Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Look #2

Welcome to the second installment of the new collection! For this second look, I wanted to make a day to evening look that was easy to throw on, comfortable, and stylish but didn't look like everything else in your closet. I started with a basic v neck bodice. This one fits rather poorly because my draping fabric didn't have near as much stretch as the final fabric. Please, I ask you. Learn from my mistakes.

If the neckline looks obscenely low, that's because...well, it is. I made this particular look to fit my unusually long torso, which is also why the empire seam looks a bit low.

Draping the skirt. I draped this as a rectangle--bad idea. You'll see why in a second.

Here's the bodice with a slim little sleeve.

Not bad overall, but the skirt is pretty atrocious. Puckery and boxy and just plain not ok. I went back and added a few curves, and...
The finished product. It might be hard to tell what's going on around the neck. I added a tie to the back neckline, but liked it best when the tie tied in the back under the arms.

For the shoulder detail I adapted the Flemish motif from the first look.

Mr. N commented that it looked military inspired, which I consider a huge success! Anything beyond "dress with doily shoulders" is fine with me. I wore this to work once (don't worry, I wore it with a camisole. I'm not trying to spill my goodies at work) and I was really happy with it. It was comfortable, easy, and interesting, which was my goal. What do you think? Leave me a comment and let me know!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


If you've been reading my blog for awhile, you know I have an insatiable desire for and obsession with yarncrafts. It only made sense that my next collection incorporate knit or crochet techniques. Knitwear is a huge industry and far more common in apparel than its cousin crochet, so I decided to take on the challenge of working crocheted pieces into my designs in a fresh and modern way, steering clear of lace collars and granny square ponchos.

For the first piece in the new collection, I started with the simple silhouette of a long sleeve minidress with a low back neckline. Here's the shell without the sleeves.

Then I played around with some crochet samples:
This was kind of cool, but the yarn looked too bulky to me. I added sleeves and made a new crochet sample in a lighter weight yarn in a more sophisticated color.

Disappointed. The back is still so exposed, the color is too close to skin color, and it still looks like I just slapped a crusty old piece of lace onto a perfectly simple little black dress. The piece is far too complicated to be appealing. Back to the drawing board.

Then, as I was flipping through a crochet book, I found a Flemish floral motif that was simple enough it could be manipulated a hundred ways and still look interesting and modern.

I was starting to like this, but needless to say, it needed revision. So I started doing the math.

After yet another sample, I was getting somewhere.

Since I still needed to find a new color, I made another sample in this beautiful yellow wet-spun linen yarn I recently bought.
Wow. Yikes. That's surprisingly terrible. Also, it still looks a bit...strained. The flower motif needs more petals so it fills the space better.

Wow, that's more like it. And the dark color is a great contrast against the skin (the skin of my dress form, anyway). I think I've cracked it! Here's the finished garment. The beautiful gray yarn is Lion Brand's Superwash Merino Cashmere.

Though it took a while to get there, I'm really happy with this piece. And I can't wait to show you how great it looks on my model...but not yet! I'll take you through the process of the other pieces too.

Thanks for stopping by! What do you think of this dress? Would you wear it? Or rather, would you buy it? Would your friends buy it? I'd love to hear what you think.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

One Year Ago

I was reaching.
I was struggling.
I was pushing.


I'm doing it all again. I'm in the home stretch of an intense, long process and I have so much to show--or, rather, I will after this deadline. I've come a long way over the course of a year, discovering who I am, what I do, and whether any of it is worth anything to anyone. The conclusion I've come to time and again is that I have to trust myself. I have to believe. Because it's all worth it to me.

New collection coming very soon.