Friday, December 1, 2017

In The Sketchbook- November 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.

Winter in Chicago means that the 2017/2018 Chicago Lyric Opera season is upon us. My dear friend Wendy and I are attending 4 Opera's this season as well as some other cultural events. We both had outfits for the first two performances and have two more coming up. Both are on Saturday evenings and we quite like dressing up!

The 4 sketches that I have here are my favorite of my group of sketches. One of them needs to include lace (sort of our own challenge to get us to work with some of the beautiful laces we have acquired!) 

The first 2 sketches incorporate lace into the designs. The first one pairs a beautiful multiple shades of blue floral guipere lace skirt with a Blue fancy tweed equestrian inspired jacket. 

The second one (which I have drawn several times in trying to convey my vision better) is more of a 1920's inspired empire style gown. The pink is a much more vibrant color than what I have shown. The idea is that the top and underskirt are in a brilliant pink silk dupioni and the over-skirt and sleeves are in a beautiful black mesh lace with pink and black embroidered roses. There is also the opportunity here to add some embellishment along the empire seam with beading or possibly appliques of the roses.

The last 2 are non-lace but made of some of my fancy fabric from my collection. The first of these really plays with lines and layers and sort of reminds of a flowering bud. There still seems to be a little bit of a disconnect between the lower half and the upper half of the design. I need to play with it a bit more to make it more cohesive... I have 2 gorgeous fabrics in mind for this. One on a black and red and another in a pink and green and both are reversible.

The second outfit is a pants set. These are intended to be wide legged and very soft with possibly an overlay in silk chiffon with the sleeves being the same overlay materials and an architectural asymmetric collar and neckline with the body of the jacket/top to be out of a black/red printed jacquard.

This month I will be spending some time in London and the Netherlands and am excited to bring along a travel sketchbook for inspiration!

Make sure to stop by Wendy Grossman of Couture Counsellor to see what lovely sketches and ideas she is working on. Please feel free to share your sketches and ideas!


  1. Like the sketches--great drafting/creative ideas.

  2. I really enjoy seeing your monthly sketches and saw this group the other day. I may be going out on a limb here but I've been thinking about the third one - the "flowering bud". You mentioned in the post that it feels a little disconnected between the upper and lower halves. It seems to me that the sleeves, bodice, and top layer of the skirt (or possibly this is all a jacket?) are symmetrical and mostly angular whereas the bottom layers (a skirt?) are asymmetrical and curved. Could that be what makes it feel a little disconnected? What if you placed the button up higher - more towards the left shoulder, rather than at the waist or under bust - carrying that upper line out more in a curve and making it asymmetrical. Then make the lines of all the layers, top part and skirt part, parallel for each layer. Maybe use a small funnel type or raised neckline in the back or use the neckline of the fourth drawing with the soft folded collar. It would continue your flowering bud theme. The cuffs on the sleeves seem a little heavy feeling also. These are just my thoughts since it has kind of stuck in my head after seeing your designs and reading your commentary. The fabrics sound wonderful and I look forward to seeing your finished garments.

    1. Carolyn, Thank you so much for sharing your ideas! I love the picture that your words painted in my mind. I now really want to work on sketching more ideas to make this a reality! Thank you again!


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