Category Archives: design

FIT – Fashion Art I Final Chanel Project

Our final project was to design a mini-collection for Chanel consisting of daytime dress, evening dress, suit (of course!) and a coat.  An inspiration image for this wasn’t required but I used one anyway since it pretty much showed what I wanted – sleek, elegant, classic.


Fabrics – On the left, for the suit-dress: two coordinating cotton/wool blend tweeds; 2nd column  – coat fabrics: faux-mohair (faux-hair?) coat weight, brown silk-velvet (pocket edging) and a photo of the fur I was using (deep brown mink); 3rd column – eve dress: brown silk-velvet, brown poly charmeuse for the pleats and a sample of beaded strap; far-right – suit fabrics: pink boucle-ish tweed (poly/wool) and pink silk for the blouse, pocket trim and ribbon tie.


Suit left; suit dress right.  Her suggestion ‘for next time’ was to do more outlining on the suit components so they’d stand out, same comment for pleat on front of suit skirt which you really can practically not see.  For the suit dress, more horizontal lines so it looks more tweed.  For the tweed on right, I used markers, colored pencil and water colors to get that effect.  Tough but I got close enough to suggest the fabric and that’s all you need.


The above are my favorites.  The teacher coached me a TON on the right (the garment, not the rest) which really made it stand out.  Had a little trouble with the 3/4 view face (which she never saw prior to this) but that was not really something we spent much time on so I think she gave me a bit of a pass on it.  Media used on the dress – marker, colored pencil and brown eye shadow for shading.


Flats of all but the suit blouse (not required).  I think these came out really well.  Here you can see the views not shown in the art work.

A few close ups:


I could probably make this mohair more ‘furry’ next time. IMG_0886IMG_0885

I love these shoes/boots.  They’re a bit out of typical season being white (collection was Fall) but I loved them so much, in they went.

Now for faces.  I see so much improvement from where I started.  Let’s remind ourselves:

Sample of first face project:


A month in I made this:


And this project:

IMG_0884IMG_0883IMG_0890IMG_0889Still need to work on my 3/4 faces (top blonde) but the blonde just above this text really came out great.  Not sure she could be prettier – just what I wanted with this deep brown outfit.

Next up – Sewing II which starts in a week.  We are making a suit jacket/blazer and pants. Thanks for reading along as I learn all this stuff.


THE DRESS – FIT Draping 1 Final Project

For our final project we were to drape a princess seam dress with a collar or interesting neckline and sleeve and then transfer the design to paper and then sew it up and present it at our last class (tonight!).   We were told a color story (white/black/grey/red) and then got to collectively choose a theme “Alice in Wonderland.”  My dress is the Knave of Hearts – a black and white princess line with a back cut out that suggests a heart.  Behold!


I love this neckline!  It was a bear to execute and line up the facings for it though.  I did multiple versions of the facings and they are two color to match when folded under – really can’t express what a pain in the ass they were.  Tons of clipping, pressing, more pressing, even more pressing was the only way to get them to lie flat.  Close ups!


The back has a hand-picked zipper and honestly I can’t imagine why you would ever do any other kind.  So easy.  I hate putting in zippers – I haven’t quite mastered the spacing around the tab area and even messed it up with the handpicked.  The difference with handpicked is it was super easy to fix and get it to a level I liked it.

The black fabric as you can see above was a lint magnet.  This is AFTER I went over it several times with a lint roller.  Oh well.  I love the white fabric.  It feels completely luscious to the touch but is a bit on the thick side and was only with the FIT ironing set up that I could get things to iron down at all.


The sleeve turned out to be a bit complex to pull off.  It is set in but only across the upper half of the shoulder and then moves off to the main garment.  I finished the open part with a bias facing.  The white one is a little squirrelly (dropped my ‘execution’ grade to an A – bah!) but you can see what’s going on a little better here.

I learned a ridiculous amount in this class.  I can’t believe I designed this dress and then I can’t believe I sewed it up.  I’ve never made anything this complex and learned a lot from ‘what not to do’ and ripping things out.  Still, I’m very pleased with how it turned out.

Here are a few bonus action shots – the drape and the pattern I traced off, and the like.

So much work. We spent a month of this and I spent probably – no kidding – 80 hours on this project. I really didn’t think I had it in me. Apparently I did! So fun.

The ‘Term Garment’ Sketches

My friend John pointed out I never posted all of my sketches.  So here they are.

There are two sets  of sketches.  The first set was deemed too ‘ready to wear’.  Here are those.  I actually LOVE these dresses and want to wear them.  Maybe I”ll make these for me.


She gave me a day to redo them (yikes, not a lot of time).  Also, she also made us (as a class) pick a theme and colors and we went with Alice in Wonderland with a color ‘story’ of Red/Black/White/Grey.   Here are my more thematic drawings.

