Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Benefits of fashion sketching

Fashion sketching is not just reserved for costume designers or fashion design students; in fact, it can benefit anyone interested in expanding their sewing and design skill set. Professional artist, sewist, designer, and teacher Carol Kimball will be here April 27th and 28th, 2013, to teach two classes on fashion sketching and one on sewing ergonomics. 

Jumpstart your brain
  • Rather than just sitting at your sewing machine and hoping inspiration will strike, sketching can get you over the paralysis of beginning a project. It can break down that sew-er’s block and get the creative juices flowing.
Create a garment that is truly one-of-a kind
  • Why be constrained by the mundane offerings in commercial pattern books? You needn’t be restricted by that which already exists
  • Take a neckline inspired by a commercial pattern, sleeves like the ones on your favorite dress, and the piping you saw on that jacket Stacy London was wearing on TV, or imagine something completely new.
Save time, money and fabric
  • Sketching allows you to examine different combinations without making countless muslins.
  • Instead of just visualizing fabric and style combinations in your mind, you can see the design on paper and critique it before constructing or purchasing anything.
  • Sketching means you get the design right before cutting expensive or irreplaceable fabric.
  • You can experiment with fabric from your “stash.” Have enough for a dress or a jacket, but not both? Draw a quick sketch to figure out the best use of the fabric.
Recreate and reimagine existing garments
  • How would a major-remodel type of alteration change an existing piece of clothing? Is the time or money investment worth it? What if I (raised the waistline/removed the sleeve/added pockets)?
  • Make your wedding day special by refurbishing your mother’s gown. Figure out how it’s going to look before making changes that can’t be un-done.
If you sew for others, get on the same page
  • Your clients (or your daughters) need reassurance that you're paying attention to them. Why go to the trouble of making the pattern, sewing a muslin, and then finding you need to start over because it wasn’t what the client had in mind? 
  • For example, one of Carol’s clients, a mother-of-the-bride, had a definite design in mind for some lovely silk her late husband had brought back from Thailand. When she saw the workup of her "dream dress" she exclaimed, "It looks like a bathrobe!"
  • When you sketch with your clients, they are right there providing feedback. As they see their ideas worked out, the dynamic changes from master/flunky to fellow collaborators.
Find the most flattering look for the wearer
  • See quickly how design changes make an outfit look better (or worse) on the body it’s being designed for.
  • Determine what details, hem lengths, fabric combinations, and silhouettes are the most flattering on a particular person.

Minor modifications were made for a considerably more flattering look; neckline was lowered, pockets were slanted, double buttons traded for single button, armhole was raised.

Below are sketches done by students after the first day of Carol’s “Fashion Sketching for Any Body” class.

If you'd like to join us for Carol's classes, visit this link.

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