Fashion design course joy!

8 Jul

I spent a fantastic morning yesterday at a taster session for a fashion course I’ve been offered a place on.

It’s ‘just’ a BTEC, but I’m uber-excited about it because it’ll teach me so much more about the technical side of fashion. Which isn’t always easy to work out on your own, no matter how many design books you own (and trust me, I’ve got a lot…).

I felt a bit out of place at first, when one of the tutors asked me ‘if I’d finished my GCSEs’ (err, yeah, in 1991!) But when they heard about my work at The Knitter, and some of my designing they seemed really enthused and made me feel very welcome. Hurrah!

During the session we dreamt up a stage outfit for Rhianna, making a collage from bits cut out of magazines. Awesome fun.

Then, we had a go at something I’m really excited about  – draping.

Draping is where you take a 3 metre length of fabric and pin it to a dress form to make the shape of an outfit. You don’t cut the fabric – you fold and manipulate it to get the look you want.

It’s a method used by a lot of designers, like Roland Mouret for example, who prefer it to sketching, because it’s much more hands on and gives you a feel for what you can actually do with a particular kind of fabric.  Working in this way can also take you to places you might not reach with only a pencil and paper.


I wanted to make something very drapey, and as I worked my piece became quite Japanese in structure and feel (please excuse the ropey phone pictures). It was really interesting – like I was only nominally in charge, and the fabric was doing what it wanted.

I added a folded collar, and pleated belt, which showed beneath an open back section.


Of course, designing something fairly complex and asymmetrical like this, and knowing how to translate it into a pattern for cutting, are two very different things!

And that’s hopefully where this course will come in.

It’s only one day a week, which I can do on my day off, but I’m probably going to defer for a year (again). I thought I’d be cool with going once Storm was in nursery in the mornings in September. But now I realise I don’t want to miss that one afternoon I’d still get with her on my day off.

But come September 2012, I will DEFINITELY be on this course.

Now that I’ve had a taste, I haven’t got any choice…


One Response to “Fashion design course joy!”

  1. birdface July 8, 2011 at 2:20 pm #

    good lord – how exciting!
    well done woman 😀

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