Many of you have been curious to see what I ended up making this year for Runway Repurposed. I apologize (especially to my friends who have yet to see it in person because I'm a forgetful human being and leave it at home) for the long wait, and am excited to finally share my garment with you all :-)
As you already know from my previous post, I didn't have a clue what I was going to make or a Hollywood inspired idea. Therefore, I started playing around with scraps of fabric, trying out different techniques to find an interesting way that would utilize both sides of the shimmery blue and red material. While playing around with folds, I remembered a dress I'd once seen which showcased an intricate pleating design, and I quickly began experimenting with the method. Instead of making actual pleats, I cut the fabric into strips and layered them, allowing me to bring out the red ("wrong") side of the fabric. The depth and textures created by this technique reminded me of dragon scales, so Smaug from The Hobbit movies became my garment's Hollywood inspiration.
I planned to make a vest, but later, using tulle from the red and blue dress, decided to add sheer sleeves. Due to time limitations, I wasn't able to include all of the bead work shown in the photos by the deadline. I did, however, manage to stitch in some scattered beads along the edge of the sleeves while riding in the car to the contest. I don't recommend beading in a moving vehicle, Lol!
When the crop jacket was about 75% finished, I switched gears and started planning a second piece. I needed something that not only complimented the textures and colors of the top, but also represented dragon fire. On my floor lay a wadded bunch of black tulle from when I'd deconstructed the thrift store dresses. This gave me an idea to use it with the red material to create a halter, mid-waist cutout gown.
Unfortunately it became a frustrating, time-consuming garment that was never meant to be. While it draped beautifully on the dress form, the materials refused to cooperate when fitting it to my actual body and wouldn't stay in place. The entire bodice had to be sewn by hand, which equaled long hours spent stitching woven tulle together, inserting the lining, putting in misbehaving closures, attaching the bodice to a solid piece of tulle, and sewing it to the skirt. When wore underneath, the bodice would poof out the jacket, giving it a very unflattering shape. There were several other problems that should have been obvious warning signs to cease progress, however, I didn't heed them. It wasn't until 1pm , the day before the competition, that I finally realized the dress was a bust. What followed was a nervous breakdown... I had less than half a day to come up with a new idea and sew it together!
Thankfully, my mom came and kept me from completely stressing out (I don't know what I'd do without her!) and I didn't dropout of the contest. I also did not get any sleep that night, but the resulting dress was worth the frenzied evening.
Needing only to cut apart a few seams, I was still able to use the skirt portion of the dress, thankgoodness, with minimal changes. This allowed me to put all my focus into redesigning and constructing the bodice. Since the focal point of the overall look was the jacket, I decided to make the top simple and concentrated on keeping it "hidden" when worn with the second piece. It's basically my original idea with a few tweaks. By 2:30 a.m I was exhausted and hungry, but the dress was complete and I could walk down the runway with confidence!
I hope you all love the final design as much as I do :-D The crop jacket has become one of my favorite creations! Believe it or not, I used parts from all but 1 of the recycled dresses to create this garment. Now I just need an excuse to wear it again!
All photo credit goes to my amazingly talented friend, Stefanie Kapusta (Instagram: @stef__with__an__f_).
My life has been crazy since the holidays! Between school and work, I haven't had much time for blogging.... or crafting for that matter. My hands are dying to do something creative!
This past week was registration for Runway Repurposed. Since January rolled in, I've been super excited to participate again! (You can read my post about last year's contest here.) Over 70 designers signed up for this year's competition. How cool is that?!?
The theme is Hollywood Then and Now. ANY era, movie, musical, character, actor, etc... can be used as inspiration for your outfit's design.
As last time, I came in to select my pieces with an open-mind, no preconceived ideas about what to make. My only plan was to seek out garments with large amounts of fabric and/or notions (buttons, zippers, snaps, boning, bra cups....). Because the purpose of the event is recycling, I try to make 100% of my garment from the reused items I've chosen that day. At first, nothing caught my attention. I picked up a pink evening gown made from an interesting, textured fabric and began choosing items which matched the color. Sadly, none of the clothes I grabbed sparked any creativity..... Then I was stopped in my tracks upon finding this beauty!
The fabric is woven with blue and red synthetic threads. However, depending on how the light hits it, the dress can also appears to be burgundy with grey highlights. When my brother looks at it, he sees completely different colors than me, no matter what lighting we're standing in, and has decided it's the strangest material he's ever seen. I love it! I adore the way the red and blue colors shift as it moves. The photo doesn't do it justice! And underneath it's a solid, bright red.
With my new garment in hand, I switched gears and started pulling other items which coordinated with the dress or pieces I thought would be interesting to use in a design.
When I originally thought my outfit was going to revolve around pink, I had already selected this orange and yellow ombre dress. Even if I don't end up using the fabric, I hope to incorporate the rhinestone straps somewhere in my outfit.
