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So, after what has seemed like forever since I started the fashion design program at LA Trade Tech, I’ve now finished my last required class for the degree!

For this last class, Coordinated Sportswear, I was tasked with creating a jacket, top and trousers (but it could not be a suit) that presented itself as a collection to a buyer.

Inspiration:

As you’ve probably noticed, I do love me some Old Hollywood, so I took my style inspiration from these two looks of Katherine Hepburn and Marlene Dietrich. In particular, I liked the wide leg trouser look.

Katherine Hepburn

Katherine Hepburn

Dietrich

Marlene Dietrich

To balance out the fluid feel on the bottom, I wanted to create a more structured look on the top. I love the look of a motorcycle jacket, but since leather is unforgiving if you make a mistake, and I simply didn’t have enough time to be that precise, I went with a thin wool.

I loved the quilting on this motorcycle jacket, and incorporated that element into my jacket.

Leather jacket, inspiration

Leather jacket inspiration

As for the top, nearly all of the magazine and celebrity styled looks of the motorcycle and jeans combo had a simple white top, so I figured that look would also appeal to a buyer. But to add interest, I dyed it ombre.


Sewing Notes:


Quilting on the jacket

I used a thin wool for my jacket and thought I’d be able to find a nice quilted material for the yoke of the jacket. However, my search in the fashion district in downtown LA turned up fruitless, as I only found cheap cotton quilted fabric for blankets.

So, I decided to quilt the wool fabric myself. You need to use thin batting (or in my case, a thin black fleece) underneath the wool to get that small puff. I cut a strip of fashion fabric and batting, pinned them together, found the true bias (45 degree angle) going to the right, and using invisible tape as my guide, sewed the diagonal stitches. Once finished sewing in one direction, I found the true bias going to the left , and sewed those diagonal stitches. Once that was finished, I was able to cut my yoke pattern from the prepared quilted piece. [To avoid unsightly bubbling, be sure to sew in only one direction for all the stitches – top to bottom, don’t flip it around and sew bottom to top).

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Quilting the wool for the jacket yoke piece

Ombre fabric dying

I used black Rit dye to give the white tank an ombre look. It was my first time dying fabric, so I was happy how it turned out. However, I think next time I’ll leave the fabric in the dye longer, as it came out a bit lighter than expected when dry.

Final product:

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Outfit Front

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Outfit Back

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Closeup of the quilted wool jacket.

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I love Art Deco, so when I ran across this grey, blue and black lining fabric, I had to get it

Front of the ombre tank top

Front of the ombre tank top

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Back of the ombre tank top

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The top of the trousers – I used the same lining as the jacket for the inside waistband of the trousers. I couldn’t resist this button I found that kind of matched the lining.

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