Photoshop As A Design Tool

I am experimenting with using Photoshop as a design tool. This is the first attempt at sketching an illustration with Photoshop. I haven’t really used Photoshop as a drawing tool before; mostly it’s for editing my photography.

The idea behind this sketch is clearly tribal bellydance style with a typical 10 yard skirt and tribal tassel belt. This is a look I really want to develop into my own style, probably through embroidery, hand dyed fabrics and something else that makes it my own and unique. The overskirt is an idea I’m playing with, where there is dimension and texture built up in layers on the skirt itself; this one uses strips of fabric? Just one more step towards creating the Global Garb collection!

blues

Design Process

Now that I’m full swing in the design process (this collection has actually been circulating in my brain for months) I feel like I have a better grasp on what I’ll need to complete it. So, here’s my basic plan, for those that are interested:

  • I’m planning on using primarily cotton, silk and possibly bamboo fabrics. I plan to source them from Dharma Trading and will be dying them with solid colors or stamped/resist designs.
  • My inspirations come from many places, including renaissance fair clothing, Middle eastern embroidery designs, belly dance attire, and the need for cool, flowing, comfortable “garb” made with natural fibers.
  • I have quite a few sketches, and am currently in the patterning process. My goal is to ultimately make the pattern sized and ready to reproduce for the garments to be sold at renaissance fair booths.

I am working on the embroidered bracers today. I have recycled some fabric from projects in the past, and will try to use a black velvet, a burgundy velvet and/or a tan suede-like fabric. I am looking into using embroidery designs called “Suzani” which is Persian for “needle.” Once I have the bracers completed, I’ll be sure to post some pics!

Global Garb

Trying to launch the Global Garb collection I’m inspired to create! I need some fabric from Dharma Trading, some thread for the embroidery, and a little bit of gumption to #createsomething.

gofundme

Sewliloquies

O, she doth teach the torches to burn bright!
It seems she hangs upon the cheek of night
Like a rich jewel in an Ethiope’s ear;
Beauty too rich for use, for earth too dear!

Sewliloquies has been inspired by a soliloquy. After agonizing for some time about what type of sewing endeavor I should set upon here in my new home of New Hampshire, it has clearly come to me. While I will continue to stitch fanciful garments for myself (and friends), I have decided that sewing period costumes is probably my best choice for selling what I sew.

Here’s why:

  • I’m good at it. While I have not sewn that many costumes, I’ve sewn a goodly amount, and what I have created has received positive reviews. I don’t have photos of everything I have made, but it has included: men and women’s full Tudor court garb, men and women’s Victorian costumes, pirate coats, cloaks, knight tunics, skirts, pants, hats, corsets, bodices, flags…..
  • The Texas market for period garb is saturated. There are so many lovely people that do this so well for a living, that even with my skills, I wouldn’t have been able to prosper.
  • With that said, it appears at first Google that the New Hampshire market does have some gaps; while the customers might not be as plentiful, there does seem to be opportunity – at renaissance fairs, re-creations, theaters, etc. Of course, I’ll need to do my due diligence in the market research area, but the possibilities appear to be there.
  • I like it. Seriously, I love costumes, love attending period events, and enjoy the process. So why not make costumes to sell?

Polka Dotty Goodness

I haven’t been able to post much lately, or sew much lately either. I have finished the “polka dotty goodness” project, my final project and replaced a zipper on a motorcycle jacket (not well, mind you).

So, I present, a very ucky photo of the polka dots… a baby swimsuit and swim cap. Also not well done… you can’t see the issues with it here. 😉

Oh, I forgot to mention I designed the pattern for this. Swimsuits are hard. The crotch and shoulder seams are messy.

Shirt Dress Progress

With the princess seam dress project behind me, I’m moving onto the shirt dress. I have a pattern… Marfy 9876.

And I also like this Simplicity pattern from the 1960s, but I’d have to track it down and buy it online.

But that is all the shirt dress progress I have made. DH and DD have both been sick as dogs all weekend. I’ve made it so far as to pin the Marfy pattern onto my dress form and see if I can make a go of it.

I’m also considering designing a swimsuit for DD. She is toddler size now and I cannot find any bathing suit patterns! The swinwear fabric I scoped out at Joann’s is also three shades of atrocious. This project TBD. Either way, she’ll need a bathing suit for the summer beach excursions. I fully intend to go to 1st beach this summer! (Hear that, DH… yes, we are going to Newport).

Kick Pleats What Kicked My Butt

After spending the entire weekend sewing – thank you DH! – I nearly have a princess seam dress. This was an assignment for the Dressmaking and Design course I’m taking, and I had to adjust the pattern to fit. After making a muslin and tweaking the pattern at the neckline, I scrounged for some fabric in my fabric bin. I discovered I have a good deal of velvet. (Also, several yards of denim! and some brocades). DH decided on the red velvet, and we purchased red lining for it.

The princess seams are not fun, but totally doable. The kick pleats what kicked my butt. I wanted a double pleat kick pleat, so I did some research to try to figure out how to do them. Then, during the process of sewing, I did them backwards (I wanted an inverted pleat). Sigh. So I messed up what coulda shoulda woulda been a very neat dress. What I learned: KEEP YOUR DESIGN SKETCHBOOK NEXT TO YOUR SEWING TABLE! If I had only referred to my sketch during the sewing process, the whole fiasco could have been avoided. The lining was also a challenge, and I think had I not been obsessing about how to line the kick pleats (the answer is to stop the lining at the edge of the kick pleat), I would not have reversed the pleats. I was over thinking it. Yup.

Last step is to let the dress (and myself) rest overnight. Then I’ll do the hems. I also plan to embroider a hair clip to go with it.

  

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