Since I was grabbing numerous colors and textures, I knew I needed at least one basic color to balance everything out. Surprisingly, there weren't as many black dresses to choose from this year. (Or perhaps majority of them were taken from the first day of registration.) I chose this one for its straight, wide panels and heavier fabric weight. It came with this white jacket, which I do not plan to use, unless I need the shoulder pads or buttons.
Should my garment require any embellishment, I thought the red beads from this dress could come in handy. (I'm clearly addicted to beading, although I honestly hate doing the handwork....) As a bonus, it also contains long straps and an invisible zipper.
I was drawn to the sparkly material. (You can never have too much sparkle!) However, the fabric is similar to what I used for my skirt in last year's contest. If I use it, I only plan to sew it in as an accent piece and not the main body of a garment.
This pink prom gown was also chosen for it's embellishments. I want to use the beads, sequins, and gems somewhere in my design. Plus the dress has several other useful pieces- a zipper, hooks, eyes, and boning.
I hesitated when picking my final dress. I love this trim, but I'm not sure how it will work in with the other materials. I guess I'll have to wait and see....
Now I'm just praying for a massive brainstorm! Because as of this moment, I have no clue what I'll be creating. I have a few basic ideas swimming around in the back of my mind, but nothing concrete. The up side is I have a legitimate excuse to rewatch all my favorite movies, Lol!
Today I wanted to share the first garment I designed :) We all start somewhere!
In the year of 2005, my mom introduced me to a sewing contest called Innovation Generation. Having never participated in a formal competition before, I was psyched and immediately began sketching ideas. At the time, I misunderstood that it was a sewing contest (which tests your sewing skills) not a designing one. Even if I'd known, I doubt it would have stopped me from creating my shirt!
Up until this point, I hadn't made many garments. My sewing accomplishments mostly consisted of sock creations and quilts. (Sock animals were gradually taking over my bed, Lol!) Fun and simple rag quilts are how my grandma taught me to use a sewing machine. Now when friends or family are due to have a baby, I make them a personalized quilt, it's become a tradition.
Since rag quilts were essentially the only thing I knew how to sew, they inspired my design for a shirt. My mom helped me find a pattern with a silhouette close to what I drew. The trumpet sleeves were an absolute MUST!
I question my 8 year old self style choices..... mainly the color palette above everything else. I've never been a cool tones, purple and blue kind of girl (I love warm, bright, vivid colors!), especially not at that age. Also, I'm not entirely sure why I thought combining sparkly, sheer fabric with cotton squares was a good idea..... I certainly had (still have) a crazy imagination!
When I was younger, how material textures felt was a big deal. (I like to think I'm less picky now, Lol!) Seams on the inside of clothing would drive me crazy. So itchiness was another huge design factor, although little me didn't realize it.
Almost all the seams' raw edges appear on the right side of the shirt and are fringed to be a decorative element. I sewed french seams for the few that had to go inside, which helped keep the ends smooth against my sensitive skin.
I won 4th place in my age group for this design. Never was there a prouder 8 year old sewer! I loved my creation so much, I wore it every chance I possibly could. I'm sure people at church thought it was the only shirt in my closet!
While I'm glad to say my designing has..... matured since then, the "quilt shirt" will always have a special place as one of my favorite designs.
I knit these well-loved pants back in the winter of 2012, finishing them midway through January 2013. They are knit using stranded/fair isle knitting and made in the round. Translation for those of you who are not knitters- 1) they are made using two different colors of yarn, meaning I had to form the cheetah print myself, and 2) they are made seamlessly.
“How did you come up with this idea?”
The Holy Spirit and boredom.
Seriously, my best creations have always come from God. Since I was young, I've prayed He would pour His creativity into me and use my talents to bring Him glory. When ideas strike me from out of nowhere and appear in my mind (like the sudden desire to start a blog, even though you've said no way!), I know it's Him.
So there I was one day, making my first knitted bottoms (a pair of shorts) and drifting off to sleep. The tedious cycle of simply knitting around and around and around was like counting sheep! Dreading how long it would take to finish, I was incredibly bored and ready for a nap (reasons why not to craft in your bed). That's when it hit me. What could I do to make similar projects more exciting for my hands and mind? I remembered a cheetah print pattern in the back of my old knitting book. I had been wanting to use it for some time, but hadn't found the right project. With a few more minutes of brainstorming the Cheetah pants design was born!
I've learned a lot from making them. Most importantly to ALWAYS swatch, gauge, and block before jumping right in and knitting the actual garment. Fellow knitters (and crocheters), pleeease remember this! I know it seems pointless and you're excited to get started, but I promise it will save you a ton problems and time in the long run. Otherwise, next thing you know, your pants have grown 4 inches longer and you're exclaiming, “yes, of course! I purposely made the pants to go with my 6 inch pumps to walk around in during Michigan winters!” ;)
More pics of Cheetah pants in my Portfolio!
I'm Jasmine, a young designer passionate about creating! I hope my work inspires YOU to think outside the box and use your talents to do amazing things!