Friday, February 24, 2017

In The Sketchbook- February 2017

Welcome to In the Sketchbook, a monthly look at fashion design sketches that we are working on for ourselves. Sketching garments on a personal croquis is a great way for the individual couture enthusiast to move beyond the use of commercial patterns and into a world of personalized design! It can be intimidating at first, but with a little bit of practice it becomes something you look forward to. Join us for a look of what we have going on In the Sketchbook! Brought to you by Wendy Grossman of Couture Counsellor and Steph King from Siouxzeegirl Designs.

As usual February always seems to fly by for me!I have several blog posts in the draft stage that will hopefully be coming out soon. These include my fabulous Sewcial retreat weekend in Novi, Michigan as well as some finished garment reviews.

This month I have mostly been working on sketching out a garment collection for my summer trip to Norway and the Netherlands. I have identified the color palette and have pulled a generous selection of fabrics from my collection to choose from. Now I am onto the sketching and planning phase. Most of these garments are going to be knits and should be easier projects. This will be nice to intersperse with my heavy duty HCCC fashion show projects, give my brain a place to relax and still get some fun sewing done!

So far these are the 2 pages of sketches that I have done for my summer wardrobe. One for some tops and one for some dresses. These were all done with combinations of regular pencil, colored pencil and markers.  I have these hanging on a board right next to my sewing station. Having these close at hand keeps it fresh in my mind and excited to see the final outcomes!



I am looking at an overall color palette of blues/greens with blacks and small portions of white accents. I have enough fabrics to make a garment collection to travel with for probably 3 or more months! never mind just the 2 weeks that I need. So I will be making more than I need and then deciding on what to bring once I get closer to the trip.

For the base layer tops I have 3 distinct silhouettes in mind.

1. Button down both short and long sleeved. In this example I would like to do a long sleeve and am thinking of drafting a tab and button so that I can roll the sleeves up to just below the elbow and secure. This is a real U shaped neckline that I really have been wanting to play with. The fabric is a lovely cotton print shirting from Fishmans in Chicago. As you can see I only drew the fabric detailing on the shirt fronts and left the rest a solid so that I can see details.

2. Jen Stern The Tee pattern. In various sleeve lengths, neckline variations and fabric pairings. This is a nice versatile pattern that adds a little more interest than just a plain tee.
The first one is a solid blue bamboo/lycra knit from Mood. I want to make this 3/4 length sleeve and a crossover neck. Great for layering or on it's own.

The second one below is a mix of a poly/lycra ITY and a poly/lycra netting. The sleeves will be long and the neckline will be the regular boatneck but finished with either foldover elastic or stretch piping. The upper back piece will also be the netting... I think! The original fabric pairings that I was thinking of using and what is depicted in the sketch just did not gel and sort of stuck out like a sore thumb from the rest of the fabrics I am thinking of using. SO, I decided to go with the fabric pictured below, both were purchased from Fabrications in Richland, MI.

The fourth base layer top I have in mind is a simpler style. Something like the Cashmerette Concord Tee. A very simple base layer that can be made in different lengths and variations of both sleeve lengths and shapes and neckline shape. Once you have a base pattern it is so easy to make modifications and changes to the look.  This one is shown with an amazingly soft rayon scubish fabric. It has a lovely drape, the colors are perfect and the rayon knit means it won't be quite so hot as a regular scuba knit.! I acquired this fabric from Emmaonesock.

The dresses I have planned on consist of one knit wrap dress and  one button up shirt dress. The wrap dress will be an easy make since I have a perfected Cashmerette Appleton pattern with variations of sleeves and skirt shape all ready to go! Even though I am only going to bring one of these on vacation I will probably make 2 and then decide which I like better. I have the fabric on the left which is a black/dark blue blobby lines which I tried to depict in the sketch! This fabric is from Marcy Tilton. The second fabric is a lighter weight scuba in a much lighter color palette of off whites/blues and blacks, this is from Habermans in Royal Oak , Michigan. Both are quite lovely. I do suspect that the scuba will be warmer than the dark blue/black fabric which may or may not work to my advantage depending on the weather forecast.

The second dress is one of my own design. A shirt dress using my button down shirt pattern with my a-line flippy skirt added to it. I have 2 lovely fabrics that I think I may want to try this out on. Both are rayon. One is a chambray denim rayon from Mood and the other is a lovely Cotton and Steele Japanese rayon that I purchased from a local shop that closed up. I will have to do some wrinkle testing on both of these fabrics to see which I want to use. Or maybe I'll make both!

One other project that I am working on is a top for my long zipper pencil skirt that I made in the fall. I have one top that goes well with it and nothing else! I want to be able to pair it with something else to make it a more versatile item of clothing in my closet. My idea is to make a peplum type shirt to go over it in this beautiful Liberty cotton lawn and then to pair a menswear inspired vest or waistcoat in the same fabric as the skirt and of course add some zipper detail as a pocket and maybe as the closure. It is not the easiest to picture, so I did the sketching layers. I think what is throwing me off is that my croqui is from a heavier me and my hips are not quote that wide proportionately as I currently am. I will have to play with the vest idea some more. I'm not entirely in love with the pointed fronts, although it does give some interest instead of just cutting across me with a straight line.

Make sure to stop by Wendy Grossman of Couture Counsellor to see what lovely sketches and ideas she is working on. I happen to know that she has been exploring ways to do digital sketching, it is very cool!  Please feel free to share your sketches and ideas, leave either of us a comment or just link back to one of our posts.

Happy Sketching!

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