DIY Clothing Design: Design Clothes Unique to Your Style and Silhouette | Robyn Burgess | Skillshare

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DIY Clothing Design: Design Clothes Unique to Your Style and Silhouette

teacher avatar Robyn Burgess, Sewist & Designer

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

7 Lessons (41m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Getting Started

    • 3. Exploring Silhouettes

    • 4. Understanding Your Fabric

    • 5. Planning Construction Details

    • 6. Combining Patterns

    • 7. Final Thoughts

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About This Class

No pattern, no problem. Create your own custom garment sketch and sewing plan inspired by the professionally designed clothes that you love most!

At 6’2’’, Robyn Burgess struggled to find clothes that fit both her inseam and her bold style. Tired of never feeling comfortable in the clothes she owned and constantly contributing to the fast fashion industry, Robyn decided to start making her own clothes. What began as a side project has turned into an entire custom-made wardrobe and a sewing blog beloved by a community of other curious, fashion-forward creatives.

Now, with years of stylish pieces under her belt, she’s ready to teach you how to fill your closet with your own handmade clothes. If you’re looking to create clothes with a designer aesthetic that are high-quality, budget-friendly, and sustainable, you’ll get just that as you learn how to create custom sewing patterns based on the clothing you already like.

In this class, you’ll discover how to sketch and plan your own made-to-measure garment design based on clothes you already feel confident—with no art, design, or drawing skills required!

Working with Robyn you’ll:

  • Discover how your ideal neckline, waistline, and length affects your design
  • Create a garment with a shape that works well through your hips, bust, and waist
  • Choose the right fabric drape, weight, stretch and opacity for your garment
  • Utilize seams and lining to make your garment look professionally made
  • Combine pre-made patterns to make a pattern custom to you

Plus, Robyn shares multiple garments she loves and how she has used them as inspiration for her own sewing.

From those curious about fashion design to sewists looking to add their own spin to their craft, anyone with a pen and a touch of creativity can leave this class with a design and garment custom to them.

In this class, Robyn uses a sketchpad, pencil, pen, eraser, and a printable full-body croquis drawing of a fashion model to make her custom design sketch. Consider scrolling through your favorite designers or flipping through some fashion magazines for design inspiration before you get started. To continue your sewing journey, explore Robyn's Learning Path Sew Custom Clothing from Scratch.

Meet Your Teacher

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Robyn Burgess

Sewist & Designer


My name is Robyn Andrea Burgess. I’m 6’2″ and I’ve been this gloriously tall since I was 13. I’ve always loved making every hallway and sidewalk my runway, but finding fashions that fit all of my proportions is a struggle. I started my fashion design and sewing journey in 2015 to build a wardrobe of quality garments that fit my inseam and my bold style. I hope Styles InSeams will inspire you to create outfits that show the world how fabulous you are!


Follow me on Instagram for daily sewing inspiration.

See all of my me-made looks on the blog and shop my sewing pattern designs to make your own.