This above is the one I’m making. It’s 1/3 white and the rest is black. I’m also going to add a double box pleat at the back as a kick pleat. Very cool.  Here are a few others.

Hope you enjoyed!

FIT Draping – Dress 5 a/k/a We Can’t All Be Winners

Poor little Dress 5.  So close and yet so far.

We proceeded with our training to a Princess Seam Dress.  I based my design on my Term Garment (next project) for which I’d submitted and gotten approved a flat sketch weeks ago. Here is a photo of the Term Garment sketch:


We were allowed to use our term garment as a basis for Dress 5, but Dress 5 also had to include a collar and flares/godets/pleats (at least one type) in our design.  My term garment design absolutely does not want a collar so I decided to do the whole ‘go big or go home’ and it was, indeed big.

IMG_0416 IMG_0417This is a Bias Curled collar (which one student labeled Cinnabon because that’s what it looks like before you cut it – a giant snail shape)  which… maybe works? but I personally HATE IT.  Since the neckline of the term garment is so cool and I’d draped it well, it killed me to hide it under this monstrosity.  I told friends that it reminded me of a scene early on in True Lies where Jamie Lee Curtis is shown in a very fuddy dress with a huge collar and ruffle at the bottom which she ends up ripping off and ending up in a great dress.  That’s me here.  Rip that Cinnabon collar off and you have a great neckline.  With the collar – meh, oh well.

The whole thing is compounded by my totally failed bell sleeve.  Points off for that one.  It was too late to fix – so ugly.

I kind of like the collar in the back but still meh.  Works better without a collar.


Overall, collar and sleeve aside, I had a horrible time fitting with this dress.  She actually didn’t reduce me for that which I was amazed b/c the fit is so dumpy and I couldn’t figure out where I went wrong with it. Should I have added additional side darts?  But my approved drawing didn’t HAVE darts and the professor is an Eagle Eye for stuff like that.  If something’s missing, she will immediately notice it.  And fitting for a close but breathable (enough ease) fit is still not something I can see easily  In any event, she said I merely needed to adjust the side seam, taking it in from waistline up to armpit and then letting it out from waistline down to hipline and I tried that and the fit was instantly almost perfect.  Amazing.

Shot of the back:



Yes, this design gets merely a participation award.  Also, I’ve fitted this thing so many times, it’s stretched out beyond usability, so I’m having to redrape the term garment from scratch starting tonight.  Still, doing something a second time takes about 1/3 of the time and it’ll be really nice to have a cleaner garment.  Wish me luck.

FIT Draping – Dress 4

I’ve been remiss in posting.  Here are some shots of Dress 4 – the Shift/Sheath dress, with bias collar and puff sleeve (I made what’s called a trumpet sleeve – puff on bottom):


With a lower neckline in front and back, I didn’t need a full on dart so I spread the extra fabric in front into two little dart tucks.  When this dress is pressed (which I did do before I turned it in), the dart tucks look really cute. A fun element to try later.  (Back neckline was low enough I didn’t need an above-shoulder line dart at all.)


In the end, the collar would not end at CF but extend around across the left side of the dress (right side to you) to join the other tie end to create one piece.  It ends in the back with a knot tie that goes halfway down the back.  If I were making this again, I’d make the tie extend to about 6″ before the hem. This was lazyness – I cut too short and didn’t feel like fixing.  Too burnt out from dress 3.  🙂


Above you can see the tie part of the collar.  She asked that our Sheath dresses be not too fitted – they should be comfortable. She liked this fit but for me, if I were making this FOR me, I’d likely make it a little closer fitting and use a stretch cotton but I tend to like things more fitted.  The hem length here is mid-thigh for a kind of mod mini-dress look.


Sleeves are designed on paper and not draped – at least set in sleeves that we’ve done aren’t.  So sleeves feel very experimental to me – I followed instructions and this is what I got.  I’ll have to do a bunch more to really figure out how to translate my mind into the sleeve.  My real intention was a fitted to just below elbow more bell-like sleeve but instead I ended up with trumpet.  I actually like it the trumpet lot but if/when I make again, I’m going to do a bell sleeve as a draft and see how it looks.


A more front view of the sleeve.

I modeled this dress on two drawings I submitted to be considered for my term garment project (coming up).  She rejected them as too ‘ready to wear’ but I thought the ideas worked well in the Sheath and thus, I went with it.  I ultimately got an A (as opposed to an A+) due to the simpleness but I like it which is kind of all that matters, so okay.

Mod-Mini Princess Line with 1″ collar.  You can see the sleeve is a bit different here.


The back of another princess line showing the tie idea.  I like the length of my drawn tie better.


Thanks for reading.  Dress 5 coming up, plus a QUILT!