Monday, 30 September 2013

The Design Process

New Dress!

It was really sunny out there when we took these pictures, and I kept squinting!
I worked from the basic tank dress to create this design. It has a few new features, including capped sleeves, a keyhole neckline, gathers under the bust and a shaped waistband. I will go into detail about how I did that in a later post. I've also bound the neck and sleeves, which worked out really well and I will do another post about that too. I'm about 95% happy with it, which is pretty good for me.

Someone asked the other day - how do you design? I didn't really know how to answer that in 25 words or less. But I do worry that people think that the design process is something some people can do and others can't. Perhaps they might think that if their ideas don't work out straight away, they aren't any good at it. For the record, that's not the case at all.

Here's the back story. I made this dress, or various versions of it, 3 times over before I was happy. It probably took me the equivalent of 3 days work. Initially, I had plans for a different style of skirt. It took a couple of goes to get the new shape right, and then I admitted I probably wasn't going to be able to pull it off on my figure. So I scrapped that idea altogether. I should really follow my own advice and baste first, because unpicking stretch stitch is a huge pain in the butt.

Sometimes my ideas work out first go. Which is delightful. But honestly, that isn't what I expect. Usually, there's a lot of fussing about and re-evaluating at each step. Often I have to start from scratch. The ones that do work out, work out largely because of the things I've learned from previous errors. It does get easier. And then, I push up to the next challenge.

What I'm trying to say is, don't be scared. If you want to try it, jump in. And remember not to worry if it doesn't work out the first time. Look for the bits that work, and run with it. 


  1. Love the dress, looks great, very flattering!

  2. The dress looks a great fit and the shaped waistband is really flattering. You are right, getting the design right can be a lot of trial and error and learning from mistakes!