See full profile

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1. Introduction: [MUSIC] I learned to sew so that I can have a designer's aesthetic at a lower price point, with the kind of quality and sustainability you can't find in fast fashion. [MUSIC] Hi, my name is Robyn Andrea Burgess. I'm a Sewist and founder of Styles InSeams. A fit-obsessed sewing blog and Indeed pattern business. I started sewing six years ago after decades of struggling to find clothes that fit my 6' 2" body, my budget, and my bold, cheerful style. I taught myself how to design and sell a handmade wardrobe. Everything I wear, I create from my imagination and my sewing machine. This class is about decoding, deconstructing, and designing fashion. Do you want your clothes to look like they belong in the pages of Vogue or on the racks with Neiman Marcus? We're going to look at ready-to-wear garments and learn how to replicate them at home. We'll learn about silhouettes, construction details, types of fabrics, and pattern hacking. By the end, you'll create a sketch that you can use as a guide to sew the garment of your dreams. You should take this class if you have an understanding of the basics of sewing. You're looking to get a better understanding of fashion design so that you can start to sketch out some of your own ideas. My wish is for you to get a deeper understanding of this craft. Fine tune your fashion eye, and level up your skill set so you too can hack the fashion industry by mimicking it's designs for a fraction of the price. I'm so excited to teach you everything I know. Let's get started. [MUSIC] 2. Getting Started: [MUSIC] One of the first garments I ever made was based on a design that I had seen online. It was too expensive and wouldn't have fit my 6'2" proportions, but I loved it so much that I got curious about whether I can make something similar. I ended up creating my own version for a friend's wedding and that was the start of my sewing journey. We shell our cash or dress beneath our style because it can seem impossible to create clothes for ourselves that are in fashion and look great on our bodies. Hopefully, by the end of this class, you'll see that there are a set of key elements that make up all clothes. You just have to know what they look like, how they're put together, and what they're called. I taught myself fashion design by visually deconstructing the ready-to-wear designs that I love and I'm going to teach you too. In this class, we're going to bring everything to the Sketchpad and act as fashion designers drawing beautiful couture or ready-to-wear pieces. First things first you're going to need a sketch pad. Get one that you can trace through the paper. Don't get one with two thick of paper, otherwise, the croquis that we want you to have for this class will be a little bit more difficult for you. A croquis is basically a model of the body. You can find these online or you can YouTube a nine head croquis key you can figure out how to draw one with beautiful fashion proportions. The benefit of a croquis is that if you're not very good at drawing like I am not, you can trace these and trace the design onto these without having to know how to have the figure be straight and well proportioned. With a croquis, you can either print them out each time you want to use them and draw directly on the paper, or you can put it behind the page of your sketch pad and then trace directly into your sketchbook so that everything stays together. You're going to need a pencil with a good eraser so that you can make a few mistakes and change details, some pens if you want to lock in that design, and a ruler to help your lines get a little bit straighter. You're going to use all of these materials to create a design and a plan for the actual garment that you want to sell. We're going to take the garment that you found online and create a sketch of it with any design details or personal styling changes that you want and notes about how to recreate it when you actually go to sew. You do not need to be an artist, designer, or have any drawing skills to create a sketch. Its main function is to serve as a visual plan to help you organize the design. Follow along with me and share what you created in the project gallery. Maybe after you've taken this class, you can create more sketches of your favorite pieces at home and share those two. Let's dive in and first explore silhouettes. [MUSIC] 3. Exploring Silhouettes: [MUSIC] We're going to start real fundamental by talking about silhouettes. What is a silhouette? Silhouette is basically the impression that you get of the shape of the garment without having the lights on, without seeing the details. It's effectively just the outer shape. I'm going to start with dresses. When we talk about dresses, there's lots of different shapes they can possibly be. Some of the most common ones are sheath dresses, which are generally pretty fitted to the body. Then you have A-line dresses where they fit to the body and then the skirt goes out and forms an A or goes down like a triangle to the bottom. Then you have other designs like empire. An empire is a waistline and it's Richardson style basically where you have the main seam of the dress directly below the bust. Sometimes you'll find directives online or even still today on the back of Vogue sewing patterns where they'll say that this type of silhouette is ideal for this body type. That's based on how it accentuates, adds volume to or hides different