I am by no means an illustrator. I often get frustrated with myself because my brain and my hand don’t communicate very well when it comes to pencil on paper. In order to avoid this, I simply remove the pressure to create a well executed illustration. The main point of sketching is to get the ideas that often float around my head on to paper so that I don’t forget them. As soon as I take the pressure off myself to create beautiful sketches, I’m able to focus on the technical need for a drawing. They are often messy and completely incoherent to anyone but me, but they get the job done.
I find that a combination of written notes and sketches is the best way to execute my ideas. That way, when my drawing skills (or lack thereof) are unable to demonstrate a specific detail, I can always refer to my notes to see what in the world I was trying to illustrate. In the professional world of design, a well executed illustration or technical drawing is crucial in order to ensure that the garment is manufactured to the exact specifications desired. Since I am a one woman fashion empire (ha, I’m working on it) I’m able to have a bit more freedom. As long as I know what the final product should look like, the sketch isn’t so important because I do all of the pattern making and sewing myself.
I am still learning what the fundamental basic pieces for any collection should be. I often find that I need to reel myself in when it comes to the design because first and foremost, I believe each collection should be practical and comfortable for all your little loves. For this autumn/winter collection the focus will be on cosy warm knits, sensible wovens, and a few special occasion wear pieces. I will be building and improving from my last collection but there will still be the necessary basics (ie. bodysuits, leggings, and layering pieces).
After my initial illustrations, I found it was easier just to create a cohesive list of each garment and any construction details that I needed to know for the next phase of pattern drafting. One example of this is for the sweatshirt that I'm planning to include in the collection:
-Sweatshirt (standard sleeve, colour blocking at chest and top of sleeve, triangle stitching at neck, snaps at shoulder)
These quick notes help me to create a visual in my head without the stress of getting a perfect drawing. Next, I list all the fabrics and colour ways that I will use for each garment which helps me to narrow down my fabric selection and decide the quantities that I will need for each. This is also the time that I start thinking about different trims, snaps, buttons, ribbons, and any other details that I will need to source to complete each look.