Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Coffee and Skittles

Monday October 5th

Computer class is not a highlight of my day so I don't usually talk about it, but I am getting better now and I'm learning a lot.  I hope I can retain some of the info because the class still moves really quickly and I forget steps along the way because of the speed. We have been working on creating a mood board out of different non-fashion pictures and using special effects to change the look and colors.  Then we will make computer-generated fabric designs and swatches and work towards filling in a fashion sketch to show pre-selected outfits in the fabrics we created.  It's a cool process even though it drives me crazy every step of the way.  Photoshop is amazing now.  I remember the old school version that pretty much colors in shapes and has the spray paint function.  Now I could replace someone in a photograph and have it look realistic.  I could take a photo and turn it into a computer generated work of art.  Well, I shouldn't say that I could do it, but some people can!

I got to play with my fabulous orange check wool to create a creative dolman sleeve draping project.  I had something in mind: a jacket with a hood and short dolman sleeves, closing in front across the body with a little wave at the top.  As I worked on playing with the fabric, I had a bunch of the excess gathered at the neck to get it out of the way.  Prof Renzulli came over and gushed about it and had the class come over so he could talk about how sometimes you get something really great but you have to step back from it to make sure the proportions work and tone it down a bit.  But basically he loved what I accidentally had going, so I kept in that direction!

Working on the mess that started it all

Playing with the rest of the material to see what shape looked best. 
I was afraid it was too picnic-tablecloth-like so I didn't want to overwhelm the eye.

It's hard to work with this much heavy fabric.  The pins don't hold up that much weight easily.  The fabric to the side is because eventually I will drape the back and then pin the front to the back in the rough shape of the dolman sleeve that I want.

It was really enjoyable getting to play with the material and practice using my design eye.  And as for the evolution of my design... I'll show you the final product soon!

After class I went straight to work because the Basics Project was due tomorrow.  I had a lot to finish.  I treated myself to some Chinese delivery so I wouldn't have to take a break to cook or walk anywhere.  It ended up being a good choice because I worked straight through and ended up pulling my first all-nighter of the year.  I am a night person, but I hate to do that because I am also prone to migraines when I'm stressed and lacking sleep.  I stayed awake on 4 cups of coffee and 2 bags of Skittles.  It was like crack!!  I don't usually drink anything with caffeine so that combo was golden.

Spread out on the floor with all my magazine clippings, rendered figures and mood board.

Side note: I had a friend ask what rendering is.  I should probably explain my terms better!  Rendering is drawing and coloring fashion illustrations in, but more than just coloring, it's trying to represent a particular fabric by showing texture, pattern, drape, etc. as well as realistically showing how the fabric wraps around the body.  I'm learning how to render wool patterns like houndstooth, pinstripe, herringbone and checks in class now.  Fur is coming soon - yay!

Okay, so back to the all-nighter.  It was crazy.  I worked solid through the night.  When it got late enough that I needed to let poor Katey (roommate) sleep in peace, I moved to the kitchen table.  And when it came time to use the toxic spray adhesive around 3 in the morning, I wasn't about to go outside so I went out into the hall of my dorm floor hoping that I wouldn't somehow cause the smoke alarms to be triggered. 

Besides the decisions on mood board elements and layout, I had to line each figure with a clean sheet of paper, cut it out carefully around the edges (same for all the flats).  Then I had to apply everything to the board and use a special double sided adhesive page to attach the swatches so they won't fray.  Every step took a lot of time to turn out a clean, nice final product. 

I finished at 7 AM and went to bed for an hour before waking up for class.  Whew. 

Being behind on my blog has benefits... I won't make you wait to see my final product this time.  I have it back, graded and pictures taken.  Here is my "Basics" Project.  Now that name makes me laugh! 


Mood board - shows target customer, theme, colors, and overall mood

Swatches and flats.  The flats show design details like topstitching that sometimes don't show up on the posed girls.  They are used to communicate with the manufacturer how the garment should be made.

This was a fun flat.  It's a striped knit with "dangling chads" of fabric that will sway when you move. 

And finally... the rendered figures!  I'm really proud of them because they make the portfolio I submitted to get into the school look like a kid's coloring book.  Progress!  I especially like the girl on the left in the denim jumpsuit.  She turned out hot.  And I still have little to no control over that - it's funny how the faces sort of land on the paper and the personality just comes out.

The dreaded pattern skirt.  I had to draw it twice on girls and once for the flats.  I can see why people might prefer Photoshop for ease in duplicating the hard stuff.  It can also save time because you can scan in the figures and print on a background instead of having to line them and cut out so carefully.

 Ah.  Hard work pays off.  My first A in the class and on a big project!


  1. Wow! Even though I had a sneak preview, this work is amazing and I just figured out that clicking on the image enlarged it so I can better appreciate the detail. Mom loves it!

  2. Okay, Mom said this, not Pa, so I have more to learn!

  3. Yeah, that gives you a nice close up. I didn't realize it would expand SO big but on these detail pics that's pretty helpful.

  4. Love it! Congrats on the A. Hope you are staying healthy, everyone here is sick!