Dream of Songs

 

 

 

 

 

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L_004853It’s been awhile! I have been working on a capsule collection the past few months, and the look book is finally ready! If you’re interested, you can view it here

It took a lot of patience, because I wanted to make all of the first patterns and samples myself. The only pattern and sample that I did not make is the jacket. 

Although it took several months to create each piece, it was worth it. I’ve had over 20 years of experience in the fashion industry and it was still very challenging to learn every bit of the process. Designing a collection doesn’t just take design knowledge, I had to understand the business and numbers along the way. Although I’ve gained experience in design and production while working, I only really learned when I created this collection. I had this A-HA moment once the collection was finished, and I worked up the margins. I realized then why start up costs are high, and why minimums had to be met to keep costs low.  I had to limit the number of pieces to sell and increase wholesale cost in order to not lose money. Cost of goods are too high, so my margins are actually too low. What I knew in the end of it all is that I became super skilled with making and creating, which I do not regret. Craftsmanship is important to me, and I think it will be useful for me no matter what. 

My recommendation to myself going forward is to start very small, and to concentrate on a few items. For this collection, I incorporated both clothing of different silhouettes, and  jewelry. I grew obsessed with 3D printing, so all of my jewelry are just that – 3D printed from brass or steel (one accessory is nylon). I love the thought of 3D printing, so I am continuing with this. 

I don’t believe in giving up a passion, so in the meantime, I’m still passing out my look book, sending them to stores and people in the fashion industry. You just never know until you try. Plus I worked so hard on this, and am humbled and blessed by the group of people who came together to help me put this look book together. They deserve the credit, so I will spread the word. 

I can also use this as a portfolio, which I intend to do. It is perfect for interviews and meetings. I can also write about some of the pieces that I made here in my Patterned After blog! So all was gained and I look forward to many more  adventures with Dream of Songs. 

Until next time. 

xoxo M

 

 

 

 

New Year, New Patterns

Last year, in 2013, I had a vision. It’s to develop my exclusive line of clothing, beginning with a few select items and sizes. The collection’s name is actually from a dream that I had.  I had a dream about a song, and the lyrics were clear as day. When I woke up, I sang the lyrics to my boyfriend, and he told me that it was a Bob Dylan song. Ironically, this song is actually a Civil Rights Anthem, and so it became so much to me.  Though I considered naming my collection after the song, it didn’t sound right, so it just became an inspiration. I’ll let you know what the name of my collection is as soon as my website is up and ready to go.

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As of now, I finished my XS-S basic bodice and skirt patterns. A few skirts and tops are in the works, as well as accessories. To give an idea, my inspiration comes from music, and I’ve been admiring clothing designers such as Carven, Alice & Olivia and Opening Ceremony (more on the aesthetic of each brand, not the individual designs). I am also focusing on slow fashion, and exclusive designs (somewhat demi-couture), with prints sourced from amazing independent textile designers who are not seen in the mass. Every step is made with attention and detail.

It’s a world full of fast fashion, social media and big production. My collection is about slowing down and paying attention to the small things in life. This year, I intend to do just that.

Happy New Year to each and everyone of you. I hope that this is going to be your best year yet. xoxo

Designer Shout Out Sunday: Kai D

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Kai D had a soft opening for his pop up shop in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The store is super cozy, with a utilitarian look that reflects the brand’s style and look. My friend Vera and I were paying close attention to all the details of this menswear line. We were admiring the neon bias binding on the seam allowances of pants, the little plaid detail just peaking through the soft ties. It’s for a man who appreciates quality and style at its best.  Inspired by Old New York, all of Kai D’s products are made locally in New York.

Check it out because it’s worth checking:

Kai D

230 Grand Street

Brooklyn, NY 11211

Through January.

Designer Shout Out Sunday: Jean Paul Gaultier

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I am so happy that I was able to see the touring show of Jean Paul Gaultier. It began in Montreal, and ended here at the Brooklyn Museum, showcasing the 37 year lifespan of the iconic couturier.

What I love about Gaultier is that he changes with time, but remains true to himself. The show demonstrates this through fashion, different forms of multi media, and a very unique aspect, talking mannequins. Somehow they were able to use projections to bring the mannequins to life. Some of them spoke and some of them sang. It was an appropriate thing to do for Gaultier, who is an avant garde designer, and a very good one at that. An amazing exhibit for a genius of a man.

