Saturday, July 30, 2016

My Design Process

By August 12th I'll have designed and sewn three different dresses for special occasions this summer.  The first was a bridesmaids dress for my sister's wedding a couple weeks ago.  The second and third are dresses for me and Gwendolyn for my sister-in-law's wedding in august.   These dresses, combined with work I'm doing for the Etsy store,  have really helped me streamline my own design process.

I thought I'd share a sample of that process with you.

First, I need to start with a specific project idea and a specific deadline. I have a tendency to jump ship on projects when something more interesting comes along.   The same seems to happen with design, I get distracted thinking about a nice blouse, when I'm trying to work on the design for a dress.  So it helps me to think in absolutes.  I must have this specific project finished by this specific date.  Even if I just pick a date myself.

This step was pretty easy for the dresses I'm talking about here.

Bethany is getting married on August twelfth.  I am making one dress for myself, and another for Gwendolyn.  No wiggle room.  No questions.

Secondly I turn to the internet for design ideas.   Usually, I turn to Pinterest first.  There I can get a general sense of what I want to do.   Why not put Gwendolyn in a Princess dress?  Her cousins are wearing some so they can all kind of match. It would be really cute.

She's wearing yellow, so let's google Belle inspired dresses and see if we can riff off of any of those. 

Everything I like gets pinned to my drafting inspiration board.  I label them with semi-specific notes about what caught my eye. 

Third I draw some designs.  I'm not particularly good at drawing yet, but the process helps me to analyze the construction of the garment.  The drawing also helps me to weigh design elements against one another.  So that in the end I can come to a final decision.

After sketching and finalizing a design I look up an tutorials that I might need why constructing the pattern.   Most of my instructions come from "Metric Pattern Cutting for Woman's Wear".  It's a really good guide on almost everything that you might want to create for yourself.

Occasionally the book will have nothing on what I want to accomplish, so I turn to the internet for more specific help.  I've noticed that Burda has a lot of nice specific tutorials about pattern drafting 

Now that I've pondered, designed, and researched my project I'm ready to move onto the actual creation of the pattern.

What about you?  How do you go about designing?

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