Updated: May 16
Fashion Challenge 5 – Week 1 – A Blank Slate (here)
As a sewist who hates to create non-wearable muslin, when I first received my package with 2 yards of it, I wasn’t quite sure what this white muslin was for. At first, I thought they will probably give us a challenge to create a muslim of a pattern and then use another fabric for the final project. When I read the challenge “A BLANK slate” I envisioned endless possibilities but one must be creative to bring it to life. I envisioned 2 different looks but the cotton would NOT work based on the style.
At first, I wanted to make a skirt lined with tulle but felt it would have been way too easy and would not take me out of my comfort level. I have made mainly skirts for almost 3 years and have mastered it. I went to the drawing board, pinterest, magazines, window shopping and browsed photos of some of my favorite fashion icons including former first lady Michelle Obama. I spent a day in limbo but after sleeping on it, the year of the drama ruffle sleeves came to mind. After a day of planning, I knew exactly what I wanted to create. I wanted to create a fashionable piece that I can wear to classy dinner with a rock star or an event at New York fashion week.
I wanted to bring out my creative juices and opted to use a 1 shoulder as my base or bodice and add drama to it. The pattern that I chose was Simplicity 8386 View B as I wanted a fitted look. I opted to use a piece of white jersey knit that matched perfectly with the muslin fabric.
This took strategic planning as I wanted the front to be appealing and eye catching and HAD to create a true muslin with some other cotton fabric from my stash to determine the length and placement of the ruffle.
The peplum bottom was so much easier than the ruffles as I had a deeper understanding of making self-drafted circle skirt. I opted for mid hip and made a full circle skirt with a finished length of 13 inches. I first started out with the TUBE base with a one shoulder strap and wanted to see how it would look. For some reason, it did not bring out the statement of the ruffles the way I wanted it to fall. Again, I went back to the drawing board and I tested it on a different top and found that the asymmetrical worked out perfect.
Bottom Layer Ruffle I drafted the ruffle pattern to get the right length to cover the shoulder area and leaving an opening for the armpit. I lucked out with my first attempt of 5 inches which sat well on the dress form. I first pinned the paper pattern on my dress form and tried different technique to create the ruffle. I played with it for at least 15 minutes until it was positioned correctly. My first attempt was to use one single layer of pellon light to mid weight and 1 layer of fabric, I did NOT get the effect that I envisioned and I then decided to add another layer of pellon and double the fabric for the bottom layer.
Top Layer Ruffle I wanted it to be more lightweight to fall perfectly in place with the bottom so I decided on a single layer of fabric on each side and used the flower leftover lining from the peplum lining as my top layer. I knew at first it would work as the single layer of interface would have been perfect for the fall. I was amazed the minute I pinned it and definitely will be making another one or something similar for my next Diner En Blanc (all white event)
The Finish – Designer techniques
I ensured that I had a super clean finish by using my bias tape hem on the top layer rather than the serger. I went into a few top designer stores and checked out their stitching techniques before finishing my garment. I noticed that lining in most designer garments are common and wanted to make sure that my ruffles and peplum were lined.
I am truly happy with the way it turned out and will be taking more fashion risks during this Challenge and with my upcoming Fall Projects. Little did I know that “a blank slate” white garment can come to life as simple as it may look with a little bit of sleeve drama. I love the entire piece and the detachable peplum was just icing on the cake as I can wear the top without it. I will have multiple use and may use the peplum to jazz up a boring bodycon dress in the future. I plan to wear this again and again and can’t wait to make the black.
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