With some exciting projects coming up, I’ve been doing a lot of the beginning steps of design today.  Often it’s fun to envision something beautiful, but a few things need to happen before it can become a reality.

Firstly, I decide on the “feel” of the design.  This can include ideas such as “an elvish gown with cape sleeves” or “a nautical cloak” or something more specific, such as a cosplay outfit.

From there, it is a good idea to sketch out the design.  Sometimes things can change as the project happens, but having a starting point is extremely helpful for gathering materials.  It also saves a lot of time in the long run- I might love an idea in my head, but once it is on paper I can find it is too busy, or too plain, or just not the right “feel” I was envisioning.

Once I’ve decided what I want to make, there’s the challenge of finding the right materials for the job.  I browse quite a few places, trying to find the balance between an ideal fabric and a comfortable price.  Usually I collect a few samples as well, so I can test how they will drape, or look against each other if there are multiple layers.

After deciding on fabrics, I start on the little details.  Silk flowers, embroidery thread, pendants, and beads can all take a project from plain to exquisite.   With both fabric and embellishments, it is good to keep an open mind.  There have been times I haven’t been able to find what I originally wanted (or even anything close to it) but instead I have found something better.  Availability changes with season, trends, and location, so it is always fun to browse and see what fits best.

Someone wise in the ways of sewing once told me that there are three ways to do a project.  You can have it Perfect, you can have it Quickly, or you can have it Cheap.  But you only get two out of three.  I’ve always found this to hold true.

After all the work of pricing fabrics and finding the ones that are exactly right, it is a true joy to hold them in my hands and use them to create something unique and special!


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