ways of shaping your body. I personally don't believe in that. I think you can wear whatever you want and you can be confident in whatever shape you choose to be confident in. There's probably things that you know about the way that you'd like to dress. For me, I have wide hips, I have a smaller waist. I generally like to accentuate my waste and wear higher waisted pants, even though they say it's 6'2', you shouldn't wear high wasted things because it'll make your legs look longer. Well, I'm okay with that. You can just look in your closet, like, what are the pieces that you already own that make you feel confident in what you're wearing? For this class, it's great if you can find an image of something that you'd love to recreate, it will help ground what you're doing. I am going to use this beautiful beaded strappy dress by Erdem as an example. But please choose anything that you like, anything that you'd like to recreate for yourself. Of course, if it's not 100 percent perfect, that's where we're going to be changing as we discuss design details. The first thing that I wanted to talk about when we're discussing what goes into the silhouette of a garment is design ease. Now, in our fitting and tailoring class, we'll talk about what fitting ease is. That's really like the size and the shape and how much extra room you need in order to be able to move round comfortably. Design ease is any volume, any shape on top of that. Imagine your basic sheath. Imagine something skin-tight that has either no fitting ease or a negative amount of ease. But imagine a voluminous shirt, something with puffed sleeves or a big circle skirt. That's something that might have a lot of design ease. On this example that I'm looking at and I really liked getting these off retailers websites because they show a lot of different views of the dress. In this example, I can see that the bodice of the dress is actually pretty fitted. It hugs tight across the bust. It hugs tight through the top and down to the waist. When it comes down to the skirt of the dress, you can see there's a lot more ease in there. The next element that we'll talk about is the sleeve or the leg style. My example is sleeveless. It's strappy. But that in and of itself is something to talk about. There are a lot of charts online that have the different historical names for different sleeves styles or different leg styles and you can find things like a Bishop sleeve versus a puff sleeve or a cap sleeve and start to understand what those are. This example, it has some straps they go over the shoulder and then a second set of stripes and then a Holter tie. That's how I would describe the sleeve style of this. It's sleeveless or strappy, but there's a few different elements going on at the top. The next decision that we want to make for our garment is the placement of the waistline. In a dress there's only a couple of places where you can really choose to put the waistline. You can have the empire where it's hitting below the bust. You can have it at your natural waist, which is the smallest point of your waste around your body. You can have a dropped waistline which hits a little bit lower down towards the hip. Or if you're making a sheath or a less fitted, more of a loose garment, you don't really have to define a waistline at all, at least not with the shape of the garment. You can do pleats, which is when you have really uniform folded and nicely pressed fabric that's drawn in together. You can have tux where you take that extra fabric and you fold it in and then hide it. Now I'm switching over to the sketchpad and we're going to start just where we left off with the waistline. Where does your design hit? What's going to be comfortable for your body? I'm going to draw mine into the natural waste. It may be faint to you, but I have drawn a Crokie on here that I found online. The next thing that I'm going to add to this design is the shape of my skirt. I'm basing it on this circle skirt. Basically, that is an A-line shape because it hits your body at the waist and the hips, but then it flares out a little bit as it has additional fullness. I'm just going to draw it in a bit. Again, does not have to look great [LAUGHTER]. The next choice that I'm making is the length of the skirt. Because if I were to stop it, say right here ish, I can have a nice little miniskirt. Honestly based on my example, I can have a cute party dress with this exact design just by having a shorter skirt. Or I can bring it a little bit more office-appropriate cocktail party appropriate by bringing it down to the knee. I can come down to the mid-calf and make it midi length. I can come down to mid-shin and have it be T length or I can bring it all the way down to the ankle and make maxi length. I can even extend it to the floor and have it be floor length. I'm just going to draw on my arm line. Again, sometimes it's nice to have a little bit of movement. I'm not great at drawing, but I just do a little squiggly bit so that it looks like it's moving and it's not just this firm static thing. This is probably a circle skirt but it doesn't tell you exactly what circle skirt it is. You can make a circle skirt that's called a quarter circle skirt, a half circle skirt, a full circle skirt. You can have a double-circle skirt. That really is just determining how big the circumference is of that finished arm line. If you want to draw it in, you can make a representation of how much fullness you have by just drawing in some