Graduate Collection Pieces
I finally took some pictures of myself wearing some pieces from my graduate collection! It’s been over a year since I completed it, and I never got around to it until now.
My friend Steph came over and it was so good to go through my closet and put together a few outfits - I used to do this all the time, years ago when I blogged about fashion and personal style. I forgot how helpful and inspiring it is to discover new outfits in your own closet, and play around with what you have to find new combinations. I should do it more often!
I also wanted to write a bit about the construction of some of these garments, as a way to get back to blogging about sewing! If you want to know more about the concept of the collection, you can read about that on my website.
Faux Fur Jacket
This is the Faux Fur Jacket / Coat from my graduate collection. It has an asymmetric cut, with an asymmetric flounced peplum, resulting in more volume in the flounce (and therefore more folds) in certain places. I ordered this fabric online YEARS ago, originally wanting to use it in my Dali at the Disco collection in my third semester. It’s a faux fur modeled after Ocelot fur (Dali had a pet Ocelot, which is why I first ordered it), and it’s got to be one of the most beautiful faux furs I’ve ever seen! I tried to find it again online, but no luck… I’m pretty sure I ordered it from fabric.com, maybe they’ll bring it back some day?
I have to say, this is not my best technical drawing haha! But it shows the asymmetry and the flounce, as well as the sleeve seam. There’s a dart at the shoulder that’s not clear from this drawing, that helps shape the sleeve really nicely. That point at the back, where the armscye meets the back piece was a challenge to sew, it’s such a tight corner! Other than that the faux fur wasn’t that bad to work with.
I used the zig zag machine at my school to sew the entire thing, and left only very narrow seam allowances (like 5 millimeters). I left the thread tension fairly loose, and once I’d sewn a seam, I’d carefully pull the pieces apart to flatten it. I did this at the recommendation of our construction technician professor Jacqueline, and it worked really well! It helped the seams lay flat and shape the garment correctly without using the iron. I think in some places I used a little bit of steam applied to the wrong side of the fabric to help. I’d really recommend this technique to anyone working with thick faux-fur!
The zipper pull is one of the Rebel brand fishing lures I used throughout the collection, although you can’t see it in this picture - there are better pictures here.
These pants are the “Moth Pant” from my graduate collection. The moth symbolizes madness and beauty to me (to keep it short) and it inspired the shape of the pant legs. I wanted to make them look like wings. I chose silk shantung as the fabric, because the texture of it reminds me of moth wings. The shaped waistband is also a nod to the insect. This was the first garment I started working on for the collection!
I fused a whole length of shantung to the golden-yellow silk lining before sewing, giving the fabric enough structure to fall in large, deep folds. It was quite the process ha! Originally I wanted to add pockets, but decided against it, as it the fabric is already quite thick and it would’ve disturbed the silhouette. Here I paired them with a blouse I stole from my mom (just kidding, she gave it o me) and some Helmut Lang shoes I got at Barney’s at the Woodbury Commons Outlet recently (found some really good stuff there!).
Here’s the technical drawing so you can see the shape of the pattern and some details not visible in the photo:
To encourage the folds to fall forward, the back pant leg is slightly wider, which moves the side seam forward a bit. I do think the shape would have been better and more architectural if the fabric was a bit lighter… It’s hard to get that that balance of stiffness and lightness just right!
This one is probably the most “out there” piece of the collection - the Pocket Apron. I used a moiré fabric intended for interior design use, the same one I used to make pants for my Dali at the Disco collection. I do apologize for the wrinkles - this garment has been hanging in a bag in my closet after being hauled to the states in a suitcase, and I don’t have an ironing set up sophisticated enough to tackle those pockets (how I miss my school’s sewing studio!).
The apron has 8 pockets, an adjustable belt with a side release buckle, a snap closure at hip height to keep the apron close to the body, and a gusset from the crotch down to help keep the apron in place while walking. I interfaced the front piece, and stitched and turned the entire piece to itself. The pockets took a while to make, but weren’t that complicated.
I created this pattern in Adobe Illustrator, and then plotted it using the Zünd Plotter at our school - THE most amazing piece of equipment EVER! It can plot using a pen or pencil, cut paper, sheet acrylic, leather, fabric, stickers - pretty much anything that lays flat! I used it to make the packaging for my logo pins, the hangers for my garment rack and so much more! It’s probably the thing I miss most about our school haha!
And a little cameo from Minkle! I actually made a cat bed for him recently that I’ll share here soon - it was long overdue!
Let me know if you’re interested in this kind of sewing and construction related content. I could dig through my phone for some in-process photos to go more in-depth! I have a few more garments from the collection that could be interesting for home sewers to read about, as a lot of the techniques for pattern drafting I learned in school are not that hard to recreate at home, and are things I wish I’d known when I first started out sewing clothes for myself.