like lingerie! LOL!

 Super glad I made it through another Prom season! Looking forward to next year's :)

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Getting Technical about Technical Drawings......

The thing I like most about learning is it gives me a fresh and deeper perspective on things. This is especially the case since I am a SDC fashion design student and recently completed a technical drawing assignment. The assignment was to get 3 skirts---an A-line skirt, denim skirt with topstitching and mini denim skirt with pleats and complete technical drawings of them. Let's just say that I have always admired technical drawings and depend on the of course when looking at an envelope pattern to really understand the patterns design. But I didn't really realize how much work went into actually creating them. They can be quickly made by computer but drawing by hand takes much work. It can easily take up to 2 hours to render a front and back drawing. The importance of technical drawings makes sense since a technical drawing is essentially the road map to creating a garment and is what's handed off to pattern makers, sample sewers and production. I'm naturally a very technical person so I've grown to appreciate this assignment. I submitted my first set of drawings and bombed miserably since I didn't really understand what I needed to do. I mean I used the wrong paper and a fine point sharpie which bled too much and I did some shading when I shouldn't have. After getting clarification from the instructor and getting better supplies I did my 2nd set and felt really great about them. It's REALLY cool to translate a garments details. I'll enjoy making these for my own designs. I've really enjoyed this learning process! Anyhow, below are the skirts I used (bought from Goodwill) and my 1st and 2nd technical drawing attempts.

Part 1: All 3 skirts---Front and Back each--A line denim skirt with top-stitching, long skirt and denim mini with top-stitching and pleats.

Part 2: My First ATTEMPT---not too good---was working with the wrong supplies and not very accurate.

Part 3: My Revision Drawings! These turned out much better when I changed my supplies! There are some mistakes with these but much better then the first. I'm awaiting feedback & a grade from my instructor.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Marker Lust

I've embarked on the journey of being a Fashion Design student and am loving it. I've mentioned before I was taking an online course through SDC. Fashion illustration is obviously a part of it and I'm looking to upgrade my supplies. I did my first fashion illustration assignment using basic color pencils and since that time I've learned tons more, and more about the best supplies to use. I'm in love with the idea of using markers for my designs and the videos below are no doubt the reason why. Some of the best markers on the market are those produced by PrismaColor and Copic. These bad boys cost a pretty penny! The Prismacolor 72 set I believe is $120-$150. Smaller sets are sold---8, 24, & 48 sets with smaller price tags but more expensive then most would pay for markers. I've found the best prices on or on Ebay.  Not sure how well I'll do with them until I give them a try but I've always been pretty good with markers in general. I think I'll also upgrade to the Prismacolor color pencils as well. A friend of mine suggested using watercolors and of course outlining in black. Guess I'll be testing different techniques and will probably buy the smaller marker set to test. I'm excited. I need to hurry and test quick since 2 of my next assignments are to make "Mood Boards"---one for the 70's era and the other to showcase my own original Little Black Dress design. Of course I'll keep you abreast of my progress. If anyone's had experience using Prismacolors or other markers let me know what you think. If anyone's selling theirs let me know or if there's a benefactor who wants to sponsor this budding and talented Fashion Designer just let me know LOLLLL!

(Found them in Staples of all places. Of course their in some of my local art stores as well. The prices are high so I prefer or other online sellers)

Cool videos using prismacolor markers and color pencils.......

(reviving old markers! Pretty cool)

(Had to throw this in. High quality color pencils produce great results too!)

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Peachskin Paisley Mother Daughter Outfits--McCall 7162 & NL 6389

Picked pattern. Found  fabric in stash. Daughter hated the fabric LOL! Changed Daughter's pattern. Daughter hated pattern too LOL! Managed to win over daughter. Started sewing yesterday. Finished an hour before walking out the door today. Did daughter's hair. Only 12 minutes to shower and get dressed (that's the norm for me).  My cutest white sandals went missing. BUMMER!  Found good substitutes. Outfit saved.  Made it out the door for church...... We looked good in our matching outfits.....

 Don't know how but I managed to pull it off in such short time. Guess that's what being a Mom is all about. We make magic happen! Motherhood is indeed one of the positions nearest and dearest to my heart. Here are the pics and mini-review of my top and daughter's dress......

My top: McCall's 7162 (view D)
This was a cute assymetrical top. This top took about 2-3 hours. Was pretty quick to sew. I did my usual alteration shortening middle back length by 1" and grading to the sides. I added about 1" or so to lower waist and I ended up shortening the straps by 1 1/2 and taking in the armhole. I made initial mistake by cutting size 10 and using C cup front piece accidentally---btw. I knew that was too big so downgraded to B cup. Aside from that it went together pretty easily.