vertical lines to show how much fullness you want it to be. Again, I'm not using any straight lines. They're just going to be a whimsical. Let's say that I want it to be a three-quarter circle skirt. I'm just going to just write that here so I remember that decision that I've made. That's basically the skirt of the dress here. I know that it's hitting at the waist. I know that it's falling to about T length, which is a bit lower than midi length. I know that it has a bit of fullness in it, and it drips like an A-line skirt. Let's talk about the bodice next. We're going to start at the top, which is the neckline, and then move our way down back to the waistline. One of the first things to think about is like how modest or how revealing you want the design to be. I'm going to draw in my bodice now. Remember I'm basing it on this design which has more of a boost A type look. It's really just covering the important bits. It's not necessarily cleavage because it's not just like a plunge, but it's definitely showing some skin. I'm just going to draw it in like I see it here in the example starting with the side seams and then bringing through the middle bit. Then as it comes, got a little bit of shaping like more of a diamond shape here through the bust and it just falls in, let's bring that up a little higher. Then don't worry about symmetry. It doesn't matter. [LAUGHTER] You know what you're doing. Then again, we talked a bit before about the shape of the sleeve here. This is a little bit strappy. They all connect into the top peak here. I'm going to attempt symmetry. There we go. That effectively is the design. I encourage you to take out your Crokie and think about your neckline, your bodice fit, how it fits over your bust, how it fits through your waist, how it fits through your hips and what the length is. In the next lesson, we're going to talk about fabric, which will say so much about the movement of the garment and how it actually looks as you're wearing. [MUSIC] 4. Understanding Your Fabric: [MUSIC] I'm so excited that we've arrived at my favorite part of fashion design and that's choosing fabric and then incorporating that fabric into your design. Now that we have the idea of the silhouette, let's talk about the way that we can use fabric to bring that to light. We're going to be talking about drape and weight and opacity, and other qualities of fabric that make it the right or wrong choice for your design project. Let's dig in. The first element that I want to talk about is stretch. I'm going to demonstrate these different knits to you. They all look slightly ragged because I've used them for projects already but [LAUGHTER] this is a good medium-weight knit. It has really good recovery and really good stretch so I could use this in something that had negative ease in the design, meaning that it can stretch around my body and hold its shape. The next stretch that I have here is really interesting because it is a knit, it's very machiney. It's definitely not a hand-knit but you can see this beautiful texture on it while it still has a good amount of stretch in both directions. Another knit that I have here is a sweater knit. This would be in a category of what we call a stable knit. If you're looking for something that has the qualities of a knit fabric, which you can really see in the texture on the back here, but you want it to hold its shape and it doesn't really need a stretch, you can find stable knits that barely have any stretch in them, but still have this warm sweater feel. There's also a way to make woven fabrics have a good amount of stretch. Think about jeans, for example. Jeans are a woven fabric, but you definitely find stretch jeans. You definitely find skinny jeans out there that have a good amount of stretch and that's because elastin is in them or spandex. If we look at this one, it's got a good amount of stretch, not in this direction, but in this direction, it has a bit of movement. That movement is going to help it fit around your body. It might be a little bit more comfortable to make a really tight-fitted woven garment if you've chosen a fabric that has a little bit of stretch in it because it will have [inaudible] and [inaudible] is what helps it to stay comfortable when you're wearing it and you're sitting and you're bending and you're stretching, instead of it just being rigid on your body. The next thing I want to talk about is drape. Drape is really important when choosing your fabric because it determines how it's going to hang on your body. Is it going to be rigid? Is it going to stand up on its own or is it going to be fluid or drapey, and flow and have movement? Here are two different fabrics and you have basically very different properties, but I want to show you the different drape with them. Here's a beautiful remnant. I got it at FABSCRAP. It's dead stock material, so it's super sustainable. As I open it up you can also hear it rustling, that's a telltale sign that it's a little bit more crisp. This one if I sow it into something, it's going to keep its shape pretty well because it basically holds its shape as it sits up on the table. This is something that doesn't have a ton of drape, it does have some movement to it. It's not totally rigid, but it would be good for making something more structured, where I want something to have volume, I want it to stand up on its own. If I wanted to do a puff sleeve, I would choose something like this because it would keep that puff. [NOISE] On the