As we all know by now I am studying a bachelor of Fashion Design!
Sorry that this blog is a little late but I have been quite busy trying to get my head around 2010 SWIMWEAR – an awesome experience…with stress and panic by my side J
Textile and technology class one – Headed to class knowing I had swimwear this term.
Little did I know that for once in my student life I would have a finalised swimwear design along with the fabrication and accessory piece to go with bit within the last hours of the class? Think that’s easy? The hard part is over? I must say… I did. Everyone who knows me, knows for a fact that somehow no matter how easy the design brief may be, I always seem to end up having designed the most complicated garment that I myself from paper think is easy to do.
By the end of the first class I wasn’t freaking out at all, I had two of my most favourite teachers as my lecturer and mentor, I was all sweet right?
Pattern making for swimwear and stretch fabrics class one – I’m enjoying all these brilliant new skills we are all picking up so quickly. Working with stretch wear is pretty awesome! Not freaked out at all yet…
Textile and technology class four along with pattern making class four – portfolios for 3 assessments for T and T and patternmaking your final swimwear design… all of a sudden BAM – I’m freaking out !!
What was going through my head …? Exactly this: “Swimwear – holy crap – I have to make this thing… I actually HAVE TO MAKE THIS THING… swimwear Rhaya they said swimwear not fricken whatever the hell it is I have drawn – the hardest thing on this planet right now!! HELLOO ANYONE SEE MEEE FREAKING OUTTTT OVER HEREEE…. Heeelpppppppppppp” at least at this stage the only lovely part was that my classmates no matter how grounded they seemed they were all thinking the SAME THING!
And Yes I was going through the biggest freak out of all time. My design was super hard, had all these bits and pieces that would stretch and become completely different measurements within a span of 5 minutes of handling, I’d never handled stretch fabrics before, the colours for the brief where nowhere to be found (hello to trying to dye the fabric), the budget was getting out of control and on top of all this I was producing sample after sample after sample and no improvements. There it was… Mister Easy just vanished – that easily!
Two more weeks left to marking trying to juggle this with the 6 other assessments that I had within that period, I had made over 3 samples. I was constantly fixing the neckline, adjusting the crotch area, taking out so much space and every single time just when you think you’ve figured it out and they are the magic patterns for your magical piece, something… ONE THING! GOES WRONG! … ALWAYS! Hahaha !
I had driven myself mad staring at 1 of 1 of 1 or 2 of 3 of 3 pattern pieces and white Lycra. Absolute madness. I had had enough, I grabbed some tracing paper, took my mannequin into the next room, took a deep breath and thought why not start on a “blank canvas”. I started placing the paper on the mannequin, pinning it and simply chopping the pieces out. Within 15 minutes my mannequin was covered in my paper swimwear design with all the different bits and pieces that it needed. Once again, another set of pattern pieces. I went with my gut, took each piece, re-cut it and re sampled it. Voila! I was so close, much closer than I had been the past few weeks!
So the patternmaking part was over, my toile was done and now it was down to dying it, just one more week left. How hard can dying each individual piece and sewing it all together be? Not that hard right? That’s if EVERYTHING GOES TO PLAN… WHICH IS DOESN’T!
Now try finding dye… FOR Lycra … for those of you who have ever tried this one at home would know just how difficult it is when you are trying to dye your fabric in a difficult shade and the only thing stores carry for stretch fabrics are basic colours you somehow have to work around.
Sampling for colours was a complete headache. First I had to try and get the colour right by sampling tiny little pieces of Lycra, and then I had to remember and write down how I achieved that exact colour. Everything with dying is precise; a pinch more gives you a completely different shade! That took me another two days. Finally I dyed all my pieces, sewed the front, and came to sew the back when I realised that I was missing a piece. Quickly I ran and got my calico, came to cut the piece and because I was exhausted somehow I missed the fact that my swimwear was sitting underneath my Lycra and CHOP! My Scissors made a thick noise (pauses and questions self) that didn’t sound right did it ?…( looks at the different layers of fabric she has just cut and SCREAMSSS !!!!!!!!!!)
I had chopped right into the lower half of my swimwear garment!
Was I ever going to finish?
I was under so much stress; I had to re-cut, re-dye, re-blow dry, and re-sew the complete bottom halves of my swimwear. Finally after all that was done it was time for the swimwear lining to go in before I could punch in the holes for the lacing!
So I sew in the lining – “perfect its coming together”.
I’m even more exhausted and guess what happens while I am ironing the lining – yep, you betcha, I burn a pretty hole in it!
At this stage I was so fed up I just left the hole and hand sewed it in reverse so it wasn’t visible from the outside. I swear if anything was to go wrong while punching In the eyelets I would have hung myself with the remaining 3 metres of Lycra that was staring back at me every time I did something wrong !
Marking day is tomorrow, the eyelets go in, my portfolios are done along with the assessments from my other classes, and the swimwear is laced and ready to go.
Swimwear stretches right? The lacing? Cotton lacing? Not so much.
So I’m trying to put the garment on the model to get her ready for the marking and we just couldn’t get it on, we had to oil the pour girl and squeeze her into it! Finally we get her into it, I try and pull the laces so it’s not so suffocating and the first thing that comes out of the panels mouth is …
Why is the garment green?
Green? I asked myself … Of all the things front of him green was one of the first words to come out of his mouth!? The garment wasn’t green! Was the panel marker joking around with me? He looked pretty dam serious! I took another look at my swimwear and just couldn’t understand. Apparently he thought it looked green when clearly it was light beige, and demanded I get my swimwear professionally dyed!
When I heard professionally and dyed in the same sentence I automatically thought oh helllll noo – Rhaya will NOT BE SEWING THIS GARMENT TOGETHER AGAIN!
Lucky for me, (yes for once mister Lucky shoes up) he chose which pieces were to be what colour, he loved the fit of the swimwear, the design and idea behind it and so I just had to unpick bits and pieces and sew them back on after they were dyed. Nothing too hard, thank god!
Dyeing in Sydney costs a lot – that was expected, I got it back, sewed it back up, relaced it and voila it was finally done?
Well not quite. My life is just filled with lovely little dramas, it’s never boring. Oh no… Never!
Day of the Runway
The day of the runway came, they unloaded the trucks, it was rehearsal time just a few hours before the show and my garment is up! Whoever unloaded that truck somehow tangled all my lacing – it was a mission to get on, along with her leg pieces and arm piece that I had also made. It was even harder to get off considering our model was one of the fastest changes in the show!
Rehearsals over and everyone else is resting before the main event starts and there I am struggling to lace this thing up again, praying that it just works. For the last time, I laced it; put it back on the hanger where it was supposed to go for that model. I Walked away to the bathroom and didn’t look back until I had to come back for the show to start.
I cannot explain the amount of stress that I had gone through for this piece. This beautiful beige piece! I must admit it is one of my favourites considering just how much work went into it.
Everyone loved it, the show went smoothly, and I was relieved!
Happy summer holidays right?
Summer was hot, and so was I
Hope you all like my swimwear creation – the brief was Wrapped Bandage, colour palette of nudes, beige’s and a highlight of burnt orange.
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