Learn Fashion Design and Sewing Skills
Have you ever wanted to design and make your own clothes? Sewing is one thing but designing is another. Designing fashion takes a whole new set of skills. Zoe Jeffery founder of Blossom and Wren takes you through the design process.
Craft sewing has found a resurgence over the past few years with many young people wanting to learn how to make their own clothing. This has become easy with shop bought patterns at all levels of competence being made simple silhouettes.
Fashion design is a taught set of skills that has a creative process from concept through to production of garments. The influence of a fashion collection can take the form of everyday concepts such as popular culture, historical influences, political climate and even religious or spiritual influence.
Inspiration for garment ranges and collections
Fashion is usually something that is trend driven and so when collections are being designed, things like economy and current cultural discourses will be implemented into the design thinking stage. For example, in light of the growing ecological disasters happening across the globe a sustainable, a minimum waste collection made from recycled fibres with a minimalist silhouette with a nomadic tribal influence could be something that inspires some designers. At this stage a mood board will be produced with initial visual inspiration.
At this stage rough sketches are produced inspired by the mood boards. Working drawings will be then produced from these rough sketches and signed off. Detailing and measurements are key at this stage before it goes to be pattern cut.
Pattern cutting is a complex skill to learn it is the key to making a garment fit and for your own design to be realised. Patterns are cut from body blocks which are made from card and cut to standard body sizes (8, 10, 12 etc). From these body blocks you can trace them off on to paper then manipulate the pattern through dart manipulation, slashing and spreading (my favourite) the pattern so that it starts to resemble your design. It takes patience and a lot of going back over patterns to make them right. Once you have done this it’s time to make a toile (sample).
Generally, you will sample a pattern with a cheaper fabric that is similar in weight and consistency as the fabric you have chosen your design to be made from. In the case of woven fabrics, a calico is used and a jersey fabric to mimic knitwear. You will sample using all of the technical detailing and seam types that you will use on the actual garments.
At this stage the garment is then produced in the actual fabrics at a manufacturer or by yourself.
There is so much fun to be had making your own clothing from design through to finished garment. If you are interested in learning how I am running a few courses over the coming year for beginners upwards.