Illustrate

I’m hurtling towards the end of the second year of my degree and starting to finalise my collection… I have 13 garments to make (6 looks) which is a bit of a hefty task, but I enjoy the pattern cutting and construction tasks so it doesn’t feel too intimidating.

I do however struggle with drawing.  I’ve said it before and I have to admit that it’s not something I have put too much effort in to practising.

I love simple drawings that look hand drawn, but when I have drawn it they tend to look a little too simple and hand drawn for my liking!

I came across a really interesting article from the adobe blog (through twitter, obvs) about flat design on the web …. and I thought to myself – I really like that style, maybe i’ll be better at that than real-life pencil sketching…..?

So I had a go … inspired by Delpozo s/s 15 show teaser;

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this is my third -ish attempt:

final line up hanging illustration

I like it.

R x

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Starting work on my final collection

This week I have started to draft the patterns for my final collection… The first look I am working on is the apron dress and rib knit dress:

Apron dress

ribbed knit dress with triangles

the apron dress with will be made from Furakawa denim (From Merchant and Mills here) they describe it as ‘a special Japanese 6oz denim. 57% cotton, 34% wool, 9% linen.’  As this collection is for Autumn Winter, the apron dress will be worn over the rib knit dress (fabric yet to be finalised!)

Here are the sketches of the garments:

blue apron

rib dress arrows+castle

I have lots of changes still to make but here is some snaps from this weeks toile:

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Still some tweaking to be done on the pocket placement and positioning but so far so good,

R x

Latest pattern … Casual Jersey Dress

I drafted this pattern over the summer as my sister wanted an easy fitting dress she could take away with her.
It is a jersey dress, with elasticated waist,  sweatshirt style top, 3/4 sleeves and slim A – line skirt – with pockets of course!

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The neck and cuffs are finished with overlocked binding and I used a coverlock stitch to add some colour over the seams, pocket opening and to finish the skirt hem.
I love this denim look jersey.

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Still a few tweaks to be made but I shall be grading some more sizes soon,
R x

Capsule Collection – Utility

So I promised this a while back but have only just completed my photoshoot with all the outfits from the collection I made last year!

In preparation for applying for my final year at MMU I am updating my portfolio and this will include my Capsule collection from the first year – Utility.  Based on work wear, paper and a working wardrobe that will go straight from day – night, this is what it looks like:

Alex denim back looking back-1 Alex denim front leg bent-1 Alex blue coat front with bag-1 Alex blue coat close up back detail-1 Alex denim front attitude-1 Alex skirt top front hand on hips-1 Alex skirt top back-1 Alex white dress front fingers together-1 Alex white dress side with bag-1-5 Alex white dress side with bag-1-9 Alex white dress side with bag-1-3

Outfit 1 – airtex boxy top, denim dungaree dress, grey jersey bomber jacket.

Outfit 2 – white airtex dress, navy paper silk duster coat.

Outfit 3 – orange paper silk boxy top with envelope window, layered paper silk skirt.

Outfit 4 – airtex dress, organdy pocket dress.

Photography by Ben Renshaw
Model: Alex Lyons
All images copyright Ruth Eaton

My new fashion crush – Jean Paul Gaultier

The fashion world of Jean Paul Gaultier – From the sidewalk to the catwalk’ opened at the Barbican in London last week.  The exhibition is dedicated to the French designer and covers all the iconic moments of his 40 year career, as well as the lesser known costumes for film and dance.
My favourite part of this exhibition: being allowed to take photos! Here is a few;

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Jean Paul as a mannequin welcoming us to the exhibition,  very clever use of projection on all the mannequin’s faces.

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His muses – there were many more, including the lovely Kylie;

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Kylie ‘ s tour costume.