other hand, I have this nice Eco Varro, it's a viscose aka rayon fabric and it is drapey. As I play with it, as I move it, it flattens itself back up, it goes back into a puddle. Imagine wearing this. If you put this on your body, if you walk with it, it's going to move as you walk. It's going to hang nicely. It's not going to keep its structure. If you wanted a puff sleeve out of this, it's just going to collapse. Don't choose a super drapey fabric for something for volume. Choose a drapey fabric for something that you want a lot of movement in. Next I want to talk about opacity and I also want to show you how the same exact material can have very different qualities. All four of these are silk. They're just very different silks. This is a silk brocade. I actually bought it in Thailand, it's beautiful. It's lovely. It's all silk. It's got a heavier weight to it than the other ones have. It's also like a brocade or jacquard, so you can see it in the back and no light passes through it, which means that it's very opaque. The next one here that I'm going to show is from Garment District in New York City. I've been holding onto it because it's so pretty. [NOISE] If you hear that, you know it's crisp. You know that it doesn't have a tone of drape. This is a silk, it's like a taffeta and I can see a little bit more light through it, but it's very opaque, it's a lot more rigid. But basically, it's been woven in a very different style than that last one. These next two are very drapey examples, but again, very different qualities. What's different between these two? This one, it's pretty opaque, but I can definitely see light through it, but it's got a sheen, so it's got a satin in front on it but it's got a lot of drapes, so it's really flowy. This would make a nice top and you wouldn't necessarily have to put a lining with this one because it's so opaque. You can't really see through it. This one has more of a crepe texture, but you can see a lot more light through it. You could also maybe use this without a lining but if you were making a dress, you probably wouldn't want to have this as a skirt bottom without a lining because your bits would be seen. That's a big question you have to ask yourself when you're buying and choosing fabric. Is this going to be opaque enough to cover myself in the places where I want to be covered, covered my undergarments in the way I want them covered? Or do I need to change the quality of that a little bit by adding a lining? I've shown you several different printed fabrics. You've totally seen what my fabric vibe is, but I wanted to show these are two different cottons and they have very different vibes. This one is embroidered, you can probably only faintly see it, but it has beautiful little hummingbirds and Dragonflies in it. It's a white, basically, cotton lawn that is really super simple and pretty minimalist. But if you want to have a more minimalist wardrobe, if you want to have a light touch, you totally don't have to go with a print. You can add details with embroidered fabrics. You can also add details with different textures and other decisions than just adding color. But then also, you can find beautiful prints that are dead stock as well. A lot of designers actually partner with some fabric stores, especially like Mood Fabrics, where you can find their printed dead stock fabrics right in the store and recreate the actual garment by just buying their fabrics. This is an example of a [inaudible] fabric, I found it in new fabrics. It's just a remix because I've already made a skirt out of it. But check around, you might actually be able to find the fabric exactly for what you're trying to recreate. Thinking back to my example dress, this particular fabric that I pulled out would actually be a good weight and texture to use. It's got a nice satin finish and it's the right weight, but something like this would not be really good for a structured bodice. When we're talking about dresses that have a lot of different qualities to them that being fitted here and loose here and drapey here, but structured here. What you probably need to do is change the qualities of your fabric a little bit by adding extra fabric to it. What I mean by that is choosing either an interfacing and interlining or even just a lining to get your fabric to the qualities that they're going to be. I'm not going to go into too much detail but if I were making a dress out of this as I have before, what I know I would need to do is apply a backing to this to give it more structure so that when I'm putting that needle through the fabric and then I am putting it tight against my body, it's going to have enough structure that doesn't just rip apart at the bodice and then just be a complete mess after one wear. Do your research and think about how do you maybe need to structure the fabric differently to give you the style that you want. Let's go back to our sketch and write down what we've decided. I know that I want a drapey fabric, I want it to have a silky texture. I am going to choose the poor man's silk and do a polyester satin. Now that we've talked about fabric, I want you to get really excited by your choices. There's so much out there. Go to a fabric store, touch something, play around, go online, read the descriptions of it, look how it moves in those videos, and try to figure out what would be the right material and right drape and right texture and right weight for your finished garment. You want to think about