Welcome to In the Sketchbook, a monthly look at fashion design sketches that we are working on for ourselves. Sketching garments on a personal croquis is a great way for the individual couture enthusiast to move beyond the use of commercial patterns and into a world of personalized design! It can be intimidating at first, but with a little bit of practice it becomes something you look forward to. Join us for a look of what we have going on In the Sketchbook! Brought to you by Wendy Grossman of Couture Counsellor and Steph King from Siouxzeegirl Designs.
It has been almost two years since I attended Sarah Veblen’s Class Exploring Fashion Design: Design 1. That was what inspired our In the Sketchbook series. We are getting ready to participate in Sarah’s Design 2 class next week and I’m excited to see what new ideas come out of that experience.
This month, I’ve been thinking about skirts. Mostly because I’m once again mired in a seemingly endless series of pants mock-ups and skirts are something I consider to be manageable. The other reason is that our ASG Neighborhood Group, Sew Chicago, is doing a skirt challenge for the October 2018 ASG Chicago Fashion Show. The rule is that the skirt has to incorporate two elements we covered in meeting presentations in 2017 and 2018. Not all of the skirts I want to try meet those criteria, but there are some that have possibilities.
One of the elements we can use in the challenge is bias. Some of you may remember that my attempt at an all-bias skirt did not work out. I saw a picture of a Vogue skirt pattern a few months back that got me to thinking that something like this might work if the fitted part on the top is on the straight of grain and the bottom part is on the bias.
That might also work if the bottom part were a sheer fabric, which would qualify for the two elements for the challenge.
Edge trim is another element that would qualify for the challenged I could add that to the diagonal seam between the two parts of the skirt.
Another possibility would be to make the entire skirt out of a sheer fabric. A technique we looked at in a meeting involved finishing a hem with ribbon or trim. The ribbon is attached to the wrong side of the garment, then folded to the right side and attached at the top, encasing the cut edge in between. It’s a nice finish and it also adds some weight to a sheer garment, which would help it hang nicely.
With the pants conundrum fresh in my mind, I’ve been thinking about casual skirts that don’t have anything to do with the skirt challenge. Here is my take on a skirt with a single pleat on either side of the center front panel. The variation on the right has reinforcement for the pleat in a decorative stitch. (I’m sure there’s a name for that, but I didn’t look it up.) I see this in a khaki twill that’s easy to wear in the spring and summer.
From there, I thought about this variation. It has two little pleated godets and buttons at the the juncture that are both decorative and functional for reinforcing that critical area.
I think I could have some fun with this one.
And I can’t think about skirts without going back to the trumpet skirt that has been in my head forever but only has the beginnings of the pattern drafted.
And I’d like to try a skirt with pleats just at the hem, either from the fashion fabric or pleated ribbon.
Another use for ribbon peeking out of seams is to use them all the way up each princess seam to embellish a pencil skirt.
This last pair of sketches aren’t skirts, but the idea struck me as I was looking for something in my fabric collection and my eyes landed on the fabulous black ostrich feather boa I bought at Haberman’s Fabrics. It occurred to me that I could use those feathers to trim a Little Black Dress for next year’s opera season and whatever other occasions I might have. I could either use the feathers just at the hem or at both the hem and the neckline. Here are a front and back view.
Be sure to check out what fabulous designs my dear friend Stephanie King of Siouxzeegirl Designs is showing at 10 Sewing Machines & a Serger. We’d love to see and hear about what you’re sketching, so please leave a comment.