Thoroughly exhaustimicated at the end of term. I promise you I worked harder for this quaint little TAFE course, than I ever did to earn a degree! To finish the course we have a College Parade, which is a bit like a graduation ceremony, but with more chandeliers and bling. Although I was thinking "Don't trip!" and "Stand that collar up!" and the like, it's still quite satisfying to see your garments being tromped down the catwalk by a bunch of Amazonian women.
Working from my mood board (see previous blog entry!) I hand draw sketches of what I'm going to make.
Patterns are drawn up by hand and a toile or test garment pieced together. At college, we have rolls and rolls of fabric oddments to cobble toiles together. At home, I like to pick up cheap fabric from op shops for testing patterns. It can be a bit of an eyesore, but it's great for trialling. Here's a snap taken in our college studio...
Ever wondered why "all-look-same" when you go shopping for clothes? Blame it on the trend forecasters! At college, we use a French company called Promostyl who for an exhorbitant fee will send you a big folder full of the next big things. They boil down a fashion season into a dozen concepts and even provide colour palettes so that textile manufacturers can start producing fabrics in the "it" colours for Summer 2013.
Here's my mood board from which I'll draw up some design developments, draft patterns, make toiles and sew up a collection. All by June. Wish me luck!
Thank you to the lovely Emily and her mum, Margo for taking these lovely shots of one of my college projects.
Emily is a student who entered a modelling competition and did very well, even taking out Miss Congeniality (the best award!)
For some more images from the shoot take a look at Burda Style here.
It prompted a series of design developments. One of which was made up on a half scale mannequin. Then there was the pattern making and experimenting with constructing a pinata of an underskirt in boning and mesh. Then the 40 white leaves were glued in place and Ta Da! It all looks so easy when some gorgeous young thing like Emily is wearing the final result!
Congrats to very talented Grace Cross - she won the big prize of the night - a scholarship to study at Central Saint Martins in London.
We even arranged a photo shoot - which was a bit of an eye-opener for me! Our first model pulled out 2 days before, the next emailed me at 12.15 am on the day to say she couldn't come. Finally we found someone to shoot at 9 am on the day. Unbelieveable!
We made up a brochure of our designs and presented them to some very lovely ladies from Qld surfwear company Billabong.
Life's going by too fast! It's all been a blur of college work, honest... here's some proof. We've been working on fabric designs in Illustrator, that are printed onto lycra at a little warehouse here in Brissie. From there it's draw up your swimwear design and stitch it up. Fun! Will post the end result once it's photographed...
Long time no update blog! But I have an excuse. We've been trampling sacred sites at Carnarvon Gorge(-ous) over the holidays.
But it's back to the salt mine at college. (Here's some piccies taken on Banallee's new camera.) Have been whining about a few late night classes this term. On Wednesday night, was still wandering the halls at 6.30 pm. Peeked in on some classrooms - people making patterns, sewing garments, designing hats. In the hallways, racks of lovely garments all ready for the big (fashion) parade. And I thought to myself - there are worse places you could be!
"Croquis" (rhymes with okie-dokie!) - is a fancy French word for sketch. They're great for expressing your ideas - sketching is a basic skill that can be learned, just like reading and writing. A little practice goes a long way!
My college project (above right) was drawn using a template on a light box. No light box? Tape your template to a window in daylight hours, tape to the TV at night! Pencil in the basic shape and add your clothing design. Use a fine line pen (I like 0.1!) to define your sketch. Erase original pencil lines and colour.
When I was in sixth grade our teacher made us stand up in front of the class to show our best drawing. I had to borrow a picture from a friend! Couldn't draw to save my life and avoided art at high school in favour of maths and physics (unbelievable!). But at age 27 I decided I wanted to learn to draw - it's never too late to start.
The life-changing book I read was Betty Edwards' Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. For a totally left-brained person, it helped me learn a skill I thought was only for the chosen few!
To make a mood board, take an A3 size piece of mount board and fill it with images that inspire you. Don't stop at 2D - use foamcore or mounting tape to raise images you particularly like. A hot glue gun will attach small props.
At college, our inspiration boards are usually themed and include a title, samples of fabrics and a colour palette. They work in tandem with a visual diary, and are a handy way to see all your influences in one hit.