practicality. A silk is going to be expensive, a polyester or a rayon might have some of those same qualities, but at a much lower price point. Next up we're going to be talking about construction details or how the garment is made. Meet me in the next lesson. [MUSIC] 5. Planning Construction Details: [MUSIC] Welcome back. In this lesson, we're talking about construction details. Those are the practical decisions about how a garment is actually going to be sown. Really they determine how do you make fabric, which is a 2D object, fit onto your very 3D body? When we're talking about clothes, which we'll get into a lot more in the tailoring class, we have to think about how do we actually get this to fit us? How do we ease in the fullness from point A to point B? That's really where seam lines come in. You have a couple of decisions that you can make. You can choose darts which actually take the fabric and basically fold them in and then press them out so that they go into triangular shapes around your body going from point A to point B, or you can choose seams. Seams is when you're taking two pieces of fabric and you're cutting them on a curve in some type of way so that they ease out that fullness through the curve. A really common way of thinking about darts versus seam lines is thinking about bust and waist darts versus princess seams. A bust and waist dart will go around the contours of your body at your bust and fold out that fabric so that you can get the right amount of additional volume for your bust, whereas the princess seam again, it's going to convert those darts into just getting rid of that extra fabric and creating a line for you to stitch straight. For my sketch, the design that I'm basing it off of has somewhat of a boost da bodice, which means that it's really tightly fitted, basically everywhere. Instead of just having a single princess seam, I actually have to think about seam lines in a number of different places. For this, I know that I have to create shaping between what is the under bust point. This wider point of my body and this smaller point at my waist. The way that I'm going to do that is with seam lines. About the mid point of the bust, I'm just going to draw in a seam line that goes there down to the waist, and I'm going to do it on both sides. I know when I'm actually going to look at a pattern or maybe trying to find a boost da here, I'm going to find something that helps me take out this extra width and brings it down here through seam line. The next thing that I have to think about is actually the bust. Almost regardless of your cup size now, and a cup maybe you can get away with this, but based on your cup size, you're going to need something to give you extra fabric to go around the volume, or the protuberance of your *****. [LAUGHTER] There's a lot of different ways that you can do that. A really common way is to have a seam line that goes across the bust. That's what I saw in the example with the all down dress. It basically comes from here and it curves around here. In this curve, it allows me to ease in the extra fullness and get the extra volume that I need. I'm going to draw that on both sides. If you've chosen a garment that has more design ease, you may not need this many seam lines in order to make it fit all around your body. You might just need a waister. You might not even need a waister, but it's important to think about how do I take it from being a square to being my body? How do I take it from being a paper bag to being this fitted beautiful garment? The way to do that is with seam lines. The next thing that I'm going to think about is if all of this is going on in the front of the garment, what's going on underneath that all? If I just have a piece here, it's going to be frank. It's going to just be flapping in the wind. I need to be able to hide the places where I connect one piece of fabric to another piece of fabric. You can do that either through seam finishes or you can do that through a lining or a facing. If you found an example of a garment online and you don't really know what it looks like inside, that's perfectly okay. Go to your closet, find something that has somewhat of the same shape and look at what choices that they've done there. You can answer a lot of questions by just looking at your ready-to-wear. I do that all the time. I look at a vintage blazer I have in my closet or an old dress that I have, which may not have the exact same shape, but it will tell me the choices that the designer made in order to finish the inside and make it so that I have the outside look of the garment. Let's write down the decisions that we've made about this dress, and I'm going to put them over on this side, just feel variety. We've decided that this bodice is going to be fully lined. For the skirt, again, I want this to be as drapey as possible and the polysatin I'm assuming that I've chose is going to be opaque enough that I don't need a lining for it and I want it to be drapey so I don't need to line the skirt at all. I can just let that hang as it is. Unlined skirt. [NOISE] I've just decided that I am not going to line this skirt, but I still want it to look very professional. What do I need to do about the seam finishes in order to make this look as amazing as possible? When you have a line bodice, you're hiding all of those seam finishes on the inside. You're basically taking fabric and you're putting wrong sides together. You only see nice, neatly finished innards, but