Thursday, November 22, 2012


Well, my Cert IV in Applied Fashion Design and Technology is complete ... well, almost, we have our Fashion Parade next Wednesday night ... details to follow. The last 7 weeks or so have been a non stop strive to the finish line. I presented my final Studio design work just yesterday. The Studio work involved us aligning ourselves with an Australian designer to make an outfit that would complement their range. We had to prepare and sew not only the design, but a swathe of "other stuff" Inspiration Board, Garment Boards, Multiple Specification Sheets, Designer Research, Fabrication Samples, Patterns, Toiles, Evaluation and an oral presentation ...... the amount of work required was quite unbelievable really... and remember this was JUST A CERT IV !

Overall, I really enjoyed my year at TAFE learning about patternmaking, sewing, the fashion industry, doing work placement etc. But what really surprised me was how much I learned to enjoy the visual presentation side of things , ie. Adobe Illustrator. At first this program is dreadful, weird, hard to understand, but with continued practise and a good teacher, it all came together.

So, I aligned myself with Alice McCall. I had some great lace that I had purchased a year ago from Rosemary at Chic Fabrique, so I set about finding an Australian designer whose clothing had a distinct use of lace, and whose design lines I liked ... and believe me, this was not an easy task. I trawled through many many websites, and was happy to find the very cool designs of Alice McCall.

I'll cut out all the boring in between stuff (multiple toiles and pattern making adjustments) and present to you my final design ...... The Lovestruck Dress and Lovestruck Top as designed by Chinchen Street (my label - which will be explained later)...  and a huge, huge thanks to my wonderful model ....

The dress is a simple sleeveless, round neck, fitted bodice with panel lines with a full circle skirt attached. The dress is made from polyester / viscose satin also from Chic Fabrique - for a synthetic fabric - this stuff is beautiful, drapes well, sews well and presses well. The Guipure cotton lace top has a scalloped border, and I had a very "odd" shape of fabric remnant to work with, so it took quite a few trials to get the pattern right, so that I could use the scalloped border for all the hem areas.
Here is the top without the dress ...
 And here is one garment board that I did on Illustrator ... (the fabric samples and notions are not on this)
Here are some pics of my materials all set up for the presentation:

For my presentation to the teachers, I made a short video about my design inspiration and branding .... OK, I know I'm an amateur, but try to bear it ...

So, it was all about the journey, my 2012 journey to TAFE .... my journey to Chinchen Street ... and the great tree in the TAFE carpark ..... and all about really great fabrics .... ahhhh ... so deep and meaningful!!!

Anyway, yes, Bittersweet .... sweet to finish something that was quite demanding and totally time consuming, yet, it was great to be challenged and great to learn new stuff! Will I do more? Who knows ..... Next Wednesday evening is our Fashion Parade at City Hall in Newcastle, 7pm and tickets $10 at the door .... come and have a look!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Butterick 5415

Introducing .... one of my lovely students, Anne wearing her recently completed B5415.

She was a tad reluctant to be photographed, but peer group pressure gave her some encouragement. We had quite a few fitting issues with this little dress .... Anne has narrow shoulders so we did some gape darts around the neckline and also tightened the shoulder seam. The fabric is a knit, and we decided to omit the back zipper, and placed the Back pattern on the fold, but it still required further adjustments so we had to put in a centre back seam. All in all, teamed with the perfect green contrasting trim - the result is ..... SMASHING! Great work Anne! and thanks for being brave for Blogland!