Kate’s outfit, part 1: design

So, the start of another project!

Kate and I have been colleagues for a few years: she’s a designer and I’m a pattern cutter, but we’ve never actually worked directly together. She’s great fun with a brilliant eye for a strong look, and I’m confident I’m going to enjoy this one!

Kate is getting married in September. She’s struggled to find a dress she likes; there are a great many Swarovski crystals in the world, also bows and lace and frills and what have you, and that is not doing it for Kate on any level. So she’s come to me with some sketches and design ideas and we’re going to put something together that suits her contemporary modern aesthetic a little better.

She’s brought me this sketch…

… and a few tear sheets of inspiration including these lovely images:

She wants a skirt with a very straight silhouette from the front, a slit to help show off her shoes, and a big, soft pleat in the back from which a short train emerges. We can be a bit flexible here, we might mess around with it a bit when we’ve chosen a fabric, but generally this part is good to go.

The top part is a bit more hazy. Kate likes a statement sleeve, she fancies totally off shoulder, and she’s thinking that from the side the top should swing away from the body. It seems pretty narrowed down to me! But it’s not concrete yet, she’s still thinking about it.

I’ve drawn out a few rough options for her to consider hopefully they’ve been a good jumping off point for chats with her friends and family at home in The North this weekend.

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We’ve already had a quick lunchtime whip round some Soho fabric stores, just to get a conversation started about what kind of things she’s feeling for. As it happens we actually found a fabric she really loved which may turn out to be the one. This silk we saw at Silk Society has a completely different character when draped on the grain or across it, it’s the left hand cutting on the card below. In one direction it has a sproingy body to it which could make an awesome sleeve shape, and in the other it could be a soft and supple train.

We took some other bits and pieces away with us, but to honest they’re a bit boring by comparison. Good plan b’s though.

 

 

All that jazz is now collated in my Kate envelope. Next week we’ll sit and pin down the exact starting design, I’ll also take Kate’s measurements and then I can get started on the first draft of the pattern! I’ve got 6 more weeks of work before my sabbatical period, so I’m planning to get the ball rolling on this soon and then really get stuck in in July.

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