To quickly get out of the way, here’s some updated progress on the alpaca hat yarn:
We have the antique white spun up, and what a lovely yarn it is. Soft and cuddly, like the others. It has a few more slubs than I wanted, but that will be ok.
And a group shot:
The main thing I thought might be interesting to do is show how I come up with a skirt design from start to finish. I’m guessing a few people would want to know, based off some of the recent searches that have been showing up on my top search feedback. As I have a skirt I am in the process of designing (nothing has been cut yet), I thought I’d bring everyone along and avoid a super long post like my last lolita design post.
The biggest resource I have for figuring out potential designs is the Lolita Stockphotos Flickr pool. I love browsing through it, and I usually either fav or save the photos which have details I really like. When you remember Lolita is literally just a few base shapes (that are also relatively easy to sew), having a wide pool of details to add and how others have added them is critical. Lolita is in the details, and this is a great blog post from F Yeah Lolita about it.
The other big thing for me is the fabric. I love browsing through a store’s prints at different times. Sometimes I don’t see a possible dress out of it until after the fact. Sometimes I spot the fabric and know immediately it is meant for greatness. Exactly so with the heart print argyle I found (I’ve been calling it heargyle)
I just thought it was super cute and sweet without being, you know, SWEET. And I really want more skirts to wear. I bought about 3 yards, as I didn’t really think this would be a good JSk. I still don’t. The hearts are fairly large, and I really want them to stand out.
Potentially there will be a lace hem with the lace I have here:
This is because I’m a huge an of lace hems more than anything else. They add a certain bit of elegance to nearly everything. I will likely need to see if I can buy more of this particular black lace, as I don’t think I have quite enough for the full hem.
The next step is drawing initial sketches. This might be one of my favourite parts, just before I begin the long task of cutting, pressing, sewing, pressing, hemming, and pressing (did I mention pressing?) everything into a finished product. This tends to be where I make all the major choices, and I usually have a couple potential sketches that I use or discard.
Let’s go from top to bottom:
At the top, we have my general idea. I bought some remnant black chiffon when I bought the heargyle, and I had recently seen a skirt with some cute tiers down the front. I decided that this would work well for the skirt–I like having a little detail on the front. I was deciding between how many I wanted–I prefer the slightly longer ones, so I’m thinking about 3 or 4.
In the middle part, I had the two tiers, with pintucks to mark each of them. I sort of liked this design, but as I want to emphasize the fabric, I discarded it. That many pintucks would work well for a skirt with a plain or small print fabric instead. However, elastic waistband is visible here–my preferred waistband to do.
The bottom two full skirt sketches show it with a filled in idea of the pattern, so I could make sure it would look well together. I’ve gone to just some pintucks around the hem–which should look good without the lace in case I discard that. I’ve also added bows for a bit more sweet flavour, and will hopefully make these out of the black chiffon as well.
Those final red sketches are the inital sketches for measurements, and you can probably see notes of how much of the two main fabrics I have. I’m not going to cover getting your measurements for your design just yet–that will be the next post!