when it comes to the online skirt, I'm going to see where this fabric joins at the side seams and probably in the back depending upon where I put my zipper. There's a few different ways that you can finish seams. The most common way of finishing seams is to use an overlocker machine or a zigzag stitch on your machine and just run a line of stitches down the outside to protect that fabric from fraying and falling apart. However, when you're choosing something like a polysatin, that is probably going to fray a lot, meaning that the threads of the fabric will fall apart and tear away from it, you might want something a lot more sturdier to keep those frame bits in and keep the skirt from falling apart. The choice that I would make in this instance, because it's a lightweight fabric, I'm going to choose a French seam. I have a YouTube video about French seams and you can totally go watch that, but basically what a French seam does is it takes and encloses that full outer bit in a second row of stitching so that all you see is a nice neat innards the same as I've chosen for the top. I'm going to mark down what seam choice I've made for the skirt. [NOISE] Now we've made this beautiful dress, but this is a piece of paper and this is the body. How do I actually get into this dress? Closure. What am I doing to actually make it so that I can open up this garment and close it back on its fitted bodice. I'm going to add a zipper. I have a couple of choices with a zipper. I can either put it in the back or I can put it on the side seam. A lot of really high-end garments will choose to put it in the side seam because it's a lot easier to hide it when it's not really a design element. But you can also hide it in different ways. If you choose an invisible zipper and get your practice on and find a way to make a truly invisible zipper, you can have something that's really easy in the back. You can also have a lapsed zipper or if this were a totally different design or if I wanted to change it up, I could put a button placket here and let it close with button. I'm just going to write down my decision here. I've chosen to do an invisible zip in the back of the dress. That's going to be easiest for me and it's going to help keep the look as clean as possible. [NOISE] We've talked about the most important instruction details for our design here, but there's a lot more choices that you can make in the design. This could be fully finished if you're making a simple garment or you could add a lot more to it. You could add top stitching, you could add embroidery, you could add lacework, you could add crochet bits here, you could add a little attachments. At this point, you can add a ton of different design elements that just really show your creativity, or you could stay faithful to the garment that you're trying to replicate. It's totally up to you. In the next lesson, we're going to talk about taking this design and matching it to patterns so you can sow your finished garment. Let's go. [MUSIC] 6. Combining Patterns: [MUSIC] Welcome back. In this lesson, we're going to be taking our sketch and then figuring out how we can use commercially available sewing patterns in order to help realize this into an actual garment. What we can do is take sewing patterns that are made by any designers or big designers and find ways of mashing them together in order to get the look that we want, do a little bit of change ups and get our finished result. We're going to start with my sketch and try to find some sewing patterns and actually help me to make this without having to know draping very well or know pattern-making very well. This particular dress has two big elements that I need help with pattern-making. The first is the top or the bodice, and the second is the skirt. Let's start with the skirt because that's actually really easy. I decided that I wanted to do a three-quarter circle skirt. There are calculators on the Internet where you can help define exactly how to create the proportions for a circle skirt without needing to buy a pattern. I sew one that is all about like a tiered circle skirt. I know Mood Fabrics has one where it's just a circle skirt because it's one of the most basic shapes in fashion design. I encourage you to look it up, find a circle skirt calculator, make all the circle skirts of your dreams. The bodice, however, is a bit more detailed. This is a bustier bodice. It's got fitted cups, it's got fitted around the waistline. There are a number of bustier bodices out there that you can buy because they've been super popular for the last few years. One that's super popular, and I've made a few times before into very different looking garments, but all fits super well, is called the Rose Cafe Bustier. They sell a pattern on Etsy where you can see it basically has the style lines that we're looking for and I can just buy this pattern and instead of having to figure out all of these pieces that go into this bodice, I can take that pattern and fit it here. Again, bustier bodice, fitted bodice, circle skirt. After I found those patterns that fit those needs, there's just some things that I might want to change. What I know is that I'm going to have to add straps. Straps are easy, they're just like straight lines of fabric. Once I find this, I can literally say, I'm going to make some extra straps. I'm going to pin them in. I'm going to see what they look like. I'm going to stand in front of the mirror. I'm going to see what works. All I need to