It’s been awhile since my last post, and I want to start the New Year with an update as to what I’ve been doing for the last few months…
I completed another fashion design course at Canada College located in Redwood City, CA., taught by Professor Ronda Chaney, and assisted by Peggy Perruccio and Kathleen Lorist. The advanced tailoring class was combined with the beginning tailoring class, a cross-section of students with an array of ability and interests, which created an environment of camaraderie. We learned from each other.
My jacket is a Vogue Pattern, which required minimal fitting adjustments by Ronda. Matching the plaid with princess seams was the main challenge. I decided to cut the sleeves and patch pockets on the bias. The fabric is vintage Linton tweed. Linton is located in the United Kingdom, and was or perhaps still is, one of the major suppliers for Chanel. I lined the jacket with a designer cut silk charmeuse purchased at Stonemountain and Daughter in Berkeley, CA. I like using piping as an accent.
The tweed is loosely woven which created a challenge when it came to the patch pockets. Trying to get both the same size was not easy. I solved the problem by blocking both of them on the blocking board I use for knitting.
I learned many new skills in this class. Starting with shoulder pads and sleeve heads, interfacings, bound buttonhole pocket, single welt pocket, outside welt pocket, jacket notch collar, and hand stitches. I particularly like the blind catch stitch for hemming the jacket. I used a slip stitch for the patch pockets. I found using the tailor’s ham was beneficial when stitching the hem because it supported and at the same time, elevated the jacket while stitching.
I wanted to title this post “Hand Knitting Meets The Industrial Revolution,” but I realized yarn is spun using a machine too. I recently completed two classes in Fashion Design at Canada College located in Redwood City, California, one of which was Flat Pattern Design. The other class, “Designer Techniques” discussed different ways to refashion an existing pattern and make it your own.
Demonstrating a technique not covered in class was one of the course requirements. I elected to combine hand knitting with fabric. For the sample, I incorporated techniques from Flat Pattern Design and drafted a half scale dress with princess seams.
The pattern pieces are pinned to the hand knit and traced with two rows of stitching using a teflon foot.
An alternative technique would be to baste a line of stitches on your fabric using sturdy thread. With your knitting needles, pick up into the stitches and knit down to create an attached piece of knitting.
In order to eliminate bulk from seams, position the knit fabric with an 1/8″ to 1/4″ seam allowance on the hand knit and 1/2″ seam allowance on the fabric.
Combining hand knit with fabric is an idea I’ve been thinking about for quite some time. “Designer Techniques” was the perfect venue which presented an opportunity for me to take my idea of combining hand knit and fabric a reality.
Wow! I can’t believe how long it’s been since my last post. It all began in August of last year…
At the end of August 2017, I decided to enroll in a Fashion Design Program at a not so local community college. Immediately, I was thrust into the lanes of commute traffic arriving at my location at least an hour before class two mornings a week. Surrounded by an interesting group of like-minded individuals, I learned so much about the material and myself.
Flat Pattern Design was an intense, rigorous class with a language all its own. The process of translating a two-dimensional design into a garment was challenging and at the same time, a rewarding experience.
Above is a sample of various half scale and quarter scale dart manipulations I produced. The final project for class consisted of using a basic bodice, sleeve and skirt sloper, along with various dart manipulations, in order to design a garment.
My design adopts and adapts the loose fit of the kimono by incorporating the dropped armhole along with the chemise silhouette. Godets are added on the side seams to add fullness imitating fabric layers of the kimono. Fabric folded origami sculptural motifs are added to the surface of the design.
The dropped armhole reflects fashion of the 1940’s along with fabric choices reminiscent of the Mod print fabrics of the 1960’s. Through the use of dart manipulation, my design expresses the influence the Japanese culture and the 1960’s played in my life.