Made By Rachelle…

made by rachelle

So after writing my dissertation on Social Media and Advertising I decided to promote some of my own work on social media, firstly just showing off my designs for pre collection which seemed to get a lot of interest… especially my ‘harness bra’ which i actually took inspiration from caged lingerie and put it underneath a low cut top. Initially it was meant to be a bandeau top which was taken from inspiration from Balmain spring/summer 2015.

I had many likes and requests for me to make people bras over Instagram and Facebook and people are starting to recognise what i can do. I am thinking of making harness bras, lingerie and swimwear on the side as they aren’t too difficult or time consuming which means i can still focus largely on my degree but still give myself some things to do on the side.

I understand pattern cutting a lot more now since making patterns for my garments at uni therefore i have been able to make bikini patterns myself at home which didn’t take long at all – i’ve even treated myself to a lingerie and swimwear pattern making book! I’m so excited to toile them and get them on to my social media sites! It’s exciting to get all of these requests but also nerve wracking that no one will actually buy them or it will just become a dead end… I’m mainly doing this for me though, to get more of an insight into pattern cutting and making garments for the future, as i’d quite like to make my own business rather than commute to London every day to work for someone and get no recognition.

I have already ordered lots of different types of elastics, jump rings, D rings, charms, packaging boxes, and ribbon to start making and selling my garments! I even sent off for some clothing labels and business cards too with my own personalised logo on them! I’m really excited, although all of this initial stuff has cost a lot of money, hopefully it’ll be worth it in the long run.

– feeling nervous, hopeful and excited!


Finishing my first garment!

This dress is really proving difficult because it was made from a size 10 block it is too wide at the bust leaving no modesty on the chest. I have attached the sleeves, waist band and hemmed it today so now it is just time to adjust the front. However, this is not as easy as it sounds as I will also have to adjust the back if I adjust the front.

In the end I pulled the waist band higher which made the V-neck lower, I also added a back seam which brought the shoulders in. I’m still not 100% happy with the garment as it still sits a bit baggy on the mannequin (and my models are a size 6) I would quite like to make the back tighter still. My garment has reduced from a size 10 to about a 6/8 now but I am happier with it being slightly smaller.

I have learned a lot from constructing this garment, as before I have had a lot of help and have basically been spoon fed on how to create a garment, however I have created this pattern myself without not knowing how it would turn out. Overall, I am really pleased because it looks almost identical to my initial design and I haven’t had to change much. Infact, in the original drawing the V at the front touched the waist band anyway so if anything it is even more like my initial design.

I find construction really hard and I don’t really enjoy doing it however it has taught me a lot and I find it really exciting to see the final finished piece.

IMG_1585 IMG_1624

First garment!

I received my digital fabrics back from the silk bureau yesterday and was really pleased with them. I had a bit of a confusion on the phone with Marie from the silk bureau about the rotation of the image on one of my printed lengths, i thought at the time that it was just a silly mix up however after receiving the parcel i realised that she was right, the fabric i ordered (satin/georgette stripe) has horizontal stripes running down the length which are now running vertical across instead. I was a bit miffed by this as i has originally planned for the stripes to go lengthways plus i was annoyed because i should have known this from using the same fabric throughout pre collection. However, the bodice (heavy satin) has vertical stripes running across it therefore it doesn’t look so bad, although i would have preferred the contrast.



I have spent most of the day working on my garment which has made me feel really productive. Construction isn’t usually my forte so i’m pleased with what i have managed to accomplish. I have almost completely finished my first dress. I was hoping i’d get it finished in one day but i feel as though i need a lot of help and it would be selfish to the other students to ask my tutor Louise to help me all of the time so i did feel as though i was waiting around for help for the majority of the day. However, i managed to put most of my dress together leaving the sleeves, zip, hem and side seam to finish tomorrow. I don’t usually go in to uni on a Friday but i’m feeling really motivated!

Final Line Up…

After we were told that our garments won’t be taken to GFW I decided that I would only make three. This would save me time and money as I would not have to order as much fabric and also would not have to spend so much time making garments. I may instead send off for 3 more meters of fabric and keep them as lengths to accompany my designs. I feel this semester like I have no where near as much work as I usually do but I think that is because I am doing digital printing this year instead of hand print therefore I am spending less time printing in the print room, so it feels like I am sitting around a lot of the time doing nothing.