My pictured board is inspired by (you guessed it) desserts! From here I'll draw up clothing designs focussing on a berry coloured palette. We've been doing some natural fabric dyeing using blueberries and raspberries, creating some yummy colours. Have also been experimenting with ruffles and pleating to suggest layers of creamy icing on a cake.
The holidays are here! The holidays are here! We've worked hard at college this semester and I really enjoyed the chance to learn some great skills amongst some lovely creative types (most of them half my age!)
I think my favourite subject was Wendy's sewing production class where we made a truckload of samples ( zippers, casings, pockets etc), then sewed pyjamas, skirts and a couple of shirt/jackets. Really enjoyed drawing, making the pattern and stitching up our own skirt design - it's very satisfying turning an idea into a 3-D object!
We also did some T-shirts - painless fun for those with an overlocker, but a little trickier on an ordinary sewing machine. Here's a little cowl neck tee I made, it's pretty simple to sew once you draft the pattern up...
Keeping a journal is a lovely record to have.
Keeping a visual diary is like that but in mostly pictures instead of just words...
We're required to keep a visual diary for our drawing class and it's been really fun.
First there's the discipline of daily entries...
For the past month, I've made myself put aside time every day to draw.
It's a real luxury to do that, putting aside housework or other things you're obliged to do.
But it's really rewarding - give it a go!
I'm loving College. Especially since I've found a way of including TV watching in my study curriculum!
For our sketching class, we had to draw a dress from five different angles. Unable to find anyone willing to stand still long enough five times, I resorted to freeze-framing people on So You Think You Can Dance. Here's Ivy from that fabulous Paso Doble routine a few weeks back!
Getting lots of help from Nancy Reigelman's book Colors for Modern Fashion -
a great book with lots of tips and techniques for using coloured markers in particular.
Full of fabulous examples too...
Here's one I copied earlier ...
Still having fun at college, thanks for asking...
Here's some drawings I've done in our fashion illustration classes.
Try copying drawings that you like.
Or work from real life garments.
Practice, practice, practice!
By the way, when I was a kid, I couldn't draw to save my life. Just ask Christina, a friend in grade 6 that I had to borrow a drawing from, for show and tell time! But I do believe it's like reading and writing, you can learn to do it. Betty Edwards' book Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain is a fabulous book for those who want to learn to draw.
Am loving our sewing class at college - those industrial machines can go at breakneck speed! To get used to them, we've been doing lots of exercises on squares of Vilene. If you'd like to give them a go on your machine, (well worth it!), I've made a little tutorial for you here.
Click on a pic to see helpful notes. Enjoy!
First week at Fashion Design & Technology school at MSIT... A little strange for me as I'm so much older than most students! Lots are recent school leavers - mostly aspiring fashion designers. Our Industry Awareness class was a bit of an eye opener - designers' jobs are pretty scarce, but there's work going for sample machinists (who sew a prototype garment that is sent overseas for manufacturing) and patternmakers (the area I'd like to move into) are sought after too.
But aspiring designers don't despair - some do just fine. Metropolitan South TAFE's most famous ex-student is Leigh Buchannan, runner up on first season of Project Runway Australia. Juli Grbac (the winner) studied in Brisbane too, at Gateway TAFE.
Show me the money!
Studying through TAFE can get expensive as there's no HECS scheme where you can defer payment (fees are around $5000 per annum.) So start saving, and get ready for some hard work! This semester we're tackling patternmaking, drawing and design, fabrics, industry awareness, computing (Photoshop and Illustrator) and sewing on industrial machines.
Enjoyed our fabric identifying class this week...
Everyone loves to cut and paste things, not just kindergarteners! Learned lots about how fibres are twisted together to form yarns. How tightly twisted the fibres are contribute to how the fabric feels. For instance, flannelette and satin are made from gently twisted yarns. Crisp, firm fabrics like voile and chiffon result from twisting the yarns they're woven from very tightly.
This exercise would be great for teachers to introduce students to different fibres.
Also fun is looking at fabrics under a magnifying glass. You can clearly see the knitted structure of stretch fabrics in T-shirts and the diagonal patterns of twill weaves on denim.