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Detail from the iconic Madonna corset, along with other beautiful lingerie inspired creations;

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The highlight of my visit ….. the chance to see Jean Paul in conversation with the fabulous Suzy Menkes;

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He was his usual charismatic self, open and honest. He spoke very very fast in his lovely french accent so I really had to tune in and concentrate to make sure I didn’t miss anything. He discussed his career in general, along with the highs and lows.
He spoke frequently about his boyfriend Francis who tragically died of AIDS in 1990, discussed the time he served with Cardin and Patou in his early career and other designers he had encountered and mentored over the years, such as Yves St Laurent and Martin Margiela (who he spoke very fondly of). He even treated us to some lighthearted banter about the making of eurotrash.
The Barbican (along with the Montreal Museum of fine Art) have yet again achieved  an imaginative exhibition which makes you feel like you are in the world of Gaultier, with creative displays and sets,  the moving faces on the mannequin’s and revolving catwalks.
The exhibition continues until 25th August so there is plenty of time to go and visit.
R x

Making the Factory Dress

It’s been a couple of weeks since I cut the pieces for the Factory Dress toile (Merchant and Mills pattern). Today I made it up, it took me about 2 hours in total, with a bit of faffing inbetween!  It was pretty simple and the only change I made was to take the seam allowance off the interfacing pieces – my fabric was pretty sturdy and I didn’t want to add any more unecessary bulk.

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I following the instructions that came with the pattern (sometimes I just wing it. ..) they were thorough with plenty of diagrams and without too many words! The darts/pocket details come first, then the bodice is sewn together … It has facings rather than linings, which I haven’t overlocked, so i will need to add extra time for this when I make it up in my final fabric.
There is a 1.5cm seam allowance – i use the 5/8 guide on my machine but you could always pop a bit of masking tape as a guide instead?

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pretty much all of the seams require pressing open;

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Always quite satisfying.

The sleeves heads are attached and then sewn up along with the bodice side seams, I prefer this method to
making up the sleeve and setting it in, less fiddly.
Here is the top section of the dress;

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After a quick brew I came back to make up and attach the skirt … company had arrived! 

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Not that helpful as it turns out, especially as the path to my sewing room is currently flooded (blocked pipe next door awaiting repair) …muddy paws and fabric is not a happy mix.

So, the skirt … A few tiny pleats at the front,  attaching the side pockets in to the seam and sewing the side seams … super quick and straightforward. The skirt and bodice are literally attached right sides together and sewn all the way round, et voila;

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Finished (well a bit of hemming to do when I get to the final fabric but that’s all).
I popped it on (it is a slip on dress – no fastenings, great if you have a zip or buttonhole phobia), bit of a close up pic but it’s the best I could do!

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I love it, it’s loosely fitted enough not to feel like a tent but is nice and baggy at the same time.  My favourite bit? The pockets of course 🙂

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When I can decide on my final fabric I will probably shorten the pattern before I cut it .. might save me a few inches! …. Coming soon (ish).

a little confession …

I have never had a sketchbook before. There, i said it.

I mean, I have lots of lovely books …. I really love stationery, I just never really used them for anything except shopping lists.

So, I’m in to my second term of a fashion design degree and I’m coming to the end of my first proper, real, serious sketchbook.  I hate most of it (mainly because I don’t like the things that I know I have drawn) but I am starting to find my creative side again, and dare I say it, enjoying it!

I am still avoiding a few things – faces are not really happening at the moment, neither are watercolours, I have, however, embraced the pro marker.

Here is a few peeks, hopefully i’ll be happier to share a bit more soon!

fancy letters (and the clowns, obvs) :

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starting to design a garment;

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and a bit of pattern practise…….

bear with.

R x

 

Pop Art and Gin

So, is there a better combination!?

Pop Art Design is the current exhibition at the Barbican, from Vitra Design Museum, Weil am Rhein, Germany (which looks worth a visit, just for the architecture).

A great mix of art and design, including all sorts of iconic objects – from the poster dress to the The Studio 65 Bocca Lip Sofa, from 1972:

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It’s not my favourite era for design but was still a fascinating collection to browse. More than anything, it highlights the items that were absolutely cutting edge design at the time and how much things have changed!

This exhibition is cheerful and nostalgic, you’ll definitely come out smiling!

What might also make you smile is the new Gin Joint, also at the Barbican.  As its name suggests, a place where you can buy Gin, lots of it, in many different forms.

We indulged in a little gin cocktail each;

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A Bramble and a Peppercorn, delicious.