Overall Dress Design Statement
When I began this project I was really lost and did not know where to begin. But as I sketched and read the article I became a little more inspired. I knew that I wanted to create some sort of dress. My designs are typically not as geometric as the assignment entailed. Similar to Suzy Menkes I tend to create drawings and designs with more curves and volume in them. My designs are typically not very boxy. But it was interesting to step out of my comfort zone and create something boxy. When I first started this assignment my main design concept was to make a dress with a mod feel. I wanted to create a boxy dress that possibly Twiggy would wear during the sixties mod era. But as there was a time restraint, I decided to change my design and I created an overall dress.
My inspiration was drawn from the Louis Vuitton fashion show. When I first saw that fashion show I was amazed by it, the elevators and models were awesome. I loved every piece in the collection. The main inspiration that I drew from the fashion show was the checkers throughout the collection. Then I was also inspired by the boxy silhouettes of the dresses and skirts. I was inspired by the checkers and the silhouettes because I loved the way they looked, but I also knew that they would contribute to the type of design that we were assigned. The checkers would cover the square element that I wanted to incorporate. The collection had black and white throughout, but I did not get the black and white color concept from the runway. I had always wanted to design something in black and white, since I am drawn to and tend to use colorful colors in my most of my designs.
I used the Afghan Tunisian crochet method throughout the entire design. I decided not to change the stitch throughout and instead keep it cohesive overall. I began by creating several square samples to choose which size would best suit my overall concept. When I finally chose the perfect size, I ended up with a square that was almost three inches, about two and seven eighths inches. Having the size and proportion that I needed, I crocheted squares and squares for days. I crocheted 72 squares that make up the overall dress. Then I had to piece the squares together. I knew that I wanted the squares to line up like a checkerboard, similar to the inspiration pieces in the Louis Vuitton Fashion Show. I placed the squares down in alternating color patterns and sewed them together. This created a large rectangle that made up the lower portion of the overalls. Then I sewed together some more squares that made an even bigger square that represented the bib portion of the overalls. Then I crocheted two very long rectangles that made up the straps of the dress.
Overall I think that this was an interesting process. I learned that I need to be much more flexible with my design ideas. I cannot always get the concept that I want at the beginning, instead it changes throughout. But I am happy with the end look of my garment. I think that it goes along with the square and rectangle challenge of the project since the bottom squares created another rectangle within them. It was a much different process to crochet the entire look instead of machine sewing already made fabric together. My challenge throughout was the crocheting, since it took such a long time to do and was so tiresome on my hands, but besides the crocheting it was interesting. This design can be worn many different ways, it can be a beach cover up, dressed down with a tank, or dressed up with colorful nylons for a night out. The overall dress can be very diverse and I am happy with the outcome of it.
No Waste Dress Design Statement
I was inspired to create a no waste dress after researching zero-waste designs. I was mainly inspired after hearing how many textiles are left on the cutting floor, wasted, and thrown away. All of the leftover textiles are filling up landfills and slowly destroying the environment. I thought about my prior projects and realized that I have wasted a lot of fabric in most of my designs so far. I had never really thought about it before. I would like to change that and hopefully incorporate these techniques as much as I can throughout my career and waste as little fabric as possible.
When I began this project I was totally lost, confused, and did not know what to do or where to begin. I started by sketching different ideas and then chose a design that would work well without wasting much or any fabric. Then I tried to fit the pattern pieces like a jigsaw puzzle for the most part with a few extra pieces. While patterning the main tips I took away from the article were to keep an open mind while patterning and not give up too easily. I also learned that one must be very experimental, try different styles to get a successful outcome. These tips were very useful because I had to try many different manners of laying out the pattern on the fabric to get what I wanted. I laid out the fabric on the fold and then spread the pattern pieces out like a puzzle.
I finally created a short dress/tunic. I changed the design concept due to the fabric shortage and made the dress a little shorter than I had originally planned. I made the neckline rectangular and used the pieces I cut out for the pockets. Then with all of the other extra pieces I added embellishments to the pockets and used the extra strips of fabric as clothes hangers. The main challenge I had with this project was patterning it. Once I finished patterning, the sewing became easy; I even learned how to sew in pockets in this project. I am very happy with the overall look and finish of my design; I think that the fabric choice goes along well with the silhouette of the dress.
Scale Model of Pattern: