Category Archives: fashion

Making a Collection: Part 3

Have you been itching to see the final design? I am excited to share it with you all, but I am going to hold off just a little. I know, I am so mean.

You can read part 1 & 2 of this series if you are interested.

A quick review of the steps I took, before the big reveal

Concept – Basically, this is where you come up with theme. It could be as simple as black & white separates or Kpop Jekyll & Hyde. During this step you might keep a photo-board of images, colors, fabrics, whatever you might find inspiration from.

Design– Taking your theme and creating garments that represents that theme.

Patterning – Creating a paper template for your designs or working it out on a dress-form

Muslin/Sample Garment – Sewing up your pattern to test the fit, making other tweaks and just see if it works in general.

Now on to the last step… Making your dreams into reality!!


Making the Final Collection

If you have not made a sample garment, this is where you will collect all your supplies, because of course, you can not make a garment without your fashion fabric, notions and interfacing. Let me tell you I purchased so much black fabric and white fabric, I don’t know what to do with the leftovers. The black fabric I’ll be able to use but the white fabric…. Not a fan of wearing white really.

You might happen come across this scenario: Go on various fabric shopping trips only to come home and the fabric just doesn’t work together. So, always keep swatches with you when shopping. I purchase my fabric in NYC, LA and San Diego for this project and even the weekend before the fashion show, just before cutting out the final pieces I still was not happy and ended up going to the fabric store. It happens.

Luckily, once you find the fabrics that works for your project, all you have to do is sew the garments up as normal. Always pre-treat and test the garments before cutting out anything. This was a must for me, some fabrics I hand washed, while others I tossed in the washing machine. Oh yes, hand washed and machine washed fabrics are combined in the garments for this project. You also should test your interfacing and stitching. For me I tested the Palmer/Pletsch PerfectFuse Light and Medium Interfacing and ended up using the Light for the waistbands and Medium to interface the facing on the jacket. They are still running a sale $19 for 3 yds with 60 width or 66′ width, check it out. Since my jacket used 5 different fabrics, I had to do test samples to make sure they played well together.

The bonus final step for creating your collection that you might not even think about until the last minute is Presentation.


What the heck am I talking about. For my 1st Collection, I presented my finished look at the School’s Fashion Show. I am super happy that I have modeled in fashion shows around San Diego, so that I knew how I wanted to present my work. Looking back, it is kind of funny because, it might seem like my model walked into the wrong show, in a very awesome way. I really thought about how I wanted her to look. Head to toe. I did both her hair and make-up. Shopped for hair extension, dyed hair extensions, full Trice Salon services, researched good and evil make up looks and quick runway modeling coaching. All that said, I think I nailed it and I know it was a great idea to make her the last model, so she could close out the show. She pretty much stole the show, she gave a fierce runway. Mama proud.

Hehe, I know you guys are like, Geez Trice, shut up and show us the pictures. Okay I will stop tormenting you all.

Let’s start off with my design sketch and compare it to the final look.

©Sewtell ©Sewtell ©Sewtell


Now it’s time for the Final Reveal!!!

©Sewtell & M. Tebbe

©Sewtell & M. Tebbe
Outdoor Shoot
©Sewtell & M. Tebbe©Sewtell & M. Tebbe

©Sewtell & M. Tebbe

©Sewtell & M. Tebbe ©Sewtell & M. Tebbe ©Sewtell & M. Tebbe ©Sewtell & M. Tebbe

©Sewtell & M. Tebbe
Of course, the Designer/Model shot

I do want to thank my dear friend and model for letting me abuse you all semester. And sorry for using you like a pincushion. Love ya. Also want thank her Mister, my friend and photographer, for not getting upset that I stole your lady. Love you too.

Well there you go friends, what I spent a good chunk of this year working on. And guess what this is only the beginning. But right I am going to squeeze in some selfish sewing.


Making a Collection: Part 2

I am sorry that I am behind on posting this, but of course the closer I was to the fashion show date, the less time I had.

The last post was focused on Concept and Design, this post will be one of my favorite difficult parts.


Did you expect me to say patterning was one of my favorite parts? I bet you did not. I really enjoy pattern making. This is really where the magic happens, where you creativity shines. Once you start learning about pattern-making the more your realize how creative your can be making garments. Yes, there are rules to pattern-making and you have to learn how to make a pattern for whatever your imagination came up within those rules (or try to breaking them). I tend to always want to break them or at least find a difficult way to do things. One of the rules I always want to break is darts. This project I actually embraced darts.

Let me back up a little. In case anyone here does not understand what I mean by Patterning. A pattern is a paper or cardboard template that you use to trace parts of a garment onto fabric.  There are varies ways to approach making a pattern; Draping, Flat Pattern-making and Commercial Pattern Customization. There are more ways, but those three are the ways I  made patterns for my 1st Collection.


Draping for a dress I made over a year ago


I consider this the fun technique. Using a dressform, a garment could be created with pins and clever positioning. You can actually work in the fabric you intend to use and you can    see results right away For this project, I used the draping method to work out tulle part of my top.

Flat pattern-making:

This method is what I am most familiar with using. After using body measurements to draft a sloper (master template), I took the sloper and manipulate it to the design I want. I trace my sloper onto a piece of paper and then I freehand my ideas. This time around I freehand on the muslin that I sewed up for the sloper. Then I took measurement from that and plotted it on my sloper.

Working on 1st draft for top

Commercial Pattern Customization:

This term might be new to you, but the technique is familiar. This technique  is probably best if you are not too comfortable with drafting or pattern-making. Taking a pre-existing commercial pattern and making some design changes, which is different from fit alterations. There are some great patterns out there that you can have fun with this techniques,  Renfrew, Laurel and Emery just to name a few. After making my very first pant sloper, I decide to use  the Clover pant as a base for the pant design.


Renfrew with Pattern Customization
Renfrew with  Commercial Pattern Customization

Muslin & Sample Garments

After you get your pattern drafted, you need to make a muslin of it. By making a muslin, you figure out if the pattern you drafted works. You can solve fit issues as well as finding out that your garment needs some features added. One of the features I found out I needed was a zipper in the center back of the top. My model really could not get properly in and out of top. I really did not want a zipper to show in the back, but at the same time a true invisible zipper was not ideal because the length.  The perfect zipper would be an invisible separating zipper. I was told that they did not exist. Yet I managed to find it. I purchased  two zippers (1 white, 1 black) from

Another thing you might figure out during this stage is construction order and most importantly (for me) how to finish seams, necklines and hems. You might not think about that during the  designing or drafting stages, but it does come to a reality during this phase.

Making some adjustments from the first draft.


I went back and forward about whether I was going to line or  use bias binding to finish the neckline on the top. I did use bias tape for the arm hole, however because of time, I ended up using steam a seam on the next line. :0


After making the muslin, you will need to make another pattern draft of changes you made in the muslin. You possibly will have more than two drafts. Always mark each draft, and don’t get rid of them sometimes you have to go back to the first one as reference. I only made 2 drafts for this project. I only really had time to make 2 and any other changes I made, I made in the garment.

1st & 2nd Draft of Back Vest Piece
1st & 2nd Draft of Back Vest Pattern Piece


 FirstMuslin SecondMuslin


You also might want to make a sample garment after you worked out everything, and it is best to do this in the fashion fabric or something very similar. I mostly skip this step except for making the pants.  I have a mostly finished sample or wearable muslin in a fabric very close to the final fabric. After that, you are probably ready to work on the final garment.

I will go over the final stage in the last post of this series. For now here is a sneak peek into the final garment.




Disclaimer: Sorry about some of the camera phone quality images in this post.


Making a Collection: Part 1

If you have read several of my post for this year, you will be aware that I am taking an Advance Pattern-making class. The class is about making your first Collection. I have been sharing pictures of my process on Twitter/Instagram. However, everyone does not use Twitter or Instagram, so I decided to do a little series about the path to my first collection.


So I knew exactly what my Theme would be for class before the semester even started. Sadly, once class started, I realized I had to calm my ideas the hell down. This made my concept a little tricky.

I bet you are curious what my concept/theme is! Anyone that knows me, knows that I have a soft spot for things Asian. I took Japanese for my foreign language credit in college, my first clothing item I sewed up was a Kimono blouse and I really don’t need to get into food. In all honestly, I didn’t realize I had a LOVE for Asian things until a few years ago. My current focus is with Korean culture and this lady loves some Korean Pop music. It’s a not so secret, secret pleasure. A lot of it reminds me of music from the late 80s, early 90s. Feel good music you can dance too. I have a strong bias towards Korean Boy Groups to make matters worst. In the 80s/90s it was American Girl Groups.

Okay, back on tract. I don’t remember how it came to me, but I do recall it was very much like a light bulb moment. Like YES, there is no other option. I was mad excited about this idea, still love the original idea. My concept was inspired by my second favorite K-Pop group, Vixx’s Hyde music video.

Warning: This is a dark concept video, so there are snakes, skulls and such.

In case you decide to skip the video, the story line is, these guys are struggling between their good and bad side. The song lyrics plays out in a similar fashion, like a crappy relationship. Nice one moment and a jerk-face the next.

I have watched the above video many times (as well as their others), plus I even read The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. The next step for me was to make an inspiration board. Not only was I inspired by images from Vixx, but also Krystof Stroznya’s Fall/Winter 2012 Collection and even photographs from the 1800s on double exposure.

Vixx Inspirations


Jekyll & Hyde Inspirations


The next step for me in this process was to come up with designs. Somehow, I got in my brain that I had to create three different looks. So in my head, I came up with a good side, a bad side and the conflicted good/bad. However, turns out I had to make three garments or a 3-piece outfit, which is great labor and time wise but kind of threw me off design wise. I needed to get across Jekyll & Hyde (meets Korean pop idol) all in one look (3-piece outfit). *breathe*

The first real assignment was to make a croqui, make copies and then design 12 garments. From the 12 I had to pick 3 that I would make. This method is a little difficult for me, because I usually always know what I want and I really have strong feelings and focus towards those idea. So, 9 of the garments I designed ended up being mostly BS, that I kind of struggled with. However, some of them I went in after the 3 were picked and played with for other project ideas. I did make some adjustments to my final 3 garments, and guess what, the designs are still being adjusted beyond the design stage. You know I even dream about my design ideas, FOCUS!!!

To end today’s post, I will share with you my first garment. My illustrations are not the best, so I will do a short description for each illustration.

Illustrated by Me (Trice @ SewTell) Don’t know why I crossed my real name.

Garment 1: Jacket/Vest, Black and white, armhole princess seam front, waist back darts, feathered back, 5-6 different fabric textures, faced and partially lined.

Jacket Mockup

Come back next week, for Garment 2 and other thoughts on the process.

Going on

I am all moved in to my new apartment but definitely not all unpacked. I still have a lot of unpacking to do.  I need to purchase some plastic containers for my fabric, despite having large  deep cabinets to storage them in. I live in a canyon, so I get my share of spiders and some other crawlies. It would be much better if I keep my lovely fabrics in tightly sealed containers.

Yesterday was the first day back to tailoring class. This half of the term we are working on industry tailoring and fit. I am probably not going to do that but might shadow the class a little after I catch up. I’ll be finishing off my traditional/contemporary half-size jacket so I can have my certificate completed.

I am excited for this weekend. My class is going up to LA’s garment district to go shopping. We plan to get some supplies at B. Black and Sons, Ace Sewing and Michael Levine.  I plan to be very naughty and take home several pounds of fabric from the Loft. Which is just in time for Colette’s Spring/Summer 2012 Palette Challenge. Click on logo below to find out more about it.

Colette Patterns Fall Palette Challenge

I need to go through all my patterns and see what I want to make for this challenge. I think I am going to make 4 different items. 2 spring items and 2 summer. I think that is a more realistic challenge for me. I have been dragging my ass with sewing and I have a ton of stuff going on in my life right now.

Speaking of Colette have you seen their new patterns? I really love the Lily Dress. The Hazel and Iris are both nice but I am more so drawn to the Lily. Very figure flattering and nice clean lines.

BurdaStyle just release a Sailor Pants pattern. I LOVE sailor pants.  These two pattern will be going on my wish list.

Ugh, how am I expected to be good with my sewing budget if these awesome designers keep coming out with cute designs? At least I am trying to avoid looking at the Big 4. I think I can be break some rules by just getting independent patterns. RIGHT?

Other sewing related things I decided to spend my money on was the online sewing classes at Craftsy. I purchased the Sew Retro:  Starlet Suit Jacket with  Gretchen Hirsch and The Couture Dress with Susan Khalje. I am really excited. I probably exploding out the ears with jacket patterns.

Well I am gonna end this here so I can run some errands. If you wish to follow me on Pinterest, please feel free to so. I will be keeping my Colette Palette Challenge Inspirations there.

Follow Me on Pinterest

Style and Fit

Is there any styles out there that you really like but it just seems like it does not work on your body?

For me Tunics and Bubble skirts.

I tried on the following top and it just did not look that good on me.

Charlotte Russe tunic

Charlotte Russe tunic (see more belted tops)

I tried this shirt on and it looks great. It could be a little bigger, its a little tight around the neck.

And bubble skirts just add volume to my hips.

I don’t plan to give up trying to find the tunic that looks good on me. Maybe it’s just a matter of getting the tunic at the right store. I also hope to pull of a bubble skirt.

I would really like to be able to wear more flowly clothings and not stuff that are fitted. Fitted clothing looks really good on me, however, now that I have back fit, I don’t want clothes to fit that close.

I also have problems with jeans. Who doesn’t wear jeans? I have yet to find the perfect pair of jeans. They never fit through the waist and hips. If they fit great in the hips then they fall down to low and I have to wear a belt. I hate wearing belts to keep my pants up, not very comfort. All my jeans tend to have thigh explosion syndrome. After a few months of wear, my thighs rip right through the denim. Clearly denim is not as tough as they claim to be. Another problem is length. All my jeans are pretty torn up at them hem. Once I become better at sewing straight I will make myself jeans. They will fit amazing.

It’s kind of heart-breaking when you really wanna wear something, it’s in your size but it doesn’t fit you right or it look terrible on your figure?

Am I alone in this?

More Books

Yesterday I went to the bookstore to buy a cover for the Nook I just recently purchased. So far I love it, however I do wish I had a Nookcolor. I don’t feel to bad about not getting it, since currently none of the sewing books I want are available at  BnN nook bookstore. They are some on Kobo, which happens to be installed on my iPhone.

Anyway, I found the Nook cover that I wanted and I knew I should have walked straight to the check-out counter, but Noooo. I had to walk over the Art/Craft section. I ended up buying Naoki Watanabe’s Contemporary Fashion Illustration Techniques book.

I was trying to decided between this book and Nina Chakrabarti’s My Wonderful World of Fashion: A Book for Drawing, Creating & Dreaming.

I decided on Naoki Watanabe’s book in the end, mainly because I don’t know how soon I would use Nina’s book. I still plan on getting this book. I think it will be a great way to get my creative juices going. There are so many books I want to buy regarding sewing and fashion. I might have to just convert all my literary books to digital files or just get another bookshelf devoted to Sewing and Fashion.

Soon, I will post a section dedicated to my sewing and fashion books. I might at some commentary to each book. Hang tight.

Is there anyone else addicted to buy sewing/fashion books?

Fashion Designer: Chris Benz

I am really excited for Fall 2011.  I love that Fall 2011 is inspired by the 70’s. My favorite collection from Fashion Week Fall Collection is Chris Benz.

I am just in love with the colors, the texture, all of it. To see his whole line you can follow this link here.

Here are five of my favorites (trust me there is more favorites).

I am loving the hat on these pieces. I really want one. I look good in hats but I am not sure how I look in big hats. Maybe we shall see someday.

Some of his pieces has fur. Now I am not a super big fan of fur, but I do not dislike fur either.  Chris Benz makes the fur look great in my opinion. Hopefully it is fake fur, but let’s be honest, it is probably is real fur.

I think one of my favorite things about the 70’s is the wide legged pants. I personally can not rock the skinny jeans. I have too many curves on my body and I not skinny by any means, so loving wide legged pants comes natural.

You should check out more of Chris Benz collections, he really knows how to create a look.

Chris Benz website

Winning Garment

With less than a month away to start making the garment I will be using for Pattern Review’s “Knock-Off Contest -2011”, I believe it is time for me to start drafting the pattern. The month of the contest is no time for me to be figuring out drafting the garment. The first thing is picking which garment to Knock-Off. I asked several of my friends and associates which one they would like to see me Knock- Off and the winning garment is the Panic Dress.

I am not  sold like everyone else on the Panic Dress. Don’t get  me wrong I still like the dress. However, anything that does not separate my thighs from each other is no fun wearing.  But fair is fair and most people voted for the Panic Dress, therefore I will be making the Panic Dress. My teacher thinks it is probably the easiest to make out of all the garments. So thanks guys for picking the easy project. 😀

I really fell in love with the Rocket Top, it would look perfect on my body. Also the Neutron Pants are just awesome pants to have. I hope to make those other garments in the future. I can’t afford Dogstar pricing, but I’ll make the time to get those looks for myself.

Okay, back to the Panic Dress… Well there is two ways I can approach starting this project. I can A.) Look all over the internet in hopes that I find a pattern similar to the dress or B.)  I can draft it from scratch. I decided that I would search the internet for a similar dress first and if I come up short I would just make the dress from scratch.

I got lucky and found this New Look pattern that is fairly close to the Panic Dress. An extra bonus is that the Recommended fabrics are fabrics I would used to make the Panic Dress, and probably what the original was made out of. So now I am more exciting to do this.

New Look 6779

Looks like sewing will take over my life this year. I have at least 1 blouse to complete by June, the Knock-Off contest and also I am designing and constructing an outfit for my friend Melissa.  I also want to make stuff for my living room, like pillows and such. Gotta stay busy.

Books and Things

This month, I’ve been book shopping crazy. I love buying craft and sewing books, great references to have on hand when you get stuck on a project.  They are also great for inspiration. I have 4 new books and I am excited to dig through them.

In the mail today, I received a book called ‘Nancy’s Favorite 101 Notions,’ it is by Nancy Zieman. I won it from a BurdaStyle Contest back in either January or February. It’s a cute book, I hope to find some new notions. It would also be nice to know what some things are used for that I have come across at the fabric store. Like a Wood Wedge Iron.

This weekend, I went to Borders and I left with two fashion related books for myself. They are not really about sewing but more geared toward fashion design.

The first book I purchase is ‘200 Projects To Get You Into Fashion Design’ by Tracy Fitzgerald and Adrian Grandon. I have not  gotten a chance to look through this book fully, but the first couple of projects are super basic. Workout 1: Choosing a Sketchbook. As a former Fine Art Student, I have a bunch of Sketchbooks around the apartment. The questions for me is, should I use a new one or should I just use one of my old sketchbooks? If I do get a new one, what size should I get? I might just use an old sketchbook, so there is less things to consider. I do want to buy a book for just fabric samples. Okay back on topic! The book looks like it will be a fun book. Of course I will post the projects I complete up on the blog.

The second book that I purchase is ‘Essential Fashion Illustration’ by Maite Lafuente. I got through the whole book over the weekend. It is mostly  illustrations and some text. I just need to sit down and practice some of the illustrations in the books. I think I want to start off with experimenting with watercolors. Using watercolors for Fashion Illustration looks really nice. I want to try to stir away from using pencils, I need to be more free with my drawings. I would also love to do some marker illustrations.  I really should master using markers as a medium.

The book is also very useful on how to draw the human form and poses.

Okay finally, a couple of weeks ago I purchased a book called Pattern Magic 2. I don’t own the first Pattern Magic book, but I like the designs of the second one better. After scanning over the book and talking to some classmates. I think I should purchase the first book as well. Looking at the first project, I am already confused. The problem might also just be in the translation.

I still would love to try out something from this book.

So far on the poll front regarding what garment I should knock off.

3 votes for the Panic Dress

1 vote for panic top + Neutron pants

1 vote for the Rocket top

1 vote for Juno Singlet + Mutiny pants

I am leaning towards the Rocket top. I think I would look great on my figure. We’ll see.

What should I make?

I signed up for a sewing contest. The contest is  ‘Knock Off Contest’ with Pattern Review. You have to create a garment that is inspired by either a Ready-to-Wear line,  from the runway or any garment seen worn or pictured. The contest starts May 1st and ends May 31st. I can draft, tweak and make a muslin of the garment before the start date but I can not lay out or cut the fabric before the start date of the contest. I think this will be really fun project to execute. I am not interested so much in winning the prize but actually completing the assignment, but of course, it would be awesome to win.

I am trying to decided which garment I should create for the contest. I am loving Dogstar clothing line. It is a shame that their stores are on the other side of the world and are on the expensive end.

Which do you think I should Knock Off?

A.)  Panic Top + Neutron Pants

B.) Panic Dress

C.) Rocket Top + Vertiago Pants

D.) Juno Singlet + Mutiny Pants