A Slopin Skirt Sloper

As mentioned in previous posts, I am developing a made-to-order womenswear line which will be launching this Spring. This collection is a collaboration of talent.  I’ve sourced a few amazing and creative independent textile designers, and will be infusing their prints into my designs. The line will begin with a set of skirts, and I’ve started the process by making basic patterns. These photos are essentially an outline of the skirt sloper.

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I started by drafting the skirt onto pattern paper . I had a calculator and measuring tape on hand for all the measurements.

DSC05303Once it was drafted, I cut it out and made a 2nd draft with seam allowance

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I walked the 2nd draft along the seam allowance. This means that I used a pencil, and matched up the seam allowance of the two seams that are to be sewn. It’s as if I’m sewing the paper. This gives me opportunity to fix the seams if needed.

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I notched certain parts of the pattern. For example, the side seam to indicate a 1/2″ seam allowance. Also, the ends of the darts so that I can match the two legs together.  I also ended up tracing the seam allowance and darts with tracing paper and wheel.

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I cut out the muslin using the 2nd draft. By the way, 2 lb dumb bells is my ghetto way of keeping weight on paper. There are heavy weights that cutters use, which can be bought at a sewing supply store. I saw them once at an art store too. Dumb bells really isn’t as effective as the weights cutters use, but I also pinned the paper to the muslin. I added The Sartorialist book to keep myself entertained as I continue to stare at dotted pattern paper

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After I cut out the muslin, I pinned the skirt pieces together and fit the skirt. By this time I wanted to drink from staring at patterns for hours. Instead, I accessorized the muslin skirt with a sweater that I knitted awhile back and a scarf my friend Leslie weaved. It makes patternmaking more fun :) Besides, the important part is that the skirt is balanced, and it has excellent fit, which I am happy to say that it does! Thank goodness, or else I would be pulling out that bottle of wine.

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Once the fit is perfected, then it is complete. I cut off the seam allowance on the 2nd draft, then copied it over to manila paper so now I have a basic skirt sloper.

I’ve got a lot to do, but a lot to look forward to, so stay tuned.  I look forward to sharing the beginning to the end with you.

Interlude Monday: Leo’s Baby Hat

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I love getting together with my friends during the cold months to knit. My friends, Leslie and Clara met up with me at Brooklyn Roasting Co. in Dumbo, and we had a great knitting session. Leslie found a hat from a knit blogger, Grumperina. She turned the woman’s hat into a little boy’s hat (without the beading) and finished it in two hours. The photo on the left is Grumperina’s pink beaded hat. The one on the right is Leo’s grey hat. Pretty cool how a little math can do that!

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Ta Da! That’s Leo wearing the finished hat. Looks so cute!

Okay…gotta get back to my patterns! See you soon xo

First Steps Of My Made-To-Order Collection

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Paul and I biked over to Williamsburg, a Brooklyn neighborhood, on a cool and sunny day. We stumbled upon Mast Brothers, a chocolate factory where they made and wrapped all of their chocolates right in the store. I totally dug the printed wrappers that they used and I thought ” How cool would it be to find prints similar to this and make clothing?” I’m not really a graphic designer, so I started my search and found so many talented indie textile designers on the web. The print concept has slightly changed, since my taste is a little more feminine than the retro cool prints on the Mast Brothers chocolate bar paper. I still refer back to their prints though, to  keep me in line of my vision.

I decided that I wanted to start with a small collection of made-to-order garments. This vision feels really good and I want to make it into something tangible. In order to do this, I can’t take patterns from the companies who make them, such as Vogue Patterns or Simplicity. Instead, I have to start from the beginning.

The first step is to create core patterns (basic slopers). So far I’ve made it in my size – The bodice (front and back), the skirt and the sleeve. I’ve been meaning to do this for awhile so I figured it would be a great way to get the ball moving. The basic slopers are the patterns I will use over and over again so that I can create new designs from them.

If I really want to sell these designs, I need to make a standard size. It’s not good to have one size Medium to fit one way and then the next size Medium to fit another way. I have to create basic slopers for the standard size.  Size Medium is a good start so if I wanted to grade the sizes up or down, it’s the good midway point to do both.

This is where I am so far! I got a little side tracked. I haven’t even begun my Geo dress yet, but I will get around to it. First, I have to start with my made-to-order line so that I can share with you the designs in the Spring, and the process!

Stay tuned! xoxo