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Archive for December, 2007

Back to highschool


Last week I was invited to visit a fashion design class at Kirksville High School, in Missouri. It was really exciting for me to talk with students who are interested in fashion and sewing. In my presentation I spoke about my book, “My Style My Place” and showed lots of projects. I also talked about the junior collection that I have been working on while at Stephens College. I explained the design process that we go through, from conception, to sketches, to design boards, to jury, and then creation, in order to get the final product. I also showed them the CAD project that I had created this semester. They were really interested in the new DIYStyle pattern line that Melissa and I are coming out with in April, for McCall’s. Since they had been working with patterns in their classes, they were aware of some of the designers and brands. I brought a sampling of my patterns that we draft by hand at school so they could see the difference between what I do in school (for production) and what the store bought patterns for home sewing look like.

When I asked the class how many of them wanted to work in the fashion industry, I had a few hands raised and then asked them what they wanted to do. Some wanted to work in fashion marketing; some wanted to major in fashion design. I shared with the class how I got involved with all my projects–including the DIYStyle vodcasts–and how I was able to write a book (all while going to my college classes!). My goal was to show that sewing is not something that has retired and YES, sewing can be young, fresh, stylish, and creative. It was really refreshing to see their teacher Mrs. Liebhart very excited and knowledgeable about the industry. Thank You SOOO much for letting me share my experiences about my career and school! I had a lot of fun meeting you all!

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Break time!

Wow! This semester has been extremely hard to get through, but I’m FINALLY done. Yeah!!! Between being in fashion design school, working on the DIYStyle vodcasts, and designing for McCalls, this semester has taken every ounce of energy I have to get through. :)

I have accomplished and learned so much in the last few months. In my sportswear class I completed swimsuit, dancewear, denim, and knit top outfits. Every garment is made completely from scratch. As design students, we had to research designs, draw up lots of sketches, approve all garments through a critic (this is where an industry designer comes in and scrutinizes our designs, gives us feedback, and then decides which ones we will actually make), hand draft patterns, do (what seemed like) a million fittings, and then sew the garments. I was so glad to finally get my projects all finished and turned in.

I had a great class called Computer Aided Design (CAD) where we learned how to do fashion illustrations, flats, textile prints, and layouts on the computer. So I’m getting better at working in Photoshop, Illustrator, Quark, and InDesign. I feel pretty confident in doing any kind of design work in these programs. Woohoo!

Keep Warm,
Allyce

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Color cues

Hey there! I’m Elizabeth Cecchettini, the creative director for DIYStyle. I work with our team to develop the projects for our vodcasts and website. I hope you like what you’re seeing so far! It’s exciting to be a part of something that is changing each week. We have so many more ideas to share with you in the future!

I’m often asked where the inspiration for all the projects come from, well let me tell you…some days are better than others for finding new ideas. But, if you are open to seeing opportunities around you, than the ideas come in all forms.

I look at magazines like everyone does, but besides tearing out projects that are complete like a purse or a skirt; I will also save the pages with great color combinations. A skirt idea I pulled out may be a great shape and have wonderful lines, but the color may be that of say, bird poop. Yuck!! So, I’ll go to my color pages and decide what fabulous color would enhance the skirt design for ME! That is the great part about designing; it can be totally what ever YOU want.

Back to that color thing, very important! Companies pay big bucks to make sure the colors they use in advertising are pleasing, hip, and up to date. So, when I’m in stores, driving around (be careful!!) and just out and about, I’m always aware of my surroundings. I’ll take a picture with my camera phone or jot a note about a store window dressing or a billboard that has great design, color, or shapes. So, let them pay the big dollars and use what you like!

Also, look to nature, the combinations of color in nature are remarkable. Look beyond the flowers, onto the leaves and the bark. Or take in the countryside, say springtime when lavenders, eggshell whites, smoky grays and fresh greens cover the hill sides. Then translate that into a jacket and slacks or a great quilt.

Color is usually the first thing that draws a person to something they like, after the color knocks them on the floor, then they will start to look deeper into the actual design of the project. So take the time to consider a great color for your next project and always be looking around for the next inspiration!

Take care,
Elizabeth

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No time for sleep

Wow, I can’t believe I am already to the end of another semester at Stephens. My junior year has been a LOT of work so far, and I am getting ready to turn in several pieces for my Junior Collection. I’ve been drawing, designing, patternmaking, fitting, and sewing for what seems to be every waking moment. Now I’m at crunch time, and I’m practically chained to my sewing machine–but had to sneak in a quick post! Just trying to do something simple like match the zipper for my jumpsuit design has been a challenge, running from one fabric store to another. When I get a chance to catch my breath, I’ll take some pics of my garments and post them ASAP. Whoever said you live on very little sleep in design school really meant it! But, I know I’m doing all of this because I truly LOVE fashion, and hope that someday *you* will wear something I’ve designed! :)

It’s finally starting to get really chilly here in Missouri, so I’m breaking out the winter clothes and coat. Walking across campus in the cold blowing wind is no fun. My daily hikes to the fashion sewing lab & computer lab seem like longer walks than usual. Even Paddy (my Yorkie) doesn’t want to go outside much now without a push!

Send me lots of PME (Positive Mental Energy) as I get through the final two weeks of school………and then………..only 3 semesters to go!! Keep warm everybody!
xxxxxx, Allyce

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