Monday, March 29, 2010

Great looks are made not accidents!

Today I thought I would show you a little WIP (work in progress) and tell you some of the reasons people find my reconstructed cardi-coats so flattering for every body style.

Before everything gets sewn up, I pin most of it in place on a dress form so that I can preview the colors. It is a great way to be able to not only size the item, but to really work with the colors so that they enhance the particular style of the coat and the unique body size of the item I am making. I don't use any type of pattern, so this part of the process is a bit like building a sculpture on an armature!

I was looking at some other reconstructed sweaters recently and realized that the bodices and upper sleeves were simply complete sweaters cut shorter and then additional pieces added to the skirt and sleeve areas. While that certainly would be more efficient for me, I really don't think it makes for an interesting or flattering look.

The piecing that I do on the back and bodice allows me to place brighter colors near the center to draw the eye there. If I piece the back with a center panel, it breaks up the expanse and slims the back - especially when the ribbed panel slightly above the waist is also used.

The skirt panels are not random. You will notice in most of my stock or custom sweater coats, the repurposed center panels have the pattern (if any) and the brightest color. (Lily2day, at left shows how that works!)That, with the length of the panels, elongates the look and again makes for a vertical look to the garment. That is usually further enhanced by darker panels put on the outside of each hip. The skirt backs are usually made with a colorful or textural or contrasting central panel - again for a slimming look - that is surrounded by more neutral panels.

At the same time that I am choosing colors, I am also choosing textures and weights. Heavier weight knits are used in the structurally important areas, where lighter weights may be used in the swingy skirt or sleeve areas.

I hope this helps you understand some of the decision making, and design that goes into my garments. It isn't by accident that I get great feedback about how these garment fit and make the wearer feel!


FairyFiligree said...

Very interesting. You really have an eye for colour, as I have often told you - I am inspired by your choice of colours every time.

San D said...

As I tell me art students (and also have a custom necklace that says this) CHANCE FAVORS THE PREPARED MIND. Quote by Madam Currie.

San D said...

opps meant "my art students"

jill2day said...

what a great quote!