(fabric used---Peachskin paisley with all sorts of colors thrown in)

My daughter's dress: NewLook 6389 (view A without sash)
I reduced the ease in this by removing 3". Easy to do since bodice front/back and skirt pieces were cut on the fold. Just shifted the pattern over to remove excess. I cut size 8 btw and shortened skirt a bit. If I made it again I'd recommend using wider elastic then 1/4"--such as 1/2" non-roll. Other then that it was really cute. I added length to her bodice thinking it would be too short but the next time I'd remove that extra inch.

Ok, here's the rest of the pics....

 (my youngest little pal)

(back view)

(kids could write messages for their Mom's on the sidewalk. She wrote me one.....Awwwww)

(Wouldn't be a Mom without this guy right here LOL! He makes my job so much easier. Such a great partner)

Hope all of you Mom's of all kinds are having a WONDERFUL Mother's Day!!!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

I'M BACK!!! 10,000 Hours Challenge Revamped & Quarterly GOALS!!!

I want to give a ton of thanks to Angela and Ann for calling me out about not posting/updating my 10,000 challenge hours. Truth be told I had a bit of a dilemma since switching to my full time sewing profession. I'm sewing all of the time and didn't want to post all of those hours---hence my non-posting for a few months. Well I had the bright idea to only post my personal sewing project hours & special client sewing. I will NOT COUNT alteration hours!!! That was easy----why didn't I think of that sooner. I'm so slow sometimes LOL! Anyhow I went back and plugged in my personal hours and will keep track of those going forward. Also, I HAVE to pick back up with blogging. I love sharing with you guys!  It's been SO HARD! I never knew self-employment meant you worked ALL OF THE TIME!!! It's alot of work getting a business off the ground and gaining momento. Things are going great and as much as possible I'll try not to let my hectic business schedule hinder me from posting.

In an effort to get back on track I'm gonna pick back up with my quarterly sewing goals. It's May and we're in the 2nd quarter and there's lots going on.  Here's a FEW things I've got going on for May & June.....

-Gala dress for a client using this beautiful African fabric. I'm working on the sample for May and should have the finished dress done in June, dependent upon my clients schedule.

- Prom Gown--- I'm finishing up for a client right this minute. Here's the fabric. It's really lovely. It's a beautiful black stretch knit overlayed on red chili pepper performance knit fabric. I know---a performance knit. She doesn't have to stress about sweating in the dress for sure. Prom is next weekend so I'll reveal finished dress soon....

-YIPEE!!! I'm still in Fashion Design school. I posted a month or so ago I'm enrolled in the fashion design program with the Style Design College and internationally credited school. I actually tried it out as a Groupon deal and loved it. After completing a few modules I upgraded to the Diploma program. I'll be done in about 2 years. I'm LOVING it!!! I've completed about 4 or so assignments so far (alot harder to do then I thought) . My current assignments are to do 1. a technical/flat drawing  of 3 skirt types 2. A style board featuring an era in time (I'm choosing the 70's) and I need swatches, fashion sketches and technical drawings. 3. I also have to design a Little Black Dress and do an in-depth style board for it as well. The work is pretty challenging---which I love and I'm learning so much. Definitely info I'll be using as I developed my own fashion designs.

-I'm making a little girl's graduation dress in these 2 fabrics.....

-I'm making of course my daughter and I's Mother's day outfits and still haven't decided on the fabric. I need to get it together! LOL! All I have are the patterns as shown in the last post. Not much progress yet.....

-I'm attending Mimi G's style conference in L.A. in June! My mentor Gentleman Jim is a presenter. He's teaching his Tailored jacket techniques and I'm assisting him so I'll be there. I'm looking forward to meeting some of you guys! Check out his FB page HERE. He just posted a jacket & pants he whipped up for a client!!! I love watching him work. His techniques are flawless. He just released some of his online courses. You can get them HERE

-My Pants Fitting BurdaStyle course should be airing at the end of June. I'm excited about that for sure and will announce it when it becomes available!!!

And there's other ideas and things in the works. I'm sketching my own fashion designs and am working to expand my business. I'm happy to be back blogging and hanging with you guys again and will do so on a more regular basis. Thanks for your patience as I've navigated these waters of self-employment!!! It's alot of work but it's a joy to do what you love to do. So that's what's going on with me---what's going on in your neck of the woods???


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