Thursday, July 5, 2012

Final Project: Completed

I finally finished my final project for my sustainable fashion class!

My design was inspired by the rustic, old wooden red barns of rural areas. It is designed for stylish city women in their late 20s - 30s. I imagine this type of woman frequents small boutiques in Soho, her fallback store is Anthropologie rather than H&M, and her favorite pieces are from her local vintage store. She appreciates hand crafted garments, and has an effortlessly sophisticated style.

My original mood board
The materials I used in the look were all sustainable. The pinkish red fabric used in the skirt and the red fabric in the coat are both recycled polyester knits. The blouse is up-cycled from an old bed-skirt. The belt and piping for the coat are up-cycled from an old fake leather pocketbook. 

The aim was to reduce waste by laying out patterns so that the minimum amount of fabric was left over. Any extra fabric from the skirt was used as embroidery on the front waist band. My plan for any extra fabric from the coat and blouse would be to use it as stuffing in decorative pillows or other accessories. I've come to the conclusion that creating an absolutely zero waste pattern is just too restricting in design, I think it makes more sense to consider the overall waste from the start, but re-purpose the leftover pieces in other ways. 

The main way my look is sustainable is through its modular design. It has an endless combination of ways to wear it, and it can be adjusted to meet the wearer's needs, whether for style, comfort, or convenience.

Here is a photo tour of my sustainable fashion look:

The skirt has drawstrings on each side so that you can adjust the length as needed. Start off the day at work with it long, and when you leave pull it up for more of a more funky evening look.
Detail on blouse and skirt: Blouse has origami pleating detail on front. Skirt has hand embroidery. 
Now the weather has gotten cold so you decide to add the coat with the hood.
You move the belt to outside the coat to create a more flattering silhouette. 
Back view of coat with hood and belt.
But you decide you no longer want the hood... so you simply zip it off!
Two snaps, two zippers, and the hood is off!
Now you fold the coat collar down over the hood zipper for a polished look.
Voila! Your chic hood-less coat. 
But wait, you're at the store and you forgot to bring a bag! So start by snapping off your belt. 
The belt has two layers, so unsnap the inner belt from the outer. 
Take your hood, and zip the two sizes together. 
Snap the inner belt to the two edges of the hood to make a strap!
Ta-da! You now have a purse.
Now just throw the first layer of the belt back on, swing the purse over your shoulder, an you're ready to hit the shops!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Final Project - In Process

I've been working like a madwoman on my final sustainable fashion project. I made a lot of progress this weekend, but I still have some work to do.  

The skirt is all done. I was able to use the scraps from my skirt as fabric applique for embroidery on the front waistband. The picture to the right is what it looked like when I was laying out the strips of fabric for embroidery. I think it came out looking pretty cool! This fabric is a stretch recycled polyester from Draper Knitting. I like the color, but I found it was a lot stiffer than it looks. Since I use two layers in my skirt the whole thing feels very heavy, and it would be warm to wear.  

For my coat, I wanted to make a leather (or fake leather) belt, and use some leather in piping on the coat. So I found this old fake leather bag at the Garment District for $5. It was already tearing on the straps, and looked pretty worn. I took the front strap and buckles off to use as the belt, but I haven't quite figured out how to turn it into a belt yet. Then I used the pre-existing piping on my shoulder seam and hood for the coat. I need to decide if I'll use any thing else from it.  I found taking apart a pocketbook to be a little nasty. The inside was full of sticky glue that got all over the fabric and my fingers... gross. 

For my blouse I found an old bed-skirt from the dollar-a-pound bin at the Garment Districtto up-cycle. The bed-skirt base (the white stuff) was ripped, so I cut that off. I then promptly washed the fabric (because who knows what kind of creepy critters might come from the dollar-a-pound bin...).  I'm going to use the bed-skirt fabric and turn it into a blouse with origami pleating on the front.  It's actually very soft fabric, however I realized once I got it home that it has a plasticy feeling on the reverse. I think that will make it not breathable as a fabric, and probably not comfortable to wear, but I'm going to use it anyways. Tonight I'll work on it and see how it will work as a blouse. 

I encountered a bit of a challenge with the hood to my jacket. The plan was to make a hood for the coat that could be removed and turned into a pocketbook. I successfully made the hood detachable, and able to zip up and become a sack, however, it doesn't function like I thought it would. The reason is because of the proportions of the hood. The opening is too long and when you pick it up the sides just collapse in. I was planning to add a handle/hole to the middle, but it won't help this issue. I believe my only option is add a strap, and a long one would be best. This way it will hold up the sides. However I don't want to just create a strap that isn't incorporated into the coat in another way. I'm currently thinking that the belt I'm making could possibly double as the strap to the pocketbook, however, then you couldn't use the belt with the coat if you wanted a pocketbook... that's a little restrictive for a modular design. I hope to come up with some clever solution tonight!

The project is due on Thursday, so check back for the final look!