know is I just got to get a little extra fabric in order to make those straps. For this example, I'm just going to write down exactly what patterns I'm going to use. The Rose Cafe Bustier and then I'm going to use a circle skirt calculator [NOISE] and there we have it. I have most of the steps that I need in order to get this design using some patterns. I know I'm going to have to make a couple of pattern-hacking alterations on the back end. But this has gotten me so far there that I feel pretty confident, I can make it without much help at this point. My example is pretty straightforward. I know that I can take two patterns and put them together, aka Franken pattern, this dress. But I wanted to show you two more examples of ways that you can pattern hack to create your design. One more example that I found on the Internet that I really love and I would love to recreate is this dress by Palma Martin. It's beautiful. I can see that it's a nice cotton. It's got beautiful toxin pleated details. Overall, I can tell that this is a shirt dress. I can tell it has it grown on sleeve, it's got a color, it's maxi laying, its got a button pocket, but even just going through these examples, this might be difficult to create even for an experienced pattern drafter. But I know generally the vibe of what I want. I want something that's a little bigger here and it comes down to the waist, it's a shirt dress, and it's all one type of fabric. I've actually found a pattern that's sold by Vogue that is so much like this dress that I know I can get the vibe of it without having to do a lot of that pattern-making myself. Here's the top. It's Vogue V1874 and it's got a lot of those same details. It's got fullness of top and then it's got fleets through the waste. It's a shirt by most of the design and shaping is alright there. Another good way of looking at a pattern online is to open up and look at the line art. You can see that compared to this dress, it's pretty dang similar. Maybe the tops are a little different, but it's got the vibe. It's perfect for my use case. All I would need to do for a pattern like this is lengthen it. I could take view A and then just make it as long or as short as I want. Without having to do really any pattern drafting, without having to Franken pattern in out of multiple patterns, I can make that beautiful dress for a lot less money and without a huge headache of actually creating it. Here's an example of a shirt that I've been like a low-key obsessed with for a couple of months now. It's by this Australian brand Aje. What I have here is an example of a shirt that is a basic shirt, but it's got a lot of sewing detail in the front. For this one, I actually just want to find a regular pattern. I found a buttery pattern that basically is something that I can make a basic shirt, a bunch of times. But I can add all of these toxin pleats to it and make it something really special. I've actually started to make this shirt. I started with just figuring out this texture detail and then going ahead and making the whole shirt in a different color, that's great for my skin. If you're interested in seeing how it's made, check the link in my resources and I'll show you the whole process of how I recreated this exact shirt. In this lesson, we talked about pattern hacking, ready-to-wear. I encourage you make lists of all the things you'd love to see in your handmade wardrobe and then just go looking. Looking at sewing patterns. See if you need to pattern half a couple of them together or Franken pattern a couple of them together or see if there's maybe an exact pattern match for what you're trying to make. Get social, ask around. Someone may know the perfect example for that garment, and really just explore your creativity. Keep looking around, keep buzzing around finding something, and you can really get to what you want to create. [MUSIC] 7. Final Thoughts: [MUSIC] Congratulations on finishing this class. Now you're equipped with a lot of the terminology and know to be able to look at garments online, look at garments you find in stores, look at garments you find in fashion magazines, and try to figure out how you can make those your very own. I encourage you, every time you find something that you really like, use this as a lesson, take this and create a little sketchbook just full designs that you'd like to recreate for yourself. Think about how you make that silhouette perfect for your body, for your wants, and how much skin you show or you don't show. Think about how you can choose fabrics that fit your lifestyle or your budget, how you actually construct that garment. Like what's going to help with the durability that you need in order to make this live in your life for a good long while and how do you choose those finishes and those extra little pops that really make it your unique signature? I do this all the time before I'm sewing a garment. I make a sketch. I make these exact notes and I think you can do this every time. Even if you don't sew all of those that you create, do this as a practice to just get your creative juices flowing and just feel even more empowered to be able to create anything that you see. I encourage you to check out the class resources, see what's available there to help you along your journey. Please, please, share the sketches that you design and the layouts that you create. I can't wait to see what you've made in the project gallery and thank you again for joining. I hope to see you again soon.