Log in

No account? Create an account

Jun. 17th, 2012

Vintiage Inspiratation

I believe that we have entered into an era where clothing manufacturers are all living in tiny little monastic cells in some retreat where all the women are thin and perfect and probably blonde.  They really seem to completely lost contact with the reality of how some of us ladies out there look.  Shhh... it's a great unknown to them, something they really don't seem to get, but.... WE HAVE BUTTS!  AAAHHHH!  We have butts and boobs and fat and curves.  Sometimes we even have curves in places where we don't really want curves.

Every week I go to the library.  (Don't worry, I'll get back to my point.  You won't be lost for long.)  I'm a voracious reader and my normal weekly routine is five novels or biographies and two crafting books, although frequently there's more.  I don't actually look at the crafting books for patterns.  They're how I learn and study techniques to expand my abilities.  Well, once week I grabbed what looked like a crafting book but turned out to be a whole history of knitwear.  From the earliest fisherman's sweaters (and how to tell apart the design work of different nations.) to modern interpretations.  In my world, this was only slightly below some hot half naked fireman coming up and giving me fresh out of the oven chocolate chip cookies.  Mmmm  fireman.  Mmmm cookies.  Mmmm real vintage knitwear, not "vintage inspired" or "vintage like" or all the other thousands of fake names they come up with to say that it's modern.  No no no.  If I'm learning, I want to learn from the real deal.  And yes, Mister fireman, I don't mind nuts in my cookies at all.  Macadamia is best.

So... let me show you some of the tricks I learned...

  Ok.. .the thicker waist band (one I plan to exaggerate on the next design I'm working on.), it creates a firm waist line on even the chunkiest sweater.  A waist band doesn't have to be tight or binding in order to create the visual impact of a waist.  It just has to be there and showing.  The horizontal line creates the visual trick.  The dolman sleeves on this sweater are great for women who are starting to have their arms wave goodbye for them.  (Ladies, let's be honest.  It happens.)  By adding that dolman sleeve to a half length sleeve, it creates the illusion that you're actually showing off some skin when really it's more like just showing some arm.  The relaxed cowl-ish neck (it's not a full cowl from what I can see in the pic.  So cowl-ish it is.) is great for women who aren't um.... well endowed by the boobie fairy.  Essentially the rule of the torso is any place where there's extra fabric creates volume and emphasis.  That's why rouching is really much more evil and horrid than most women realize.

A classic 1950's sweater girl.  Time to go down to the sock hop and boogie down to that new fangled rock and roll our parents complain so much about.  Even this uses more visual tricks that are great for both designers and women.  Thickened and obvious waist band to show off that waist... check.  Oh so cute princess puff sleeves (that came back and got massively exaggerated)...double check.  They're adorable.  Remember the visual trick of where ever there's volume or extra fabric or detailing... that's where the eye goes.  This simple little sweater is ALL about the yoke and thus pulls the eyes up to the woman's lovely face.   Honestly it's a sweater designed for women who are ... younger....  You know like not necessarily in age but um... lack, um... much in the way of development.  Yeah.   And I totally wish I could get my hair to look that unbelievably adorable.

  So during the world wars, the ladies on the home front weren't just busy with the house work and factory work.  There were also massive drives to help out the soldiers at war accompanied with frequent shortages.  The women would finish up their days knitting socks for the soldiers and trying to figure out how they could turn the little scraps of colors into something actually flattering.  This sweater?  Yeah, it addresses just that.  It's hard to believe that it's from the 1940's.  We tend not to think of war times as inspiration for timeless classics of fashion.  But there it is.  Out of shortages, a desire to be simply warm and maybe look nice too...Wow.  Just wow.  And this one, thanks to it's traditional shaping, can work with a variety of figures.  Ladies, if you've got some junk in the trunk, you don't need to wear sacks that come down to your knees.  If you even just create the illusion of a waist, then you're not going to look bottom heavy.  You're going to look like an hourglass.

I'm sure this topic will be coming back for more.  Honestly it's something that I love.  And hey... if you love it....

