Category Archives: Fashion and Style

Fashion, design and style

Diving into the Deep End

There’s so much to write about, I don’t know where to begin!

Based on my experience from the summer session at City College of San Francisco, I’ve gone all-in on classes for the upcoming fall semester.

I’m taking four classes, which pretty much makes me a full-time student.  I’m hoping I can meet the workload for all four classes.  I’m pretty certain I won’t be sewing any projects outside classwork.  That’s not so bad, because some class assignments provide opportunities to make projects that have been lingering in my personal queue.

Fashion Illustration 2

This class continues where my summer class in Fashion Illustration leaves off.  I have the same instructor, Paul Gallo, who is a wonderful instructor and coach.

The second semester of Fashion Illustration builds on the first.  We learn additional rendering techniques, more menswear techniques, and the drawing proportions for children and teens. We also learn the details of producing technical flat drawings and spec sheets for production work.

One emphasis of the second semester is on developing everyone’s individual artistic style, and the midterm and final are capsule design projects that focus on original design work. My style so far is fairly photorealistic, and I’m curious to see how I develop as I work through the course.

Here’s some work-in-progress from the second assignment; we’re revisiting the basic figure and learning new coloring techniques.

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Fashion Illustration 101

Sometimes I come up with style ideas for new projects, or styling details that I’d like to follow up on later.  The problem is that I have no way to record them – a textual description doesn’t capture the vision that’s in my head, and it means nothing to me weeks and months later.

Also, I look towards a potential future of creating garments for others – where it would be useful for both myself and the client to have a clear picture in our heads of what we’re working towards. So, I saw illustration skills of some sort as an important thing for me to effectively create original designs.

With those thoughts, I enrolled in the introductory class in Fashion Illustration at City College of San Francisco.  The instructor is Paul Gallo, whose classes I have taken before, and is an excellent instructor.  He has two classes in draping and bias design on Craftsy.  I had a great deal of trepidation leading into this class – I don’t really think of myself as an artist or illustrator – but I am familiar with Paul’s teaching style and figured if anyone would make this topic comfortable, he would be it. Continue reading

Bias and Bustiers: Draping Class Update

Please rest assured, this hasn’t (permanently) turned into a women’s sewing blog.  I have a shirtmaking project in the works that I plan a big blog series about – if you want to see the sneak preview I’ve been posting pictures on my Instagram feed, @lineofselvage.

In the meantime, here’s an update on my progress in the Fashion Draping course I’m taking at City College of San Francisco.  Since the midterm, we’ve done projects including draping flared skirts, dartless torsos, fitted torsos, and draping with knits. But two projects stand out.

Bustier

A bustier is a strapless bodice top that fits very closely to the body (though you can add a strap to it once draped).  It is different from a corset in that the bustier sits right on the body, while a corset is actually smaller than the body.

Ideally, the shaping in a bustier is accomplished by seams.  Each seam provides a place where the fabric can be sculpted and shaped over the body.  One requirement is that a seam of some sort crosses the bust point, or the apex of the bust.  This allows for shaping of the bust area.

We use draping tape to mark the style lines of the design.  Each line becomes a seam in the bustier, and is also part of the design.  Everyone was encouraged to make their own original design; mine had many style lines and curves.

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The Pink Shirt, Part 3: Collars

When I made the Blue Gingham Shirt, I intended mainly to test the fit of my pattern draft in a real garment.  So I wasn’t worrying so much about the collar.  I just used the collar I had traced off the original shirt, and didn’t think much of it.

Now that the shirt is done, I’m not happy with the collar.  It doesn’t roll properly, not like the shirt it was copied from. Perhaps I got something wrong when I traced the pattern, perhaps I used too much interfacing and the collar blades are too stiff.  I tried to tame this by making it a button-down, but so far, that hasn’t been successful.

But the main issue with the collar is that I don’t like the style; it’s too large and draws attention away from my face.  So I wanted to find a collar I would be happy with for the Pink Shirt. Continue reading