From Women’s Wear To Children’s Wear
While blogging here about my passion for textile prints and fashion design, I have been (semi-obsessively) developing my sewing, drawing and pattern-making skills.
In addition to sewing dresses for myself, I make new dresses and blouses for my daughter on an almost weekly basis, experimenting with prints, textures and colors. The style reflects the simple style of flowery and vintage blouses that I often wear.
Now, my daughter has started to imitate my seamstress rituals, drawing on her clothes with blue chalk as I progress from women’s dresses to children’s clothes.
Nothing princess. Nothing froufrou.
Now, I would like to bring my passion to a larger audience.
But how to do it? Here is my journey, so far:
- Building on my nude drawing classes at the Beaux Arts in Paris, I have been learning fashion illustration and how to draw garment detailing.
- From my recent travels in Japan, France, India and Thailand I have built a trove of stunning fabrics which I will use for limited edition clothes.
- After learning about women’s wear, I have started to experiment with pattern-making for children and learning all the average children measurements. (Quiz me on average shoulder to hem length for a children’s shirt at any age!). You don’t need to know pattern making as a designer, but it is great to know the language when communicating with a seamstress.
- It is good to evolve from women’s wear to children’s wear. I first started learning how to sew for women’s wear out of self-indulgence but also because it is easier to make mistakes on adult scale rather than smaller scale. Women’s wear also offers more opportunities for experimentation such as draping, than children’s wear, where cuts tend to be simpler for the sake of comfort.
- I designed sample shirts and blouses (my favorite piece of clothing) for boys and girls, along with some dresses. Having sewed shapes at home that highlight beautiful prints, I brought my designs to a seamstress and learned how to communicate my ideas.
Many friends have also offered their advice and fashion eye, including professional textile designers, successful designers, my sewing teacher, entrepreneurs and mothers.
In addition to their great advice, I have also learned a good deal from my own mistakes.
In advertising, my background, we develop ideas for brand strategy through consumer insights, the competitive landscape and trends.
The creation of a clothing line, however, requires more practical work than just design. Success depends on details like tags, packaging, ribbons (all things with a very short life expectancy once in the hands of the client!), not to mention rigorous quality control.
I really enjoy the backstage brand experience that fashion design is giving me.
I will keep you posted on my adventures with children’s clothes!
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