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

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. ūüėČ

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

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.

  

Perfect Vintage-Inspired Shirt Dress

A few years ago, I wanted to make a shirt dress. My inspiration came from a few places: one was a dress worn by the character Sofie on Carnivale, and another was a runway dress from the Ralph Lauren Spring 2010 collection. My perfect vintage-inspired shirt dress falls somewhere between these two.

My niece, blogging down a Retro Rabbit Hole, has recently gotten back¬†into sewing garments. Which is great, because that means I don’t have to talk to myself about sewing anymore! (Don’t worry, the Sewliloquies¬†moniker isn’t going away). Her recent sewing adventures have inspired me to become reacquainted¬†with my shirt dress. I even have the fabric for it. I bought this great light blue fabric with a teensy¬†floral print all over it, just for the occasion. I’m undecided about the lace sleeves seen on the Sofie dress; I’ve done lace sleeves before on my Victorian garb, and I love the pleating, but I’m not sure I want my shirt dress that girly. What I do love are the little red buttons on the Ralph Lauren inspiration dress. And the piped pockets. I’m digging the piped pockets.

 

Sewing Agenda

On the sewing agenda for the year:

  • Fall 2011 clothes: wide leg eggplant corduroy pants, red tunic with crochet trim, goldenrod silk button shirt, possibly chocolate hooded cloak, remote possibility for a linen¬†shirred blouse and baggy sleeve tunic
  • Danish crest medieval¬†surcoat costume¬†for Oliver
  • Victorian costume additions:¬†coat for Oliver, button front shirt or possibly a talma for Cherie, baby dress for Annalisa

Finally Finished

Several months later and I have finally finished the purple baby outfit. The final pieces were a hat and a headband. I completed the hat today, but the headband was just not working out so I abandoned it (for now).

The dress is very nice. I modified the original pattern to create crochet sleeves and a crochet edge along the bottom of the skirt. The bloomers were easy, but my concern is whether the elastic will be too tight or too loose for baby. The hat, well, I hate it. I added a crochet ribbon, but it’s the fit; I’m not sure if I just wasn’t careful enough with the seam allowance, or if its the pattern, but I really do not like the look or the feel of the hat at all.

Overall, the outfit is usable, especially the dress and bloomers. It should make for a nice spring photo with the new little one when she arrives!

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