Jun. 16th, 2012

My Current Work in Progress-- The Lotus Blossom

As my way of introducing myself and my brand spanking new journal, here's my current work in progress, the Lotus Blossom.


Read more...Collapse )
So thanks for letting me introduce myself and yes, I'd certainly appreciate having some LJ friends and followers.  Hope you like what you get to see grow.

Why I Love Design

So growing up, I was unbelievably dinky.  Starting the eighth grade, I was literally 3'6".  I looked like a four year old at thirteen.  A small four year old.  Needless to say, this meant that getting age appropriate clothes was very difficult.  Thirteen year old's don't exactly want to be wearing wearing the same thing as preschoolers.  Fortunately my mom is an outstanding seamstress.  A large chunk of my clothing was made by her. 

Despite her valiant attempts, I never did manage to learn how to use a sewing machine.  No matter the machine (I've tried several.), bobbins are the bane of my existence.  I just cannot master a sewing machine bobbin.  However, the deal we always had, and still have to this day, is it was my job to pin the pattern and cut it out.  Mom hates it with a fiery passion and I was and am always tolerant of it.  So from that early age, I grew up with an innate knowledge and understanding of how fabric, a two dimensional object, must be cut, shaped, and folded into something that forms to the human body. 

And the challenge of that transformation of a two dimensional form into something with three dimensions, oh... now that's fun stuff.  Let's check it out with the following pics. 

paper 1  So here we have a basic sheet of paper.  It's an easy to grasp two dimensional object.  How does it turn into something the isn't just flat?  Well let's think origami.

paper 2  Now honestly, I have no clue what I would use this shape for.  However it does prove with some basic folding, the paper no longer resides in just two dimensions.  It has become a three dimensional object with definite shape and fold.  You can equate the fold lines as being similar to seams with fabric.  The thicker the fabric, it's the same as the thicker the paper.  It's harder to fold and bend, but the thicker it is, the more likely it is to maintain the intended shape.  A silk blouse can't hold the shape in the same way as a heavy linen.  Well, the same applies with knitting or crochet.  The thicker the yarn, the thicker the fabric created.  While it does make a much warmer fabric, it also creates a fabric that can hold it's shape better.

paper 4  Moving into some classic sewing shapes here.  This one's a box pleat.  See how the fold lines are used to create the pleating lines?  It's easy enough to recreate that with fabric and seaming.  This one... think classic parochial school skirt or some really expensive curtains.  Box pleats take a rediculous amount of fabric to make a bigger piece.  My mom once made me a very beautiful window valance with box pleats and a lovely high end fabric I bought.  For a two foot wide window, it took three yards.  Not kidding.

Paper 5  Oh look!  It's a girl's best friend.  This tiny little detail is a dart.  Darting is the primary thing used to create a piece that flows with a female body.  We've got curves and this gives our clothing the curves that match.  With classic sewing, it's created with seaming.  With knitting and crochet, while it can be created with seaming, generally it's created  with a combination of increases and decreases.  Most of us out there who work with the needles and hooks tend to avoid as much sewing as possible.  By utilizing the increases and decreases, we can create the same shape but without having to annoy ourselves endlessly.

paper 3  And this one... this is the shape I'm using to create a tremendously exaggerated flared skirt on a tunic sweater.  Just think of ten of them attached in a circle.  I think the combination of them all together ends up looking like flower petals.  Love that. 

For me, design never starts with the stitch.  It starts with the geometry.  Every body is a unique combination of cylinders and rectangles and cones and spheres and on and on.  The challenge is how to take that unique combination and create something out of a two dimensional object that is flattering and (I hope) pretty.  By using some classic sewing construction techniques, I try to create things that are complimentary to the way the human body really looks.  Not just the way that they seem to think we look when you go clothes shopping.  I'm sorry but it's a continual source of frustration that it's so bleeping frustrating to find flattering clothing in the stores out there.  Through the hooks and needles, I try to create things that actually work and look good.

And the fact that it's a never ending challenge... that's the good stuff there. 

June 2012



RSS Atom
Powered by LiveJournal.com