DIY Challenge - Before & After Joining Fashion School

By Hand On The Hip - 4/03/2019

Hi guys!

How's it going? From the time I was like ten or twelve, I remember how I wanted to make clothes for a living. I used to always find myself sketching/drawing/designing on sketch books, random sheets of paper, last pages of my notebook, last pages of my friend's notebooks, cloth pieces and sometimes even on myself! I also watched a lot of fashion design related shows on the telly. My grandmother is an expert seamstress and watching her make clothes for babies, clothes for a gawky teenager like me, sweaters, pillow cases, phone covers etc. did rub off on me at some point. When I was in high school, my arts and crafts teacher taught me a whole bunch of sewing tricks like smocking, cross stitching, chain stitching etc. But it was mostly my grandmother and my mother who taught me the ABC of sewing. However, I did not have the slightest idea about the whole process of fashion designing.

Growing up, I did hand-sew a lot. I altered my own tops, thrift flipped a lot of baggy clothes, sewed on buttons and zippers and so on. I also made a tiny dress for a baby girl when I was in 8th grade from a saree blouse piece. But somehow I lost touch with it and this year I had this sudden, yet not-so-sudden urge to find a fashion school. When I found the appropriate course, my joy knew no bounds. I immediately enrolled myself in the course and truth be told, the course is a bit blah. However, it did inspire me to get started on this journey that I've been meaning to hop on for pretty much my whole life.

Just a few weeks before I joined this course, my husband and I binge-watched 3 whole seasons of Project Runway on Netflix. One of those days I found myself wandering around in Pitt Street only to find myself being mesmerized by Lincraft. Lincraft is basically candy land for all those who like to sew, sketch, knit etc. I spent at least 2 hours that day in that store and ended up buying some leftover fabric from the bargain bin. I had no plans on doing anything with it, but you know, the shopaholic in my couldn't resist. A couple of days later, I sketched something and hand-sewed a dress! It was literally THAT random. It was a stretchy piece of fabric and I don't like to waste anything, leave alone pieces of expensive fabric, so I decided to stitch a bodycon dress/skirt. It took me a good 4-5 hours but the result was top class! If you haven't already checked out my YouTube video, click here.

A few weeks later, when my course had begun I learnt a little bit about the process of designing a garment and well, sewing. I had never sewn on a machine before. My classmates and my tutor were in shock. They were all wondering how someone could possibly become a fashion designer if she can't sew. That class was a nightmare considering everyone had sewn like pros while I was struggling to get a straight line done! But I did not give up!

I thought of doing a little experiment and couldn't be more thrilled with the outcome! As you know, I have recently been obsessed with abstract art and I had my very first exhibition at Kirribilli Markets last month. You can read about it here. I know this may sound a bit braggy, but I was inspired by my own art :D I noticed in the market that clothing had more buyers than pure art, so I started researching on fabric printing. All agencies that did fabric printing here in Sydney were ridiculously expensive. But if I'd let that idea pass, I would never be able to forgive myself! I found this website called Spoonflower where I could get almost a meter of fabric for approximately $20-$25. This was still a bit too expensive, but what the hell, you only live once! I got the printing done, the fabric was delivered to me within a week or two and I was insanely confused. The fabric was not of great quality and I had only one shot to get it right. I Google searched the easiest skirt patterns online and a rectangular skirt seemed quite easy. I put my thoughts on paper and started sewing. The result was a really cute skirt that I can proudly show off as a product that I literally created from scratch!

I am quite impressed with what I've come up with. Do let me know in the comments section below as to what you think of my designs, how I should improve and what else you want me to create.

Cheers! (Being Aussie and all! :p)

Hand On The Hip

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  1. those are amazing.. especially in the last pic !

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