Monday, 30 April 2007

Planning my collection

Well, although i am swamped with work, i have to start thinking about my collection due for the next couple of months. I have been planning to start with at least six outfits and if time permits then 15. But all in all, i have to start sketching and trying to put my imagination to paper. And, lets not forget that its African themed, i have the various fabrics to use but not all. I have not been able to get my hands on SA traditional wax, like the nigerian wax - ankaras. The south- African traditional wax also called shwe-shwe fabric is nowhere to be found in London, and i have mailed a couple of companies in South Africa with the prospect of mail order or shipping. I don't think they even check their mails - so that is out of the question.
here are some of the Ankara that i have and hope to use, though in combination with other solid coloured fabrics.

Tuesday, 10 April 2007

Inspiring African Designers

Bongiwe Walaza

This woman is an electrical engineer by profession. She learnt dressmaking as her mother was a dressmaker and made her own clothes since she was a girl. Unhappy with her dressmaking skills, she enrolled at the Natal Technikon to hone her techniques. During that time, she was already working as an engineer for Telkom.She has a love and constant usage of the South African local fabric known as Shwe-Shwe fabric. The main manufacturer is Da Gama, to whom she also consults for. I just love her simplistic way of designing, tailoring with a mixture of local fabrics and foreign ones.

Sunday, 8 April 2007

Books and Tutorial medias Wish List

As i am learning about corsetry at the moment and i will be posting up the outcome, but i intend to make use of the skills learnt in my startup(SU). I am learning it using the corsetry DVD by laughing moon and its great, over an hours worth, i am also using the kit that comes with the simplicity 9676 - check my topic 'they've arrived' to see the kit. I have been advised to get the beginners book also by Linda Sparks. So here are a list of some of the things pertaining to sewing that i still want to get.


The Basics of Corset Building
Although, i have not been able to review the book, most blogs and journals that i have read swear by it, as the best book for beginners to use on its own or in conjunction with the DVD from Laughing moon.

Boned Bodice Home Workshop (Manual Only)Written by Terry Fox and containing the inside secrets of a her couture technique of boned bodice construction. A fully illustrated manual guides you through the process. (Book Only)
Making Beautiful Bras - book and video, plus Making Beautiful Swimwear book
Price: $110.00
Making Beautiful Bras - the book. It is 202 pages in length, contains 282 monochrome diagrams and 3 pages of colour plates. It has a wire bound spine so that it may be folded back onto itself, using a minimum of space next to your sewing machine.

A detailed comprehensive instructional video covering a mutlitude of bra-making techniques - from drafting your individual bra pattern to professional finishing techniques. The video is available in NTFS format for the American continent and PAL format for the Australasian and European areas. Making Beautiful Swimwear - The book. A 140 page textbook that explains how to draft the pattern of, and construct a perfectly-fitting, fully-lined structured one-piece swimsuit and a structured bikini bra.

The Entrepreneur's guide to sewn product manufacturing by
Kathleen Fasanella.
There is so much ranting and raving about this book that i am looking for it now. I am trying to avoid having to order it fromt the states to avoid the high cost of shipping, but still looking. I think it may be just the book to read to give me more insight into SU.
And, she does have quite a following, check her blog/site

Catherine Walker Couture

This is a designer whose work oozes perfection. The detail on her garment are a marvel and jaw dropping. I have studied some of the garments to determine the type of fabric manipution applied, obviously the pictures are clear but its nothing compared to seeing an actual catherine walker garment. I saw the princess Diana's 'Elvis dress and Jacket' at the V & A way back in 2000 and something, when princess Diana's collection were displayed. But have a look at what i mean by Perfection to the detail. please note that all pictures belong to catherine waker, they are not mine.

Monday, 2 April 2007

Patterns on CD

Well, this something i discovered a few years ago - Leko CAD. I made a trouser using their patterns and they fit so well, it saved me time and money. The only problem is the gluing together of the papers to get the pattern. But since i am good at pattern cutting i just go with my own drafting, but do check it out.

I am looking to get the digital pattern measurement so that i can take work online. It works by uploading your picture which must be taken using a grid to which your image must fit into, then the computer uses some kind of algorithms to work out your measurement, its kind of like the bodyscanner or is bodyskanner.

Back on a roll!

Ok, i have recently been obsessed with tailoring - at the least mastering couture tailoring for active use in the industry as i am about to embark on my own business, so i thought it will be an excellent idea to brush up on the necessary skills.

While i was looking for help in this area i came across Terry Fox's DVDs on tailoring - although i think the woman talks too much - she was excellent. I have had a quick run through of the DVD and it was excellent. They were long enough to actually get the whole process. Unlike those tutorials that cover so little and charge expensively.

This DVD are a God send, because they are so good and i bet she was wearing the ones she made herself. Her collection can be seen in Harrods. She is so upbeat about it, you can tell she enjoys what she is doing. the first DVD is over an hour and the second one was about 2 hours plus. A good bargain. She doesn't look gloomy like the old sewing videos i have seen before. Its 21st century up to date with fashion type of a woman.