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Fashion Design Tips & Tricks
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Ralph sold ties, Marc stocked shelves - Don't worry if your fashion career hasn't taken off yet, because some of the biggest names in fashion design got off to a modest start early in their careers. Most of fashion's biggest names weren't born to design royalty: they weren't raised in fashion capitals like New York or Paris (Todd Oldham and Tom Ford hail from Texas) and some didn't even start out in fashion (Christian Dior was an art dealer) or go to school for it (Miuccia Prada has a PhD in Political Science).
If you are a fashion victim - Never wear more than two trends together if possible. Stop referring to your clothing by designer (the Gucci jacket, the Dior bag) and just call them by the item name. Before buying your next designer item, ask yourself if you'd like the item if it didn't have the chi chi logo: if yes, then buy it. Never, ever wear your sunglasses indoors. Remember that celebrities often overdo trends for maximum photo impact; they may not translate well for you on a day-to-day basis. Lots of fashion victims try to adopt the It Girl "bored look" as an accessory (as perfected by Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Moss and Chloe Sevigny). A cheerful disposition will separate you from the dour pack. There's nothing wrong with designer labels. Just make sure you aren't hiding behind expensive clothes to mask other insecurities.
Use a seam gauge - A tape measure suffices for most measuring jobs, but for measuring small and narrow things, such as hems and buttonholes, use a seam gauge. This 6-inch, stiff ruler has an adjustable slide. When you measure a hem, you use the slide to see how deep the hem s as you move the seam gauge all the way around the hemline. When measuring buttonholes, simply set the slide to correct length and mark away.
Chain your seams together - For example, start at the hem and sew up to the armhole, then butt the shoulder seam up next to the armhole and continue sewing without clipping the threads. Continue sewing the the shoulder seam and side seam butting the seams right next to each other. After you get to the bottom of the opposite side seam clip all of the threads at once.
Is it natural or synthetic? - To check if your fabric is made of natural or synthetic fibre; Cut a sliver (1" by 3") of the fabric and using a set of tongs hold it to a candle flame. Do this in a disposable pie plate or in your sink so that running water is available if needed. If the remains are nothing but ash, the fibre is "natural", i.e. wool, plant-based, rayon or silk. Small, hard balls indicate the fabric has some artificial component; polyester or nylon, for example. If the fabric curls tightly and becomes hard, it's likely 100% manmade fibre. To take the test further, wool smells like burning hair; cotton, linen and rayon have a "woody" smell and silk has a unique, almost "burned bugs" scent all its own.
Preparing fabric for use - Smart styling and a professional look in clothing construction require correct use of the grain of the fabric. No formula or method can conceal a poorly cut garment.Garment pieces cut or pulled off grain will not fit correctly and will hang poorly when worn. Whether simple or elaborate in design, the fabric shows whether or not it has been cut on the exact grain.
Stabilize Knits - Seams and edges of knit fabrics often need to be stabilized to prevent stretching and distortion. To stabilize these areas without losing the stretch characteristic of the knit, use clear elastic. Clear elastic can be sewn onto the edge of the fabric for a narrow hem or sewn into shoulder seams to add stabilization.
Clothing specialization and classification - Newspapers, fashion magazines and other periodicals print reams about the importance of the proper selection of clothing. Not only must the garment be selected for its becomingness to the wearer, but it should be appropriate for its specific use. The fabric must be appropriate and the cut of the garment must be correct as well. Stores divide their departments to make shopping easier for the customers. Buyers in each department select the clothes to meet the needs of customers who come to their special departments. Salespeople are trained to sell certain types of clothing which have been designed to meet certain needs. Likewise, the designer becomes specialized. Manufacturing plants specialize. This makes it easier for them to make a profit in that one certain type of apparel. In a general sense, clothing falls into three basic classifications, namely: Active Sports, Spectator Sports or business casuals and Social Clothes. These three classifications are subdivided according to sizes, such as Juniors, Misses and Women's clothing. They are each again subdivided into specific price ranges. Children's clothing manufacturers are specialists in a more general sense and may design all types of children's apparel for all occasions and at varying price ranges. In recent years, however, the children's clothing reflects these three major classifications under the names of Play clothes, School clothes and Party clothes.