This suits me in a way as it means that I can focus a lot on my portfolio, file and sketchbook. The portfolio will be the most important piece of work this year and will be the only thing shown at Graduate Fashion Week therefore it needs to be strong.

These flats below are my final designs however, i may make some changes to the second and third outfit. I was thinking I may make the third outfit backless (upside down V-back) to fit in with the other designs on my collection, just reversed. My second and third outfits have deep V necklines so i think it will be interesting to give the third outfit a back feature.

The second outfit I may change the skirt from A-line to circular as the print that I have chosen for it is so beautiful it would be a shame to not show it off. I am so pleased that I taught myself how to use illustrator as I was so reluctant at first as I thought that it was going to be really complex and hard but I have realised it is a lot like photoshop. It has made my flats so much more professional and not only easier for me to understand the construction of the garment but it is now easier for other people to read too.

Final outfit flats and ideas

Ideas and Changes to GFW stand…

I feel a little gutted today after our group discussion this morning as we were told that the graduate fashion committee have announced that they only want portfolios at the stands. STRICTLY NO GARMENTS!

notes taken from discussion:
  • gfw – industry want to see work that will gain employment
  • want to see a range of ideas in a portfolio: no garments
  • evidence of drawing, illustration, variety of ideas, photoshop skills, student personality
  • contemporary ways of showing things
  • presentation has to be compatible with the way industry want to use stand
  • ‘jumble sale’ – info can’t be accessed in the right way
  • ALL ABOUT THE PORTFOLIO – strong strong strong
  • interview – depending on interview you may need to pick and choose from rough sketchbook work and design ideas as well as pages from professional finished portfolio
  • design ideas as many as you like but cut down to only making 3/4 garments (more if time)

I feel as though i’ve spent a lot of time on designing garments and patterns and now it would be pointless and also a waste of money to make them. We have paid a lot of money to be at GFW and it feels as though now we won’t even get noticed as we are only one of many books on a table to other people.
However, i am still drawn to making 6 garments as i am really looking forward to the fashion show at first site, even more so than the shows in London! I love feedback from my friends and family and knowing that they’re proud of me. Obviously the shows in London are really important to me though, as they will hopefully be a lead up to my future career – fingers crossed!

Portfolio Improvements…

This year we really need strong portfolios to grip in employers, so i decided to look at other universities portfolios to see what i’m up against and i discovered that i have huge competition. However, it wasn’t all bad as it gave me ideas as of how i could improve my portfolio and some layout ideas. I saved some designs which suited my taste as i am going to aim for a plainer background and central page layouts (as mentioned in my pre collection feedback) I really want to do well in the future and i deserve the recognition that i work for.

I thought that some of my portfolio pages for pre collection were really good, i had some good ideas however i went off on a bit of a tangent and maybe added too much decoration. This can be improved though as i’d just need to take away the background/borders and keep it simple. Another element that i need to improve is my flat designs, i have been lazy in the past years and preferred to draw my flats rather than use illustrator, however now i have finally taught myself how to use it i will definitely be using it to create technical drawings. I have already made a few and you can most definitely see a huge difference – so much more professional.

Illustration Workshop

Today we had a refresh of how to draw a successful fashion illustration. We done this in the first semester of third year but i never really used mine, although i’m not really sure why. I was pleased when the tutors mentioned that they were doing this as it was on my to do list for this week anyway!

We were asked to look through some magazines and find a model which best suited our collection, so at first i found one with a long dress as i thought it may help me to illustrate my collection however my tutor Val told me that it was quite dated and the other three that i found were much more contemporary and better suited. I used tracing paper and sketched the light and dark areas of the face not adding any lines in to the drawing, and another i just used a fine line for outline and slight shading. It didn’t take many attempts as i’m quite good at drawing and proportion anyway and it was my second illustration that became the most successful.

However, i used the head of the second illustration and the body of the first. I had to use the photocopier to shrink and place the two drawings together to get the final illustration. I feel really pleased with it though!